Nate Urban is a junior education major from Winfield, Illinois. Known around campus for his big heart and friendly disposition, Nate embodies the concept of living and loving like Jesus.
Q: What led you to AU?
A: It really came down to this is where I felt God was calling me to go, as cliche as that sounds. I realized I really wanted to teach and I had some awesome teachers in high school that really inspired me, and I knew that this school had a good program for teaching and educating. I had heard about this school from one of my friends from home, Jansen Hogan. Before I came to AU, I knew him and one of my other classmates, Rob Lowman, so I recognized a couple people. I did apply to other schools. I applied to Moody Bible Institute, Judson University, Taylor University and I also think I applied to Indiana Wesleyan University, but I can’t really remember. When I had an overnight visit here, I actually didn’t really enjoy it all that much. We just kind of sat in the guy’s room and watched TV. That was kind of different. I got accepted at Moody and was telling people that was where I was going, but after praying about it, this is where God wanted me to go. And so here I am. I’m very glad this is where he wanted me.
Q: What shaped you the most before coming to AU?
A: I think I knew who I was before coming to AU for the most part. I had really awesome experiences and relationships in high school with my band teacher and senior year English teacher. I had an awesome church, friends and family that shaped me.
Q: What are you studying?
A: I am a language arts education major. I want to be a high school English teacher. I just love stories, and I love words. That’s what teaching is, especially English obviously, and I think high school is an age where you are able to have some very deep conversations that directly apply to students’ lives. It’s definitely a stage in life where much of their identity is formed and they are presented with a lot of options of who they will become for the rest of their lives. They are right on the cusp of going into responsibility and into adulthood. That’s why I’m interested in high school.
Q: What are you involved in on campus?
A: I am male lead Discipleship Coordinator for all DC’s on campus. I go to the Christian Center on Fridays and I am also involved in intramurals.
Q: What are your future plans?
A: Get a job somewhere, honestly. I guess I just really want to teach students about the power that their words have. This is a long spiel, but I think it’s so cool how God created the world, and though he could have done it with anything, he did it with words, with language. In John 1, Jesus is described as the Word of God. With the words that we say, we are emulating God by our language. It is our words that create realities. So I really feel very passionate about teaching students how to use their words wisely. I want them to know how to build people up and not tear them down. I especially want to teach and show them how to see Jesus in everything.
Q: What is one piece of advice you have to give to your fellow students?
A: Something I guess I would say is don’t be motivated by fear. Be motivated by love. Jesus is love, and so when we do things in fear, we are not doing things in Jesus or in the ways he wants us to live. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but he gives us the power of love and of self-discipline. The most important aspect of our lives as Christians is producing the fruits of the spirit and simply abiding in our identity in Christ. If we fear God fully, then we won’t fear anything else. That sounds like something you would find on a fortune cookie, but it’s true. It’s very hard to live this way. Living out the gospel and walking in a relationship with God is so much more centered on daily decisions, actions and thoughts than we would like it to be. But where the gospel meets the road is within how we treat every person we come into contact with, how we treat our friends, our family members and ourselves. We need to bring in the new reality of being unified, and that is treating people like family and treating people like Jesus would. That is what it’s all about, being more like Jesus.