David Priddy ’08, ’14 MDIV graduates from Campbell Divinity School with a deeper respect for community and scripture.
If David Priddy were to describe his experience at the Campbell Divinity School in one sentence, it would be this: “I was formed more than informed,” said Priddy, who received his Master of Divinity degree May 9.
As a child, Priddy enjoyed going to church whenever he got the opportunity. With admiration for his independent Baptist upbringing, he maintains a “deep-seated conviction in the authority of Scripture.”
“No matter what my theological orientation evolved to be,” he added, “I always remained devoted to beginning with Scripture.”
Priddy came to Campbell University as an undergraduate student in 2008. Knowing that he wanted to continue his education, Priddy filled all his time with classes and graduated in just two years with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion. He credits his previous work with commercial roofing as preparation for the college work load. “I think I graduated so early because I finished white collar work in blue collar time,” he said.
Next to academics, Priddy’s college career exposed him to many things, including “new people, ideas and ways of life, which affected me in so many different ways and, ultimately, matured me.” This new experience deepened his appreciation for the Trinity, ecumenism, and Christ’s atonement and resurrection.
Priddy began to sense a calling to preach after reading a book by Nicholas Lash called “Holiness, Speech, and Silence,” which he said “tempered my desire for certainty, but even more, humbled me intellectually.” Other writers that influenced him include G.K. Chesterton and Joseph Ratzinger whom “informed and formed me vocationally and intellectually,” he said.
While at Campbell Priddy also found solace in community. He met many friends, mentors, and role models, including Divinity School Dean Andy Wakefield, Director of Church Relations Irma Duke, Campus Minister Faithe Beam, Jason Duke, and Elaine Dawson, an administrative assistant with the Divinity School.
“Their hospitality, service, and ecumenical spirit have kept me freshly inspired and faithful to use my hands as well as my mind for the Kingdom,” he said. He appreciates the encouragement that they offered for his call to preach. “This community’s affirmation, grace, and guidance is what I bring into the pulpit every time I preach,” he said. “It powerfully motivates me and reassures me that I have been selected for such a task for the benefit of others.”
In October 2012, Priddy married his wife, Mikaela, in Butler Chapel. A year later he was ordained by Baptist Fellowship of Angier. “My ordination, then, was done by a Baptist church, led by a Lutheran, and witnessed by several Presbyterians,” he said. “This audience, I believe, represents my love and commitment to ecumenism, which I want to be a distinguishing mark of my ministry.”
After graduation Priddy hopes to maintain his relationships with peers and professors and to continue to participate in the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature conferences. He also plans to attend Wake Forest University to pursue a Master of Arts in Religion, furthering his knowledge of scripture and specifically of biblical Hebrew.
He is also aspiring to be a pastor. “Becoming a minister, urging others to be faithful, sharing the gospel, and leading worship, is the only future that gives me the confidence to proceed,” he said, adding he believes that his friends and education at Campbell Divinity School has helped prepare him for the task. –Amber Wilkins Mitchell