Luke Carrig followed a unique path to Kuyper College. He was born and raised in the town of Greystones in County Wicklow, Ireland. At the age of 18, he began a career in music. “I was in a band called the Raglans. My friends from my town and I started writing songs together, and we ended up working with a guy called Glenn Tilbrook, who’s the lead singer of the band Squeeze,” he said.
The Raglans were invited to join Tilbrook’s record label and later toured Ireland and the UK with him, to great success. Carrig loved being a musician, but he eventually felt led to leave the world of professional music. “I left that band and the music scene because I met my lovely wife-to-be and wanted to grow my relationship with her. I also wanted to grow in my faith and felt more of a calling to vocational ministry,” Carrig recalled.
He knew he wanted music and worship to be part of his education, but finding the right school proved difficult. “To do theology training in Ireland, it helps to be a priest, or an Anglican minister, or a deacon or something like that,” he said. His then fiancé, who he met while she studied abroad in his hometown, grew up in West Michigan. She told him about the many Christian colleges in the area, so he decided to look for a school here.
Carrig had never been exposed to the Reformed tradition, but he was intrigued when he heard about Kuyper College. After learning more, he knew it would be a perfect fit and decided to attend. He started by majoring in music and worship and later added a major in pre-seminary studies, but the most valuable parts of his time at Kuyper took place outside the classroom. He said, “I loved my time at Kuyper. It was incredibly formative, incredibly enriching. I made friends and connections and was renewed in mind and heart in transformative ways.” After graduating in 2016, he earned his Master of Divinity from Calvin Theological Seminary and began working in ministry full time.
Carrig first served as a chaplain at Oasis of Hope Center in Grand Rapids, which provides free health care to those in need, regardless of their circumstances. He then pastored congregations at Hope Christian Reformed Church in Grandville and Harderwyk Ministries in Holland before God led him elsewhere.
“I felt a call to return to my people in Ireland,” Carrig said. Through a unique partnership between the CRCNA and the Church of the Nazarene, the denomination in which he was raised, he pastors the congregation he grew up in. There are few Protestant groups in Ireland, which allows them to look beyond small differences and work together for the kingdom of God. “It’s a rich, interdenominational relationship,” he said. “My credentials are still with the CRCNA, and I’m a CRCNA pastor, and yet the Nazarene Church is willing to host me and allow me to serve in that capacity, so it’s a very kingdom-focused arrangement.”
Carrig has also found his way back to the world of professional music. After returning to Ireland, a friend who works in creative consultancy reached out with an idea: Carrig would create the music, and he would handle public relations. This project has already gone further than either anticipated and continues to expand. Carrig recently released a song, “Darkness into Light,” benefiting Pieta, an Irish organization aiming to prevent suicide and support families who have lost someone to suicide.
Carrig views this part of his life as another form of ministry. “It’s very Kuyperian in its nature. And so, I see the music I do and my presence in the arts community as a way of engaging the culture unto the glory of God,” he said.