Joshua Lewis Copeland, a junior, is majoring in Religious Development, which is a major very unique to LR. His favorite class so far has been Religion 100, taught by Dr. Johnathan Schwiebert. "In the class, we discuss more in-depth theology of Christian Faith," explained Joshua. "It was through this class that I realized my calling as a pastor. I am very anxious to learn about all facets of religion. Professor Schwiebert, and the other religion faculty really challenge you to think and grow in your faith."
Joshua is also passionate about music. He is minoring in Sacred Music and sings with the LRU A Cappella Choir, College Singers, and Chapel Choir. Last spring, he attended the A Cappella Choir's music-mission trip abroad to Costa Rica. Choir members sang in a variety of venues and for worship with congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Costa Rica. "We served in a daycare in one of the poorest parts of the country," said Joshua. "Though the majority of the children did not speak English, we were still able to communicate through the language of music. It was an experience I will never forget." Joshua also shared his voice on stage with the LRU Playmakers this year, singing with the quartet for the Playmakers production of City of Angels.
Joshua attends Mt. Zion Lutheran Church where he serves as a Youth and Family Director. At LR, he serves as president of the Lutheran Student Movement, an organization he helped to restart. He will also be serving as Chaplain of the A Cappella Choir during the 2016-2017 season.
Both of Joshua's parents are pastors and he has chosen to follow in their footsteps. They both attended the Lenoir-Rhyne University's Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) in Columbia, South Carolina and, following his graduation, he hopes to attend seminary as well. Throughout his childhood he attended North Carolina Synod Assembly meetings and activities, most of which were held on the campus of LRU. "When I came to LR as a student, it felt like coming home," said Josh. "I have fallen in love with the community and have made so many close friends – friends whom I consider my brothers and sisters."