Zac Yonko: Glorifying God through his English major

CCO student leader Zac Yonko has read more than 60 books over the past two years.

Such is the life of an English major at Waynesburg University, and in Zac’s case, such is preparation for ministry in the Church. “God is calling me to use my English degree in a unique way,” he says.

How? The answer, of course, begins with a book.

During his junior year, Zac read a book called A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

”The book has a very melancholic feel because of its truthful look at mental illness,” Zac explains. “But it's also about being mindful to care for the lonely, because that’s what the main female character does.”

Zac explains that books like this allow him to grow in empathy and compassion.

They also give him a broader view of the Church’s ministry.

“In this book, the neighbor’s pursuit of an old lonely man made me think about being an active Church that goes to “other people’s turf” instead of waiting for them for come to us,” Zac says. “If we take mental illness seriously—or reaching out to anyone with the love of Christ seriously—we will be willing to go.”

Zac serves on the CCO student leadership team at Waynesburg, shares his poetry at university coffeehouses, and plans to begin his seminary education next year. He is eager to find connections between the Church and the type of people he has already “met” through books.

“Several years ago, I honestly had no clue that literature could be God glorifying,” he says. “But I found that God’s light shines through storytelling, and now everything I’m learning about is for Him.”