GRTS Alumni Stories

Brian Jackson (M.R.E. '85)

brian jackson

“I like to say that I have been given the gift to ask,” Brian Jackson, vice president of seminary advancement, said. Jackson is a 1985 graduate of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He studied broadcasting and administration at Central Michigan University for his undergraduate degree. “I spend my time sitting down with individuals, couples and business leaders sharing the Cornerstone University and GRTS story. That story is about our story,” Jackson said.

Jackson said that when people invest in the students of Cornerstone and GRTS, they are investing in the eternity of God’s Kingdom. “My work is more about stewardship and resources,” Jackson said. Jackson said he is involved specifically in financial stewardship. “By giving to us, they are giving students the ability to complete their education,” Jackson said. “It is all a part of edification, building up and encouraging.” Jackson said his personality helps him do his job. “I am a task oriented people person who likes to meet people of all personality types, backgrounds and ages,” Jackson said. “In normal mode, I am the one who wants to talk to everyone at a gathering before I leave, even if it is for just a moment. I see people as God has created them; special and full of opportunity.”

Jackson worked as a professional broadcaster while completing his undergraduate degree. He has 20 years of experience in broadcasting, specifically sales and sports casting. “I came to the seminary out of the field of commercial broadcasting,” Jackson said. After graduation, he served for 11 years at Cornerstone working at WCSG. He then transferred to the advancement division. Jackson has worked at Cornerstone for over 31 years. Jackson said his seminary education helps him do his job. “The seminary education that I had grounded me in understanding the Christian life and biblical values that we should be living,” Jackson said. "It is here I developed my understanding for biblical stewardship. One of my favorite verses? Philippians 3:17, which says, ‘Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account’."

“There were four faculty members that had a major influence on forming my Christian worldview: Victor Matthews, Ron Chadwick, Joe Crawford and James Grier.” Jackson said he came to seminary as a young Christian. He came to know the Lord at age 25, so he was a Christian for two years before coming to the seminary. “I had no one to disciple me before coming to seminary,” Jackson said. “The professors’ instruction and the courses that I took helped me as a follower of Christ. There is something special and intimate about a seminary setting that allows the faculty to spend more time with the students, and I benefited from that because I needed all the help that I could get.”

Jackson said Cornerstone and GRTS have been a significant part of his life for over 31 years. “I met my wife Kathy in seminary. My ministry calling has been here; my daughter Cassie graduated from CU in 2011 and is pursuing med school, my son Brad is a junior at Cornerstone, so they have been impacted by the faculty at Cornerstone,” Jackson said. “I am very thankful for all of this.”

Jackson said one of his hobbies is working and being with people. He said he loves to be around people and enjoys encouraging them. “My wife and I are involved in discipling people,” Jackson said. “It is something that we both enjoy doing together.” Jackson said his life has been about people, and he enjoys working with people on a daily basis. “I get up every morning with the opportunity to ask because it is not about me, it is about others."