Ministry Student Testimonies
Roni Paden, Student and Family Ministries, class of 2009
I came to Corban in fall of 2005 with a plan. I was going to complete an associates degree in Bible and then go on to fulfill my dream of working with kids in the church and raising a family.
But, as He often does, God had other plans for me. Half way through my first year here I came to love the atmosphere of campus, the friendships I had developed, and the professors who taught.
Although I was not a fan of the homework or reading I could not see myself leaving in two years but I also could not see myself majoring in Bible for four years. So I came to the conclusion to be a Psychology major with a minor in ministry in ministry.
In the fall of my sophomore year I came to love ministry classes and lose interest in my psych classes. My internship at a local church and job at camp drew me further into a love for God’s children, as my professors shared their experiences and passion in the classroom.
At semester I declared, for the third time, a different major. As of October 2007 I am a junior majoring in Student and Family Ministries and I believe I have found my heart’s desire. Every ministry and Bible class I attend I find teachings and lessons that are applicable to my ministry at this moment and which will prove helpful upon graduation.
The professors are eager and excited to share what they know and have a passion for. Each professor desires for his/her students to do well, not just in the classroom, but also in life. And so they selflessly give of their time outside the class to mentor and guide students in every aspect of life. Their teaching is real and engaging and the atmosphere they create in the classroom is one of fun, passion, and learning from each other.
In my ministry classes I have gained new ideas for ministry, a better understanding of people and the Church, and friendships with peers and professors that I know will last beyond the completion of a diploma. I am confident that when my time comes to enter the “real world” I will enter it with not only a solid education and training, but also with a core system of support in my professors and peers to cheer me on, pray for me, and guide me when needed.
Becky McMillan, Class of 2008
Corban has been a place where I have become firmly established in my faith. The Lord directed me to pursue Women’s Ministry as my major. I took some classes where I learned about who God tells me I am as a woman. I was amazed and asked myself, “Why have I never heard this before? Why didn’t anyone tell me?”
From then on, I’ve had a passion to minister to young women, showing them who God says they are and how He wants them to live. I’ve been given practical opportunities to do this via internships, small groups, and currently in the responsibility of being a Resident Assistant.
The professors in the Ministry Department at Corban are men and women devoted to God, His Word, and His truth. They don’t just teach head knowledge; they challenge me to apply what I learn to my own life. And I know they are applying what they teach to their lives as well. They are men and women I greatly admire and respect -- who are personal and approachable, and genuinely care about who I am.
I can talk to them, not just about classes, but about life, and they listen and pray for me. The faculty are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the topics they teach. The classes are challenging and I have learned so much through them: from how to set up a women’s ministry, to writing a Bible study and speaking, to understanding the roles and needs of women, to translating Greek and Hebrew.
The time I’ve spent at Corban has been so valuable in preparing me, not just for ministry or a career, but for life. I’ve learned more about who God is, how to trust Him, and allow Him to mold me in all areas of life. The Corban community of friends and faculty has given me examples, teachers, and mentors that will impact me for a lifetime.
Natalie Reister, class of 2007
Walking onto Corban’s campus for the first time was quite a step for me. Growing up in Japan, I had flown halfway around the world to attend Corban College and live in the dorms. I didn’t know what college was like, I didn’t know what living in America was like, and I didn’t even know what my major was going to be. But God blessed me through Corban in more ways than I could have imagined and has helped make me the person I am today.
By the end of 2007, I plan on having an AA in Bible and a BA in Intercultural Communications. I have grown to appreciate immensely the professors in both of these departments. I have been struck by their passion for truth and for seeing their students not only pass their courses, but more importantly become successful, vibrant, Christians who impact the world today.
Christians in the world today. More times than I can remember, these professors have personally encouraged me, prayed for me, and challenged me to run after godliness. I have been struck by the fact that the Bible is not solely academic; and my professors not only taught that, but show it in the lives they live.
My Bible classes and intercultural classes combined to help me struggle with and discover the relevance of Biblical truth and God in the diverse world we live in today. This culminated particularly in my intercultural practicum, which took me to the African country Morocco, out of my comfort zone, and into a dependency upon Christ at a depth that I had not experienced before. My walk with God is stronger through coming to Corban. I pray that as I leave this place to enter the world God will use me to impact people for Christ, and that He will use my experience here at Corban in more ways than I could ever imagine.
Jordan Newton, class of 2007
"I chose this major because I think God has gifted me in these areas and I want to come out of Corban thoroughly equipped for ministry, and I think God will use me in some way in all three areas. I chose Corban because I was asking God for wisdom, and he gave the gut instinct to my mother, and that was a good enough answer to prayer for me. He gave my mom this inclination while closing doors to other options, which made Corban the clear choice. However, once I got here, I fell in love with the faith cultivating atmosphere.
The professors have influenced me greatly by offering their free time outside of class to answer my questions about "what ifs" in ministry. They have also given me their godly wisdom from experience in class too. The classes are very real, informative, and make you hungry to start right away.
I am looking into spring break and possibly summer missions in Asia and Italy. I hope in the future to get involved with the youth ministry at Salem Evangelical Church. If the Lord wills I graduate, I see myself heading off to a life of service here and abroad in a number of different faculties using the skills from my three fields of an interdisciplinary major. This means anything from a missionary to Africa, to Campus Crusaders in America, or maybe even a job as a local pastor."
Thad Charlick, Youth Ministry, class of 2004
I chose my major before I chose Corban. After working in youth camps and at my church I found that God had given me a desire and an enjoyment for working with youth. Once I knew what I wanted to study, I asked my pastor and several other godly men in ministry for advice. All of them said good things about Corban. I had met some Corban students who had served on camp teams. Their example of service and a love for God's people left an impression on me. I wanted to live and learn with people like them. When I finally visited the campus, my decision was sealed. The classes, teachers, and students at Corban made me want to be there all the more.
One thing I have enjoyed about the faculty here is my ability to get to know each of them on an individual basis. I can talk with them, joke with them, and learn from them in and out of the classroom. I've eaten lunch with more professors than I can count. One of the Bible profs even did my marriage counseling!
There have been several times in class when I have only stopped laughing because I could not breathe. I remember one test I took as a freshman in Old Testament Survey. As we were taking the test, laughter continually broke out around the room. One question responsible for this chaos was: Who conquered the Persian Empire? A. Nebuchadnezzar, B. Alexander the Great (correct answer), C. Greg Trull (Bible prof), D. Gary Derickson (another Bible prof). I think most people chose Dr. Derickson as the correct answer.
I'm very glad that my time at Corban has prepared me to serve far better than I could have before. One thing I appreciate about Corban is the solid stand on Scripture as the in fallible, inerrant Word of God. God's Word is the foundation for all that we can do.
Benjamin Dalgas, Intercultural Studies, class of 2004
I did not originally choose this major; however, through the Lord's leading and a passion for missions, and an interest in cultures, I made the decision. I had narrowed my choice of schools to either Western Washington University in Bellingham and Corban. Honestly, I believe that it was more than one thing that led me to Corban, but originally it was based on an opportunity I had here in Salem to minister to kids through music with a band.
The professors here have influenced me tremendously. There is no way I could cover all the avenues and areas of my life that have been impacted by my professors. I can tell you that my life has gotten much more focused by their guidance. In-depth study of the Bible is tangible; in-depth participation in ministry is tangible. Genuineness, shared life experience, and intelligent insight into thinking and acting Biblically have all been areas that have been influenced by the professors.
Heidi Gott, Intercultural Studies, class of 2004
I wanted to get involved in foreign missions and I chose Corban after I came to visit several times and loved the classes. The professors have given me wise advice and encouraged my walk with the Lord and have made Corban my home. Ways that they have done this are as follows: invited me over for dinner; meeting with me; praying for me; e-mailed me when they saw something I needed to work on, or when they wanted to thank me for something; allowed me to interact with their families; helped me get involved with my church; among other things.
My experiences here have been great. To anyone wondering what the ministry department is like, I'd have to say "This is a tight group of friends with whom you'll be spending many hours together in the classroom, but this friendship is made even greater when you are serving together in various ministry areas."
Ben Lunsford, Ministry with a Biblical Studies Emphasis, class of 2005
"I chose my major because God has called me into the ministry, and this will prepare me best for that. After praying about it for a while, Corban is where I had a peace about going. The professors have helped me to think more critically about the things I say and the sources I use for my research. Dr. Derickson is full of good sayings, like, "Beauty fades, marry for character."
Currently, I am an intern with the high school group at Bethany Baptist Church. I was offered it because I had been volunteering there and the youth pastor knew I have a teaching gift, and that I am studying to be a youth pastor. I currently teach Sunday school and have planned a couple "building" type events for our core group, as well as an outreach event. I have come to understand how much behind the scenes work needs to happen for everything else to flow right.
After I graduate I see myself in full time youth ministry somewhere, or on some short term missions."
*All Corban students who complete the general education requirement in Biblical Studies with grades C- or better receive a minor in Biblical Studies. Students who receive less than C- grades in this requirement can choose to retake the class for a higher grade, or forfeit receiving the minor.