Alumni Spotlight – Casey Thorpe

As the Director of Athletics at Paradise Valley Christian Prep (Phoenix, AZ), Casey Thorpe is leading an initiative to build a firm foundation of Christlike values that will captivate the hearts of student athletes. We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Casey and ask a few questions for our newsletter. See his responses below:

Give us an update! What are you currently involved in/ pursuing?

Since graduating in 2015, I have been fortunate to partner with several great organizations and schools that have given me a platform to share the Gospel with kids. I am also grateful to have been surrounded by incredible mentors who have walked with me as I grow in my own walk with Christ. Upon graduation, I was a youth pastor and young life leader for about 4 years before transitioning into full time education. After completing my Masters program at GCU in 2018, I dove into teaching and coaching full time.

In 2020 I got married to my beautiful wife, Sydney, and we moved back to the valley from our hometown in WA State. For the last couple of years, I taught 8th grade Bible at Northwest Christian Schools and coached baseball at Arizona Christian University. Most recently, I just started a new job in Administration as Director of Athletics at Paradise Valley Christian Prep here in Phoenix, AZ. I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to lead coaches at our school as they seek to lead our student athletes. The mission of what we are trying to build at PVCP is simple. We want to use the platform of sport as a vehicle to help our students, coaches, and families grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. Our mission and vision is built upon a firm foundation of Christlike values that we pray will captivate the heart of our student athletes. We believe that the teachings of Jesus through His Word are essential to the spiritual nourishment and growth of our athletes. We believe in the value of what athletics can teach kids in their Middle and Upper School careers and I am so excited to see how The Lord continues to move.

What do you think is important about the theme of this newsletter (Anchors Away)?

I believe the theme of this newsletter will hit home for every single Christian who has the privilege to read through and be encouraged by this truth. We are all attempting to navigate the ebbs and flow of our ever-changing world. Having the confidence to walk in the truth that Christ has overcome the world gives me the confidence I believe we all need to wake up each morning and fight the good fight. Another verse that kept coming to mind while reading through this theme is Psalm 16:8 which reads, “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” Having an anchor of peace, which is Jesus that we can cling to when chaos arises is a gift from The Lord. I hope and pray that I can continue to press into this truth in my own life while I seek to model it for the students and coaches I get the privilege to lead.

Please share some of the courses and/or which instructors you enjoyed at GCU!

I truly believe that I grew in my knowledge of Scripture because of the fervor and excitement that was displayed by so many of my professors during my time at GCU. From Dr. Lamca, to Dr. Alfaro, Dr. Charpentier, and Dr. Diffey, I always left class encouraged, challenged, and motivated to seek truth rooted through God’s Word. I appreciated all of their wisdom and guidance they gave me and my classmates in the couple of years I had them as a professor. The one other professor I am extremely grateful for is Professor Brett Berger. Professor Berger was my Hermeneutics Teacher in my Junior year and made a profound impact on my life both inside the classroom and out of it. Having a heart for athletics, I was able to help Professor Berger coach his son’s baseball team after I graduated in 2015. Though it was quick, that was a special season of life I will forever be thankful for.

If you could give one piece of advice to a student, what would it be, and why?

If I could go back and give one piece of advice to a student, it would be to ask the tough questions that may be stirring in your heart. GCU is blessed with faculty and staff that love Jesus and love His people. They know the ministry platform they have been given and are intentional in utilizing that platform to the glory of God. Fear is such a crippling deterrent to growth in this life. To have people around that want to point you to truth and help you discover your purpose, is a gift that I pray would not be taken lightly by the students on this amazing campus.

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