Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

Grace’s Website Named Best in the NAIA

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Grace College’s athletic department took home eight awards at the annual NAIA-SIDA Convention.

The Lancers’ website highlighted Grace’s award haul when it was named the No. 1 site in the nation. The site, in conjunction with SIDEARM Sports, was redesigned in February. Four months later it was voted as the NAIA’s best site.

Assistant AD/SID Josh Neuhart, who oversees Grace’s athletic communication and website content, was quick to point out the groups who helped him in the redesign process. “We redesigned the website from the ground up. Our goal in the new site was to showcase the unique aspects of Grace College and to present a unique, memorable viewing experience compared to anyone else in the collegiate athletic landscape,” Neuhart said. “Chad Briscoe (Grace athletic director) and Kelly Sharp (Grace office manager) were instrumental in this design process, and we had great feedback from several focus groups to help us meet our objectives during the redesign. The website provides a great platform for us to share the stories of our incredible student-athletes and coaches.”

Grace also won seven other top-10 awards at the national convention. Two splash page designs earned top-10 recognition, including a second-place winner for the NCCAA Basketball Championships and a ninth-place winner for the redesign of Grace’s website.

An infographic covering Grace’s academic success was third-best in the nation, and a feature story on Grace women’s basketball player Lauren Godfrey finished seventh in the Dr. Jack Bell Writing Contest. The Godfrey feature was also named the runner-up winner in the CoSIDA Fred Stabley Sr. Writing Contest in District 5.

Additionally, three of Grace’s media guides placed in the top 10. Women’s soccer was sixth, men’s/women’s basketball was seventh, and volleyball placed eighth.

Grace College Students Take Three-Country Excursion on Mystery Trip

Monday, June 19th, 2017

The Mystery Trip team gathers in front of the Sydney Opera House during a bike tour of Sydney, Australia. Brileigh Malott is pictured in the front row, third from left. John Sloat is back row, second from right, and Dr. Matthew Harmon is pictured back row, far right.

For the second year, the Global Initiatives team at Grace College included a Mystery Trip among the Go Encounter trip options. This year, Dr. Matthew Harmon, professor of New Testament studies, and John Sloat, resident director, took 13 students to Sydney, Australia; Christchurch, New Zealand; and Tokyo, Japan. The 12-day excursion took place May 22 – June 2.

“Dr. Harmon and John Sloat did an excellent job leading us,” said Brileigh Malott, a senior at Grace College and Mystery Trip student leader. “All of us enjoyed traveling with them.  One great thing they did was allow us to empower each other.  It was rewarding to see different leaders step up in different cities and experiences.  This helped us appreciate each other and how God has uniquely equipped us,” she said.

While most Go Encounter experiences involve a single country, the Mystery Trip is special. Prior to arriving at the airport, students are unaware of the locations they will visit. As the trip progresses, each country is revealed, along with a rough schedule of planned activities.  By design, students are kept guessing throughout preparation and then traveling on the Mystery Trip.  According to Sloat, this underscores a lesson on trusting God and relying on each other to enter new – and sometimes, intimidating – circumstances and places.

Highlights of the 2017 Mystery Trip included biking through Sydney, visiting Japanese gardens, and attending church in New Zealand. Students also had the opportunity to engage with college students on international college campuses.

“Our experiences at the University of Sydney and the University of Canterbury were intimidating at first,” said Malott.  “We didn’t know how students would respond to us.  But thankfully, nearly every encounter was positive, and in the end, we all felt more comfortable approaching new people and sharing our faith.”

Malott believes experiences like these help prepare her and her peers for future ministry, relationships and careers.

“There are so many highlights of the trip and experiences I’ll never forget,” said Malott.  “But I especially enjoyed our team.  By the end of the trip, we were close friends. I’m so grateful for the experience.”

Sloat, along with Kearstin Criswell, director of student involvement at Grace College, created the Mystery Trip two years ago.

“The first trip originated when Kearstin and I talked about how much we valued travel and loved the experience of learning through navigation and exploration of new cities and places,” said Sloat. “So we started planning, trying to partner with ministries in other countries.”

At the prompting of the Global Initiatives department, Sloat and Criswell chose international locations and concealed them from the students. In 2016, Sloat and Criswell took a team to New York City, Italy and the United Arab Emirates. This year, Sloat and Dr. Harmon decided to visit countries off the United States’ West Coast.

“I think the Mystery Trip has become an annual event – and adventure – at Grace,” said Sloat.  “We are already thinking about next year and looking forward to where we will go to surprise, challenge and build up our great students,” he said.

All undergraduate programs at Grace College require a cross-cultural field experience.  Many students choose to fulfill this requirement through a Go Encounter trip to a variety of destinations, including Brazil, Fiji, France, England, Germany, Japan, Romania, South Korea, Cambodia, Uganda and Ireland.  Grace’s staff and faculty lead these seven-to-12-day trips. Some trips are cultural in which students explore native cultures through food, entertainment and historical sites. Other trips emphasize service in which students work closely with diverse communities to build God’s kingdom in a variety of ways.

For more information about Go Encounter trips and view a video about the trips, visit here.  For questions, call 574-372-5100, ext. 6133, or email

Below is the first reveal of the trip. The students were in O’Hare, preparing to take a flight to Sydney, Australia.

Marcus Moore to Lead Grace Women’s Tennis

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Coach Marcus Moore

Grace’s women’s tennis team will have a new head coach next year in Marcus Moore.

Marcus was an associate head coach for the Lady Lancers under his twin brother Scott. Scott, who coached the team from 2013-16, decided to relinquish coaching duties in order to focus on his other responsibilities at Grace College.

Marcus has assisted Grace’s program for the past two years, including last year’s impressive 11-5 campaign which earned Scott the Crossroads League Coach of the Year.

“I am very excited for the new opportunity with the women’s tennis program. Coaching alongside Scott has been a positive experience for both of us,” Marcus said. “I’ve really enjoyed allowing Christ to direct my path, and I cannot wait to see what’s next. We have a strong core of terrific young ladies back this year, and we are ready to start with momentum this fall.”

The 2016 season saw Grace tie the program record for most wins in a season. The Lady Lancers reached the semifinals of the league tournament after upsetting Taylor on the road.

Marcus played men’s tennis and basketball during his undergraduate time at Grace from 2004-08. He was a legend on the hardwood, graduating second all-time for the Lancers in career points with 2,351.

“Marcus has done a tremendous job serving as an assistant for the past two years. We look forward to seeing him continue building on the strong foundation that he has helped establish within our women’s tennis program,” said Grace Director of Athletics Chad Briscoe. “Marcus’s expertise in the sport, his connections in the community and his dedication to the mission of Christian excellence at Grace College will serve him well in this new position.”

Marcus recently stepped down as the boys’ head basketball coach at Jimtown High School after the past three seasons.

He currently lives in Warsaw with his wife Haley and son Logan. Marcus is currently teaching business at Jimtown and is planning to start his doctorate in the fall.


Award-Winning Public Speaker to Visit Lake City Toastmasters Club

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Dr. Fred L. Johnson III, associate professor at Hope College and International Toastmasters speech competitor.


Dr. Fred L. Johnson III, associate professor at Hope College and International Toastmasters speech competitor, will visit the Lake City Toastmasters Club at Grace College on June 15. The community is welcome to attend the free event at 6 p.m. in Mount Memorial Hall Room 202.  Mount Memorial Hall is located at 200 Seminary Dr., Winona Lake.

Johnson will present his award-winning speech, Voices and Choices, in preparation for the upcoming international Toastmasters competition in Vancouver, Canada. A member of Toastmasters since 2004, Johnson is the Toastmasters District 11 International Speech Contest winner.  He advanced to the semifinal rounds of the World Series of Public Speaking competition in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2014.

Dr. Johnson has taught history at Hope College since the fall of 2000. Prior to his career in higher education, Johnson served in the United States Marine Corps as a communications-electronics officer and as an infantry officer in the Marine Reserves. He subsequently worked as a production scheduler for Packard – Electric Division of General Motors, an operations specialist for Con-Tel Page Telecommunications, and as a corporate trainer for Aircraft Braking Systems in Akron, Ohio.

To learn more about the Lake City Toastmasters Club, visit or call 574-372-5100, ext. 6078.

Grace College Affirms Commitment to Diversity and Inclusiveness

Friday, June 9th, 2017

June 9, 2017

Today, Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College, released the following statement:

“Earlier this week, an insensitive and inappropriate photo was posted by a Grace College employee on the employee’s personal Facebook page. A Grace College department was referenced in the post and Grace employees were pictured in the photograph posted. This post elicited a significant amount of criticism, concern and hurt from our alumni, students, parents, friends and others.

It is important for the public to know that Grace College is committed deeply to diversity and inclusiveness, and conduct that demonstrates insensitivity to these values will not be tolerated. Grace leadership has taken steps to ensure that this sort of incident will not recur, and several of the individuals involved are no longer employees of Grace College.

This incident has initiated a reexamination of the policies and training at Grace related to diversity and inclusion. While we strive to create a welcoming environment, it is apparent that we can and must do more to help ensure people of all backgrounds are treated with respect and feel welcomed on our campus. These ongoing efforts will start immediately and will include the input and participation of current students, faculty and staff, alumni, board members and other thought leaders on diversity.”


Grace College Welcomes Students, Families at Preview Day

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Grace College invites interested high school students and their parents to campus for Preview Day on Friday, June 23, at 10:30 a.m.  This special event is designed to give families a first-hand look at the opportunities available at Grace College, located in the historic lakeside town of Winona Lake, Ind.

At Preview Day, prospective students and their parents will tour campus, meet with admission and financial aid professionals, interact with current Grace College students and faculty, and eat lunch on campus. Following lunch, a panel discussion with faculty, staff and current students will take place.

“We know that biblical education and career preparation are top priorities for many parents and prospective students,” said Cindy Sisson, vice president of marketing and enrollment management at Grace College. “At Grace, we are focused on providing innovative, real-world learning to students in a Christ-centered community.  We look forward to sharing more about our mission and methods at Preview Day.”

Grace College is growing.  Last fall, Grace achieved record total enrollment of 2,333 students. The Winona Lake campus is home to 1,295 undergraduate students with another 1,000 enrolled in graduate, seminary and online programs. In tandem with the recently announced Aspire Campaign and groundbreaking of the Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex, several new degree options are in development, including agribusiness, worship arts and mechanical engineering.

Grace College offers more than 70 undergraduate majors which students can complete in either three or four years.  Measure of Grace, a comprehensive affordability and excellence plan launched in 2015, guarantees that tuition will never increase during a student’s enrollment and provides free textbook rentals.  In addition, Grace’s accelerated three-year bachelor’s degree program and blended bachelor’s and master’s four-year degree program enable students to finish school sooner with significant savings and earning potential.

“We’re excited to host high school students and parents at our summer Preview Day,” said Mark Pohl, dean of admissions at Grace College. “We have much to share about what Grace has to offer to a variety of students.  We look forward to answering questions and helping families explore whether Grace is the right fit for their personal and academic goals.”

To register for Preview Day, visit   For questions or more information, call 866-974-7223.

Students Return from Go Encounter France

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Grace College students on Go Encounter France (L to R): Blythe Foote, Nicole Kindig, Courtney Evans, Rachel Gregory, Stephanie Porter, Deborah Jackson, Chantel Shetler and Abby Phinney.

A week after spring semester concluded, nine Grace College students and Professor Jacqueline Schram, dean of Grace Core and Global Initiatives, left the United States for Paris, France. According to student Abby Phinney, the team’s 10-day trip was riddled with moments of awe. “It’s one thing to see the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre in a book; it’s an entirely different experience to stand inches from them and look up,” Phinney explained. “History becomes tangible in aged countries like France. Every cobblestone, cafe and curving alleyway tells a story.”

The students’ first four days were spent in the capital city; from there, they took a train to Dijon. In Dijon, the team visited Grace’s study abroad students and experienced some excellent French cuisine. A couple of days later, they wove their way through the French countryside. Among other landmarks, the team visited the oldest castle in Burgundy and the Abbey at Cluny. The trip culminated in Professor Schram’s peaceful childhood home, the Chateau de Saint Albain.

“This experience was unlike any other,” commented Phinney.  “We were steeped in French culture, from cuisine to the country’s history to interaction with French people. None of us could imagine any trip being finer. We’re all so glad we chose France as our Go Encounter destination,” she concluded.

Phinney is a senior at Grace studying journalism. Post-graduation, Phinney plans to pursue a career as a public relations specialist in the Warsaw, Ind. area.

“Go Encounter France has left an indelible mark on my life,” Phinney said. “As a journalist, my writing is enriched by cultural experiences. As a Christian, I’m more aware of how big my God truly is!”

In addition to study abroad opportunities, all undergraduate programs at Grace include a mandatory cross-cultural field experience.  Many students choose to fulfill this requirement through a Go Encounter trip to a variety of destinations, which include Brazil, Fiji, France, England, Germany, Japan, Romania, South Korea, Cambodia, Uganda and Ireland.   Grace’s staff and faculty lead these seven-to-10-day trips on which students explore native cultures and serve diverse communities.

For more information about Go Encounter trips, visit here or call 574-372-5100, ext. 6133.  For questions, email

Grace Athletic Director Honored at NCCAA Convention

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Grace College Athletic Director Chad Briscoe (left) receives Meritorious Service Award from NCCAA Executive Director Dan Wood.

Grace College Director of Athletics Chad Briscoe was recently recognized for his service to the NCCAA.

During the NCCAA’s Annual Convention in Louisville, Briscoe was given the Meritorious Service Award. He served as the NCCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Chair for three years (2014-17), overseeing the men’s basketball coaches at the NCCAA level.

Additionally at the convention, Briscoe was elected as the Second Vice President of the NCCAA. He was elected by members of the association and will perform the role in addition to his day-to-day duties as athletic director at Grace College.

“I am honored to serve the NCCAA for the next nine years in this capacity,” Briscoe said. “I would like to thank Dr. Bill Katip (Grace College President) for allowing me to be considered for this position. I look forward to serving alongside the strong leadership within the NCCAA and Board of Directors in order to further the intentional Christ-centered mission of the NCCAA.”

Briscoe will serve a three-year term as the Second Vice President before transitioning to the Vice President position for another three years, eventually culminating as the President for a final three-year stint.

“Chad brings an accomplished level of administration and professionalism to the NCCAA leadership team that will serve us well as we wrestle with the difficult decisions facing our membership,” said NCCAA Executive Director Dan Wood. “However, his commitment to the mission of the NCCAA and all of Christian higher education is what excites me the most.”

Inspiring Instrumental Musicians to Perform June 16 in Winona Lake

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

The Burchfield Brothers will perform June 16 as part of the 2017 Grace College & Village at Winona Festival of Music.


Community members are invited to enjoy an evening of instrumental music on Friday, June 16, at 8 p.m. in the Winona Heritage Room, 901 Park Ave, Winona Lake. This is the second event of the Grace College & Village at Winona Festival of Music.  Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

“This concert is family-friendly and open to the public,” said Walter Brath, coordinator of the festival. “We hope parents will bring their children for a night of excellent music. It’s sure to be enjoyed by the whole family!”

From 8 – 8:30 p.m., Patrick Woods will share his original guitar compositions using steel-string, finger-style methods. Woods is a talented Hoosier native who has perfected his unique brand of fingerpicking and performed in coffee shops, clubs, concerts and contests across the state. In the past ten years, Woods has recorded four full-length studio albums.

The Burchfield Brothers will perform from 8:40 – 9:45 p.m. Jon and Ben Burchfield use classical guitar, midi-marimba, Irish whistles and recorders to evoke the sound of an entire ensemble. Due to their stylistic diversity, this Dove-nominated duo is constantly in demand. Burchfield Brothers concerts are a combination of music, storytelling and comedy; they are sure to win the hearts of the audience.

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, please visit or contact festival coordinator Walter Brath at

Billy Sunday Home to be Moved, Preserved

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Mount Hood, the home of Billy Sunday, is owned and operated by Grace College.

“Mount Hood,” the historic home of the once famous evangelist Billy Sunday and his family, will be moved and partially restored this summer.  The home, which is owned and operated by Grace College, has been located above Park Ave. on Sunday Lane since 1911.  While the interior was restored about 20 years ago, the exterior has been deteriorating in its present location.  A new, dry foundation is needed for the long-term preservation of the home.  Grace College plans to relocate the home to a prominent location on campus between Mount Memorial and the Free Methodist Church on College Ave.

“We are hopeful that the upcoming move will increase visibility of the historic Billy Sunday home and renew interest in this significant local landmark,” said Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College & Seminary. “It’s exciting to think about the effect this move will have on the long-term preservation of the home,” he continued.

Mount Hood’s foundation has been compromised by water for decades.   Although dehumidifiers run continuously, the basement is wet much of the year.  Some of the exposed wood – a feature of the home’s character as an Arts and Crafts Bungalow – has become severely rotted as well.  The preservation plan includes landscaped surroundings and necessary repair of the exterior.

As part of the recently announced sale of Grace College property between Ninth and 12th Streets along Park Ave., Silveus Insurance Group will use the current Mount Hood land in its plan for a new corporate headquarters.

“While we acknowledge the historical significance of the home’s original location, we are confident that our partnership with Silveus maintains important heritage while helping facilitate a successful future for Winona Lake,” said Dr. Katip.

Grace College is committed to handling the Billy Sunday home and its original contents responsibly and is in conversation with local preservation experts toward this end. About 700 people visit the Sunday home annually and are hosted by docents from the Winona History Center located in Westminster Hall.  For more information and tour availability, please contact the center at 574-372-5193 or visit