Being a follower of Christ is the vocation that is most important for alumnus Matthew Holmes

Published by Amy Crawford 2 months ago on Wed, Dec 13, 2023 3:38 PM

Matthew Holmes ’22 is from San Diego. So how did a big-city guy from the west coast find his way to Concordia Nebraska?  
“I had a friend who was playing basketball at Concordia,” he explained. “I never thought I would end up in small-town Nebraska, but when I came to campus, I was blown away by how genuine and caring the community was. A lot of people talk about ‘culture,’ but when I came on my visit, I could tell from meeting with Coach Daberkow and several faculty members that Concordia was a place that didn't just talk about it but lived it.” 
Holmes earned a bachelor of science in business administration with a focus in finance and a minor in history.  He said there are many things he loved about his time on campus, from football to genuine relationships with professors and more, he said his time at the university was both formative and valuable. 

“Being able to play football every day with my brothers is something that I will value for the rest of my life,” he said. “Beyond that, I am grateful for how accessible my professors were. From long talks outside of class with Andrew Langewisch, John Hink and Matthew Phillips, I feel I learned just as much outside of the classroom as in. That is truly a unique undergrad experience.” 

Holmes said Concordia’s professors do an outstanding job tying the curriculum to Christ and reminding students that though they may be striving to become teachers, mathematics, lawyers, or any number of other vocations, that ultimately being a follower of Christ is the vocation that is most important.  

“I felt like we were being prepared to use our temporal careers in a way that has eternal effects,” he said. 
He added that the Concordia history department was instrumental to his development as a critical thinker, reader and writer.  

“I always say that lawyers are essentially historians who get paid well, so I am thankful that the Concordia history professors pushed me to excel in analyzing and constructing arguments,” he said. 

His time at the university also helped to develop and strengthen his faith. 
“From Coach Daberkow reading Proverbs to us every day after practice to attending Praise on Wednesday nights to attending Bible Studies on Sunday evenings led by Pastor Matthias, Concordia Nebraska was instrumental in growing my faith.” 

Following graduation in May 2022, Holmes was faced with a decision. He could either accept an offer from Vanderbilt Law School or postpone law school a year, retake the LSAT, and strive to attend a higher-ranked school.  

“I decided to go with the second option,” he said. “I was then faced with the task of finding a job, and this is where I think a really big ‘God moment’ happened. I randomly had a friend reach out and ask if I wanted to teach at a private Christian school not too far from my home in San Diego. I had never taught or so much as taken an education class. I said I would as least interview and consider it. When I met the admin, I felt at home.” 

He ended up teaching 6th grade science, 6th grade math and 9th grade history while also running the yearbook and coaching middle school football and high school track and field.  

“I could not imagine not having that experience. To be a mentor to those kids and see their faith development made my job a joy every single day,” he said.  

Holmes retook the LSAT and scored in the 99th percentile. He then reapplied to schools around the country and ended up getting accepted to USC (with full scholarship), Cornell (with full scholarship), Washington University in St. Louis (with full scholarship), Georgetown, Northwestern and Michigan.  

“I was wait-listed at Stanford and UPenn, and my only rejections were from Yale and Harvard.  I'm still a little mad about those!” he laughed.  “Going into the cycle, I especially loved Michigan. After a great visit and generous scholarship, I am proud to be a Wolverine!” 

Holmes is now a first year law student at the University of Michigan law school. He said he spends his days reading and then reading some more, then talking about what he reads with others. 

“It's fun, I promise!” he said.  “I describe law school as a very intense book club. And the people I get to meet at Michigan are awesome. I have already met four circuit court of appeals judges, one former attorney general, and three state solicitor generals. Not to mention the amazing professors we have and the visiting academics that come through on a weekly basis. Every day I learn so much.”  
When he’s not studying for school, he serves as a high school football official. Despite his busy schedule he stays in close contact with both professors and peers from Concordia Nebraska. 
“I lean on them when things are hard and know they have my back,” he said. “Concordia gave me a firm faith foundation and a community that I know will always be in my corner. Everything I accomplish from here on out, I owe to the Bulldog family!” 

Interested in discovering more about Concordia's Pre-Law programs? Learn more here.