Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

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

Grace College Begins Partnership with StraighterLine

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

A Grace College GOAL student participates in class. Now Grace partners with StraighterLine to allow GOAL students to complete general education courses online.

Grace College has entered a new partnership with StraighterLine, the fastest-growing provider of alternative academic credit.  The two organizations seek to offer students an affordable, convenient pathway toward bachelor degree completion.  The partnership will allow students in Grace’s Opportunities for Adult Learners (GOAL) program to complete the general education courses necessary to fulfill their bachelor’s degree from the comfort of their own home, completely online.

According to StraighterLine Founder and CEO Burck Smith, “Grace College’s degree completion program aligns well with our mission to help students affordably complete general education courses online and guarantee credit transfer to applicable degree programs.  By partnering with StraighterLine, Grace College is helping nontraditional learners complete the prerequisites they need to get on the fast track to degree completion.”

President of Grace College, Dr. Bill Katip, commented, “We are very pleased to partner with StraighterLine as they share our commitment to help nontraditional students complete their degree as well as our dedication to high-quality college education.”

StraighterLine is a designated EQUIP partner (Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships) by the U.S. Department of Education and all StraighterLine credit-bearing courses are approved by the ACE (American Council on Education).

Grace College’s adult degree completion program (GOAL) leads to a Bachelor of Science in Management, Business Administration, or Human Services. The program serves those who have interrupted their higher education for work, family or other commitments. GOAL is specifically designed for adult learners who desire to complete their degree in as little as 16 months while maintaining full-time life responsibilities.  For more information, visit

WSBT Features Grace Aquatic Ecology Class

Friday, May 26th, 2017


WSBT (CBS-22) in South Bend, Ind., featured Dr. Nate Bosch’s aquatic ecology class in its nightly news cast on May 25.

Of interest was the field trip taken by aquatic ecology students to a great blue heron rookery in Warsaw, Ind. While the rookery is on private land, Dr. Bosch had permission to take students to the wetlands to study the special nesting ground that has been in existence for centuries.  The students observed many great blue heron nesting high in the trees, took water samples and conducted other research on the land.

Some may be surprised to learn that homes, schools and businesses are right next door to the rookery, which is located just miles from the Grace College campus.  According to Bosch, this great blue heron rookery “is a good example of how humans can get along with the nonhuman environment really well.”

To see the news story from WSBT, click here.

First Village at Winona Festival of Music Concert to Take Place June 3

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

The first event in the 2017 Grace College & Village at Winona Festival of Music will be the Chamber Music Concert on Saturday, June 3, during the Art Festival.  The concert will take place outdoors at the Village Pavilion, located near 9th and Park Streets, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The concert is free and open to the public.

At 10 a.m., classical guitarist Scott Workman and violinist Shana Brath will perform works from Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla.  At 11 a.m., Symphony of the Lakes String Quartet will take the stage and perform pieces from Mozart as well as light classical favorites.  At 12 noon, Winona Lake Dixieland Band will wrap up the concert with popular Americana selections.

“We are excited to kick off the Festival of Music with these fine musicians on June 3,” said Walter Brath, coordinator of the festival.  “The variety of music during the Art Festival should provide an enjoyable day of entertainment for shoppers, diners and other visitors in the Village,” he said.

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

Screeton Named Next Head Coach for Grace Baseball

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Baseball Coach Cam Screeton

The interim title is coming off. Cam Screeton has been named the next head baseball coach for Grace College, announced on Tuesday.

Screeton will be the 18th head coach in team history. He served as the interim coach during the 2017 season, leading the Lancers to 15 wins. Grace’s 15 wins were the third-most in the past 15 years.

Screeton was also an assistant coach for the Lancers in 2016, helping Grace achieve 20 wins for just the third time in program’s 58-year history.

“I am truly blessed and honored to have the opportunity to lead the Grace baseball program. I want to thank Dr. Katip and Chad Briscoe for entrusting me as the head baseball coach,” Screeton said. “I love Grace College and the mission and purpose this school has to grow spiritual leaders. I hope to continue that mission through the baseball program. I am excited to start working with the guys and continue building on what we started this past season.”

Screeton has been central to Grace’s recruiting success over the last three years, securing some of the program’s best recruiting classes in recent memory. He recruited two players who earned All-Crossroads League recognition in 2017 (sophomore Xavier Harris, freshman Gavin Bussard).

The Lancers displayed a significant boom in power this year with Screeton at the helm. Grace hit 35 home runs this spring, equal to the team’s total for the five previous seasons combined.

“We have been extremely pleased with the program development and spiritual growth of our student-athletes under Coach Screeton this past year. We look forward to the continued pursuit of Christian excellence within the baseball program under his leadership,” said Grace Director of Athletics Chad Briscoe. “His passion and enthusiasm for impacting young men’s lives for Christ through baseball is evident. His history in Northern Indiana and his commitment to the mission of Grace College will serve him well as he takes over the program.”

Screeton is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan and was a dependable member of the Wildcats’ team. He played in 137 games during his career and tallied 104 hits with 58 runs, 50 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. His standout season came as a junior in 2014 where he hit .300 for the year.

Screeton graduated from IWU in 2015 with a degree in Sport Management. Prior to IWU, Screeton attended high school locally at Rochester, earning All-Conference recognition as a junior and senior. As a sophomore on the basketball team, he helped the Zebras to the state championship game. 

Grace College Opens Escape Room

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

The Grace College Department of Science and Mathematics has developed an escape room for community use in Westminster Hall.  Escape rooms, which are quickly gaining popularity across the country, are designed to provide fun, adventure and team-building among a group of people.  Teams are typically given one hour in a room to solve puzzles and find clues to enable to them to “escape.”

Dr. Kristin Farwell, associate professor of mathematics and director of the mathematics program at Grace College, guided the mathematics students who designed the new escape room.  “I’m proud of the dedication and creativity these students demonstrated in designing the room,” he said.  “I hope that many from the community will make plans to experience the escape room and put their wit to the test!”

Dr. Farwell is currently scheduling teams of four people for one-hour time slots in the escape room.  This activity is ideal for families, friends and co-workers, high-school age and above.  The Grace College Escape Room cost is $5 per student and $15 per adult.  Funds raised will go to design the next escape room and outfit the new mathematics classroom in the Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex.

Some teams of staff and students have already put their problem-solving skills to the test and entered the Grace Escape Room.  Paul Blair, vice president of financial affairs and CFO at Grace College, participated with three colleagues.  “The Math Department has done an exceptional job in creating a trending, team-building experience.  Our team works together in the Business Office but it was a good opportunity to do something different together.  We are looking forward to version 2.0 of the Grace Escape Room,” Blair said.

To schedule your team at the Grace College Escape Room, contact Dr. Farwell at or call 574-372-5100, ext. 6303.

Summer Lakes Season Kicks Off at Northern Indiana Lakes Festival May 26-28

Monday, May 22nd, 2017


Get your sunscreen ready! Summer lakes season is here. May 26 marks the beginning of the lakes season with the Northern Indiana Lakes Festival, hosted by the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College.

The free event, now in its ninth year, takes place at Center Lake Park in Warsaw, Indiana, and includes workshops, educational booths, children’s activities, entertainment, fireworks, and more.  As festival participants complete activities, they will earn stamps on an “educational passport” and receive water-themed prizes for completed passports.

“This festival is a great way for the community to enjoy the outdoors while also learning about responsible care for our local lakes and streams,” said Dr. Nate Bosch, director of the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams. “We are thankful to our many sponsors and organizations who have helped grow this event to more than 6,000 participants last year, and the many community volunteers who help make the event successful.”

This year’s top sponsors include DePuy Synthes, Kosciusko County Convention Recreation and Visitors Commission, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Maple Leaf Farms, Silveus Insurance Group, and Zimmer Biomet.  Toyota Motor North America also donated a new 2017 Toyota Tacoma to help support research and education efforts toward cleaner water resources, including the Lilly Center’s Classroom Lake Experience.

“The programs offered by the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams help improve knowledge of local water resources and inspire the next generation toward responsible actions,” said Kevin Butt, general manager of environmental sustainability, Toyota Motor North America.

The Lakes Festival takes place May 26-28, 2017.  For more information visit


Lakes Festival to Feature Fireworks and Memorial Day Ceremony

Friday, May 19th, 2017


The annual Northern Indiana Lakes Festival, May 26-28, will feature a Saturday fireworks show presented by Zimmer Biomet over Center Lake and a Sunday Memorial Day Ceremony presented by 1st Source Bank at Center Lake Park to commemorate the holiday weekend.

The fireworks show will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. over Center Lake in downtown Warsaw.

The Memorial Day Ceremony will begin Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. This ceremony is an effort to commemorate the holiday, honor veterans, current military, and fallen soldiers, and serve as one of the only Memorial Day celebrations in the Warsaw area. Warsaw Community High School JROTC members will perform a flag ceremony and play TAPS on the bugle.

The Lakes Festival is a celebration of local waterways. The Lakes Festival is scheduled for this Memorial Day weekend as the official kick-off to lakes season around the county.

Festival admission is free and other activities include Friday and Saturday evening concerts, food, live animal shows, display tanks, kids’ activities, exhibitors, and more!

This year’s top sponsors include Kosciusko County Convention Recreation and Visitors Commission, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Maple Leaf Farms, Silveus Insurance Group, and Zimmer Biomet. For more information about the 2017 Northern Indiana Lakes Festival, including volunteer opportunities, visit or call 574-372-5100, ext. 6445.

Grace College Graduate Counseling Program Recognized for Excellence

Friday, May 19th, 2017

Grace College was recently recognized by two independent organizations for excellence in graduate mental health counseling programs.  Top Counseling Schools ranked Grace #4 in the nation for best online counseling degrees and #6 for best Christian colleges with graduate counseling degree programs.  Meanwhile, Affordable Colleges Online placed Grace #13 in the U.S. for best online degrees in mental health counseling.

Dr. Amy Gilbert, chair of the Grace College Department of Graduate Counseling, was pleased to learn of the rankings.  “I am delighted that we have earned these recognitions which reflect our efforts to provide an excellent educational experience for graduate counseling students,” she said.  “We have worked hard to meet the training standards of our CACREP accreditation and the counseling profession, and we are proud to accept these awards.”

Top Counseling Schools aids higher learning by providing objective information for counseling students and professionals. Using the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Programs directory, accredited counseling programs are identified and ranked based on completion rate, job placement rate, licensing exam pass rate, accreditation length, research productivity, tuition and fees.  Top Counseling Schools noted Grace’s commitment to developing counseling professionals with a passion for God in both its two- and three-year accredited counseling degree programs.

Affordable Colleges Online (ACO) is a leader in higher education information, resources and rankings.  ACO develops college rankings based on a number of data points, including regional accreditation, in-state tuition and fees, percent of full-time undergraduate students receiving financial aid, the number of programs offered online, student-to-teacher ratio and graduation rates.

According to Dan Schuessler, CEO and founder of Affordable Colleges Online, “We want to honor the colleges and universities setting the bar for online learning.  These schools are going above and beyond the industry standard to help make online education programs an excellent option and more affordable.”

ACO has distinguished its ranking scale by using a Peer-Based Value metric, or PBV. A “bang for your buck” metric, PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same or similar qualitative score. It also compares the qualitative score of the program to the score of other programs with the same or similar cost.  Grace College ranked #13 on the list of top online mental health counseling programs nationwide with the third-highest graduation rate of all schools ranked.

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.