Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

DeeAnna Muraski Assumes Warsaw Rotary Presidency

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Grace College Associate Director of Internships and new Warsaw Rotary Club President DeeAnna Muraski poses with Rotary Assistant Governor Michael Howell. Muraski assumed the Rotary presidency July 1.

DeeAnna Muraski, associate director of internships at Grace College, was recently named president of the Warsaw Rotary Club. Muraski assumed the position on July 1.

Muraski, a two-year Rotarian, is honored to be the youngest female elected as president of Warsaw Rotary. “My strengths lie in strategic planning,” said Muraski. “I look forward to serving our community by transforming ideas into reality. I feel blessed that the club members have entrusted me with the leadership of the group and I will work very hard to do my best for them.”

Service is the heart of Rotary International’s mission.  According to Muraski, “Rotary utilizes the synergy of area business leaders to provide service to the community where it’s needed most.”  This includes a variety of service projects and events, some which are annual and some which are unique to a particular community and club.

“For instance, we are currently working on ‘Rotary Park.’ The park will revitalize and beautify an unused area of the community,” said Muraski.  She reports that more than 70% of the $30,000 required has already been raised by Rotarians.

Muraski is also looking forward to making plans to celebrate the club’s 100 year anniversary in 2019.  “Now is a great time to be a Rotarian, and to be a member of this wonderful community.  I encourage others to consider joining our club and becoming part of a great tradition of service in Warsaw,” said Muraski.

To apply for a Warsaw Rotary Club membership, visit

Discover Your Options: Indiana Private College Week, July 17-21

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017


From Monday, July 17, through Friday, July 21, Indiana’s 30 private, non-profit colleges and universities welcome students, parents, and others interested in learning about the college selection process and experiencing the unique personalities of each campus through tours, informational sessions, and conversations with current students and staff.  All activities are free of charge.  To learn more about visiting Grace, go to

New to Private College Week this year is 21st Century Scholars Day on Wednesday, July 19.  Scholars, as well as all other students, are invited to visit ICI institutions hosting special activities designed to help complete requirements of the Scholar Success Program. The program includes twelve college-prep activities, mandatory for Scholars but recommended for all students, including visiting a campus, estimating the costs of college, searching for scholarships, and submitting a college application.

Visitors between the ages of 16 and 20 touring Grace and other ICI campuses during Private College Week will also have the chance to enter a drawing for one of two Microsoft Surface or Apple iPad mini tablets.  Entry forms and rules will be available at each campus.

“Private College Week is the perfect time to check out Grace and discover what makes our campus unique and whether it could be the right fit for you,” said Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College and chairman of the board of directors for Independent Colleges of Indiana.  “We’re eager to share with high school students and their families how we are striving to provide excellent, Christ-centered education at a price you can afford,” he added.

“We want all students and families to discover that an Indiana private college education is within reach in terms of affordability,” says David W. Wantz, president & CEO of the Independent Colleges of Indiana. “In addition to federal and state grants, including the 21st Century Scholarship, ICI colleges and universities make millions of scholarship dollars from their own funds available to students, making a top-flight college degree a dream come true for tens of thousands of students.”

The Princeton Review cites campus visits as the “most important part of your research” when deciding which institution to attend.  Students are better prepared to decide what university is right for them by getting to know how the campus feels and where they best fit into the picture. Although Indiana’s private colleges encourage and welcome visitors throughout the year, this concentrated week offers students an opportunity to visit as many campuses as they would like without missing school.  Individual tours may also be scheduled upon personal request.

New Book by Dr. Matthew Harmon Speaks to Practical Bible Application

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Regular Bible reading is a crucial part of the Christian life. And while every page of the Bible is God’s Word, some passages can seem irrelevant or feel disconnected from today’s world. Many everyday Christians read the Bible but struggle to apply it to their daily lives. The words on the pages can seem detached from our everyday lives, resulting in frustration or confusion.

Grace College & Seminary New Testament professor, author, and preacher Matthew Harmon addresses this difficulty in his new book, Asking the Right Questions: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Applying the Bible (June 2017, Crossway).

“There has to be a simple and practical way to understand and apply the Bible that anyone can use. This book is my attempt to help you,” writes Harmon. “The questions we ask when we read the Bible largely determine how we understand and apply the Bible. So if we want to understand and apply the Bible, we need to make sure we are asking the right questions.”

Harmon explains the overall structure of Scripture, highlighting techniques that can be used when reading. In order to bridge the divide between the biblical text and the reader’s heart, Harmon explains how to ask, answer and apply four foundational questions when reading the Bible:

  • What do we learn about God?
  • What do we learn about people?
  • What do we learn about relating to God?
  • What do we learn about relating to others?

He also outlines four foundational questions to help readers apply God’s Word:

  • What does God want me to think/understand?
  • What does God want me to believe?
  • What does God want me to desire?
  • What does God want me to do?

The Bible is first and foremost a book about God: his character, his conduct and his concerns. Yet God did not give us Scripture just to inform us; he gave it to transform us. In Asking the Right Questions, Harmon trains new and seasoned Bible readers alike to ask the right questions when reading God’s Word to help them understand how to apply the text to their lives and grow in godliness.

To see an interview with Dr. Harmon on The Gospel Coalition, click here.  To purchase a copy of Asking the Right Questions, visit or contact Crossway publicist Lauren Harvey at 630-682-4300, ext. 6031.

Matthew S. Harmon (PhD, Wheaton College Graduate School) is professor of New Testament Studies at Grace College & Seminary in Winona Lake, Ind. He has written several books, including commentaries on Philippians, 2 Peter, and Jude. He also serves on the preaching team of Christ’s Covenant Church, where he leads a small group and teaches the Bible regularly.


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.”