School of Divinity Student Develops Creative Ways to Share the Gospel

When Derek Hirtz ’15 (School of Divinity) stands before a piece of artwork he is about to make, he always weighs his options, asking himself if the project he envisions is really worth the cost of supplies, or even the time it will take to complete it.

This, according to Hirtz, is the perfect metaphor for how God loves each of His followers.

“When God made us I picture him asking, ‘Is it worth the cost of Jesus on the cross?’ and ‘Is it worth the cost of making a creation for them?'” said Hirtz. “He said ‘yes’ to every single one of us — and we have a lot of worth.”

Through the Master of Divinity program, Hirtz has had a spiritual journey of his own, transforming his original dream of becoming an architect to one-day becoming a church-planter.

“I want to go all around the world — in the United States and overseas, wherever God leads me,” said Hirtz. “That’s my desire; my passion in ministry is worshiping with other cultures.”

His passion is to help others recognize and acknowledge the love of God. This was born out of a difficult season in Hirtz’s own life when he felt as though God wasn’t there.

“At some point we all experience these hardships,” said Hirtz. “The enemy tries to convince us that we’re worthless or second-rate, and that we have to be good enough to be accepted.”

It was a pastor and mentor of Hirtz’s who helped bring him to a place of inner-healing when it came to his faith. Seeing God’s redemptive work in his own life has made him all-the-more anxious to see others let their walls down and love God more.

“It was a long process and it wasn’t easy,” said Hirtz. “But God was good, He really carried me through.”

After being carried through that season, Hirtz is in the midst of developing creative ways to encourage others who may find themselves in a similar situation. As a part of his internship credit, Hirtz is generating a free multi-media faith-based app that will encourage and foster individual spiritual growth.

It’s Hirtz’s work at Regent, he explained, that has helped him in so many ways theologically and spiritually.

“Coming to Regent has helped me realize who I am and who God had made me to be is enough — there is strength in my weakness,” said Hirtz.

Apart from feeding his own spiritual growth throughout his time as a student, Hirtz explained his classes at Regent are also giving him a practical method for achieving his ministering goals.

“When I took the church planting class I thought ‘man, I wish I had taken that class before I started the contemporary service at my mom’s church,” said Hirtz with a laugh. “It would have saved me some time and stress of trying to do it on my own.”

Hirtz knows that his interaction with his classmates and his professors is giving him a diverse education that will help him relate to others he is called to serve. He knows he’ll be ready to enter the world of ministry, leading others as he has been taught to lead.

“All the professors are truly gracious and they’re willing to talk to you and help you — even if it’s not about class-related stuff,” said Hirtz. “They care, and they treat their job like it’s their calling; and through them I’m learning to care for people like a pastor would.”

Learn more about Regent University’s School of Divinity.