A Journey Of Unprecedented Grace

The News Magazine of HCU

Matthew Smith grew up in a turbulent home where alcoholism and violence prevailed. When his parents divorced, he found pleasure in riding horses in the summers, crawfishing, and playing rugby and cricket. In 2019, the course of his life changed when he gave his life to Christ after a friend witnessed to him. “This was completely new for me, but learning about Jesus Christ and all that He has for me became my number one priority. It was an unexpected and drastic change for me, and everyone close to me,” said Smith.

A native of Aylesbury, England, Smith relocated to the U.S. to attend Notre Dame and pursue a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in political science. After graduating, he began working in the finance industry while completing his MBA and launching a Christian YouTube channel called “Unprecedented Grace” that, to date, has garnered 9.28K subscribers. His desire to learn more about God’s Word to share his faith in Christ via his YouTube channel motivated him to make a major decision.

“With my work visa running out in a matter of months, I was faced with the choice of returning to England to study theology after eight years in the U.S. or enrolling in [a college] in America and returning to a student visa,” said Smith.

Uncertain how he would fund his education, he took a step of faith to apply to Houston Christian University’s Master of Divinity program and trusted God to provide the needed resources. On the recommendation of Richard Olds, Faculty in- Residence professor in the School of Christian Thought, Smith would be offered a position in Residence Life that covered his living expenses.

“I came to Texas not knowing how God was going to pay for this at all. And I say ‘God’ very intentionally because there was no actual way that I could have paid for any of it myself,” admitted Smith. “I decided to come on the presumption that if God brought me here by covering my living expenses with the Residence Director position, he would similarly take care of my tuition, knowing I had arrived at the end of my own capabilities to pay for any of it whatsoever,” shared Smith.

His trust in God’s faithfulness was realized, and through a combination of scholarships, including the Hamill Presidential Scholarship, the Baptist General Convention of Texas Scholarship and the Jerry H. Stoller Scholarship, Smith was able to begin his academic career with no out of pocket costs.

The UK-born international student describes the scholarships as “very specific, purposeful and needed blessings” and the divinity program as “the perfect incubation space” that has broadened his idea of who God is an enhanced his ability to mature and become wiser as he grows his “Unprecedented Grace” ministry platform.

“Jesus has truly revealed Himself as the finisher of my faith, and I am now more than happy to be a child in His presence. This is the result of being around more experienced Christians who invite God into the room as we all learn together,” said Smith.

As he continues his divinity studies, Smith is inspired by C.S. Lewis’ quote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

You can find “Unprecedented Grace” @MattsmifTV on YouTube.

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