Fort Worth native is TBC essay scholarship winner

20240626 TBC Essay award 3

When Texas Baptist College (TBC) classes begin this fall, Fort Worth native Abigail Montgomery will return to the campus she often visited as a child – this time as an incoming student and the winner of the TBC Presidential Scholarship Essay Competition.

Prospective students were invited to submit a 3,500-4,500-word essay that answered the question, “Why are the Great Commandment and Great Commission essential for the well-formed mind?” The four-year scholarship covers full tuition and fees, room and board, and the cost of books.

“I’m super grateful,” said Montgomery, who graduated as a homeschooled student. She added that she loves writing, but never thought her work would result in a full scholarship. Having the costs of college covered is “a load off my parents’ minds,” she said, noting that she has two younger sisters they will be putting through college.

When considering the essay question, Montgomery said she initially did not know how to bind the two biblical commands. However, after some thought and research, she determined that “implementing the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, it puts the mind on the path towards becoming like the greatest mind ever formed, and that was the mind of Christ. So, through both … receiving the Great Commission and then implementing the command in it, and the Great Commandment, it slowly…sanctifies your mind through being like the mind of Christ.”

Carl Bradford, dean of the college as well as assistant professor of evangelism and holder of the Malcolm R. and Melba L. McDow Chair of Evangelism, said Montgomery “skillfully addressed the mind of Christ through the lens of the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, reflecting a profound understanding of [how] Christ’s call to love and mission intertwine. Her work inspires us to live out our faith with compassion and purpose.”

He added that Montgomery’s essay “perfectly embodies how TBC aims to train and disciple students for Christ’s ministry, whether in the church or society.”

Though she had often visited the Fort Worth campus with her dad, Jason – a two-time graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div. ’97, Ph.D. ’18), as well as an adjunct professor at the school – Montgomery never really thought about going to college there.

“I think in my head,…it was more sort of the place where you go if you want to become a pastor or something like that,” she said.

Montgomery’s dad encouraged her to check out TBC’s Preview Day. At the event, she realized there is more to TBC than becoming a pastor or music worship leader.

“I sat in on some of the example classes and I just got really excited because they were talking about all this stuff that I nerd out about, like literature,” she said. “So it was not what I was expecting, and I was definitely surprised.”

She also was struck by the friendliness of the people on campus.

“Sometimes I struggle [with] going up to people or just talking to them, but everybody [was] super friendly,…I felt really welcome,” she recalled.

Montgomery, who attends Christ Covenant Reformed Baptist Church in Haltom City, Texas, will pursue a Bachelor of Arts in humanities degree. She noted that she chose humanities because it offers a variety of career options.

“I would love to teach high school in a classical, private setting, teaching things like high school literature, Shakespeare, … Socratic dialogue, that type of thing,” she said, adding that she might also enjoy journalism.

“Anything to do with writing,” she said.

One field stands out, though.

“So there are several different things I can do with [the degree], which I really like; it’s flexible,” she said. “But teaching is definitely … the main thing.”

Editor’s note: Click here to view a video of Montgomery sharing her excitement about starting classes this fall at Texas Baptist College.