Grace College Day to ASPIRE to Take Place April 27

April 25th, 2017

Day to Aspire Make a Gift today - profile picGrace College will host Day to ASPIRE on Thursday, April 27, 2017.  This is the fourth annual 24-hour online giving event to support the Grace Fund, which provides merit and need-based scholarships to students.  This year’s event is named “Day to ASPIRE” to coincide with the Aspire Campaign, the comprehensive campaign for Grace College & Seminary launched in March.

Day to ASPIRE supports sustainable affordability at Grace, one of the four Aspire Campaign priorities.  As Grace College endeavors to make quality, Christian higher education available to as many students as possible, affordability is key.  Funds raised during Day to ASPIRE will directly support current students and help attract future students to Grace.

Sharon Sallot, event coordinator and director of the Grace Fund, encourages the community to participate. “Grace relies on the ongoing support of our alumni and other donors, but investment by the community at large is necessary to make Grace successful,” Sallot said.  “This is the one day each year when we specifically ask our surrounding community to support Grace College with a monetary donation.”

In 2016, $78,202 was raised from 532 donors. “We hope to surpass that figure as well as increase our number of donors this year,” said Sallot.  While tax-deductible donations to Grace College are welcomed at any time during the year, the 24-hour community fundraising event will end at 11:59 p.m. on April 27.  “Participating in Day to ASPIRE is a show of faith in Grace College and our vision to develop caring, confident and career-ready students prepared to live lives of purpose.  We hope many new and returning donors will be inspired to give for this reason,” Sallot concluded.

To join the cause, visit For more information, call the Grace College Office of Advancement at 866-448-3472.

Grace College to Sponsor Free Sound Tech Training for Local Churches

April 21st, 2017

worship arts recording studioGrace College’s worship arts program will host free sound tech training for Kosciusko County church tech teams on Friday, May 12 from 6 – 10 p.m.  The training will be led by Rick Stewart, senior sales consultant for Advanced Systems Group, at Christ’s Covenant Church, 2090 E. Pierceton Rd., Winona Lake, Ind.  Pre-registration is not required.

“One of the needs I hear most often from local pastors is training for volunteer audio and video tech teams at their churches,” said Walter Brath, assistant professor for worship arts at Grace College. “This event is for worship leaders, pastors and tech teams who want to grow in all aspects of mixing sound for worship teams. It is the first of what I hope to be several events sponsored by the worship arts program at Grace to assist local churches.”

Stewart has worked for over 25 years serving churches, schools and performing arts centers. He has degrees in music business and business administration in addition to many industry certifications in AVL and acoustical design. His experience includes designing and installing sound, lighting and video systems for hundreds of facilities, theme parks, cruise ships and bands across the country. Stewart understands the unique needs and desires of churches and utilizes all available audio/visual components needed for effective communication.

Grace College is pleased to host Stewart and help provide relevant training for local church worship leaders.  For questions or more information, please email Wally Brath at

Aspire Campaign Approaches $7 Million Raised for Culture of Innovation Projects

April 19th, 2017
Culture of Innovation_LCLS

Director of the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams Dr. Nate Bosch instructs aquatic ecology students at a local stream.


An innovative, Christ-centered educational community distinguishes Grace College & Seminary.  “Culture of Innovation” is one of four priorities of Grace’s Aspire Campaign, the $37 million comprehensive campaign launched in March.  As Grace seeks to build on its reputation as an innovative institution, it will pursue two primary projects within this priority: the Deploy seminary model and the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams.  Deploy has garnered $750,000 while the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams has raised $5.93 million to date.

Deploy is a biblically centered, globally aware, competency-based seminary education model offered on-site at churches.  The program is designed to enable more effective service within the unique contexts of urban, rural and suburban settings. Dr. Jeff Gill, dean of the Seminary, explains, “The definition of ‘deploy’ is to strategically equip and send out.  That’s exactly what we desire to do. We want to equip laborers and send them out into the harvest. ‘Deploy’ is also a verb; it reiterates that we are actively on mission.”

Grace has established partnerships with five “hubs,” or church sites, around the Midwest where seminary students can earn their master’s degree without relocating to the main Grace campus in Winona Lake. Students will attend classes in the church hub nearest to them where they will interact with credentialed faculty members who will oversee their instruction of and mastery in biblical languages, theology, hermeneutics and the other competencies required by their degree of choice. Additionally, each student will have two mentors from his current ministry who will focus on the development of the student’s ministry skills and spiritual formation.

“Future pastors and ministry leaders need to apply their knowledge in the context of ministry work,” said Mike Yoder, lead pastor of Grace Polaris Church in Westerville, Ohio, a Grace alumnus and member of the Board of Trustees. “Through the Deploy model, students will receive a theological education at a convenient location that facilitates their development in order to be faithful and effective ministry leaders.” To date, $750,000 of the $1 million Deploy goal has been raised to renovate the William Male Center and launch the beginning stages of Deploy.  Pending Higher Learning Commission Approval, Deploy will start this fall.

The second primary innovation project of the Aspire Campaign is the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams.  Recently renamed to recognize the substantial leadership gifts from Lilly Endowment Inc. and the Lilly family to the center’s endowment fund, the Lilly Center seeks to improve the health and safety of Kosciusko County lakes and streams.  The center conducts research, provides resources, engages and educates residents and collaborates with local organizations in pursuit of this goal.

The Aspire Campaign sought to raise $5 million for the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams to ensure that groundbreaking research and strategic partnerships will continue through the center well into the future.  On March 24, Grace College broke ground on the Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex, a 35,000 square-foot renovation and new building project, which will house the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams as well as Grace’s growing math and science programs.

“As we look ahead to the next 10 years, we plan to develop additional collaborative partnerships and increase our research and educational capacity in the wonderful new science facility,” said Dr. Nate Bosch, director of the center. “We will continue to make our local lakes and streams clean, healthy, safe and beautiful.” To date, $5.93 million has been raised for the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams.

For more information or to give to the Aspire Campaign for Grace College & Seminary, visit or call (866) 448-3472.

Spring Interpretive Hike Scheduled for Saturday, April 22

April 19th, 2017



The Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College will host a free spring interpretive hike on Saturday, April 22 beginning at the Lake City Greenway, through Heritage Trail. The hike will begin at 9 a.m. at the Greenway entrance. Participants should meet at the Heritage Trail parking lot at the end of Boys City Drive.

The hike will be led by Luke Hunt, a certified naturalist in Indiana and retired secondary science educator from Whitko Community Schools. Hunt was also an adjunct professor at Grace College. The hike is open to participants of all ages and fitness levels.

The Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams hosts interpretive hikes biannually. This spring hike is an opportunity for community members to learn about species native to Indiana, identify local trees and plants, study birds, and learn how to protect our watershed. Hikers will learn how the stream functions as part of the forest ecosystem as they walk the trail along the stream. Other natural features along Heritage Trail will be noted on the hike.

Participants are encouraged to dress according to weather and trail conditions. In the case of inclement weather, cancellation to the event will be announced on the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams Facebook page and via Twitter @CenterforLakes.

Grace College Senior Art Exhibit Now Open

April 18th, 2017
The final Senior Art Show of the year is now on display in Mount Memorial Gallery.

The final Senior Art Show of the year is now on display in Mount Memorial Gallery.

Grace College senior art majors will showcase their cumulative and thesis work at the second of two art shows on campus this spring.  The final Senior Art Show takes place now through May 6 at Mount Memorial Gallery, 808 Kings Highway, Winona Lake, Ind. The exhibit is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1 – 4 p.m.  A public reception will take place Friday, April 21 from 7 – 9 p.m.

“The senior show showcases students​’ ​individual areas of interest and focus,” said Richard Wanjema, assistant professor visual communication design and program director of media arts at Grace.  “They have worked hard all year to develop their exhibits and have done a marvelous job.”

Seven seniors from the Department of Visual, Performing, and Media Arts are participating in the exhibit: Jennie Gold, Deborah Jackson, Kaylee Kercher, Chantel Shetler, Daniel Stephens, Stephen Thompson and Khari Warren.  The students’ creative work spans many genres, from photography and painting to 3-D, digital design and visual communication design.

The department’s goal is to equip graduates with the ability to communicate visually, possess professional skills and be able to analyze works from historical and contemporary cultural perspectives. Students learn to demonstrate excellence in creative work that ultimately serves in their calling as artists, Christians and professionals.

For more information, call 866-974-7223 or email

Grace College Awards Intern, Applied Learning Students and Employers of the Year

April 13th, 2017
Grace student Thomas Tydeman, Intern of the Year Danielle Deal, Internship Employer of the Year RSM representative Sara Cruz, Grace students Jenna Kieper and Megan Allred at the Influence Awards Luncheon.

Grace student Thomas Tydeman, Intern of the Year Danielle Deal, Internship Employer of the Year RSM representative Sara Cruz, Grace students Jenna Kieper and Megan Allred at the Influence Awards Luncheon.


Grace College recognized students Spencer Roberts and Danielle Deal and area employers CoolCorp and RSM during the Influence Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, April 11.  The annual luncheon at Grace College featured keynote speaker Melissa Montana from STAR 88.3 and awarded outstanding students in internship and applied learning experiences as well as the businesses and organizations where they work.  This year’s winners were selected by Grace College Center for Career Connections Advisory Council members Tom Roy, David Robertson and Marlene Mulero-Betances.

Spencer Roberts, a sophomore at Grace majoring in youth ministries and biblical studies, was named Applied Learning Student of the Year for his work at Centerville United Methodist Church (UMC) in Centerville, Ohio.  Danielle Deal, a senior at Grace studying accounting and marketing, was awarded Intern of the Year for her work at Flagship Enterprise Center in Anderson, Ind.  Both students were honored for their exemplary work with an engraved glass award, books by millennial best-selling author Paul Angone and a $250 monetary prize.

During his applied learning experience, Roberts contributed heavily to Centerville UMC’s TEAMeffort, a youth mission organization that hosts youth groups at construction camps across the country.  As camp counselor, Roberts led devotions with students, played in the worship band and helped lead chapel each night.

“Winning the award was unexpected to say the least.  I am incredibly humbled by this recognition,” said Roberts.  “I take pride in the work I do and I’m very appreciative that Grace would acknowledge my time and energy at TEAMeffort in this way.  To know that I made a lasting impact there is humbling and exciting.” After college, Roberts plans to direct his passions into full-time youth ministry at a local church. Roberts said, “I want to spend my live investing in youth and giving them a fuller understanding of and love for Christ. My applied learning experience has prepared me for that.”

Randy Polston, director of applied learning at Grace College, helped organize Roberts’ time at Centerville UMC. “Spencer has set an example for other applied learning students,” said Polston. “He took initiative, worked hard and was a willing learner at Centerville.  He also demonstrated maturity and responsibility in his role and upheld Grace’s mission of character and service.”

Intern of the Year Danielle Deal has interned for three area companies during her time at Grace, including Flagship Enterprise Center which nominated her for the award.  “Danielle received great accolades from Flagship employees who worked alongside her in the accounting department,” said DeeAnna Muraski, associate director for the Center for Career Connections at Grace College. “They said she was invaluable to the operations of the accounting team and credited her with steamlining their financial reporting system and directly impacting Flagship’s bottom line.”

Two employers were also honored during the Influence Awards Luncheon.  CoolCorp, established by Grace alumnus Wesley Gensch in 2015, was named Applied Learning Employer of the Year.  CoolCorp specializes in personal cryotherapy products in Warsaw, Ind.  Gensch has created opportunities for many Grace students to help launch his business, including positions in accounting, marketing and corporate law.

RSM, an audit, tax and consulting firm based in South Bend, Ind., was recognized as Internship Employer of the Year.  RSM has provided numerous internships to Grace students over several years. RSM creates an excellent environment for training, hands-on experience, special events and mentorship. Students come away with valuable knowledge gained through worthwhile projects and professional interaction.

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 250 area businesses and organizations from which students may choose to apply their classroom learning and explore their desired career path.

For more information about Grace’s applied learning and internship programs, visit or call 574-372-5100, ext. 6101.

Grace Alumnus Named Premier 100 Technology Leader

April 13th, 2017
Dr. Timothy Birdsall receiving a Premier 100 Technology Leader award.

Dr. Timothy Birdsall receiving a Premier 100 Technology Leader award. Photo courtesy of CTCA.

Grace College alumnus Dr. Timothy Birdsall, a 1972 general science graduate, was recently named a Premier 100 Technology Leader by Computerworld. Dr. Birdsall currently serves as the chief medical information officer at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA). The following is from a press release issued by CTCA.

This year’s Premier 100 spotlights 100 leaders from both the technology and business sides of companies for their exceptional technology leadership and innovative approaches to business challenges.

“The Premier 100 awards program highlights the exceptional work of an elite group of IT executives who are leading their organizations through times of unprecedented change. They are using technology to drive high-stakes business projects and create dynamic growth in their organizations,” said Scot Finnie, editor in chief of Computerworld.

“These 100 men and women are not only strategic business thinkers, but also team leaders who recognize the importance of recruiting and retaining the brightest talent to enable digital transformation and harness the opportunities of cloud, big data, mobile and social. We’re pleased to recognize their leadership and honor their achievements.”

“I’m honored to be included with so many talented leaders from across all industries,” said Dr. Birdsall. “At a time of rapid change in oncology, with increasing complexity of decision making and a vast amount of information available, technology is more important than ever. I am proud to be a part of what is becoming a paradigm shift for the benefit of our patients and medical staff.”

As Chief Medical Information Officer for CTCA, Dr. Birdsall is responsible for leveraging technology to provide clinical staff with robust, effective, and efficient technology to allow them to provide the highest level of care to patients. He is instrumental in bridging the gaps between clinicians and clinical practice, technology solutions, and administrative process. Dr. Birdsall is responsible for both the strategic leadership and the operational success of the clinical IT function.

Computerworld is the leading technology media brand helping senior IT, business decision-makers and key influencers navigate change with effective business strategy. The Premier 100 program was created by Computerworld to spotlight individuals who have had a positive impact on their organizations through technology. Annually, nominees complete in a questionnaire that addresses a variety of topics, including their background and experience and their attitude toward risk and innovation. Using Computerworld’s IT Leader Index, a measurement of how closely an individual matches our definition of the IT Leader, Computerworld analyzes the data. One hundred honorees are selected to receive this life-time recognition award.

Aspire Campaign for Grace College & Seminary Pursues Educational Excellence

April 11th, 2017
Grace College Department of Science and Mathematics Chair Dr. Chad Snyder with students in the chemistry lab.

Grace College Department of Science and Mathematics Chair Dr. Chad Snyder with students in the chemistry lab.


Grace College & Seminary endeavors to provide a Christ-centered, innovative educational community. In pursuit of this goal, Grace launched the Aspire Campaign in March, 2017. The Aspire Campaign will further Grace’s mission to strengthen character, sharpen competence and prepare students for service. Specifically, it will accelerate the four priorities of Grace’s new strategic plan: educational excellence, culture of innovation, connected community and sustainable affordability.

“It’s true that Grace has an unchanging mission,” said Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College & Seminary. “But we must continually change our methods as we prepare students to serve in this ever-changing, sometimes embattled culture.”

The first priority of the Aspire Campaign is educational excellence. At the heart of a Grace College education are academically challenging courses and purposeful co-curricular experiences. Through educational excellence, Grace strives to merge faith and learning in fresh, innovative ways. Specific projects include the renovation and expansion of the Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex and start-up funds for new academic programs including worship arts, agribusiness, chemistry and mechanical engineering.

The college broke ground on the Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex on March 24. Dr. Miller was co-founder and 39-year president and CEO of Biomet in Warsaw, Ind.  Throughout his career, Dr. Miller and his wife Mary Louise were ardent supporters of Grace College and advocates of science and education.  The science complex is named in his honor.

To date, $7.18 million of the $8 million needed to expand the science complex has been raised. The project will renovate 22,500 square feet in the current science center and add 13,000 square feet of new space.  In addition to state-of-the-art labs, renovated classrooms and offices, the complex will also be home to the Lilly Center for Lakes and Streams, an education and research center focused on the lakes and streams in Kosciusko County. The Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex is slated for completion in the summer of 2018.

Grace also seeks to raise $3 million for new academic programs and enhancement of current academic offerings.

Worship Arts is one of the newest additions to Grace’s 70-plus majors. Launched in the fall of 2016, the program prepares students to follow careers in musical leadership, audio and visual technology and theater arts. Students hone proficiencies in keyboard, voice, percussion and guitar. Then, they combine musicianship with courses in worship music history, theory, theology and spiritual formation, along with the live performance and production in their emphasis area.

“Through this program, students acquire skills for diverse musical styles and expressions used in a variety of modern worship settings. They explore the ways in which audio/visual technology is utilized in today’s churches, studios and schools,” said Walter Brath, assistant professor of worship arts and program director of performing arts at Grace College.

Both an associate’s and bachelor’s degree in agribusiness will be available in the fall of 2017.  The new agribusiness program at Grace College will combine science and business with agriculture courses to equip students with the skills necessary to pursue a variety of agriculture-related careers. The program will include seven months of hands-on internships at local farms to give students a complete education and career preparation.

“We want to help meet the needs of our agriculture-driven community,” said Dr. Jeffrey Fawcett, dean of the School of Business at Grace. “A variety of career options are available for students pursuing agribusiness, including farm administrator, processor, provider and marketer.  Our program will prepare students for each of them.”

A bachelor’s degree in chemistry will soon be added to Grace’s degree options. Grace has offered a minor in chemistry for many years and is now developing a major in response to inquiries from current and prospective students and parents.  The new chemistry major will incorporate organic and inorganic chemistry, synthetic organic research and research at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.

“Grace will be one of few liberal arts institutions in the state to include a strong, peer-reviewed research component in our chemistry major when we launch in fall of 2018,” said Dr. Chad Snyder, chair of the Department of Science and Mathematics at Grace College.  “The research component will encourage students to disseminate their findings at local and state conferences, actively collaborate with professors from around the Midwest and serve as co-authors on peer-reviewed manuscripts submitted for publication,” he added.

Grace is also pursuing accreditation for a mechanical engineering program.  While Grace has enjoyed a partnership with Trine University to provide engineering degrees on campus until now, the college wishes to launch its own program to better serve students interested in engineering careers.  The effort will require $1.5 million for accreditation and program launch, including new laboratories and specialized equipment.

“Employment for future engineering graduates is very hopeful due to the concentration of orthopedic and manufacturing companies in the area. Our goal is to equip students to make important contributions to our community, the region and the nation,” said Dr. John Lillis, provost at Grace College. Completion is expected by the fall of 2018.

“Each of these new academic programs is designed to meet the needs of our economy and allow students to serve God in new and unique ways,” said Dr. Katip.  “They emphasize our commitment and constant pursuit of educational excellence at Grace College & Seminary.”

For more information and to give to the Aspire Campaign at Grace College & Seminary, visit or call 574-372-5100.

Grace College Assistant Professor of Worship Arts Dr. Walter Brath with students at the piano.

Grace College Assistant Professor of Worship Arts Walter Brath with students at the piano.

Grace College Students Present at Indiana Academy of Sciences and Indiana Collegiate Mathematics Competition

April 6th, 2017
"X-Ray Crystallographic and Spectroscopic Analysis of Some 3,4-Bis(halomethyl)-2,5-dimethylthiophenes," presented by Grace College students Austin Steppey Micah Gerakinis.

“X-Ray Crystallographic and Spectroscopic Analysis of Some 3,4-Bis(halomethyl)-2,5-dimethylthiophenes” presented by Grace College students Austin Steppey (right) and Micah Gerakinis.

The 132nd annual Indiana Academy of Sciences meeting was held on Saturday, March 25, at the J. W. Marriot in downtown Indianapolis. Dr. Chad Snyder, chair of the Department of Science and Mathematics at Grace College, and Dr. Rick Roberts, assistant professor of biology and biology program director at Grace College, attended the event with five students.

The day began early with opening remarks and nominations for next year’s scientific officers, followed by oral research presentations and poster presentations in the afternoon.  Grace College students Abigail Borkowski, Grant Carlson, Micah Gerakinis, Will Lorenz, and Austin Steppey presented research posters in the Chemistry and Science Education session. The students represented 18 percent of the chemistry research presentations and 20 percent of the science education research posters.

Scientific research from a variety of Indiana colleges and universities was presented in oral and poster presentations.  The research covered a wide spectrum of disciplines including anthropology, botany, cell biology, chemistry, ecology, engineering, physics, astronomy, science education, and zoology. A diverse crowd of Indiana scientists, professors, graduate and undergraduate science students from institutions met to disseminate and celebrate our state’s ongoing research within the sciences.

Also on March 25, Professors Ryan Johnson and Kristin Farwell of the Department of Mathematics at Grace College accompanied 10 students to the Mathematical Association of America Conference held at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind. Grace College students comprised two out of 30 teams in the Indiana Collegiate Mathematics Competition. The trip was made possible in part to a generous donation from Bruce Sellers, a Grace graduate and supporter of the math department.


Winona History Center to be Featured in World War I Exhibit

April 6th, 2017
Image by Brandpoet

The Billy Sunday home in Winona Lake, Ind.

The Winona History Center on the Grace College campus has loaned a portion of its Billy Sunday artifacts to the Minnesota Historical Society for a new exhibit on World War I America (WWI America). The National Endowment for the Humanities provided a $600,000 grant for the exhibit’s implementation.

“Billy Sunday is being included for his role in supporting the war effort as well as for Prohibition,” said Dr. Jared Burkholder, chair and associate professor of the history and political science department at Grace College. “We’re excited that some of our artifacts will be spotlighted for this section of the exhibit.”

The WWI America exhibit will explore movements during that era, present dozens of artifacts and tell the stories of legendary American heroes. The exhibit opens on Saturday, April 8, in the Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, Minn. The exhibit will have a three-year tour to premier historical museums around the country.

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.

The historic Billy Sunday Home and the Winona History Center are owned and operated by the history and political science department of Grace College. The Winona History Center is open Tuesday-Saturday, 2-5 p.m. Visit to learn more and schedule a tour of the Billy Sunday Home. Or, call 574-372-5193.