As the Student Government Association (SGA) president and a student employee with the Campus Public Safety, Jordan Hernandez’s involvement at Vanguard University revolves around being a servant to others. Among the several on-campus job opportunities, he has naturally gravitated toward those that let him support other people during his four years at Vanguard.
Michael Whitford ’99, MA ’17, university pastor and associate dean of spiritual formation, witnessed this when Hernandez was a first-year student. “I first met him when he offered to help me set up and break down chairs during chapel,” Whitford said. “I could tell right from there that Jordan had a servant’s heart!” Not long after this interaction, Hernandez became a Spiritual Formation Department (SFD) Chaplain Student Leader, and he eventually stepped into the role of SFD Outreach Chaplain.
But to Hernandez, service is not something siloed to extracurriculars alone—in fact, he’s spent his entire academic journey in pursuit of a career of service. As a psychology major with a double minor in theology and sociology, he hopes to work in youth ministry, but not necessarily in a traditional sense. “I’m still brainstorming what that looks like for me going into the next year, but I know I want to do something related to students,” he explained. He has considered becoming an academic counselor, but ultimately, his primary goal is to be in a position to serve others. “Overall, I just love helping people,” he said.
Looking back on his time at Vanguard, Hernandez is thankful for the many opportunities he’s had to practice his passion for others. As a Campus Public Safety student worker, he enjoyed being able to perform escorts during evening shifts. His role as SGA president has allowed him to actively respond to the needs of students, even if just in small ways. Lastly, his continued mentorship under Whitford encouraged him to identify and nurture his spiritual gifts. “Pastor Mike is very good at noticing the gifts that you have and truly helping you bring those out,” he said.
As Whitford reflected on his relationship with Hernandez, he pointed out the ways in which he has grown during his time at Vanguard, submitting himself to be shaped by his academic, professional, and spiritual education. “Jordan has allowed himself to grow and mature in biblical faith in Jesus, and his character and confidence in life have noticeably been impacted for the better as well,” he said.
Patricia Burton, PsyD, assistant professor of psychology, has observed similar maturing in the classroom. “Jordan’s growth as a student and leader has been inspirational; he takes his academic success seriously and always pushes himself to strive for the best,” she said. “Jordan has a clear understanding of his strengths and uses them to show his potential as a student. He also recognizes his areas of weakness but does not allow them to hinder him.”
While Hernandez may not have a job title in mind yet for after graduation, his humility as he waits to see where God has called him is evident. Through his academic journey, service opportunities, and meaningful relationships at Vanguard, he continues to be equipped as a leader in his field who seeks to be the hands and feet of Jesus wherever he goes.