Many Lancaster Bible College students, regardless if they are studying in-person on the Lancaster campus or online from anywhere in the world, may not interact much with Associate Registrar Matt Wheeler—unless they are registering for classes or getting ready for graduation.
But Matt plays an important role in the life of every LBC | Capital student as they design their educational path based on the courses that interest them, those that will contribute to their career or ministry goals and, of course, are required for their degree.
One of the favorite aspects of Matt’s job is serving at graduation ceremonies as he supports the Registrar’s Office. He’s most visible in the aisles and rows of Good Shepherd Chapel, signaling to soon-to-be graduates when it’s their turn to make the all-important “Pomp and Circumstance” walk.
Outside his role at LBC | Capital, however, Matt is a talented musician and shares his original folksy singles as well as covers of songs that are meaningful to him at churches, house concerts, coffeehouses and more.
Check out this short Q&A with Matt and see how you can vote for him for a Kindred Award by March 31, 2023!
Q: First, tell us about the Kindred Awards you’ve been nominated for to recognize the good work of Christian musicians in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New York!
A: Certainly! Each year, New Jersey-based Kindred Ministries holds the Kindred Awards to put the spotlight on Christians in the region who make music with excellence, across a very wide variety of genres. I’ve been nominated several times before—and have won three Kindred Awards—and appreciate the diverse community that the awards show brings together. Voting this year runs through the month of March, ending on March 31, and the awards show, where the award winners will be announced, will be held on June 24, 2023. I’ve been nominated in the Folk/Storytellers and Best Christmas Cover categories, and readers who would like to vote can do so at the Kindred Ministries site here.
Q: How would you describe your style of music?
A: Musically, my style is comparable to Andrew Peterson or James Taylor—two of my favorite storytelling singer-songwriters. I write worship songs and kids and family songs—particularly for the artist residency I do each year with a local K- through second-grade elementary school—and my specialty is writing songs based on classic works of literature. My 2021 album, “Wonder of It All,” is a collection of songs and stories based on “The Little Prince,” “Watership Down,” “The Horse & His Boy,” “The Hobbit” and “Orthodoxy.” I find that putting myself in the place of characters in timeless stories or poetically setting scenes of them to music makes for meaningful and relatable songs. My next album, due to release in late summer or early fall 2023, will be titled “A Hard History of Love” and is based on a series of short stories written by Wendell Berry.
Q: What is the favorite part of your role along the journey of Lancaster Bible College students?
A: Interacting with the students is the biggest highlight for me, whether that takes the form of academic advising, answering their questions about transfer credits or seeing them beaming as they walk across the stage at Commencement. It’s rewarding to see a student come with questions and leave with next steps. I’ve worked with on-campus undergraduate students since I started at LBC in 2015, so I planned the first semester schedules for most of our Traditional Undergraduate students that I see graduate at the end of recent semesters. I have a background as a classroom teacher and I was happy to get to teach again this past fall, when I taught a group of freshmen in a Foundation Seminar class. And I love being part of our LBC | Capital community and working alongside our brilliant faculty and staff to point the students toward the good plan that God has for them.
Q: Tell us a bit about your family.
A: I’ve been married to my wife, Charity, for almost 16 years. She teaches seventh-grade science and was made for her job—she loves working with that age group and enjoys leading the kids through experiments like, for instance, dissecting frogs. We have one child, a son named Luke. He’s recently reached teen status, has autism and epilepsy, and is the most cheerful person that I know.