A Flourishing New Community - Montreat College

Written by Tyler Lee

Change is underway at Montreat College, and the fruit of that change is is starting to become evident. Montreat is working hard to make visible changes, and renovations in Howerton Hall are already underway in the lobby and Quad areas (the Quads are the larger upperclassmen rooms located on the second and third floors). “Jim Leenhouts and the Maintenance team have been working on a proposal and plans to renovate the lobby and the Quads,” residence director Stephen Milliken stated. “The plans have to be approved and checked by a lot of different people. It’s a process. They have worked on fixing ventilation in the bathrooms in the residence hall as a whole and that has improved dramatically already.” Seeing the vital renovations taking place at Howerton makes Montreat’s forward motion even more real and tangible.

And so the next change in Montreat’s residence life begins…

But in the meantime, an exciting new community has come into being as a result of the ongoing renovations. In order to begin work on Howerton, Quad residents have been temporarily relocated to an off-campus facility known as G.K. Chesterton Apartments. And the speed which with a community has bloomed among the students there has been surprising. The residents of G.K. Chesterton weren’t sure what to expect when they relocated, but they’ve been enjoying life in their new location. “My favorite part of life in Chesterton is the community living,” senior Joseph Madsen said. “There is always a record spinning on the turntable in the living room, a movie playing on the TV, or a group in the kitchen whipping a dish for everyone to share. Banana pudding has been our best creation so far.”

Howerton Hall focuses on being a Christian community where residents experience both the magnificent high points and the deepest valleys of life together. Chesterton adds a new piece to this, offering a smaller, even more personal residence. “We are aiming for a community characterized by mutual accountability,” said Kevin Fife, the resident assistant of G.K. Chesterton. “We are working to model life together as Christian men.”

Residential life is a crucial piece of Montreat. Students do much of their learning in the residence hall, reading into the depths of the night and having intellectual discussions at 1 in the morning. Residence life at Montreat has an “iron-sharpening-iron” mindset, where students engage and further each other mentally, emotionally and spiritually. And the physical changes that are occurring in Howerton are a stepping stone to producing an even more vital community for students to sharpen themselves.

For months now, Montreat College has proclaimed that we are moving forward. Moving forward is an action done step-by-step. This is Montreat’s next step. In all of the change occurring at Montreat, one thing remains constant: Christ is the center of all, even change. In the long run, changes can prove the most monumental instruments of restoration.