As we started the new school year at Emmanuel University, I asked faculty and staff to offer their suggestions to students. I’m including their words here. 
No matter your age or educational experience, read these thoughts. They apply to each of us. Whatever season in life we are enduring, we are all students. This insight can inspire us:

My encouragement is to find and surround yourself with three important people in your life: an older student or a staff/faculty member you can reach out to for help or with questions, a friend you can talk to about pretty much anything, and another student you can be there for to encourage and positively impact every day.

—Trés Ward, Assistant Professor and Director of Ministry Teams

Be flexible. Be patient. Be kind. 
This is a new academic year & inevitably many changes come along with it. Do the best you can do – be mindful that many others are also trying to do that, too, as we seek God’s will – that means His best plans for us – all of us. 

No need to grumble to the masses, even though that is a popular choice by so many these days. 

If you have a need or suggestion, find out who the right person is to contact. Then have a respectful conversation with that person AND offer to help. How can you help? Just complaining is not very helpful or encouraging. 

Treat others the way you would appreciate being treated (Matthew 7:12). 

We are Team Emmanuel – let’s choose to be the best version of ourselves and ask the Lord to help us to do that. 

—Paula Dixon, Associate Professor of Communication

Remember that you are part of a supportive community that values faith, growth, and learning. Stay steadfast in your journey, knowing that challenges are opportunities for personal and spiritual development. With your faith as a foundation, you have the strength to overcome obstacles and achieve great things. Keep your hearts open to learning, embrace each other’s differences, and continue to shine your light in the world. You are capable of making a positive impact as you pursue both your academic and spiritual goals. Keep moving forward with courage and grace!

—Mandrake T. Miller, Vice President, Student Life


There is much to do and more to be a part of than you may realize. Spend time with people not on your team, get to know others that are not so much like you, build a community where you live.

The Emmanuel Experience is everywhere, in the classroom, residence halls, competition venues, the CAF, and Chapel. Be a part of every experience possible, do not let your own expectations or personality limit what God may do in your life.  

You are not here by accident, so spend the next years discovering what the Emmanuel Experience is all about. It will change your life!

—Kirk D. McConnell, Ed. D, Associate Vice President- Campus Life

Opportunities for growth may appear in many ways. Sometimes as a challenge or setback, sometimes as simple as a disappointment. Just as a diamond is refined under pressure, your faith and character can be strengthened and renewed through adversity. Embrace the hard things and trust in God’s plan for your life. Let your light shine brightly on campus. Your actions, words, and attitude can be a testament to the HOPE and JOY that comes from Christ.  “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

—Dr. Cynthia (Cyndee) Phillips, Vice President for Academics

Christ paid the price for you to receive God’s love, not God’s wrath. Your sin is paid for! God is always with you and for you through Christ! So live!

—Kyle Garrett, Foundations Director, English Associate Professor 

I would encourage students to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30); to see their study especially as an act of worship to God and one means of growing in their relationship to God. Amen.

—John Henzel, Professor of Business Administration