Why Am I an Advertising Major?

I am spending four years of my life getting a degree in a discipline that I care very little about. Why, you ask? That’s a good question. One I have been asking myself lately over and over again.

I decided on an advertising major for a number of reasons. One, I have been told numerous times that when starting out in ministry you are not paid anything at all. Therefore, get a degree in something versatile that you can make money on the side to help support your family during the beginning stages of ministry. Advertising is a versatile degree and leads to some really high paying jobs. Two, I have listened to numerous pastors who have a background in marketing or advertising and many of them have said how much it has helped them in starting their church or ministry. A background that you can apply to church world is invaluable when trying to get something off the ground. Three, I was scared away from the graphic design program at the university I attend. I took a college visit and met with the chair of the graphic design department since I enjoy designing, creating, and messing around in Photoshop. I came out of the meeting with no desire to do the steps he suggested I take which only further solidified my deepest desire was to go into ministry.

So, I chose advertising. I figured it is more creative than marketing but still has a real world application that I can get a job in rather than majoring in religion and getting stuck with a narrowed liberal arts degree. Throughout the introduction class of advertising I thought it was interesting. Target markets, ratings, creative briefs; they all sounded like things I could get behind and do. That was until I actually started doing them.

Granted, it could be the fact that I am taking four advertising/major classes right now, working on three different group projects, designing a portfolio for another class, and writing papers left and right, but I am really starting to get burned out on advertising.

I am reminded every day that I am working towards a fancy sheet of paper that I will frame, hang on my wall, allow to collect dust, and eventually put in storage that means little more than price it costs to get the diploma framed.

Blame it on the projects, deadlines, group work, long hours, or the fact that I have to have all of it done before I leave the country for Thanksgiving break; I don’t care. All I know is that advertising is not what I want to do. Therefore, when it comes down to crunch time, I care less and less about something that has little weight on the vision and passion God has placed on my heart: to preach, teach, and write the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I know God can use every scenario for His glory. I know that He is taking me on a journey and my experiences now will better prepare me for the future He has planned out. I know we are supposed to do everything as though we are working for the Lord and for His glory. But, right now, it is really hard for me to care.

Call it apathy. Call it complacency. Call it whatever you want. Every day that I walk into another advertising class, I really start to wonder why in the world am I here? The career fairs are nice, but none of them will help me connect with the people I really need to be connected with. Case studies on advertising campaigns are tolerable depending on the subject, but that will not help me create culture that glorifies God at the core. Demographic data charts are interesting until the lines start running together, but they are not helping mobilize the local church to be an active agent of life-transforming change.

So, why am I an advertising major?

I am beginning to ask the same question every single day… and convincing myself of the answer is getting harder and harder with each passing day.


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