ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Claire Hutchinson

September 28, 2018

This Q&A is part of a series of interviews featuring RUF Alumni. Today's post features Claire Hutchinson, an LSU graduate currently working as a videographer and photographer for Mission to the World. 

Let's start off with who are you and what do you do?

My name is Claire Hutchinson. I am a videographer and photographer for Mission to the World, the global missions sending agency of the PCA. That means I make short films and take photographs of the ministries of our mission teams around the world. I go to different countries throughout the year to document stories of the gospel going out among the nations in order to encourage the American church to pray, give, and go. It has been a dream come true to tell these stories and I’ve had the privilege to work with MTW since 2014. 

What college did you graduate from?

I graduated from LSU in 2010 and I was involved in RUF all 4 years of college. It was and still is to this day the greatest thing God did in my life at that time and I can trace so many of the wonderful gifts God has given, good and hard, back to the decision (prompting of a friend) to walk into large group one of the first weeks of freshman year. 

Who was your campus minister when you attended RUF?

My first 2 years Keith Berger was my campus minister and my last 2.5 years Josh Martin was my campus minister. Emily Shriver Larsgaard was my intern and God did big things through all 3 of them during my time there. 

What is your favorite memory from RUF?

Impossible! Too many to count. I think my favorite memories are connected to our retreats and friendships made along the way. There was one fall retreat when a girl came up to me and said she heard about something difficult that had happened in my life and she asked me all about it and how I was doing. I had never really talked to her before. We began to get coffee every Saturday as a result of that conversation and now 10 years later she’s been my closest friend all these years and has walked with me through all the good and hard things since that day at the fall retreat bonfire. My other most formative relationships in my life can all be traced to our RUF here in Baton Rouge whether from my time at LSU or through my church which I wouldn’t be a member of if it weren’t for RUF, Josh Martin, and the community of so many folks who have supported and encouraged LSU RUF over the years. My closest friends to this day are people who said things like “hey we should be friends” at the local coffee shop where all the RUF​​ kids hung out and others who were in RUF after me. It’s honestly impossible to count the things that God has done in my life through this ministry and the folks I’ve met through it. It changed my life. 

How has RUF impacted how you approach your career? 

I would never have been connected to Mission to the World if it weren’t for RUF and the way that it naturally provided a church family through a local PCA church in Baton Rouge. I didn’t even know what Mission to the World or the PCA  were before my freshman year of college when our RUF group went on a mission trip to Peru with MTW. This was my second mission trip abroad and my first ever connection to MTW. Years later I had a couple of different friends from RUF serve abroad with MTW and that combined with the prompting of my pastor is what led me to working with MTW. From philosophy of ministry to student ministries abroad including RUFI, to understanding the need for not only college ministry but intentional ministry in different contexts, I feel like the foundations of understanding ministry and the pursuit of others for the sake of the gospel was learned during my time at RUF and then strengthened through my job and seeing it done around the world. 

What would you say to an incoming freshman?

Go to RUF! Whatever different ways they do things from how you grew up or however large or small it is, find some folks to be intentional with, to reach out to, and look for ways to love and serve them in the midst of all the scary and big changes in your own life. They feel the same way you do and we were made for community! Dig roots deep into your relationships, meet with your intern, be honest with them and find ways to begin to serve with and for others. Listen to your campus minister when he says hard things…you’ll be grateful, and pray for deep friendships and direction. God will give abundantly. I often say to people “if it weren’t for RUF I wouldn’t have my job, friends, church family, community or home in Baton Rouge.”

Check out Claire's website here.