Grace College Worship Team Travels for Spring Break

February 16th, 2018

Coram Deo, Grace College’s traveling worship team.

Grace College’s traveling worship team, Coram Deo, along with the Lancer Chorus and Guitar Ensemble, are hitting the road for Spring Break. Twenty-eight students, along with Walter Brath, assistant professor of worship arts and program director of performing arts; Scott Workman, adjunct faculty and classical guitarist; and Dr. Ardis Faber, director of the Lancer Chorus, will travel and perform from March 2 – 8.

The itinerary for the trips is as follows:

  • Friday, March 2: 7 p.m. concert at Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church, 1200 Kings Highway, Winona Lake. The concert is free, but donations are accepted.
  • Sunday, March 4: 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. morning services at Northwest Chapel, 6700 Rings Road, Dublin, Ohio.
  • Monday, March 5: 10 a.m. chapel service at Ashland Christian School, 1144 W. Main St., Ashland, Ohio.
  • Tuesday, March 6: 7 p.m. concert at Urban Hope Community Church, 200 E. Tioga St., Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Wednesday, March 7: 1 p.m. chapel at Lititz Christian School, 501 West Lincoln Ave., Lititz, Pa.
  • Thursday, March 8: 3 p.m. concert at Hempfield United Methodist Church, 3050 Marietta Ave., Lancaster, Pa.

“These tours are really a conduit to let our students exercise their gifts and grow,” Brath said. “I’m excited to share what the students have been working on with a wider audience outside of Grace.” This is the first year the traveling worship team, and only the second year for the Worship Arts Department, so the trip will also inform people about the new opportunities at Grace College.

Students view the trip as a way to encourage the communities they visit. “I hope that people see that we can worship God by using our talents for Him,” said Livviyai Haarer, Lancer chorus member. Emma Hicks, a member of Coram Deo, said, “I hope that the people that come to our events see our passion and hearts on display, and leave encouraged and inspired.”

The Grace College Worship Arts Department equips students with skills in their worship arts specialty as well as context for how audio and visual elements are incorporated in today’s churches, schools, and recording studios.  Students gain practical experience with professional tools and techniques in a brand-new facility on campus. For more information about the department, as well as the other 70+ undergraduate programs at Grace, visit or call 800-554-7223.

Grace Students Display Creative Works in Senior Showcase

February 16th, 2018

Eight Grace College seniors have spent countless hours preparing a myriad of pieces for their showcase. Each piece highlights a different portion of the student’s personality and creative talent.

The Mount Memorial Art Gallery

The second 2018 Senior Thesis Show is on display now through February 28 in the Mount Memorial Art Gallery, 200 Seminary Dr., Winona Lake. The gallery is open to the public from 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 – 4 p.m. on Saturday.

This senior art exhibit will showcase the work of students Mitchell Acton, Sarah Adams, Chandler Elliott, Hailey Hughes, Angelica Nolan, Emily Teisman, Cami Weaver, Asia Weimer and Benjamin Gruber.

Mitchell Acton

Mitchell Acton’s artistry is focused on branding and corporate identity. He recognizes that many potential consumers often judge a company on their first impression: its logo. “A well-designed logo requires no explanation and is timeless,” Acton said. “When done correctly, a logo can convey a brand’s personality and spirit in an instant.” That spirit and personality is further conveyed by the brand, which encompasses all the color, type, and products that a company uses. Acton uses clean and simple designs that highlight the core values of a company while minimizing visual confusion.

Sarah Adams blends photography, videography and design in the “#beautyisYou” campaign. Inspired by companies

like Aerie and Dove, who have taken steps to combat unhealthy cultural body norms, the campaign’s focus is to show the viewer that there is no single definition of beauty. While some may focus on a person’s physical appearance, others look to simple things in their surroundings. “I want my viewers to leave inspired and confident,” said Adams.

Sarah Adams

Chandler Elliott cannot imagine a world without photographs. They retain emotions, open doors to cherished moments in the past, and show stories in ways that words cannot. Her work uses contrasts in natural light and color to capture moments and people that reveal narratives and important experiences in the lives of her subjects. “I believe photography is about being able to tell a story through just one image,” Elliott said.

Hailey Hughes says she naturally fell into natural light photography, taking inspiration from photographers like Ansel Adams and Annie Liebovitz. Her first photography book was Liebovitz’s “At Work,” the story of Liebovitz’s journey with photography and her lessons from it. One of challenges that Hughes had to overcome for her portfolio was the weather, which could change overnight and mean a photography session needed to be rescheduled. However, these challenges gave Hughes an opportunity to expand her skills and become comfortable with any circumstance for a shoot.

Angelica Nolan approaches art from a slightly different perspective than her peers; she is a web design and development major. Her focus is on making websites functional and user-friendly, which incorporates the elements of art and design. Nolan has been incredibly successful in her field, having six years of experience with HTML5 and CSS3 in addition to earning a state championship with a Business Professionals of America web design team.

Emily Teisman cherishes her ability to freeze time. As a portrait photographer, she captures the emotions and details of her subjects, while giving viewers enough time to wonder about and examine the events of the moment or the subject’s ideas. “I love strong, rich photos, and I believe the lighting and the tones of colors present a piece of the story,” said Teisman.

Fashion and fine arts have captivated Cami Weaver since she was a child. Her elementary notebooks were filled with sketches of outfits drawn during recess, and that passion for innovating beautiful garments has stayed with her. She has expanded past simple notebooks sketches, now using drawings, painting, photography and 3D-design to put together her pieces and their color schemes.

Asia Weimer tells stories. Her stories are created with watercolor paints, block carvings, or charcoal, and the narratives present nuanced concepts with beauty to inspire empathy and curiosity in viewers. “Often my work is representative of my own personal development,” said Weimer. “We’re all asking the same questions and wanting answers.” The pinnacle of her showcase is a 36-page picture book, “Apartment Friends,” which invites readers into the life of a little boy who befriends a girl who does not speak his language.

Benjamin Gruber has worked with a variety of mediums from print to paint to photography. Looking back, he realizes that each piece was an attempt to capture the natural beauty in God’s creation. Though he puts intense hues and intricate detail into his pieces, his work only captures a portion of the beauty from the greatest Creator and Designer. Gruber said, “My artwork not only shows my love for God and His nature, but is a constant reminder that He created even me.”

Taking inspiration from Edgar Degas, Daniel Guyton wants his work “to provoke deeper thoughts on issues that go unconsidered.” Much of his work was cfreated to hone his skills as a designer, photographer, and videographer, but his film pieces, “Everyday Exchanges” and “Put Asunder” were created as commentary on the issues Guyton sees with Western society.

For more information about upcoming art exhibits and the Department of Visual, Performing and Media Arts at Grace College, visit or call 574.372.5100, ext. 6024.

Eight Grace College Students Contend for Indiana Impact Award

February 13th, 2018

Four of the eight Indiana INTERNnet Impact Award nominees from Grace College (L to R): Shoshannah Bontrager, Eli Graham, Jessica Vandenboom and Olivia Kmieciak.

Grace College was proud to support eight students nominated for the 12th annual Indiana INTERNnet Impact Awards (IIN). The students were selected by their internship employers because of their outstanding work ethic and leadership skills.

IIN is a program that connects schools, students and employers to facilitate the growth and creation of the most advantageous internship opportunities. The Impact Awards luncheon celebrates excellence in interns. This year, they were held on Feb. 7 at the Ivy Tech Culinary and Conference Center in Indianapolis. There were 90 student nominees in all. The keynote speaker was Chris Heeter, founder of the Wild Institute.

The Grace College nominees and corresponding internship employers were Shoshannah Bontrager, Polywood in Syracuse, Ind.; Madison Cowman, Humanitri in St. Louis, Mo.; Eli Graham, Polywood in Syracuse, Ind.; Brandon Kemp, Egg Innovations in Warsaw, Ind.; Olivia Kmieciak, Willow Creek Association in Barrington, Ill.; Mariah Roman, Compass Relocations in Downers Grove, Ill.; Carlie Salinas, Family Christian Development Center in Nappanee, Ind.; and Jessica Vandenboom, Phoenix America in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The internships provided the students with a great deal of responsibility. Kmieciak was the U.S. Summit Site Coordinator for the Willow Creek Association, tasked with coordinating the 700 host locations for the Global Leadership Summit. She said it was a challenge to deal with all of the wrinkles, as even the smallest could affect a multitude of people, but the Summit was “a great end to the summer, to see all of your hard work over the past three months in one big sanctuary.”

Vandenboom was a marketing intern, tasked with creating a new website and product sheets. “It was very difficult not to see clear results throughout the summer,” said Vandenboom. “There was constant tweaking and revising. After struggling with it for a while, I realized that just like in life, joy must be found in the journey and the hard work put in along the way.” Her hard work paid off, and the project taught her that every aspect of a business is connected.

While the Grace College nominees were not selected as Intern of the Year, DeeAnna Muraski, associate director of internships at Grace College said, “We could not be more proud of our students.  When I contacted employers to see if they would nominate their Grace intern, employers went out of their way to ensure the students were considered.  To me, that speaks volumes about the students’ capabilities, skills, and dedication as interns.  I cannot wait to see where they go as full-time employees.”

Grace College’s applied learning and internship programs are designed to incorporate real-world experience in the college curriculum. All Grace students are required to complete 12 hours of applied learning credits to earn their bachelor’s degree. Grace’s Center for Career Connections has developed partnerships with more than 260 area businesses and organizations from which students may choose to apply their classroom learning and explore their desired career path.  For more information about applied learning and internship opportunities through Grace College, visit

Grace College, Ivy Tech Partner to Promote Degree Attainment

February 12th, 2018

In order to better serve students and promote degree attainment in the state of Indiana, Grace College and Ivy Tech Community College have agreed to a process that will facilitate the awarding of an associate degree to previous Ivy Tech students who have transferred to Grace prior to completion of an associate degree. The reverse transfer agreement allows students to obtain credential while completing courses toward their bachelor’s degree.

“Ivy Tech and Grace share the common mission of helping our students’ succeed, and reverse transfer becomes a first credential for many of those students along their career pathway,” said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann. “Research also suggests that students who receive a degree through reverse transfer are even more likely to complete their baccalaureate.”

An associate degree is an important educational milestone in career and educational advancement. Earning an associate degree can contribute to earning potential in the workplace and helps individuals become more marketable for career opportunities.

“We are very pleased to partner with Ivy Tech to make a post-secondary degree available to more students, said Grace College President Bill Katip. “It’s our hope that by earning an associate degree, students will be more motivated to continue their educational attainment and more marketable in the future.”

Students must have completed a minimum of 15 credit hours from Ivy Tech and be a currently enrolled Grace College undergraduate with at least 75 total college credit hours to be eligible for reverse transfer.  Upon review of their official transcript, an Ivy Tech associate degree will be conferred to qualified students.


New Hires Bring New Talent and Student Support to Grace College

February 8th, 2018

Grace College new faculty and staff members (L to R): Jermaine Chaney, Lorinda Kline, Connie Burkholder and Dr. Fred Wentorf.

Grace College has recently added four new faculty and staff members. They are involved in multiple facets of campus, from professor to presidential adviser, student advocate and department head. Together, their experiences and expertise will enrich the student experience at Grace College.

Jermaine Chaney joined Grace in November, 2017, to fill a new role: special adviser to the president for multicultural student affairs. Chaney is president and COO of Chaney Financial Group and has served for many years on the Indiana University Big 10 Advisory Committee – a committee created to monitor the graduation rates of minority student athletes.  Chaney is passionate about multicultural achievement both in the classroom and in life. At Grace, Chaney will act as an adviser and confidant to minority students and help guide the diversity and inclusion priorities on campus.  He considers it a privilege to speak into young people’s lives, saying, “People travel all over the world for an opportunity to do this, and I get to do it right here at Grace College.”

Connie Burkholder came on board at the Morgan Library Learning Center in December, 2017, as coordinator of student disability services. Before moving to Winona Lake in 2008, she was a special education teacher in Lancaster, Pa., and Lake County, Ill.  Most recently, Connie served as assistant children’s ministry coordinator at the Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church. In her new role at Grace, Burkholder’s focus is on academic support programs that assist students with individual disabilities, whether temporary, due to injury, or ongoing. This includes a variety of tools for individual students, from classroom accommodations to electronic textbooks with text-to-speech capabilities, and administering tests in the Learning Center to provide extra time or resources. Burkholder’s favorite part of the job so far is “getting to know several students, building relationships, and helping them discover how to become lifelong learners.”

Lorinda Kline was hired in January, 2018, as assistant professor of education in the Grace College School of Education.  Kline has worked in education for 31 years, most recently as an instructional coach for Elkhart Community Schools and Warsaw Community Schools.  She has extensive experience leading professional learning for schools, school districts, and educational service centers.  Dr. Laurinda Owen, dean of the Grace College School of Education, said, “Lorinda is highly respected in the education community for her knowledge of and skills in the art of teaching. Her passion for life-long learning and implementing a growth mindset in the classroom make her an ideal role model for our candidates.”

Dr. Fred Wentorf also came to Grace in January as chair of the new Department of Engineering and assistant professor of engineering. Wentorf has worked at Zimmer Biomet since 2007, most recently as principal engineer. He has a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and holds three biomedical patents.  Wentorf has published over thirty articles in scientific journals and has authored six book chapters.  He also has a deep faith in Christ and sees the position at Grace as an opportunity to have an impact on the next generation of engineers “from a Christian perspective, with practical application.” Wentorf is working on partnerships with local schools and businesses to develop internship and co-operative experiences to provide students with the hands-on, relevant training they need to be successful in the workforce.

Tamika Catchings to Speak at Grace College Chapel

February 6th, 2018

Tamika Catchings will speak at Grace College on Feb. 14.


Former WNBA star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings will be the featured speaker at Grace College chapel on Wednesday, Feb. 14.  Catchings will share about her life’s challenges, ensuing perseverance and faith that led to a successful career and ministry.  Chapel begins at 10:30 a.m. and is open to the public in the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center, 610 Wooster Rd., Winona Lake.

“We are very excited to welcome Tamika to campus and hear her inspirational story.  It’s not every day that we have the opportunity to encourage our campus and community with an all-star like Tamika.  We hope many friends will join us for this special chapel,” said Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College.

Catchings’ appearance will take place during Career Week, the annual week on campus dedicated to equipping students with information and perspectives to guide the trajectory of their education.

Catchings played thirteen years for the Indiana Fever and led the team to its first national championship. She was named one of the WNBA’s top fifteen players in history and earned four Olympic gold medals.  Since retiring from the WNBA, Tamika founded the Catch the Stars Foundation to help young people achieve their dreams.  She owns a tea shop, Tea’s Me Café, in Indianapolis, and currently serves as director of player programs and franchise development for Pacers Sports & Entertainment.

Following chapel, Catchings will host a media availability in the Alumni Services Office in the upper level of the MOCC from 11:30 – 11:45 a.m.  Media representatives are asked to register in advance by emailing Amanda Banks at  

Lost in Translation, Found in Transition

February 2nd, 2018

Grace College alumna Tenli (Andersen) Hunter 

This story was first published in the fall 2017 edition of Grace College’s Two, Eight, & Nine magazine.

Tenli (Andersen BA 14) Hunter grew up in a small village in Mexico where her parents were missionaries with Wyclife Bible Translators. She picked up Spanish slowly, but the cultural norms of Mexico began to take root and shape her worldview. “In Mexico, your identity and value are in your pack — your community — not as an individual,” Hunter says.

Anticipating that college would be a significant and formative time where her relationships would play an even larger role in shaping her future, Hunter knew the transition to college (and the right college) would be as profound as her transition to the United States. While she suspected there might be some culture shock, she also had a very astute plan: “I thought it would be wiser to go to a Christian college, where I wouldn’t have to navigate the extra layer of secularism.”

Since she knew her uncle, Dr. Jared Burkholder, professor of history, worked at Grace, she went for a visit. She also explored several other private colleges, but it ultimately came down to finances for Hunter. At Grace, she won one of the presidential scholarships, was awarded a small amount because her parents were in ministry and also joined the Millennial Scholar Academy. Plus, she says, “I knew I could enroll in the accelerated degree program. Saving 25 percent of the cost of my schooling was a huge motivation,” points out Hunter.

Hunter enrolled and began classes in January 2010. She knew she loved to work with her hands. In Mexico, she used her free time to crochet, draw and create clay sculptures. “Although I loved the arts, I didn’t have many art classes in high school and didn’t have any benchmark for knowing if I had any talent in it.” But when she discovered that Grace offered an illustration major, she thought it could be the right fit, and it was.

She excelled in her classes and managed to navigate the accelerated course cycles without difficulty. Hunter added a minor in business administration, and it gave her the valuable skills she would need to secure a job after graduation. Her first business principles class “whipped me into shape,” laughs Hunter. “It’s like boot camp. I learned what it took to succeed in the American business culture. We had to dress up for class, be there early, and we were graded on how we performed in our group work.” The experience gave her a confidence that she readily carried into post-graduation interviews. “I knew what would be expected of me, and I learned how to go above and beyond.”

But on the social front, Hunter felt like she was failing at Grace. “I had several close girlfriends, but not one group I was associated with,” she recalls. She had a friend from her art class and one from her hall, and one she’d met at an extracurricular event, but from her cultural perspective, she didn’t have the kind of friendship circle that in Mexico indicated a sense of belonging. “I had to come to learn that in the U.S., that was OK. Having individual relationships are meaningful, even if we aren’t operating as a group.”

Although Hunter felt insecure and socially afloat at first, Grace provided her with a safe environment to learn and grow. “Grace is a very affirming place, especially the professors,” she says. As Hunter earned good grades and began to grow socially, she gained more self-assurance. “I entered college believing I was a nobody and didn’t know what I wanted. Coming out of Grace, I had what I needed to survive. I had developed friendships I knew would last, friends who loved me and whom I loved too.”

Grace turned out to be just what Hunter needed to transition to American culture and equip herself with the academic and social tools needed to be successful. “That was the best thing that happened during my time at Grace. My experience gave me what I needed to make it in the U.S. as a friend and employee.”

After Hunter graduated, she interviewed for and was offered a job with Christiane David Gallery in Lancaster, Pa., where she managed the gallery’s marketing. Wanting to increase her job experience, she also took a part-time job as the graphic designer at her church, Community Bible Church (Marieta, Pa.).

Hunter’s immediate offers and subsequent job experiences are proof that her Grace education was invaluable. “This is the field I was trained for. I got all the tools I needed at Grace for a lot less and a lot quicker than I could have at other institutions.” This year, Hunter opened a gallery at the church she works for and has created several of the art pieces for various exhibitions. She’s also put together a curriculum that she teaches about art and faith.

“My years at Grace were the perfect time for me. It was a safe place for me to adjust to the culture, emotionally transition and build my confidence before heading out into the world.”

Grace College Launches Engineering Program

February 1st, 2018

Grace College will launch an engineering program this fall.

Seated next door to the “Orthopedic Capital of the World,” Grace College has developed an undergraduate engineering program to launch in fall, 2018. Grace’s Engineering Department will offer a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Management and a Bachelor of Science in Design Engineering Technology. All three degrees have received approval from the Higher Learning Commission.

Kosciusko County, Ind. is a prime location to train future engineers. “With the concentration of orthopedic and manufacturing companies in our county and state, engineering college graduates are much sought-after,” said Dr. John Lillis, provost of Grace College. “We’re eager to better meet the needs of our region with a robust engineering department, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have it led by Fred Wentorf.”

Dr. Fred Wentorf will serve as Grace College Department of Engineering Chair and assistant professor of engineering. He comes to Grace from Zimmer Biomet where he has worked since 2007, most recently as principal engineer. Wentorf holds a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Minnesota. In addition to extensive industry experience, Wentorf has authored more than 30 articles in scientific journals and six books chapters. He also holds three biomedical patents.

Wentorf will lead the new department starting immediately. Grace previously partnered with Trine University to offer a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. While the partnership was successful for many years, growing demand for engineers and increased interest from current and prospective students led Grace to pursue its own engineering program for 2018.

Engineering students collaborate in the classroom.

Dr. Wentorf is passionate about mentoring the next generation of engineers “from a Christian perspective, with practical application.” He is currently working to develop an advisory board and finalize the new engineering curriculum. “It’s extremely important to me that our advisory board – comprised mostly of industry leaders – will help guide our program now and long into the future to ensure that the education we provide is relevant and sought-after by employers,” he said.

The Grace Department of Engineering will provide a variety of internship and co-operative experiences as part of each bachelor degree program. Wentorf is also exploring partnerships with local school districts to provide another avenue of learning and application for college students while giving back to the community and “hopefully inspiring a younger group of aspiring engineers.”

The new engineering program was created as part of Grace’s strategic plan for Educational Excellence. “Academic distinction and real-world preparation are hallmarks of a Grace College education,” said Lillis. “These are the standards prospective students and parents can expect from our new engineering program,” he concluded.

Grace College is now accepting applications in the Department of Engineering for fall, 2018. For more information, or to apply, visit or call 800-544-7223.

Grace Athletics Set to Unveil New Logo

January 30th, 2018

This summer, Grace’s athletic department is excited to reveal a new Lancer logo. While Grace will still be known as the “Lancers” and the colors will remain the same, the logo will be receiving a facelift with a more modern visual identity.

Additionally, the iconic Kessler Court at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center will have a new paint job after the basketball season to coincide with the new logo.

On Feb. 17, Grace will set up a unique fan experience for the final regular season game on the existing hardwood court. After Grace’s doubleheader with Taylor that afternoon, fans and families will be allowed to take posed photographs with professional lighting on the Lancer logo.

No cost will be associated with the fan event, and photos will be made available for download online.

Additionally, Grace is making available for sale the sideline varsity chairs used by the teams at the MOCC. These one-of-a-kind collector’s items are available for $50 by contacting Grace’s athletic office while supplies last. Less than 35 chairs remain for sale, so make sure to get your piece of Lancer history before it’s gone.

A few chairs will also be raffled off on Feb. 3 and Feb. 17 at the MOCC during Grace’s home games. Chairs purchased will be available for pickup from the MOCC no earlier than March 19.

Contact Kelly Sharp in Grace’s athletic office to reserve your exclusive sideline chair at (574) 372-5100 ext 6266.

Grace College Career Fair Offers Connections for Businesses, Organizations

January 26th, 2018

Grace College students interact with a business representative at a past Career Connections Fair.

Grace College’s sixth annual Career Connections Fair will be held on Thursday, Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center, 610 Wooster Rd., Winona Lake. The fair is open to all for-profit and non-profit companies who wish to connect with students for internships, applied learning opportunities and jobs. Lunch will be provided for all participants.

Grace College Director of Applied Learning Randy Polston coordinates the fair each year. “It’s a great opportunity for businesses to meet Grace students who could add value to their company or organization in the form of an unpaid applied learning experience, a semester or summer internship, or a job,” he said. According to Polston, Grace students come to the career fair ready to make life-changing connections. “Our students are eager to meet with companies and pursue work opportunities that could start their careers,” he said. But the career fair is not only good for students, Polston explained. “The best compliment I’ve received from participating businesses is that after hiring Grace students, they now look for Grace grads to hire. When you hear a business owner say that, it’s a win,” said Polston.

Registration for the Grace College Career Connections Fair is now open here. For-profit business registration is $50; non-profit registration is $40. For questions or additional information, please contact Randy Polston at 574-372-5100, ext. 6416, or