Grace College and Seminary Named Top Online Master’s in Counseling Program in Nation

February 3rd, 2016

Grace College and Seminary’s department of graduate counseling has received highest ranking by two independent organizations. and SuperScholar have named Grace at the top of their respective reviews. gleaned the top 10 online Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling based on regional and national accreditation as well as graduate student tuition and fees.  Grace College and Seminary’s department of graduate counseling ranked number one in the nation.

SuperScholar named the nation’s top 50 Master’s in Psychology schools among all regionally accredited distance programs and recognized Grace’s department of graduate counseling as 19th nationwide.  SuperScholar uses their Smart Choice ranking system to help individuals find the best program in their field of interest using the metrics of cost, flexibility, academic reputation, and starting salaries of graduates.

As noted by SuperScholar, Grace College’s department of graduate counseling curriculum “interprets the truths of psychology and the social sciences through the lens of Scripture.”  Courses include practicums and internships with licensed supervisors as well as two capstone processes.  At Grace, with the lowest tuition of all top 10 schools named by, online graduate counseling students may choose a three-year or an accelerated two-year plan of study, each involving a short residency on campus each August.


Dean of the School of Behavioral Science, Tom Edgington, commented “I am very proud of the team that we have here at Grace. The faculty are committed to develop professionally-skilled clinicians who have a heart for God and for helping hurting people.”

For more information on the rankings, visit and  To learn more about online academic opportunities through Grace College and Seminary, visit or call 800-823-8533.

Dr. Matthew Harmon: How to Have Unshakeable Joy Like Paul

January 29th, 2016

Dr. Matthew Harmon’s devotional “How to Have Unshakeable Joy Like Paul” was published today on  Harmon is professor of New Testament studies at Grace College and Seminary.  His recent book, Philippians: A Mentor Commentary (Christian Focus, 2015) was recognized in The Gospel Coalition’s Top Books of 2015 as the winning book in the Bible and Theology category. 

Unshakeable Joy

For many of us, life is hard. Our daily circumstances seem to conspire to rob us of our joy. Maybe you’re stuck in a job that you do not like and doesn’t pay enough to cover your bills. Maybe you’re in a difficult marriage or have a strained relationship with a family member. Maybe you’re trying to follow Jesus, but the people around you make fun of you for being so “religious.” Or maybe you’re struggling with a health problem that makes it difficult to do even the most basic everyday activities.

In the midst of these realities, experiencing constant, deep, and long lasting joy can seem unattainable. But the Bible repeatedly talks about experiencing a kind of joy that transcends our circumstances. Jesus told his disciples that he wanted them to experience the fullness of his joy in their lives (John 14:11; 16:24; 17:13). The apostle Paul calls believers to “Rejoice always” (1 Thes 5:16). But how is that possible?

Paul wrote a letter to the Philippians that is saturated with joy. Sixteen times in just four chapters Paul uses words like rejoice or joy to describe what our state of mind or general attitude should be as Christians. And he writes this joy-soaked letter in the midst of his own difficult circumstances. He was under house arrest in Rome, living in a rented apartment (at his own expense!) chained to a different Roman soldier every few hours. This on top of the three years he had spent in prison in Caesarea. So by the time he wrote to the Philippians, he had been in Roman custody for several years. Yet rather than allow his circumstances to drive him to despair, he experienced deep joy and pleaded with the Philippians to share in his joy.

The complete devotional can be read here.


Visitors Welcome at Billy Sunday Home

January 28th, 2016

Image by Brandpoet

The historic Billy Sunday Home, owned and operated by the history and political science department of Grace College and Seminary, is open for tours. After interior renovations in 2000, work to repair the home’s exterior began last summer. Grace College and other generous donors have provided the necessary funds to fully restore this historic landmark.

Billy Sunday was an acclaimed evangelist in the early Twentieth Century. Due to Sunday’s fame, the iconic house in Winona Lake, built in 1911, has been a tourist destination since the early 1900s. After Billy’s death in 1935, Helen Sunday continued giving tours to curious passersby. It was her wish that the house remain available to the public after her own death in 1957.

Visitors can expect to learn about the Sunday family, enjoy beautiful architecture and a full tour of the home. Tours are given Tuesday through Saturday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and begin at the Winona History Center in Westminster Hall, located at 105 9th St., Winona Lake. For more information, visit or call 574-372-5193.

Chicago Tribune: Basketball All in Ruggles’ Family

January 26th, 2016

Josh Ruggles

The Ruggles family is making their mark on the basketball world. Dave and Holly Ruggles have founded Mercury Elite, a youth basketball program focused on providing participants with excellent coaching and opportunities for success. Their second-oldest child, Josh, is a freshman at Grace College and has set records that beat those of well-known players and garnered the attention of ESPN. Three younger siblings are equally skilled. Below is an article from The Chicago Tribune.

In 2012-13, their oldest son, Brandon, was the top rebounder in DuPage County for Wheaton Academy. Also in 2013, another son, Josh, made national and international headlines for his 3-point shooting prowess. He set a world record by hitting 135 3-pointers in five minutes – an accomplishment that made ESPN highlights and had him fielding interviews from all over the country. He also took part in an international 3-point shooting contest in Spain in 2013 and 2014, beating out world-class long-rage shooters such as Jaycee Carroll and former Bulls player Andres Nocioni.

And there are three more siblings ready to make their mark.

But the couple has an extended family in the form of the Mercury Elite and is making an even bigger impact. Dave Ruggles had been coaching a couple of Mercury Speed teams and in 2011-12 launched the Mercury Elite brand. Last season, it had 175 players and 19 teams.

“It’s grown despite my best efforts not to let it grow,” Dave Ruggles said jokingly. “I started it to have players learn the game the right way until their bodies catch up with them. Then, hopefully they will have a skill set to really go out and put it to work. People saw our success and admired the fact that we weren’t all about wins and losses, but the development of the players. They wanted to be a part of it.”

The complete article can be viewed here.

Grace College Provides VITA Program for Kosciusko County

January 21st, 2016

Grace alumnus Alberta Hanson receives assistance from Grace students Thomas Carini and Frani Gerst.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program offers free tax preparation to elderly, disabled, and lower-income individuals filing a basic tax return. The William P. Gordon Institute for Enterprise Development through the School of Business at Grace College and the United Way of Kosciusko County will partner again this year to host an IRS-endorsed VITA Program in Kosciusko County during February and March. Grace College students and community volunteers will work with individuals to meet their tax filing needs.

The William P. Gordon Institute and the United Way are seeking volunteers who are willing to help serve the Kosciusko community in this endeavor.  Volunteers will undergo certification training, though professional tax preparers may opt out of training and complete a test online for certification.

VITA aims to help working families take advantage of all tax credits for which they are eligible, including earned income tax credit, child tax credits and education credits. This not only assists the individual family, but also increases tax dollars in the county.

William P. Gordon Institute’s VITA Representative Al Grossnickle said the program is a synergistic opportunity for everyone in our community. “The Gordon Institute is excited to serve the community through VITA. We hope to involve many Grace College students and community friends in VITA this year.  Volunteers will get a unique, hands-on learning experience and the community recipients will benefit from free tax assistance,” he said.

Anyone interested in volunteering as a tax preparer, screener/greeter or in quality control, should contact Al Grossnickle at (574) 372-5100 ext. 6091.  Those interested in learning more about how the VITA program might help them can schedule an appointment by calling 211, the scheduling service.  Appointments will begin February 1 and will be available every Monday through Thursday at the Grace College Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center and selected Saturdays at IVY Tech and Grace College during February and March. For more information, please visit here.

Grace College Headed to Kalahari Youth Event

January 19th, 2016

For more than 10 years, Grace College and Seminary has participated in the Kalahari Winter Youth Retreat in Sandusky, Ohio. On January 22-24, Grace admissions counselors will carry on the tradition and represent Grace to prospective students at this fun winter event.

Kalahari Retreat Center provides the backdrop for this annual, Grace Brethren-affiliated youth event. According to Kalahari Winter Retreat’s co-director Jeff Walter, the retreat was established in 2006. It initially accommodated only a few Grace Brethren churches and around 300 participants. Now, 10 years later, over 300 youth leaders and 2,000 students attend. Each retreat hosts nationally-known speakers and bands. This year, David Nasser, director of David Nasser Outreach, will speak.

Grace College uses the Kalahari retreat to reach out and inform high school students about the opportunities Grace offers. “It’s crucial to network and connect with Grace Brethren students, youth pastors and churches,” said Mark Pohl, Director of Admissions. “Each year, we also look forward to connecting with students from other churches.”

For more information about the winter youth retreat, visit or call 419-332-2623. To connect with the Grace College admissions office, visit or call 866-974-7223.

Harlem Globetrotters Coming to Grace College

January 19th, 2016

As part of their 90th year, the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters will bring their family show to Grace College’s Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center on Jan. 20 at 7 p.m.

The Globetrotters, who also came to Grace in 2011, are embarking on their 90th Anniversary World Tour.

On the court, the Globetrotters’ 90-year celebration will feature some of the greatest athletes and entertainers on the planet. With a star-studded roster, the Globetrotters’ one-of-a-kind show is unrivaled in the world of family entertainment. Every game will showcase incredible ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, hilarious comedy and unequaled fan interaction.

Throughout their history, the Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 122 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans—among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents—over nine thrilling decades.

For tickets, contact Grace’s athletic office at (574) 372-5100 ext. 6266 or order online at General admission is $26.50 and limited courtside tickets are $53.50. Special pregame festivities are available as a Magic Pass for $15.

Grace College Host to 1961 Freedom Rider Charles Person

January 19th, 2016

On Monday, Jan. 18, more than 600 people came to the campus of Grace College and Seminary to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and to hear first-hand from 1961 Freedom Rider Charles Person.  It was a memorable, and at times emotional, experience for the students and adults in attendance.  Monday’s event marked the 28th year commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. in Kosciusko County.  Below is an article from InkFree News.

Over 600 people of all ages and all walks of life, came to the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center on the campus of Grace College not only for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration, but to hear Charles Person, one of three surviving original Freedom Riders of 1961.

It was the largest year ever in attendance for the event, according to Bryan Lowe III, president of the Committee to Commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who welcomed those in attendance for the 28th annual celebration. The day also recognized three students with the presentation of the Academic Excellence and Community Service Award.

Recipients of the award are: Ophpelia Luu, daughter of Cir Luck Luu and Guo Hui He; Luoji Helser, son of Ryan and Veronica Helser, and Paul Marandet, son of Dr. Noe and Honorine Marandet. Luu plans to attend Indiana University to study health sciences/biology. Helser would like to attend Ivy Tech or Grace Community College to study French to become a French teacher. Marandet would like to attend IUSB to study business/entrepreneurship and play basketball at the next level overseas. All three are seniors at Warsaw Community High School and received $300 each.

The complete article with video clips can be viewed here.

Recent Grace Grad Tells Story of Eclectic Study Abroad Experience

January 14th, 2016

Emily Strawn, 2015 graduate of Grace College, recently spoke to her local newspaper about her experience studying abroad in Korea.  The following story is from the Journal Gazette & Times-Courier in Mattoon, Ill.

Emily Strawn (back, second from right) pictured with students dressed in Hanbok, traditional Korean clothing, while studying abroad in South Korea


Studying abroad in South Korea in her last semester of college afforded Mattoon resident Emily Strawn not only a change of scenery but also the sense of adventure she was looking for at this stage of her life.

“I have always been interested in different cultures so some of my desire to study abroad stemmed from that,” said the December 2015 graduate of Grace College and Theological Seminary of Winona Lake, Ind. She earned a bachelor’s degree in counseling with a minor in general science.

“I guess I kind of wanted to go out with a bang. It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to live in a different country for four months.”

To enter the study abroad program, she said she endured an intense application process including two applications at her school and another application specific to the school in Handong.

The first application at Grace was just a basic application including her name, GPA, etc., while the second one was a checklist with criteria such as letters of recommendations from teachers and having the dean of students sign it.

It was “not a process I want to relive anytime soon,” Strawn said. “It was a lot of work.”

Approximately 60 international students participated, including students from countries like the US, Japan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Peru, Mexico, Madagascar, Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. The students studied at Handong Global University in Pohang South Korea.

For the complete article, please click here.

Lyceum Series on Faith and the Academy to Feature Dr. Todd Allen

January 14th, 2016

The Lyceum Series on Faith and the Academy is an annual event at Grace College and Seminary that merges cultural engagement, academics and faith.  Sponsored by the Office of Faith, Learning, and Scholarship at Grace College, the 2016 program will feature Dr. Todd Allen, professor of communication and visual arts at Grove City College in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Allen’s lecture, “What do these stones mean? Race, civil rights, and public memory,” will focus on race in America and tensions related to commemorating the Civil Rights Movement. The program will be held Thursday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. in Westminster Hall, 105 Ninth St., Winona Lake.  The event is free and open to the public.

“The Lyceum lecture is quite timely this year as we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. earlier in the week.  We are delighted to welcome Dr. Allen to Grace College and hope that many from the community will join our students, staff and faculty to hear a dynamic speaker on a very relevant topic,” said Dr. Jared Burkholder, history and political science chair at Grace College.

The Lyceum Series on Faith and the Academy is a lecture series that draws inspiration both from the history of Grace College and Winona Lake itself. The Lyceum Series reflects Winona Lake’s tradition of cultural engagement and Grace College’s commitment to vibrant conversation on issues related to the intersection of Christian faith and academics.  For more information, please visit or email