Apologetics Graduate Defends Life, Faith at Live Action
“Sometimes we’re afraid to do the right thing or drive forward what is good because it’s not practical,” said BJU Seminary graduate Mikayla Simpson. “But my faith has empowered me to encourage policies and to work with an organization that does what is right.”
Since graduating from the Seminary with a master of arts in apologetics in May 2022, Simpson has worked in Washington, D.C., for Live Action, a leading pro-life organization promoting education and activism against abortion. As the government affairs associate, she researches, writes, tracks state and federal legislation, and networks through coalition meetings with conservative pro-life individuals and organizations.
Driven by the belief that personhood begins at conception, Simpson fights for the legal rights of the unborn, both on the federal and the state level, and advises lawmakers how to do the same. Since Roe v. Wade’s overturn, they are taking the next steps toward protecting life by fighting for the federal government to act on the constitutional rights of unborn citizens. Wiping their hands and making the states responsible for choosing to defend life is not enough.
“The Constitution states that there is a right to life, and the 14th Amendment states that no state shall deprive any person of equal protection for any reason,” she said. “No exception from conception.”
God’s Call to the Pro-Life Movement
For Simpson, working at Live Action is “a dream come true.” When she was 16, she was riveted by the television broadcast of the case of Kermit Gosnell, an abortionist and serial killer who was convicted of multiple federal and state crimes. His most notable crimes: three counts of first-degree murder while performing late-term abortions.
Seeing horrific pictures of dismembered babies from Gosnell’s clinic and learning the truth about abortions through Live Action’s undercover investigation of abortion clinic procedures and treatment of women, Simpson felt God calling her to join the pro-life movement. “I remember thinking, ‘I can’t live not doing something about this,’” she said.
She acted immediately by writing a speech on the truth about abortion for competitive speech and debate, which she eventually presented in multiple states. Then when she was an undergraduate student, Simpson continued to advocate for the pro-life movement through her school’s Students for Life of America and Young Americans for Freedom chapters. She participated in activism efforts in Washington, discussed the pro-life movement with uninvolved students on campus and advocated for women at a local pregnancy resource center.
Groundwork to Stand Firmly from a Master of Arts in Apologetics
As Simpson considered graduate school near the end of her undergraduate degree, she began looking into BJU, where her younger brother chose to attend as a third-generation student. The Seminary’s soon-to-be-finalized apologetics program with classes on bioethics, postmodernity and pluralism intrigued her, along with its commitment to uncompromised truth and engagement with worldview.
After attending Preview Days to meet professors and learn more about the Seminary, Simpson began working toward her master of arts in apologetics in the fall of 2020 — even before it was in the catalogue.
Throughout the program, she studied answers to pivotal questions about origin, meaning, morality and destiny — seminary training she said applies to any Christian, not just men preparing to be pastors. All the while, she continued to contribute to the pro-life movement. She participated in a public policy organization, volunteered as a client advocate at Piedmont Women’s Center, and invited people from the Seminary and her church to pray in front of a local abortion center.
Simpson’s study on the meaning of life prepared her well for her current role in the pro-life movement, she said. “We’re arguing that all life matters, and all life matters because it’s created … in the image of God, unique with a special purpose, and He knows the plans He has for us.”
Added Simpson: “Apologetics gave me the groundwork to stand firmly in a very shaky, murky, very dark spiritual place here. It’s allowed me to be salt and light. … I’m grateful that BJU has invested into me, especially my professors … phenomenal men who really left an impact.”