Holly Ordway: Finding Her Way To Christ’s Arms

Holly Ordway, author of "Not God's Type" | Courtesy of wordonfire.com

“I wasn’t interested in hearing arguments about God, or reading the Bible, but God’s grace was working through my imagination” – Holly Ordway.1 

Dr. Holly Ordway, a college professor who was once atheist, found her way to God’s grace. Her path to the beginning of her faith journey was paved through some significant things in her life such as fencing, her profession, and her friendships.

Growing up, Ordway lived in a culturally Christian household, meaning they celebrated Christmas and Easter, but did not attend mass. In her home, there was no trace of a Bible or any holy book or objects. One day, eight-year-old Holly waited at the bus stop, like she did everyday before school, and another kid waiting asked if she believed in God. Ordway believed that God was more of a superstition rather than a belief, which led to the child calling her “agnostic.” That moment stood out in her memory because she learned about new ideas that led to contemplate whether or not she truly believed in God or a higher power. Throughout her teenage years, Ordway’s morals were not fully comprehensive to her; her questioning got the better of her and she searched to better understand her moral sense.2

When Ordway began her adventure as college student, she solidified her beliefs as an atheist. She believed science had all the answers; she no longer believed or wanted to believe that there is a God. She stated in an interview with Brandon Vogt that her views of the world, in that moment in time, were not the best; she could not justify as to why she was atheist. “You don’t need to believe in God to be a moral person.”3 Her moral compass, in her opinion, worked fine, but she wanted more justification for her feelings.

For the past two years, psychologists have researched the science behind people having faith. The University of Waterloo presented information that people rely on their faith to believe that God has everything under control in their lives.4 Believing in a higher power can reduce anxiety and stress. People of faith show less stress and anxiety compared to atheists.5 This belief is known as animistic thinking.6 Religion is an safety need for most people because it makes them feel that the world around them is secure.

Ordway always enjoyed to read, which is one way that paved her to God’s path. Authors C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien along with poets Gerard Manley Hopkins, George Herbert, John Donne, etc. sparked Ordway’s interest to read more Christian literature. “I wasn’t interested in hearing arguments about God, or reading the Bible, but God’s grace was working through my imagination… like a draft flowing under a closed and locked door.”7 God speaks to people in different ways, and for Ordway, it was through the things she loved the most. Ordway was a competitive fencer, and when she came to the realization that her coach was Christian, she felt more comfortable with him. She went to him with questions about Christianity. As she learned more about the faith such as the Eucharist and God’s never ending love, she connected the dots and, soon, had a revelation that her previous beliefs do not justify the information she has retained from the questions she has asked as well has the literature she has read over the years.8

“Not God’s Type” written by: Holly Ordway | Courtesy of amazon.com

In 2012, Ordway converted to Catholicism, a branch of Christianity. Ordway wrote a book called “Not God’s Type,” which goes more into depth on her conversion and why she felt the urge to find God. Now, she is an author for the “Word on Fire,” blog where she also explains her conversion story. She speaks at different conferences such as Franciscan University of Steubenville Defending the Faith Conference about her faith journey and how to defend your beliefs.9 She continues to impact millions of lives through the word of God.

  1. Brandon Vogt, “From Atheist Professor to Catholic: An Interview with Dr. Holly Ordway,” Word on Fire Blog (April 2016).
  2. Brandon Vogt, “From Atheist Professor to Catholic: An Interview with Dr. Holly Ordway,” Word on Fire Blog (April 2016).
  3. Brandon Vogt, “From Atheist Professor to Catholic: An Interview with Dr. Holly Ordway,” Word on Fire Blog (April 2016).
  4. Torrance Gloss, “Faith in a Higher Power: The Study of Religion in Psychology,” Association for Psychological Science (February 27, 2011).
  5. Torrance Gloss, “Faith in a Higher Power: The Study of Religion in Psychology,” Association for Psychological Science (February 27, 2011).
  6. David Ludden, “Why Do People Believe in God?,” Psychology Today (August 21, 2018).
  7. Brandon Vogt, “From Atheist Professor to Catholic: An Interview with Dr. Holly Ordway,” Word on Fire Blog (April 2016).
  8. Brandon Vogt, “From Atheist Professor to Catholic: An Interview with Dr. Holly Ordway,” Word on Fire Blog (April 2016).
  9. Holly Ordway, “Holly Ordway”, WordPress http://www.hollyordway.com/.

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15 Responses

  1. This article gave me some type of satisfaction and peace because it is so satisfying to read or listen about people that find God and connect with him either after being lost for a long time or after not believing in Him at all. I loved how Holly always had God right in front of her because she grew up listening to her Christian parents but didn’t want to believe until she experiences some type of Divine intervention or until she actually felt God was with her. She found God through her path in life and that was a life-changing decision for her. I was very touched by this article and will be sharing it with my friends and family.

  2. I really enjoyed this article. I am very pleased to learn that Holly found her way back to God. I feel as if I am connected to it because sometimes I feel like I may disconnect from God but it is always a great feeling once that connection is reformed. I really like how the article shares her journey and what made her unique. I personally believe that God is always here to help us make our lives good.

  3. To know that people in this world are finding their way to God despite their former beliefs shows that there is still hope in this world. Not only is she just a refined believer because of her childhood but now she’s spreading the Catholic faith to many others around her. This article is an amazing example of how someone can always find their way back into God’s open arms.

  4. I found this article extremely intriguing. I fount this story somewhat as an awe story, I think it was interesting to read that even tho Holly grew up in a somewhat christian household and when she went to college she became an atheist. However I enjoyed reading that later on in her life she kind of found herself going back to her origins and finding god. This was a great article. Great job.

  5. I really enjoyed the article and I somehow felt really connected to it. I’m really glad Holly found her way back to God. It’s truly an inspiring read and I enjoyed learning about how she came to grow her faith. I think it’s amazing that she continues to grow in faith and spreads God’s love. This article did a great job of sharing her journey.

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