Reynolds Walker, Geneva Class of 2016, is the highlighted alumnus for this quarter. Here are his responses to a standard set of questions which are given each quarter to an alumnus or alumna to answer.
Please give a current update on yourself (college/graduation year, major, grad school, work/career, family, other interests, service or hobbies).
I graduated Baylor University with a BA in University Scholars in May of 2020. The following year, I attended the Kanakuk Institute—a one-year, post-grad program for leadership and Biblical studies. After I finished the Institute, it took me a summer to realize God didn’t want me in Washington, DC; He wanted me in Dallas. So, now live in Dallas, and work on the Young Adults team at Park Cities Presbyterian Church.
In my spare time, I often read some form of theology, philosophy, or fiction/fantasy. Surprisingly, my desire to read books grew after I graduated from Geneva. If I’m not working or reading, I’m usually getting coffee or a meal with friends, at the gym, playing basketball or tennis, or doing some random activity around town.
In what ways did your Geneva education/training prepare you for the work you are doing now?
I look back on my education at Geneva as a time of seed-planting. My love for deep thought, my appreciation for an intellectually rich faith, and my understanding (experience with?) of Christ-centered community, are all inextricably linked to my education at Geneva. Most of my current job involves walking alongside/discipling guys in their 20s and strategically thinking about how we, as a church, will serve and meet the needs of our young adults going forward. My education at Geneva helped prepare me for this job primarily by equipping me with the tools I needed to think well and creatively. I would also say that Geneva’s emphasis on community and high-caliber academics taught from a Christian worldview helped form and cement the concepts of an intellectually rich Christian faith and Christ-centered community that are crucial for young adults to understand.
Please describe the most significant value you learned from Geneva.
I think this is a tie between the importance of relationships and the importance of perspective (intellectual and experiential). On one hand, Geneva taught me the power of relationships, specifically with older men and women who truly care about you and actively seek your best. I still remember the times teachers who knew me well encouraged me and the times those teachers lovingly rebuked me, and I believe both were crucial to my formation.
On the other hand, Geneva exposed me to a diversity of thought and experience that I now believe are foundational to critical thought and empathy. You have to be exposed to other perspectives, before you can think from another perspective and thinking from another perspective is crucial for both critical thinking and relational empathy.
How would you encourage a Geneva Rhetoric School student to make the most of their Geneva years?
I would say: 1) don’t conform and 2) pursue your friends and teachers well. There’s often an incredible pressure at Geneva, as there is everywhere, to conform, whether that be to act a certain way, dress a certain way, or to participate in certain activities. There are some healthy pressures to conform, but I’ve found that those are few and far between, unless they’re coming from people who older than you and love you deeply. This makes me think of Paul’s letter to the Romans, where he says: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” God has amazingly and uniquely gifted you, lean into that and the freedom you have in Christ and through His death on the cross.
While what you learn in rhetoric school is important because it forms you morally and intellectually, you will likely forget most of the information very soon. However, it is extremely unlikely you will forget the close relationships you develop during your time at Geneva. So, pursue intentional relationships with your friends, teachers, and coaches. Healthy relationships are difficult, but they enrich every aspect of your life.
Describe Geneva in one word. Explain.
Improbable. I think Geneva as a whole is improbable. The idea that a school of such excellent academic quality and Christ-centeredness would exist in Boerne, TX would never cross my mind. The fact that Geneva has survived and actually excelled, in spite of its improbability, is a testament to God’s provision and work, not only at Geneva, but Boerne as a whole. I hope and pray God continues to work and act mightily through Geneva and in Boerne.
Please share one or two of your Geneva extracurricular activities and then compare/contrast that with one or two of your current non-work activities.
Tennis and track were by far two of my favorite extracurricular activities when I was at Geneva. Some of my favorite memories from Geneva are from competing, training, and practicing with friends. These days, I don’t run at the track anymore, but I still workout daily and frequently play tennis with friends. I think sports facilitate a special kind of camaraderie and bond among friends and, even though participation in sports looks different after high school and college, this special aspect of sports remains.
What are your future career goals and how do you feel prepared for them?
If I’m giving you the spiel, I’d say I want to start a non-profit that helps equip local churches to better disciple their members through classes on church history, biblical literacy, etc. While forming a non-profit remains a goal and desire of mine, I don’t know God’s plan for my life. Recently, He’s been teaching me a lot about submitting to and trusting His plan and timing, even if my plan and timeline significantly differ from His.
I don’t think I am prepared, and I definitely don’t feel prepared, to start a ministry non-profit. However, I trust that if that is what God calls me to, then He will equip me.
How are you impacted by your work now? What is something you have learned/are learning about yourself and God’s world?
Because my work is highly relational, it is both fulfilling and taxing. Often, the relationships I form with people in my job and the emotions that result from doing life with others wear me down, but, just as often, God uses the same things to fill me. God has taught me a great deal over the past six months. Most recently, however, God has been teaching me how messy life and people truly are. In spite of this, I am called to enter in to this mess and love people well, just as God himself entered in to our mess, when He sent Jesus, and just as He continues to enter in to our mess and love us well.