Uncommon Pathways: From Performing Arts to the Military

By Briercrest College Modified on April 25, 2019

Choosing an educational path as you’re beginning college can be a daunting task. Don’t worry: opportunities can come at unexpected times and in surprising ways.

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  1. 1: One Step at a time

  2. If you’re at the end of high school or your first year of college and you have no idea what you want to do with your life, you have lots of company. If you ask most professionals, they’re probably working in a career they didn’t imagine themselves working in when they were younger.

    For example, Paul Reimer, an alumni of Briercrest College’s music program. In his third year, Reimer was contacted about being a military chaplain in the Royal Canadian Airforce. “I was approached by a military padre and he expressed [to me] what you do as a military chaplain...and the way in which you can reach people that are searching or lost in a different way than a pastor can,” says Reimer.

    This opportunity came as a surprise and opened doors for continuing education. Reimer explains, “to become a chaplain in the military, you need to have your master’s in divinity and then you also need to be ordained.” Being an alumnus of Briercrest College made it a perfect fit for Reimer to continue his education in the seminary.

  3. 2: Surprising Pathways

  4. Reimer is in the Subsidized Education for Entry Master’s (SEELM) program, which is the military’s highest scholarship program for chaplains. “Through the two years of qualifications and interviews, they came to the decision that I was worthy of being a SEELM applicant for the year...so my education is all paid for and my books are all covered.”

    Reimer, being a music student, is now pursuing his master’s degree as part of an educational journey that was unknown to him at the beginning. As Reimer progressed through his education, this opportunity became available and now he is on an unexpected path.

    While many of us may not receive the same opportunities as Paul did, our process maybe the same. The chance to choose an educational path as you’re beginning college can be a daunting task. However, if you’re dedicated to what gets you most excited when you think about college and what doors it can open, opportunities can come at unexpected times and in surprising ways.