From corporate culture to classical classroom: Meet Dr. Laura Lucas

What began as one child’s persistent prayer led to an improbable journey from a lucrative career in the business world to becoming a teacher at a classical, Christian school.  

The Bible verse, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps,” (Prov. 16:9) poignantly captures her path to teaching science at Mars Hill Academy. In 2017, she stepped out in faith, following a calling she felt from the Lord during her senior year of college studying Chemistry at William Jewell College. Her plans had been to complete a doctorate degree and pursue a career in the scientific profession, but as she worshipped the Lord during a chapel service, the Lord’s will became apparent to her: She would teach, but not right away. She felt complete peace about continuing to pursue her scientific studies, completing her Ph.D in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Kansas.

As she and her husband started their lives together, they believed that his career would require frequent relocations, making settling down at a school difficult. Instead, she joined Procter & Gamble, where she spent ten years as a research and development scientist. During that time she had children, and when it came time to choose a school, they were thankful to find Mars Hill.

“My daughter would return home from kindergarten saying, ‘Mom, you really need to come try out for teaching at Mars Hill,’” Dr. Lucas recalled.

When she heard these words from her persistent little one, she was reminded of the call the Lord placed in her heart so many years ago.  Making such a drastic career change seemed improbable, but before long, the words of her daughter took hold and they started to pray about an opportunity.  God answered.

Transitioning from a largely independent role at a corporate giant to the intimate environment of a classical, Christian school had its challenges. Dr. Lucas found herself working with dozens of younger children, each with their own unique circumstances and needs, with a bell-driven schedule, homework to grade, and a plethora of questions to answer with patience and wisdom each day.  

“In my first year alone, I had 127 children to teach,” she explained. She applied herself with fervor, getting to know names and faces, parents and siblings. “My family and a few close friends were praying for me and strengthening me during that time. I was feeling anxious about keeping up with the rigorous demands of the schedule.”

 She found peace in the scriptures as well: “Proverbs 18:10 has always been an anchor for me: ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.’”

She knew she could trust our Good God as she walked in faithful obedience to His call. Galatians 6:9 also offered solace: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

And what abundant fruit her work has borne! Dr. Lucas has been faithful, and the Lord has been growing good things in her students.

“I believe so strongly in what we are doing in the lives of these children. Submitting to God’s will for my life, this has been a vehicle for loving God and enjoying Him,” she said. “My love for science is what God has gifted me in to help students find a love for God in the creation around them.”