Get to Know an Employee

Video Interviews

Written Interviews

Andrew Hartzler, Associate Professor of Accounting

DaVonne Kramer, Coordinator of Retention and Intercultural Student Support

Beth Miller, Associate Professor of Nursing

Jose Rocha, Associate Professor of Music

Jody Saylor, Associate Professor of Biology

Duane Stoltzfus, Professor of Communication

Ruth Hochstetler, Circulation Manager in the Library

What faith tradition did you grow up in?

I grew up in a Mennonite tradition.

What is your current faith tradition?

I attend a non-denominational church now, but the background I came from has provided a stable and rich foundation I will forever be grateful for.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a rural community close to Doylestown, PA.

What are your hobbies?

I love to read, write, cook/bake, be grandma, keep up with friendships and create – simple scrapbooks, sewing, etc.

How do you de-stress?

Pray, take a walk, read the Bible or an inspirational book, talk to friends.

Where or how do you experience God?

I experience God in the mornings when I set aside time to read the Bible, answer questions for a Bible study I’m in, and sometimes listen to worship music. I’m growing in learning to appreciate and recognize his presence in all that I do, inviting his wisdom, peace and direction to guide me. I often hear his voice through others as I see his image in them, or read inspiring books.

What do you understand your life’s vocation to be, and what role does faith play in it?

For me it’s less about vocation, since I don’t have a specific career, and more about allowing God to use the gifts he’s given me to help and serve others. So whatever job I’m in I want to focus on the people around me and how I can love them better. I believe I am called to be an encourager and friend. I like to express that in one-on-one relationships and through writing.

What event or circumstance has informed or impacted your faith?

I have learned to trust God and experience more intimacy with him as I leaned on him through earlier years of a panic and anxiety disorder. I also learned more about trusting God after my first spouse died when he was 41 years old. Adversities have drawn me closer to the God who is faithful and near to the brokenhearted.

What about your faith keeps you rooted in your passions or causes you believe in?

Keeping a daily relationship with the living God of our Lord Jesus Christ and believing he loves me unconditionally and has good purposes for me to fulfill, gives my life meaning and gives me confidence to follow the passions he has birthed in me.

What advice did you receive from any faith/spiritual mentors you have had that you are willing to pass on to current students?

I remember after my husband died, and I experienced many losses, a phrase I read stuck with me. Since God does not withhold anything good from us, whatever I think I have to have, or even deserve, and have worked hard for and I’m not experiencing it, I need to let go and trust there is a better time for it or something different that he will provide for me. If I don’t have it now, I don’t need it now. That is not always easy to accept, but there is great peace in acknowledging his sovereignty.

Other than Jesus, which biblical character is inspiring to you? Why?

It’s hard to choose just one…I’ll say Ruth.This was a woman who left a heathen culture and learned to love the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That love became a faith strong enough to withstand the death of a spouse, to make a commitment to a grieving mother-in-law to serve and care for her as well as submit to her leadership, and become one of the few women, and non-Jewish women, to be included in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

How do you have or what is your hope in the world?

My hope is in a God who is sovereign over all of life. His love for all peoples provides a way for everyone who believes in Jesus to have life with him now and forever. This life empowers me and all followers of Jesus to make a difference in this world by how we live and share God’s love with others. Our citizenship is in heaven, and that frees me from worry about what might happen here in this world and gives me peace and hope for a future that is far better than anything we can experience in this world.

What is your hope for students and their faith while they attend Goshen College?

That they will encounter Jesus Christ as Savior, either for the first time, or continue to encounter his presence here on campus where Christ is proclaimed to be the center in all we do. I hope they become more convinced of who Jesus is and grow in their love for him and understand more clearly what gifts he has given them and how he wants to equip them to use those gifts to spread his kingdom on this earth. I pray they will be stronger in their faith in Jesus when they leave Goshen College than when they first arrived.

 

Josh Gleason, Athletic Director

What faith tradition did you grow up in?

I grew up in several different denominations of evangelical Christian churches, including Baptist, EV Free and Friends.

What is your current faith tradition?

I currently attend Sugar Grove Church in Goshen, a non-denominational evangelical church.

Where did you grow up?

With the exception of two years in Las Vegas, I was raised and lived throughout the state of California until ten years ago.

What are your hobbies?

All kinds of sports, writing, woodworking projects, bing-watching TV shows.

How do you de-stress?

Playing with my kids (most of the time), kayaking or being outside, watching sports.

Where or how do you experience God?

I believe that one of the many incredible things about our faith is that we should be experiencing God in everything we do. Not that there is not value in rituals, but we do not need to rely solely on that to experience Him. I fail often at this, but He has blessed us with the ability to see and connect with him anytime through relationships, our vocation, our quietness, our joy, our pain, and even the mundane of everyday life.

What do you understand your life’s vocation to be, and what role does faith play in it?

The second part of this question is key to me because my faith has everything to do with where I am. I have been called by God to serve in college athletics and to try and create an environment where lives are changed during the important collegiate years. I have been blessed to be in college athletics in one way or another for 15-plus years and will be until/if God calls me somewhere else.

What event or circumstance has informed or impacted your faith?

There have been many, but one I point to was as a high school baseball player. While I knew Christ as my Savior and had faith, I understood my success as an athlete as my own. Primarily through injuries and the inability to continue to get the recognition I thought I deserved, I came to realize that God had given me the abilities I had (in sports and otherwise). They were not given to me to glorify myself, but to use them for others.

What about your faith keeps you rooted in your passions or causes you believe in?

One of the biggest aspects I hold on to is that God has a plan for my life. He has given me specific gifts, talents, and passions for a purpose. I am very blessed to get the opportunity to use those every day as part of my life and vocation. We don’t always understand circumstances, difficult situations, or trials in the moment, but it is such an encouragement when we get even a small glimpse into God’s wisdom as His plan comes together.

What advice did you receive from any faith/spiritual mentors you have had that you are willing to pass on to current students?

You can’t understand God’s plan for your life (including vocation) if you do not seek Him. It is easy for all of us to try and do things on our own, but I can promise you that God’s plan for us is far better than our own.

Other than Jesus, which biblical character is inspiring to you? Why?

I would say Moses. Among the many lessons, it is a story of God using someone who didn’t think he could be used. God fit the pieces of his story, his life together in ways we could not even imagine.

How do you have or what is your hope in the world?

We live in a very complex and challenging world. I have hope because I do not have to have all the answers. I have hope because while there is a lot of bad things going on, we have a God who is in control.

What is your hope for students and their faith while they attend Goshen College?

I hope they understand that God loves and cares for them deeply enough that he has a specific plan for their lives. I hope that they develop a faith that recognizes that things will not always be easy, but that they can count on God and his perfect plan to put the pieces together in ways they could never imagine.

 

Jennifer Schrock, Merry Lea Communications and Mennonite Creation Care Network

What faith tradition did you grow up in? What is your current faith tradition?

I am a Mennonite from the cradle.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up near Harleysville, a small town about 30 miles from Philadelphia. My family had been rooted in this community for over 200 years.

What are your hobbies?

A. Reading: In 2016, I decided to shape this part of my life by reading a dozen novels from international or minority U.S. voices. And so I travelled by book to Chile, Turkey, Nigeria, Afghanistan, India, several Native American reservations and a couple of Afro-futurist destinations.

B. Plant taxonomy: This girl-geek hobby means I love to find plants I don’t know and identify them. My list is over 1200 plants. I also keep a life list of birds.

C. Quilting: I haven’t done much with this in recent years, but I had a strong quilting phase years ago. I like learning about how people from different cultures make quilts. Some are engineers, some are storytellers and some are like, “Who needs a ruler anyway?”

How do you de-stress?

Journaling helps me. One technique I use is based on the work of a psychologist named James Pennebaker. He showed that writing about a painful experience five days in a row for 20 minutes at a time has physical health benefits (not to mention psychological ones) months into the future.

Where or how do you experience God?

A. I experience God in church among people who speak my faith language and with whom I have a long term relationship. I often find myself shedding tears in church because of the beautiful things we say to our children or to each other through songs or stories or litanies. One reason I find church moving is that I have trained myself to look for God there. Through baptism, I have said that this setting is important to me, and so I have developed a practice I call Sabbath journalling. Most weeks, I write down what the highlights of my morning in church were. (I DON’T record the negatives!) Sometimes it is a song; sometimes it’s the sermon; sometimes it’s a conversation or the kids in my Christian education class.

B. I experience God in nature. Whenever I meet a new species or see one that you can’t count on running into, I experience it as an act of God’s grace.

What do you understand your life’s vocation to be, and what role does faith play in it?

I am called to be a wide-eyed witness to the glory of God at work at the intersection of creation and the faith heritage I have been given. This expresses itself through my habit of recording nature sightings, through leading Mennonite Creation Care Network (part of my job) and by clinging to my faith even when doubt would be justified and seem easier.

What event or circumstance has informed or impacted your faith?

My husband is a pastor and a spiritual director. A shared faith and faith community is at the core of our marriage and I am grateful for that. We talk a lot about faith issues. Having this in common has made it easier for me to keep believing in the things I cherish, to work harder at nurturing my own faith and to get to church every Sunday.

What about your faith keeps you rooted in your passions or causes you believe in?

I think Christianity—especially in the Mennonite tradition—is a gutsy and hard-headed faith that tells the truth about how hard change is. Jesus was crucified, after all. The theology I embrace teaches that Jesus is particularly present in failure and pain, and that there is hope in spite of these.

What advice did you receive from any faith/spiritual mentors you have had that you are willing to pass on to current students?

I have forgotten people’s advice; I can only think of actions. My father’s example tells me to persevere in sharing what is important to me, even if it appears to have no impact. My spiritual director’s example tells me to laugh a lot, to delight in the uniqueness of each person and to err on the side of unconditional love.

Other than Jesus, which biblical character is inspiring to you? Why?

Ananias in Acts 9:1-19. This is a story that deserves to be told more often. Ananias had the courage to seek out his enemy and lay his hands on him so that he could be healed. His willingness to touch someone he could have hated restored the Apostle Paul’s sight and enabled him to embrace and share the Gospel. I would like to be an Ananias for someone someday.

I also like Vashti in Esther 1 who refused to be made into a sexual plaything at a drunken party.

How do you have or what is your hope in the world?

I hope to see the face of Jesus Christ—and to recognize him when I do.

What is your hope for students and their faith while they attend Goshen College?

• I hope that students will find the mentors they need at critical times of despair or decision.
• I hope that students will come to a deeper faith than they came in with, or will find new convictions they care about.
• I hope that we will not cause long-term harm to any faith worth having.

 

Long Tran, Associate Professor of Education

What faith tradition did you grow up in? What is your current faith tradition?

I was baptized as a Catholic but raised as a Methodist.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Oxford, OH. It is the home of Miami University which is about 50 minutes northwest of Cincinnati.

What are your hobbies?

I have many hobbies but the main ones are based on the weather. In the winter, I lift weights when I can, and in the summer I play golf.

How do you de-stress?

I read.

Where or how do you experience God?

When I was an undergraduate at Miami University. This is a rather long story but it involved lack of direction, indecisiveness, sleep deprivation, starvation, and years of recollection to put the pieces together. Come see me if you want the whole story.

What do you understand your life’s vocation to be, and what role does faith play in it?

Faith is the umbrella under which hope resides. I have created and am doing what my ontological vocation is call for me to do. Another story to tell if you want to hear it.

What event or circumstance has informed or impacted your faith?

Old age and philosophical introspection.

What about your faith keeps you rooted in your passions or causes you believe in?

The theoretical courage that comes from hope that is embedded in my faith that I can effectuate change in the world.

What advice did you receive from any faith/spiritual mentors you have had that you are willing to pass on to current students?

Come walk upon this path with me so we can learn together.

How do you have or what is your hope in the world?

The elimination of human suffering. Step one, eradication of child hunger.

What is your hope for students and their faith while they attend Goshen College?

Learn, breathe, question, repeat.

 

Skip Barnett, International Student Adviser, Assoc. Prof of TESOL

What faith tradition did you grow up in? 

Grew up Methodist.

What is your current faith tradition?

Am now a practicing Episcopalian.

Where did you grow up?

Charlottesville, VA.

What are your hobbies?

Bike riding & X-country skiing.

How do you de-stress?

See #4.  Also, playing guitar (which I get to do every Sunday at church).

Where or how do you experience God?

Daily time of Bible reading, quietness & prayer…weekly church attendance – I really get a lot out of helping with the music & taking communion (weekly); also, I mutter to God a lot throughout the day, esp’ly when stressed or biking.

What do you understand your life’s vocation to be, and what role does faith play in it?

I guess teaching (esp’ly training future teachers) & working with international students is my vocation…if it’s not, I sure have wasted 30+ years! As for the faith-work connection, I do my best to have my work be an expression of my care for people. I do my best to be conscious of God in my work and to try to do my work as an expression of God’s ways.

What event or circumstance has informed or impacted your faith?

Being raised by a very faith-filled mother certainly headed me in this direction…Events? Maybe the long-term sadness of a broken home (divorced parents) and the disorientation of my 1st year of college along with the ongoing background noise of the Vietnam war and the civil rights race riots of the ’60s …maybe all those unsettling factors helped move me towards seeking a deeper calm meaning & power behind all the chaos & pain of life.

What about your faith keeps you rooted in your passions or causes you believe in?

Oh, I feel my faith calling me to be a whole lot more passionate about justice & caring for others than my lazy self is usually willing to do! It’s hard to listen to pretty much anything Jesus says and not to realize that we *have to* care & get involved with making life better all around us.

What advice did you receive from any faith/spiritual mentors you have had that you are willing to pass on to current students?

I’m sorry to say that I can’t think of any specific piece of advice – there’s been so much of it over the years. One little thing that sticks in my ear, though, is “Christ is counting on you” to which the reply is, “And I am counting on Christ.” It’s a circular, yin-yang sort of thing: we are God’s hands & heart & feet in this world, so we have to “work as if the Kingdom of God depended on us.” But at the same time, we have to know that we can not do much of anything good without God’s help.

Other than Jesus, which biblical character is inspiring to you? Why?

Jacob – what a scoundrel! But his “wrestling with God” before he had to face his righteously angry brother (Esau) is a very meaningful story for me. Also, the whole Genesis Joseph story is inspiring; he started out as such a know-it-all jerk to his brothers and then had to go through so many hard experiences before he got his big break…And his reunion with his brothers when he reveals himself to them is one of the most moving stories in the Bible for me.

How do you have or what is your hope in the world?

1) The people of God; I am often astounded by the care & generosity of some people; 2) God’s character; to me, the Biblical story is one of people messing up big time, facing terrible consequences but then, in the long run, God managing to save at least a remnant of them. It’s often horribly ugly getting through the “consequences” of our actions, but the story always gets renewed.

What is your hope for students and their faith while they attend Goshen College?

Being in college involves having to ask hard questions about life & oneself; that can be unsettling & even discouraging at times. But my hope is that students at GC will meet enough people (faculty, staff & other students) who care and have enough experiences that expose them to the needs *and* possibilities of life so that they, too, will catch a deeper vision of faith, hope *and* calling while here.

 

Glenn Gilbert, Director of Facilities

What faith tradition did you grow up in? What is your current faith tradition?

I grew up in a conservative Christian home, though not affiliated with any particular denomination.

Where did you grow up?

In Southwest Michigan about 100 miles north of Goshen.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy the outdoors, hiking and biking, canoeing, ice-skating and cross-country skiing. I play the trombone, enjoy participating in large and small ensembles. I enjoy reading and learning new ideas.

Where or how do you experience God?

This has changed over the years. I have moved away from an inner one-on-one “relationship” with God, to more of an awareness of God’s presence in the world, particularly in community. I don’t see God as a being that hands out or withholds personal favors, but rather an understanding, yet omnipotent force working throughout creation.

What do you understand your life’s vocation to be, and what role does faith play in it?

Live life in appreciation of the breath and strength I have been given for the day. I need to live as if life is finite and believe that God is much more than what I bring to it.

What event or circumstance has informed or impacted your faith?

Community. Which has happened through events, I suppose, but I can’t single any specific one at this point. Clearly the relationships that I have developed at my church, Assembly Mennonite, and my workplace, Goshen College have greatly impacted my faith.

What about your faith keeps you rooted in your passions or causes you believe in?

Again, it is through these communities (and others) that I continue to witness the power of love and my place in the universe.

How do you have or what is your hope in the world?

My hope lies in the human potential to love and care for each other and God’s creation. My hope is not in some notion that God is going to intervene on our behalf.

What is your hope for students and their faith while they attend Goshen College

I hope that their faith will be pushed to the core and that they will come through the pressure with a healthy love for themselves, humanity, and God’s amazing creation. I hope their knowledge gets overwhelmed with new questions and mysteries and their thirst for new understanding becomes unquenchable. And throughout their time at Goshen College they will experience what it means to be part of a community of saints and sinners that they will take with them for the rest of their journey.

 

Beth Bontrager, Mennonite Historical Library Administrative Assistant

What faith tradition did you grow up in?

Mennonite Church

What is your current faith tradition?

Anabaptist Mennonite Church with a branch of Episcopal

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Cleveland OH, where my dad was pastoring, spent years in Kidron OH where Dad taught at Central Christian HS, and then moved to Hesston KS when I was 9 so my dad could be professor at Hesston College. Attended Hesston, Goshen, majored in English, Minor in Theatre Communications (lots of music, history, Spanish and German, too) My family roots are in Archbold OH and Goshen, IN.

What are your hobbies?

Vocal, piano and recorder music, reading (just about anything), tracking what I read and what I want to read, attending shows and concerts, knitting.

How do you de-stress?

Reading in bed or cuddled up on the couch in front of a fireplace. Playing piano with vigor. Talking with a good friend. Knitting. Doing something for someone else. Go to a good movie with my boys and discuss it afterward.

Where or how do you experience God?

I participate in morning prayers from the Anabaptist Prayer Book with several other people five mornings a week. This ritual practice prepares me for my day and focuses my thoughts on those I love, my community, the broader church and the world. I experience God when I relate to people–learning about them helps me to broaden my understanding of how God works in lives and our world, even when we aren’t fully aware of it. Talking with my husband provides a good grounding resource for me. I experience God in music, listening to or performing it. I experience God in revealing moments of the Arts–literature, movies, theater, visuals, etc.

What do you understand your life’s vocation to be, and what role does faith play in it?

My vocation is service to God in whatever circumstance God places me. I have worked in schools, not-for-profits, an attorney’s office and in healthcare, as well as the hospitality service industry. My faith is about relationships–with God, with others and with myself. Thus how I do my work, as well as how I relate to these three in my whole life, is how I live out my salvation and my faith in God.

What event or circumstance has informed or impacted your faith?

My year in the InterMenno Program shaped my faith in that I found family of faith in surprising places. The host family my first six months truly made me a part of their family and I was able to visit them this past summer in Germany after 32 years. Additionally, while I was in Brussels, I sought out a Lutheran English-speaking church community who welcomed me in, assisted me with various issues, invited me to their homes, and generally supported me in faith and needs. Thus, I have found faith community to be the FIRST thing I look for when I relocate–finding people and worship experiences where I can contribute and am welcomed to live out my faith and find support. In this way I continue to grow and expand my understanding of God and what it means to be a follower of Christ–and I am never alone.

Additionally, I have chronic health issues. This has forced me to find ways to enrich my life and live in the moment, finding ways that God is at work in me and through me by how I live each day. It has also focused my thinking on how grace and mercy figure into my faith–they are integral–and how others show them to me, and how I can be God’s servant by accepting grace and mercy gracefully and honestly.

What about your faith keeps you rooted in your passions or causes you believe in?

Participation in worship and relationships. I attend College Mennonite Church on Sunday Mornings and participate in music there. I attend Faith Mennonite Church Sunday late afternoons and participate in music, worship leading and on committees there. Once every 4-6 weeks I attend St. John of the Cross Episcopal Church in Bristol, where I revel in the joy of the liturgy and mass. Different styles of worship speak to me about the different faces of God, just as different compositions of God’s community reveal those different faces. Participation in worship is integral in keeping me rooted in passions for justice and grace for all people.

What advice did you receive from any faith/spiritual mentors you have had that you are willing to pass on to current students?

Find a faith community to be a part of and find people to trust with questions and fears. Be willing to be vulnerable and people will be vulnerable and supportive with you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions which seem to have obvious answers. Listen to other people’s faith stories/journeys. Read the Bible with a questioning mind. Try various churches until you find a community which is welcoming to you and where you feel you will be safe.

Other than Jesus, which biblical character is inspiring to you? Why?

The woman who washed Jesus’ feet. She was willing to be vulnerable to Jesus, to express her love, uncertainty and fears, and emotions, as well as give a gift of great price–in front of everyone who judged her. Jesus did not judge her. This picture of Jesus is one of mercy, of justice, of grace and of love and encouragement. But she had to be willing to take that risk in front of the world in order to receive and experience those things.

How do you have or what is your hope in the world?

Peace and Justice in relationships and in how the haves treat the have-nots. Treating one another in love and mercy. Expanding the church to be a welcoming place for all. God’s people are not defined by labels, but by service and love and living out their faith.

What is your hope for students and their faith while they attend Goshen College?

That they will always seek and find faith communities to participate in and experience support and love and that you will find people to trust with questions and fears. Faculty, staff and other students are here for you. Be willing to be vulnerable, and people will be vulnerable and supportive with you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions which seem to have obvious answers. Listen to other people’s faith stories/journeys. Read the Bible with a questioning mind. Don’t avoid classes you think you won’t like or don’t think you will succeed in. Be brave and take risks. Go on SST–get out of your comfort zone. Get involved in groups. All of these things will expand your relationships, and in that, your experience of how God is working in the eyes of others. Have those late-night conversations with friends. Learn about other faiths and backgrounds. You will find ways that your gifts can be used in service to others and to God. Lower your expectations and put aside assumptions–you will be surprised and, maybe, delighted. Learn to say please and thank you. In lots of languages!

 

Bob Yoder, Campus Pastor

What faith tradition did you grow up in? What is your current faith tradition?

Anabaptist Mennonite

Where did you grow up?

Meyersdale, Pennsylvania

What are your hobbies?

Reading, running, biking, activities with my kids

How do you de-stress?

Coffee breaks at The Brew; various forms of exercise; watch movies

Where or how do you experience God?

Often times in nature when I go for long walks or bike rides, and also in quiet moments of personal reflection and study, or in group times of worship. It’s also in the faces and people that I meet, and sometimes it’s more of a “hindsight” discovery after I’ve spoken with a person how much I’ve been impacted.

What do you understand your life’s vocation to be, and what role does faith play in it?

I am a child of God who seeks to help others recognize their own encounters with God. My faith is comprised of both head and heart moments with God that encourage me to continue to follow after Jesus and strive to seek to live with the Spirit’s empowerment.

What event or circumstance has informed or impacted your faith?

When I was in my twenties several people close to me died quite unexpectedly. In each of those times I was awestruck by the grace of my respective faith community as they journeyed with me. God’s love, even in the midst of my deep pain and questions, abounded through them in ways that eventually led to my own healing.

What about your faith keeps you rooted in your passions or causes you believe in?

The living witness of the holy scriptures keep me following after Jesus, particularly in how he is portrayed in the Gospels. Because of this my ears, eyes, and heart try to stay attuned to the similar realities and cries of this present age. I believe that God desires shalom for all humanity and creation.

What advice did you receive from any faith/spiritual mentors you have had that you are willing to pass on to current students?

It’s not so much any advice they offered me, but more of how they lived their lives that impacted me. These were people of character, integrity, and faith who genuinely sought the best in others.

Other than Jesus, which biblical character is inspiring to you? Why?

The Apostle Paul. His love for his Savior and his encounter with the resurrected Christ compelled him forward, in spite the many challenges he experienced. Also, his love for people and his partnership with many kinds of people as he strove to build them up in their faith.

What is your hope for students and their faith while they attend Goshen College?

My prayer for students is that they realize the living encounters that they have had with God, both in the past and while in college. My hope is that they will begin to piece together a “personally owned” faith understanding that will guide them and sustain them for life after college.

 

Michael Sherer, Executive Director of Technology Services and Innovation

What faith tradition did you grow up in? What is your current faith tradition?

I grew up Mennonite and currently attend Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship. I attended a Quaker Meeting when I was 10 and a Nazarene Church after college. I also studied Catholic spirituality while in seminary

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Goshen with a couple of year stints away in Ann Arbor and London.

What are your hobbies?

Medical research, biking, travel, ethnic foods.

How do you de-stress?

Sudoku, walking, biking, research

Where or how do you experience God?

My goal here is constantly, though I certainly fall short on this. Concepts like living out your faith and praying without ceasing to me mean being attentive to the spirit of God in every moment. That’s often most evident in interactions with people, but also comes through music and nature and seemingly random occurrences.

What do you understand your life’s vocation to be, and what role does faith play in it?

I think of my vocation as solving problems and empowering others to solve problems. Faith in this sense is about prioritization–what is important in and out of the work context to spend time on, and finding balance among all of life’s roles and responsibilities.

What event or circumstance has informed or impacted your faith?

I grew up in College Mennonite Church and heard Millard Lind preach about faith in terms of covenant. This was and continues to be formational for me, in that faith is commitment. So when I was baptized at age 18, I thought about it as a lifelong covenant very analogous to marriage. I take these commitments seriously, but also find them liberating and grounding. They define me and provide a solid foundation to operate out of.

What about your faith keeps you rooted in your passions or causes you believe in?

I have been privileged to be a part of church-related organizations that I care about, that share my values and provide a context to work out of and share my gifts. They are also a community of seekers attempting to effect positive change in the world and that’s very motivating for me.

What advice did you receive from any faith/spiritual mentors you have had that you are willing to pass on to current students?

I waited a long time to join the church because I didn’t feel ready or ‘good enough.’ Some wise adult reminded me that being a church member was not about achieving some level of perfection but of committing oneself to follow Christ in life. Sounds simple, but it was what I needed to hear at that point.

Other than Jesus, which biblical character is inspiring to you?

I used to tell the stories of Genesis to my daughter and I was struck by how the promises of God to Abraham were sustained and carried forward by deeply flawed individuals. That’s a metaphor for our own lives—deeply flawed but potentially integral to the work of God in the world.

How do you have or what is your hope in the world?

Salvation is a ‘now and not yet’ reality that comes from following Christ. That’s deeply encouraging to me—that my decision to follow Christ daily saves me from all kinds self-destructive and toxic behaviors and outcomes. And at a much grander theological level that God has already won the victory over evil and death. As Martin Luther King once said ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’

What is your hope for students and their faith while they attend Goshen College?

I hope students will recognize their own empowerment—technological, intellectual, moral and spiritual—and mission to do great good in the world, equip themselves for that work while here, and find a community of faith that supports them on that journey. In simple terms, God has a plan for your life—good and even great things for you to do. Blessings to you as you figure it all out.

 

Corie Steinke, Associate Director of Community Life

What faith tradition did you grow up in? What is your current faith tradition?

I grew up in the Catholic Church but joined the United Methodist Church when I was 16 or 17. I’m still a member of the United Methodist Church but I’ve bopped around to other denominations as I’ve moved. I’m currently attending a very dynamic Nazarene Church.

Where did you grow up?

Sidney, Ohio– about 45 minutes north of Dayton

What are your hobbies?

I love listening to and playing music, watching movies and all kinds of TV, trivia, card and board games, cooking, and traveling.

How do you de-stress?

I’m an extrovert so when I’m stressed out I really like to be around the people that I most enjoy being around.

Where or how do you experience God?

I think I experience God the most when I’m in fellowship with other people, whether they believe the same thing I do or not. I experience God in thoughtful discussion and compassionate understanding between diverse people.

What do you understand your life’s vocation to be, and what role does faith play in it?

I graduated college with a degree in religion and thought I wanted to go into church ministry because that’s where I thought that’s where ministry only happened. I truly believe that my life’s ministry is to be with college students in their 4-year walk, wherever that may be. I’ve had to take lots of faith filled steps to get me to where I am now and really listen for God’s voice to guide me in that processing.

What event or circumstance has informed or impacted your faith?

Music is an enormous part of my personal testimony. There was one especially impactful moment in my early college years that, through music, nearly brought me to my knees in a very renewed and powerful way.

What about your faith keeps you rooted in your passions or causes you believe in?

My personal relationship with Christ really informs my global and social perspective. That same relationship influences how to treat others, how to respond and react to others, how to have compassion for others, and how to stretch my circle wider to include others and make room for them.

What advice did you receive from any faith/spiritual mentors you have had that you are willing to pass on to current students?

I’ve been very fortunate to have many faith mentors in my life but the piece of advice that stands out the most to me is from my grandmother, who was by far the most powerful influence in my life. She always faced any trial with the phrase, “With God, this too shall pass.” It’s reminded me that seasons change and what is difficult now and challenging now will not be so forever.

Other than Jesus, which biblical character is inspiring to you? Why?

Esther is my girl! I wrote about the book of Esther in college and have been attached to her story ever since.

How do you have or what is your hope in the world?

I have hope in the world because I believe that this world is not all that there is and that God has something amazing in store for all of us.

What is your hope for students and their faith while they attend Goshen College?

That they leave this place having grown through being challenged, affirmed, and know that God has a place for them in the world.

 

Kali Miller, Associate Director of Community Life

What faith tradition did you grow up in? What is your current faith tradition?

I grew up knowing a God existed and bounced from church to church. Primarily, I grew up in Baptist and Methodist churches. Currently, I attend a Grace-Brethren Church.

Where did you grow up?

Garrett, Indiana

What are your hobbies?

I love history and specifically pre-colonial American history. My senior thesis in college was on the roles of the First Ladies. So basically I enjoy being a nerd! I also enjoy being outside and when there isn’t snow on the ground, I love kayaking!

How do you de-stress?

Napping, reading, talking to my mom, and distraction by just hanging out with people who truly know me.

Where or how do you experience God?

I experience God in my every day interactions with people. I simply love people and their stories. Through their stories I am able to experience God.

What event or circumstance has informed or impacted your faith?

I grew up in an unstable, abusive, alcoholic home. My experiences through that have very much impacted my faith by my desire to have a stable fatherly figure in my life. The Lord was a constant in my life and, my faith in Him has shaped how I interact with the world.

What about your faith keeps you rooted in your passions or causes you believe in?

My faith has taught me that no matter where we come from we are already more than enough for God. My passion in life is to help others see their story as just a small part of God’s story and to see that all people have worth. Ultimately, I believe that we should love all people, simple as that.

What advice did you receive from any faith/spiritual mentors you have had that you are willing to pass on to current students?

I once had a spiritual mentor who would constantly tell me to “know my worth and know my identity.” The world changes all the time and so do our circumstances. Knowing that I am a daughter of Christ and that I am worthy (1 John 3:1, Matthew 10:31) helps provide stability in an ever-changing world.

Other than Jesus, which biblical character is inspiring to you? Why?

I am inspired by the story and marriage of Hosea and Gomer. This story focuses on redemption, specifically how God’s people continually turn from Him, but yet He still redeems them. We all have a redemption story. Read the book of Hosea or Redeeming Love to learn more about this!

What is your hope for students and their faith while they attend Goshen College?

My hope for students is that they experience growth in their faith and that they seek out opportunities that will challenge them. Challenge is a necessary component of growth.