Kevin Torres, a class of 2016 graduate, had an atypical path to Nyack College. Growing up in the Bronx, Kevin always dreamed of attending Penn State. In the summer of 2012 he thought he was ready to become a Nittany Lion. God had other plans. “I would pray, and fast, and I heard nothing from God. Two days before I was shipping out to Penn State I was making chocolate chip waffles, and I started tearing up. Something was telling me to cancel my admission to Penn State. It was God. I immediately canceled my admission, and lost my deposit. I remember it was August 25th of 2012, and I was no longer a college student.” In late August Kevin visited a Christian & Missionary Alliance Church. “My friend, who was going to Nyack, told me to go with him and visit. So I did. I got my admission packet. It wasn’t anything I was planning for. It just happened that way. I’ve been asking for it, and you can’t say no to God.” Kevin enrolled in Nyack for the Fall of 2012, and it’s one of the best decisions of his life.
Philosophy and Theology
Kevin loved his academic time at Nyack. “It was just a bunch of wonderful professors. I remember having a Philosophy class with Dr. Dueck. It was really interesting, and I recall going up to him after, shaking his hand, and telling him that he got me. I became a philosophy major.” Learning the nature of God is something that Kevin really felt like impacted him while at Nyack. “It built up and restored my theology. I didn’t grow up in the church. I started going around 16 years old, so coming into Nyack I had a zeal for evangelism. My experiences at Nyack really helped me learn what evangelism really is. My view of God changed. It was such a formative time in knowing what my God calling is, and how God communicates with us.”
A Community of Faith and Fire
One of the highlights for Kevin was the community at Nyack. “We used to have bonfires. And it really brought this sense of community and vulnerability. We would be out there with a speaker, hot dogs, and around the fire we would pray and talk. This would happen once a week, and it really helped bring a sense of togetherness. It’s a community that I’m still close to to this day. Huge impact for me.”
A Heart For Connection
After graduating from Nyack College, Kevin spent time as a Special Education teacher. It was for an organization called the New York City Teaching Fellows. “Special Ed is the field they have the most openings in. It has a five year turnover rate in New York City, and it’s very challenging. It was only through the hands on experience that I realized I did have a passion for teaching. I loved connecting with the kids, learning what they liked, playing basketball with them. Because of this passion, it was easy to connect with them. I made sure to add a social, emotional component to my teaching to make sure they were getting something out of it.” Still, Kevin felt a calling for Missions, a field he longed to be involved in.
A Call to Missions
“Missions is definitely a passion. I did a class with Orlando Rivera where we went to California for church planting and that’s where I got my passion for community living. I met my wife at Nyack College, and now we do communal living with other Alumni. When we all moved in together our thought was to plant a church. We all ended up working at The Life Christian Church in West Orange, New Jersey. I’m the Director of Global and Local Missions. God brought me around to missions where he brought out my passion and calling. My role is to bring the church in West Orange to the local community, and also globally.”
Answering the Call
So what would Kevin’s life look like if he had ignored God’s calling while making those chocolate chip waffles 10 years ago? Kevin said, “It’s something that I think about all the time. There are so many God sightings, and how God has spoken to me. I met my wife at Nyack. I remember His goodness, and we should reflect and remember how God has worked in our lives. He is so sovereign. Working in the past, present, and future. Whenever I feel downcast, and I think of these experiences, I remember that God will always be there.”
Catch our full interview with Kevin Torres airing Tuesday, August 30 at 1:00 p.m.
As always, for music, interviews and more, stay tuned to WNYK Warrior Radio here.