My mom's been trying to get me to say "Milligan" since I was 6 months old. So I naturally wanted to go away to college. I started looking at several schools. I knew I wanted a liberal arts school to give me a well-rounded education. Milligan was on the list but not at the top initially. It was my "back up" school. I started prayerfully considering my options and where God wanted me to go. It soon became obvious that Milligan is where I needed to be. My heart fell in love with this place and these people. After my first year, I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. The sense of community -- you don't find just anywhere. The faculty are incredible. I visited a class when I was checking out the college and Dr. Pat Magness was the professor. I saw how personable she is and how she taught with such passion. It's like a close family. The faculty really care about my education.
My time at Milligan has completely reshaped my faith. It's changed my view on the way I view the church and the community, and taught me what it means to be a servant-leader. Over my four years at Milligan I've gotten really involved and seen campus from a lot of different angles, as a leader and a participant. I've seen and experienced different dynamics between the students and staff at Milligan. Being an RA and SGA president has really stretched me. It's pulled me out of my comfort zone. God's really used those experiences to cultivate my gifts and to teach me to use them practically, and also to pass them on to others.
My ministry classes have been very practical and heartfelt. They've given me the tools I needed to jump into ministry with my whole heart and both hands -- especially Curtis Booher's Transforming Church Leadership and my Children's Ministry classes. Milligan has changed my views of church. I grew up in church, and church was something you did -- you went to church. It was a relationship that was distant. But my time at Milligan and my experiences with my friends and local churches have changed that. My faith has become real and I realize that it's about a walking intimate relationship with Christ. It's about loving God and loving people. Church isn't something you do, it's who you are.
I started as an Elementary Education major but I attended the Youth in Ministry teen leadership conference as a high school student and my counselors encouraged me to be still and let God reveal His plan for me. I've since felt a very strong call and passion to be part of reshaping the American church. I've always loved kids. They have a special place in my heart. I love their enthusiasm and innocence. These are impressionable years and it's vital to make strong Christian impressions as we teach them the ways of the Lord. And then once I got to Milligan as a student, my conversations with my professors and my internship opportunity all helped me make a hard decision and take a step out. Curtis Booher took an interest in me and prayed with me, and he also followed up with me.
What I'll always remember about Milligan is the people who took the time to invest in me and help me discern God's call. My friends here will last a lifetime. They're people who will walk with me through the best and worst of my life.
Speaking of friends, living on campus has been an amazing experience. I'm a local student but I chose to live on campus and I'm glad I did. That's where you best find the community -- being in the dorms with people, community just happens. Milligan would not have been Milligan without the dorm life experience.