Learning While Serving

Students at all five Wesleyan colleges and universities find joy in serving God and others, whether in the classroom, on campus, in churches, or within their communities.

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Katie Betts

Kingswood University

Katie Betts, who is preparing to be a worship pastor, has found that the more she serves others, the more God blesses her. A student at Kingswood University, she has traveled with worship bands to many youth camps. As a cabin leader, she helped guide the discipleship of young teens. As she frequently counseled and poured herself into students, her gift of discernment was awakened, and her relationship with God strengthened. The more she relied on his wisdom, the more clearly she heard his voice speaking to her.

God taught her the path of servanthood and how to approach conflict with love.

She also has served as a resident assistant on campus for two years. Although enforcing rules is part of the job, God taught her the path of servanthood and how to approach conflict with love. In tough situations, she relied on God for strength, and she grew in her boldness and grace.

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Last year for a class project, Betts and other students hosted an appreciation banquet for Sussex town leaders: firemen, police chief, principals, teachers, and the town council. Betts said, “At the end, even though it involved a lot of tiring work, we felt incredible joy," she said. "I suddenly became aware of God’s great love for the people. And it filled my heart with joy to be able to express his love for them.”


Cherinity Kistler-Brooks

Southern Wesleyan University

Cherinity Kistler-Brooks is a student in Southern Wesleyan’s Adult and Graduate Studies program. She helps troubled women get into programs that may save their lives. She knows what many of the women are facing, because she has been there.

Six years ago, Kistler-Brooks was at her lowest point, deeply addicted to methamphetamines, pain pills, and alcohol. “I had lost everything that mattered to me, failing as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I was homeless and got money by panhandling and stealing,” she said.


One night, she stood on the top ledge of a parking garage in Las Vegas. Just before taking the step that would end her life, she said a prayer. “Out of nowhere, I heard the calm, whispering voice of God.” He told her that one day all of her pain would be used to help others. Kistler-Brooks committed her life to God and that was the first step in her healing process.

Just before taking the step that would end her life, she said a prayer.

Since then, God has restored her family and led her to SWU. She is also an admissions coordinator at the Serenity Place and Phoenix Center in Greenville, South Carolina, helping people live free of the damaging effects of alcohol, tobacco, and other harmful drugs. Her co-workers describe her as grounded spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, with a strong ethical character and gentle strength.

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Tanner Hoffman

Houghton College

Tanner Hoffman’s passion for serving in public health was born after a trip to Kingston, Jamaica, in high school. There he witnessed life in the Kingston slums. “I became drawn to how preventative healthcare can be used to increase the well-being of those living in impoverished conditions.”

Hoffman enrolled at Houghton College as a double major in biology and international development. The opportunity to explore those fields in the context of his Christian faith has been enriching. As a sophomore, he traveled to Ecuador for experience in community development and public health. The next year he spent three months honing his intercultural skills in the Houghton in Tanzania program.

He witnessed life in the Kingston slums.

One of Hoffman’s most impactful experiences occurred the summer after his freshman year when he volunteered with the Ugandan Water Project bringing sanitation and hygiene resources to Ugandan communities. This opened the door for him to work with the Water Project the next two summers and to later intern in Uganda.

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“Each of these has affirmed my passion for preventative healthcare for underserved people,” Hoffman said. While still enrolled at Houghton, Hoffman designs and manages the early stages of the Water Project’s monitoring programs.

Hoffman aims to live a life “dedicated to tangible acts of service improving the lives of poor and marginalized people.”

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Paige Johnson

Oklahoma Wesleyan University

“NASCAR Paige,” as she is known on the Oklahoma Wesleyan campus, grew up attending Celebrate Community Church in Sioux Falls, S.D. Paige Johnson’s passion for NASCAR racing began at an early age and in high school she was called to ministry. Her pathway to ministry fell into place as she saw opportunities to share the gospel with the NASCAR fan base. One reason Johnson chose to attend OKWU is because of the option provided for business students to work with the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

“NASCAR Paige” is excited how God continues opening doors on the racing platform.

Shortly after becoming an OKWU student, Johnson went with the School of Business on its annual trip to work at the Texas Motor Speedway. On that trip, her professor connected her with Raceway Ministries. She began serving with Texas Alliance Raceway Ministries a year ago, and has since brought several other OKWU students to engage in ministry alongside her.

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Most recently, Johnson led a ministry team of OKWU students at a NASCAR service where she preached and had the opportunity to witness two people committing their lives to Christ. “NASCAR Paige” is excited how God continues opening doors on the racing platform and uses her to tell others about Jesus.

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Ellen Kujawski

Indiana Wesleyan University

Years ago, Ellen Kujawski listened to a visiting missionary's story and challenge: “Tonight, God is calling some of you to be his missionaries, to take his message of salvation and love to the nations. Don’t resist him.” God spoke to her that evening, and she committed to follow wherever he led.

Kujawski later attended Indiana Wesleyan University, majoring in elementary education with a double minor in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and music. She did student teaching at St. John’s International School in Belgium. Through serving, she grew immensely and realized this was really her calling.

While many details of this next year are uncertain to me, they aren't to God.

God led her to the Dominican Republic after graduation in 2014 where the quality of primary education ranks very low. Kujawski and fellow missionary Jessica Moulding opened San Francisco Christian School (SFCS), the first American-based Christian school in their city. They realized they needed to lay stronger foundations and sought training.

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God orchestrated a meeting with Doulos Discovery School in Jarabacoa, 90 minutes away. Leaders there offered to provide training in creating an advisory committee, setting curriculum, securing finances, recruiting students, and becoming legally established in the country. They temporarily closed SFCS so they could accept positions at Doulos while receiving training.

Arbor Christian Academy
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“While many details of this next year are uncertain to me, they aren’t to God,” said Kujawski. “This school, this dream, is not mine. It’s his.” SFCS, recently renamed Arbor Christian Academy, will reopen this fall.