Archive for the ‘News & Events’ Category

In Memorium: Verna May Felts

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Verna May Felts, age 88, of Mishawaka, IN (formerly of Warsaw) passed away Friday, August 25, 2017 at 12:26 AM in North Woods Village at Edison Lake, Mishawaka, IN. She was born December 15, 1928 in Stratton, Nebraska to Gustaf and Hazel (Wollman) Miller.

She was a Warsaw resident since 1957. On October 17, 1957 in Stratton, Nebraska she was united in marriage to W. Roland Felts (who preceded her in death on June 14, 2012). She was a Professor of Piano at Grace College in Winona Lake, IN. She attended Community Baptist Church in South Bend, IN. In her free time, she enjoyed music and taking care of her garden flowers. She loved her husband and family dearly.

She is survived by her Children, Jeff (spouse Patty) Felts of Millersville, MD and Alicia (spouse Allen) Wedertz of Osceola, IN; 11 Grandchildren and 6 Great-Grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, two sisters, and one brother.

Visitation is scheduled from 3:00-4:00 PM Sunday, August 27, 2017 in McHatton-Sadler Funeral Chapel, Warsaw. A Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 AM Monday, August 28, 2017 at Community Baptist Church in South Bend, IN; with Dr. Carl Herbster officiating. Interment will be private.

2017-18 PREVIEW: Men’s Golf Looks to Build Off Last Year’s Momentum

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Grace’s men’s golf team enjoyed a successful season last year under head coach Denny Hepler.

In 2017-18, Hepler’s Lancers hope to replicate that success with a young but experienced roster.

The Lancers reached the NCCAA National Championships last season for the first time in 17 years. Grace went on to finish fourth in the national tournament.

To return to nationals, Grace will need to replace the void left by graduated seniors Jonathan Schram, Tyler Ham and Zachary Allyn. Hepler acknowledged the young team may experience a learning curve at the start of the season.

“We will be very young this year with no seniors,” Helper said. “We’re also starting the year with a couple injuries, so we’re going to be a little thin starting out. But we trust our returners and look forward to seeing our new guys step up.”

Despite their youth, Grace still has the goal of returning to the NCCAA tournament. “We will be hosting the NCCAA regional qualifier, and of course our goal is to get to the national championship like we did last year,” Hepler said.

Hepler will rely on returning juniors Chad Spencer and Cameron Bates to be the team captains and lead the rest of the squad. Grace also expects a large contribution from sophomore Tristan Nienhuis. 

Nienhuis made an impact immediately as a freshman, routinely finding himself near the top of Grace’s leaderboard. Hepler praised Nienhuis’s attitude on and off the course. “He has a tremendous work ethic and leads the team in that category.”

Nienhuis earned All-American honors as a freshman at the NCCAA National Championships in 2016. Bates also had one of his best career performances at last year’s NCCAA Nationals, as he finished one stroke shy of earning All-American recognition. 

Spencer’s most notable outing last season came at the IU-South Bend Invitational where he finished fifth overall.

The Lancers have three incoming freshmen to help replace last year’s seniors. Tim Rata is a local standout from Warsaw, helping lead the Tigers to a sectional championship in 2017 on his way to earning All-Conference recognition. Isaiah Brown led Fairfield to sectional championships in 2016 and 2017. Camden Gongwer is an All-County golfer who aided Avon to a county title his senior year.

Jacob Kennedy and Max Leary round out the returnees for Grace. Both will be entering their sophomore year with tournament experience. Leary competed in the Crossroads League Championships in 2017.

Grace will open up the season at the Lancer Invitational on Aug. 22. The tournament tees off at 3 p.m. at Stonehenge Golf Club.

Women’s Golf has High Hopes for 2017-18

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Pictured is Grace head women’s golf coach Denny Duncan (center) and April Bishop (right).

They are young, they are experienced, and they are ready to conquer the 2017-18 season. The Grace College women’s golf team, coached by Denny Duncan, is thrilled to be swinging the clubs once again.

In just the third year of the program’s existence, Grace already boasts an impressive group of returners. Lauren Keiser, Anna Marshall, Sydney Abbott and Libby Tully were mainstays in Grace’s lineup last year, a season which shattered expectations for the young team.

“This team has no seniors and could start four underclassmen at times, but I really don’t consider us to be a young team,” Duncan said. “Our players have so much varsity experience, and we have high expectations for this season. We are still growing, but we are going to get better in the months ahead. The future looks bright for this team.”

The Lady Lancers made tremendous strides last year as the women won four events, including the nine-team Spring Arbor Invitational. They also finished second in the NCCAA Midwest Regionals and are looking to improve even more this upcoming year. Duncan is looking for his younger players to step into the four and five positions to bolster the squad’s depth.

During the offseason, the team added three golfers to squad. Kristin Holt, daughter of Notre Dame women’s golf coach Susan Holt, comes from Penn. Three-time conference selection Rachel Harvey graduated from Southern Wells and all-league player Kara Godsey attended Worthington Christian (Ohio). “The freshmen have had excellent high school careers and enjoyed great success this summer. We need and expect immediate contributions from this group,” Duncan said.

April Bishop, Sarah Ganger and Amanda Gifford return this year and bring experience and leadership.

Duncan has many goals he wants the team to accomplish in the upcoming season. “Our first goal [is to] grow in our faith and honor Jesus Christ in everything we do.” The third-year head coach also wants to qualify for the NCCAA National Championships, finish in the top three in the Crossroads League and have a team GPA of 3.3 or higher.

The Lady Lancers open up the season with their only home match of the year on Aug. 22, at Stonehenge Golf Club. First tee time is set at 3 p.m.

Mount Memorial Art Gallery to Host ‘Through the Iris’ Exhibit

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

Image pictures Anna-Marie Veloz’s “Playground” from her Inhabitance series. The work is a blend of graphite, color pencil and watercolor. Veloz earned her MFA from Azusa Pacific University in 2010; she currently lives and works in southern California.

“Through the Iris,” a touring art exhibition showcasing the work of 25 contemporary, professional female visual artists, will open on Monday, August 14. This exceptional, free exhibit will be hosted in the Mount Memorial Art Gallery at Grace College, 200 Seminary Dr., Winona Lake. The opening reception will be held Friday, September 1, at 7 p.m., preceded by an Artist Talk at 6:30 p.m.

Through a variety of mediums, “Through the Iris” depicts the personal journeys and narratives of the artists. “Threads of meaning weave through the work to reveal themes of home, refuge, longing, reconnection, discovery and transcendence,” explained Kim M. Reiff, director of the exhibit and chair of the visual, performing, and media arts department at Grace College. “Together, the 25 artists offer the viewer a rich visual experience. We encourage the community stop by and enjoy their work.”

The catalog accompanying the exhibition includes images, artist statements and essays by artists William Catling, Sandra Bowden and Chris Anderson that expand on content, meaning and relevance of female visual artists’ work. William Catling, professor of art at Azusa Pacific University and co-curator, examines the role of women artists in the contemporary art world. Sandra Bowden, renowned artist, collector and co-curator, offers a historical perspective of women in the arts. Chris Anderson, award winning artist and scholar, provides a contextual overview of her journey as an artist.

Each participating artist holds a masters of fine arts (MFA) from Azusa Pacific University. The MFA program at Azusa Pacific University is the first graduate art degree within the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU). It encourages students to integrate the essential elements of their faith, life and art. As one of the first five graduates from Azusa Pacific University’s MFA program, Reiff initiated and directs “Through the Iris” to showcase the inspiring, exceptional work of other MFA graduates.

“Through the Iris” is scheduled to show at the Mount Memorial Art Gallery from August 14 – October 7. It will then will travel to Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, Ind., from October 16 – December 16, followed by presentations at Mary Hardin-Baylor, Belton, Texas,  February 19 – March 16, 2018, and George Fox University, Newberg, Ore., August 27 – September 28, 2018. It will close at Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, Calif., after exhibiting from October 9 – November 2, 2018.

Biographies of Curators and Contributors:

William Catling founded and directed the MFA program from 2005-2014. As a prolific artist, educator and author, his work focuses on figurative clay sculptures. Mentored by sculpture Stephen De Staebler, he has served as professor of art and design at Azusa Pacific since 1991 and as department chair for over 10 years. His work is held in public and private collections. He lives and works in southern California.

Sandra Bowden, a renowned painter, printmaker, author and art collector, has presented over 100 one-person shows. Her work is held in private and public collections including the Vatican Museum of Contemporary Religious Art, Brauer Museum, Atwood Museum and the Haifa Museum. Sandra was president of Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) from 1993-2007. Her book, “The Art of Sandra Bowden,” was published by Square Halo Books in 2005. She lives and works in Chatham, Mass.

Chris Anderson is known internationally for her fine work in drawing, painting and printmaking. Her work explores landscapes, the concept of “home” from modern suburban architecture to ancient castles, as well as faith and art. An award-winning artist, Anderson lived and worked as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in the Arts in Berlin, Germany. Her work is featured in the Vatican Museum, Armand Hammer Museum at UCLA and in over 50 university, corporate and private collections. She has been the recipient of multiple residency fellowship awards in the United States and Germany, Austria, England and Scotland. Anderson served as Artist In Residence at Azusa Pacific University, July 2009. She lives and works in Manhattan, NY.

Kim M. Reiff has an extensive background in visual art, graphic design and corporate marketing communications. She serves as associate professor of art, assistant dean of the school of arts and sciences, and chair of the department of visual, performing, and media arts at Grace College. Her artistic pursuits include merging traditional and digital art forms that explore the visual and tactile nature of “being.” Reiff is one of the first five female visual artists to graduate with her MFA from Azusa Pacific University in 2009.  In 2006, Azusa Pacific University became the first to launch an MFA graduate program in the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Inspirations for directing and producing this exhibit include Jean Coverstone, the first woman to chair the art department at Grace College.

The Mount Memorial Hall Art Gallery hours is open Monday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.- 5 p.m., and on Saturday, 1-4 p.m.  To learn more about the Mount Memorial Art Gallery, call Kim Reiff at 574-372-5100, ext. 6022 or email

Grace College Statement Regarding the Mark Soto Verdict

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Dr. Bill Katip, President of Grace College, has issued the following statement regarding the recent verdict in former Grace College professor Dr. Mark Soto’s case.

The Grace College community is deeply saddened by this situation. We will continue to pray for all individuals involved and for healing in our community. There will not be any further statements from Grace regarding this matter.



Tim Zimmerman and The King’s Brass to Perform in Winona Lake

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Tim Zimmerman and The King’s Brass

Tim Zimmerman and The King’s Brass will perform at the fifth of seven concerts in the Grace College & Village at Winona Festival of Music. The family-friendly concert will take place on Tuesday, August 8, at 8 p.m., in the Winona Heritage Room, 901 Park Ave, Winona Lake. Tickets, $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors, will be available at the door.

“The King’s Brass is a truly unique, spirited team of performers,” said Walter Brath, music festival coordinator. “The group blends story and music in a powerful way. They’re sure to entertain the whole family. ”

The King’s Brass is directed by professional trumpeter Tim Zimmerman, previous chairman of the music department at Grace College.  The group provides innovative worship for all ages through the best in sacred brass music. By teaming together, these Christian professionals from around the United States perform their original arrangements in over 100 concerts each season. They weave story into music using three trumpets, three trombones, a tuba, keyboards and percussion.

The second annual Festival of Music is sponsored by Grace College, Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts and The Village at Winona.  For more information on all planned events, visit or contact festival coordinator Walter Brath at

NAIA Honors Grace for Academic Prowess

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

For the first time in Grace College history, every Lancer team received recognition from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) for academic success. 

Every varsity team on campus was named to the prestigious NAIA Scholar-Teams’ list. Grace had the 12th-most Scholar-Teams for the 2016-17 academic year, breaking the school’s record set a year ago. To be included on the list, an athletic program must record a GPA of 3.00 or higher. 

Eleven of the athletic programs finished in the top 25 for their specific sport and seven concluded the academic year in the top three in the Crossroads League per sport. As a whole, the Grace College athletic department ended the year with a 3.35 GPA.

The Lady Lancers’ volleyball squad led the way inside the classroom, finishing the year with a GPA of 3.75. Out of every NAIA varsity team, coach Katie Van Hofwegen’s squad had the 19th-best GPA nationally and fourth highest in the sport.

“The academic excellence that our athletic programs achieve can be credited to the commitment and dedication of our coaches and student-athletes,” said Grace Athletic Director Chad Briscoe. “Our programs strive for Christian excellence in all areas, which includes both the academic and athletic realms. The Scholar-Team distinction for our programs is a tremendous reflection on Grace College. Our faculty play an integral role in the academic and spiritual growth of our student-athletes, and we are incredibly thankful for their work.”

Coach Jim Kessler’s men’s basketball team beat every other school in the Crossroads League. The 3.49 GPA-wielding team climbed 12 spots from a year ago to finish third overall in their sport and claim the conference academic championship. 

Three additional programs clipped the 3.50 GPA mark. Under coach Jeff Raymond’s guidance, women’s indoor (3.53 GPA) and outdoor (3.56 GPA) track and field had a successful academic campaign. Women’s soccer, coached by Michael Voss, earned a 3.54 GPA. Those three teams finished in the top 25 of their sport and second in the Crossroads League. 

Men’s indoor and outdoor track tallied a 3.24 GPA and ended the year in the top 25 for their sport. The Lancers’ indoor unit was second in the Crossroads League, while outdoor was third. 

Coach Cam Screeton’s baseball team rounded off the year with a 3.24 GPA, finishing No. 11 among NAIA baseball teams. 

Three additional teams finished in the top 25 respectively for their sport: softball (3.46 GPA), men’s tennis (3.34 GPA) and men’s soccer (3.26 GPA).

Remaining Scholar-Teams for the Lancers include: women’s tennis (3.44 GPA), women’s cross country (3.36 GPA), men’s golf (3.25 GPA), women’s basketball (3.15 GPA), women’s golf (3.06 GPA) and men’s cross country (3.06 GPA).

To view the complete listing of NAIA Scholar-Teams sorted by GPA and school, click here. Overall, 1,658 teams earned the Scholar-Team distinction from the NAIA.

Grace College to Host NCCAA Track and Field Championships Through 2019

Friday, July 28th, 2017

The National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) announced an agreement Thursday with Grace College to host the Track and Field National Championships in 2018 and 2019. The championships will be held on Grace College’s campus at the sparkling new Bernard and Linnie Key Track and Field Complex.

Grace is experienced hosting NCCAA National Championships, having served as host for the Division I women’s basketball tournament since 2009 and the men’s basketball tournament since 2012.

“The NCCAA is so thankful to Grace College, [Grace President] Dr. Bill Katip and [Grace AD] Chad Briscoe for their willingness to host the 2018 and 2019 NCCAA Track and Field National Championships,” said NCCAA Executive Director Dan Wood. “Grace has significant experience and a passion for hosting NCCAA events and will elevate this event for all participants and spectators.”

Each year in May, these championships will feature student-athletes from across the country competing in 22 events. Men’s and women’s events will be held over a two-day period. Student-athletes and coaches will also have the opportunity to serve the local community through a Christian Service Project (CSP). Details of the CSP will be released closer to the event date.

“This is a great day for our athletic department, campus and community,” Briscoe said. “We are humbled to be selected by the NCCAA to host the track and field championships for 2018 and 2019. We will work diligently with Coach Jeff Raymond to create a national championship atmosphere that generates great memories for the participants, fans and our community.”

Raymond, who is Grace’s track and field head coach, added: “As someone who participated in the NCCAA Track and Field National Championships more than 30 years ago and has coached at the meet for several years, it is truly an honor to play a part in hosting this great event. We are committed to making this championship a great experience for student-athletes, coaches and fans.”

The Bernard and Linnie Key Track and Field Complex is a state-of-the-art design that was completed in October 2016. It includes a nine-lane, 400-meter competition track with the ability to run sprints in either direction, depending on wind conditions. Three long jump/triple jump pits allow men and women to compete at the same time in either direction. There is a large “D” area for the high jump competition and the javelin runway. The facility also includes a hammer/discus cage, a second discus throw area, a shot put area and grandstand seating for 400. All competition areas are within 50 meters of the track.

“Grace College is honored and delighted to be selected to host the NCCAA track championships,” Katip said. “We have thoroughly enjoyed hosting the NCCAA basketball championships for nearly a decade, and we are excited for this new opportunity to showcase this prestigious event at the new Bernard and Linnie Key Track and Field Complex.”

See NCCAA Championship dates here. For more information on Grace College’s facilities, click here.


Lilly Center Welcomes Assistant Director

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams Assistant Director Alex Hall

The Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College recently hired Alex Hall as the center’s Assistant Director.

Hall has served in the School of Online and Professional Education at Grace College since January 2014 in various coordinator and manager positions. Hall earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in biology, with minors in environmental studies and business from Manchester University and is currently working toward his Master of Science degree in nonprofit management at Grace College. He was trained in lake and stream research under Dr. Jerry Sweeten at Manchester University and through a prestigious internship led by Dr. Gene E. Likens, a pioneer in these fields of science who has taught at Yale, Rutgers, and Cornell universities. Hall also has experience serving on boards and volunteering for local groups, including The Watershed Foundation and Kosciusko Youth Leadership Academy.

Hall’s role at the Lilly Center will be to offer support to Director Dr. Nate Bosch and strategically coordinate the center’s operations in research, education and collaboration. Bosch explained, “Alex’s experiences and education uniquely qualify him as our assistant director. We are excited to have him on the team and look forward to the expertise and insights he can give to our efforts in the future.”

“As a lifetime resident of Warsaw, I am thrilled to serve the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams and their staff in this new capacity,” Hall stated.  He continued, “It is truly an honor to be provided with an opportunity to make new connections, build relationships in the community and help educate and engage local citizens to protect our natural water resources.”

The assistant director role at the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams was made possible by the substantial leadership gifts to the center’s endowment fund from Lilly Endowment Inc. and the Lilly family through the Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation as announced this spring.  For more information about the center, visit

Grace College Master’s in Counseling Program Earns Accolades

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Grace College is identified as the fourth most-affordable online Master’s in Counseling degree program nationwide in Grad School Hub’s recent ranking. Grad School Hub considered accreditation, tuition, other rankings and recognitions to formulate its list. Grace College’s program stood out from the other 50 institutions considered due to its quality and affordability.

“We’re honored by Grad School Hub’s acknowledgement,” said Dr. Amy Gilbert, chair of the Grace College Department of Graduate Counseling. “This confirms that we are fulfilling our mission to provide graduate-level students with a high-quality, flexible education that fits their needs, both academically and financially.”

Since 2016, Grace College’s outstanding counseling program has earned six such recognitions from ranking organizations including Top Counseling Schools, Affordable Colleges Online, and SuperScholar. The program is consistently noted for its accessibility to students with full-time jobs and families, its excellent, biblically grounded education and affordability.  Each ranking site provides expert information on accredited graduate degree programs offered by the nation’s best institutions to help prospective students find the program that best fits their needs.

Grace College’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling offers both online and on-campus CACREP-accredited learning platforms.  Grace trains graduate students to excel as professional counselors.  They are taught to be scripturally grounded, professionally skilled and interpersonally competent.  Upon completion, students are qualified to seek state licensure or pursue doctoral studies in counseling.  For more information, visit or call 574-372-5100, ext. 6051.