Leading a Life of Christian Service with Dr. Anthony Bradley

Dr. Anthony Bradley has worked in Christian education for over 25 years, and he still finds surprises in his work every day.

One student recently told Bradley about his dream of opening a gym. What caught Bradley’s attention was not just the student’s entrepreneurial spirit but the student’s desire to hire formerly incarcerated individuals.

“I thought, ‘this guy gets it,’” Bradley said. “That’s a life of service, providing job opportunities for people who want a second chance. To have one aspect of the business be about serving those who would otherwise struggle is extraordinary.”

Another encounter involved a Kuyper basketball player who attended private Christian schools. Although this student enjoyed learning from his Christian teachers, he decided to become a public school teacher because he wanted to reach overlooked students.

“I met someone who wants to not just teach a topic but who cares about students as people,” Bradley said. “If that’s the type of people Kuyper is graduating, that will make the future better.”

In Bradley’s view, the service-minded attitudes displayed by these students run counter to a secular culture characterized by individualism and narcissism. Rather than seeking only to gain wealth and recognition, Christian students consider how they might use their lives to benefit others.

For Bradley, what makes Christian higher education distinct is its focus on establishing a Christ-centered worldview and putting service of one’s community and neighbors ahead of only one’s own interests.

“One way to think about service in the marketplace is to ask, ‘how am I placing myself in sectors that serve human flourishing?’” Bradley said. “It’s a variation on a theme of what Jesus came to do.”

A major focus of Bradley’s scholarship is examining how young people feel the need to achieve success. Starting in childhood, many students begin feeling stressed about school performance. The pressure intensifies when they start thinking about life after high school and their career.

When they reach this stage, students feel forced to make a decision: attend college and keep on competing or withdraw from society entirely. Many students, especially young men, choose the latter option and “drop off the grid” without pursuing additional education, a trade or work.

Bradley hopes to present his students with a new way of thinking. 

“Young people need to have some transcendent understanding of what college means,” Bradley said. “We need to provide the ‘why’ behind the ‘what?’ Why am I studying? The point can’t be just to make money; it’s unsustainable, and people get disillusioned and fall away.”

“What Christian higher education does is expand the importance of the work beyond the person. It makes it transcendent and part of God’s overall plan to redeem the entire creation. Kuyper’s recognition of that tradition is something a lot of students—and Americans—don’t have.”

Bradley enjoys introducing his students to service-minded professionals, with recent field trips visiting the Grand Rapids Police Department and the Warner, Norcross + Judd law firm. Yet Bradley’s favorite teaching tool remains studying the Bible.

“One of the things I enjoy most about teaching biblical interpretation is that the scriptures are immensely practical,” Bradley said. “What young people are trying to figure out is what the purpose of life is and what all of this is for. The Bible provides an incredible amount of direction and helps you understand who you are and why you matter.”

“It also highlights the spaces and reality to which young people can bring real solutions. What the Bible teaches is what our culture does not; we need people to be salt and light and make places robust and life-giving.”

As the keynote speaker for the 2024 Spring Celebration Gala, Bradley will share additional thoughts on leading a life of faithful Christian service. Guests can register for the Gala by visiting kuyper.edu/gala

Majors & Programs

You will graduate with professional and biblical skills to think critically, communicate effectively as a Christ-centered leader.


You will graduate with both an academic and a work transcript detailing your work experience for future employers.


We invite you to explore Kuyper College to see if it could be where God wants to mold and shape you.

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