Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

Briscoe Honored as Crossroads League Athletic Director of the Year

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Chad Briscoe

Grace College’s Chad Briscoe was recognized for his outstanding work this week when he was announced as the Crossroads League Athletic Director of the Year.

Briscoe, who also won the award in 2010, served Grace, the Crossroads League and the NAIA on a number of levels this year.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award. I greatly appreciate and enjoy the friendships among the ADs in the Crossroads League,” Briscoe said. “I share this honor with the administration from Grace College and the incredible group of professionals that I get to work with every day.”

Briscoe served as the chair of the league’s athletic directors and fulfilled part of the league commissioner responsibilities while the national search for a new commissioner commenced.

At the NAIA level, he has helped initiate several “Champions of Character” initiatives, starting various sportsmanship summits for the league and local high school conferences. He currently is the league’s representative on the NAIA National Administrative Council and is the vice chair for the Championship Committee on the NAIA-NAC.

Under Briscoe’s leadership, Grace was approved as host of the NCCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s National Basketball Championships until 2020. He was also elected Second Vice President of the NCCAA this summer.

“Chad has been incredibly helpful to me personally during my transition to this new role, and I’m happy that he is being honored with this award,” said Crossroads League Commissioner Larry DeSimpelare. “Chad is extremely well-respected among his peers, and he has served Grace and the Crossroads League very well over the years.”

Grace enjoyed a successful season under Briscoe’s guidance. The Lancers debuted the Linnie and Bernard Key Track and Field Complex in April, marking Grace’s first home meet at the sparkling new track facility. In the fall, 1st Source Bank agreed to partner with the athletic department for the naming rights of Grace’s soccer stadium.

Grace also had 10 teams represented at national tournaments during the 2016-17 season, and the Lancers won numerous individual All-American, All-League and Scholar-Athlete awards.

Briscoe’s pursuit of Christian excellence translated into the classroom. Grace had a record 16 NAIA Scholar-Teams last July, and Lancer student-athletes posted an average GPA of 3.37 during the fall semester.

Additionally, Briscoe is the coordinator for the Interstate Church Softball Tournament, which raises funds each year for mission work in Paraguay, and he is active in his local church in Warsaw.

“Chad leads our athletic department in an exemplary fashion. His passion and dedication for Christian excellence is contagious, and our teams, coaches and student-athletes benefit every day from his leadership,” said Grace President Dr. Bill Katip. “We are blessed to have Chad lead our athletic department at Grace College, and this honor is very deserving for the type of servant leader that Chad is.”

‘Summer Surprises with the Symphony’ to Prelude Fireworks in the Village July 1

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Hundreds gathered for the 2016 Independence Day Winona Lake Festival of Music concert.

The Symphony of the Lakes will perform the third summertime concert of the Grace College and Village at Winona Lake Festival of Music.  “Summer Surprises with the Symphony” will take place on Saturday, July 1, at 8 p.m. in the park at Winona Lake below the outdoor amphitheater.  The free outdoor pops concert will feature favorites from stage, film and patriotic standards.  This special event will be followed by the annual Independence Day fireworks.

Community gathering on Independence Day weekend in The Village has become a cherished tradition for many area families and friends.  “Last year’s Fourth of July concert was by far the best-attended event of our summer music festival,” said Walter Brath, 2017 Festival of Music coordinator.  “We know that many come annually for the parade and fireworks.  We encourage folks to include this year’s Symphony of the Lakes concert in their plans as well,” he said. “The Symphony of the Lakes does not disappoint!”

From symphonic classics to brand-new compositions, the Symphony of the Lakes brings music-lovers of all types together through its wide variety of programming and talented musicians. On July 1, the 60-piece professional orchestra will perform pieces from the Broadway Stage and the Silver Screen, as well as patriotic pieces to celebrate Independence Day. These will include a salute to those who currently serve and have served in all branches of the Armed Services.

Special guest performers will feature Thomas Clay Hall, director of choirs at Warsaw Community High School, and a select high school vocal ensemble who will perform an Andrew Lloyd Webber piece and a melody from “Mamma Mia.”  Also during the concert, The Wagon Wheel will announce exciting plans for the 2017-2018 Symphony season.  Subscriptions will be available for purchase.

In case of rain the concert will take place in the Winona Heritage Room.  Audience members are encouraged to arrive well before the 8 p.m. start time to get a seat, and are asked to bring their own chairs or blankets.

The second annual Festival of Music is sponsored by Grace College, Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts and The Village at Winona.  “Summer Surprises with the Symphony” is underwritten by a grant from the Kosciusko County Community Foundation’s Kralis Community Funds and Mikesell Endowment Fund for MasterWorks.  Support is also provided by Parkview Health, Pinnacle Advisory Partners and Walmart.  For more information on the Festival of Music, please visit

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.”