Over the years, AU’s chapel has hosted a myriad of speakers from all walks of life and professions. Students have heard stories and personal perspectives from those involved in ministry, the entertainment industry and many other careers.
What links many of these speakers who emerge from different backgrounds and experiences is their faith and devotion to following Christ. In order to allow students insight into this connection and how faith can shine through in different ways and lives, professionals from a wide variety of careers and specializations have been invited to speak in an ongoing chapel series titled “Integrating Faith in Life.”
Integrating Faith in Life was formed around the idea that faith is prevalent everywhere and has the ability to have a powerful impact on lives, as well as careers. Sometimes, one’s faith is not necessarily thought of as having an intimate connection with one’s work and professional interests and experiences. The chapel series has been created to demonstrate how faith has influence in all areas of life.
Those who have been chosen to speak during the series will present perspectives and experiences gained through many different career paths, from Congress to music business. They will provide a focus on how their faith has influenced and encouraged their work. The stories will highlight how spirituality can be intertwined with, and even add more meaning to, one’s career.
The series not only provides insight into how faith is prevalent in life, but also inspires students interested in many different majors and career paths. The variety of professional fields represented will connect with an audience composed of diverse personalities and interests.
The Integrating Faith in Life series kicked off by welcoming former Congressman Pete Hoekstra to speak on connecting faith to his career during the first chapel of this semester. Former congressman Hoekstra, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993-2011, spoke on how God had significant influence on his participation in politics.
He stated that God revealed a piece of His plan for Hoekstra’s life when he pulled off an unlikely win in a race against someone with more experience and connections within the U.S. government. Hoekstra’s story was a powerful example of the idea that faith is closely integrated with life.
The series continued with a speech by Dr. Marilyn Sanders Mobley on Jan. 19. Dr. Mobley is the vice president for inclusion, diversity, and equal opportunity as well as an English professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio. Dr. Mobley, who works to create a welcoming environment for those who attend and have attended Case Western Reserve, has been recognized for her efforts to promote diversity and equality in higher education. During her chapel presentation, she provided insight into how faith has influence on her passion for promoting diversity and equality.
The chapel series will extend into February and will include more speakers from a variety of career paths. Yesterday, the series continued by welcoming Henry Jordan to campus to contribute to the discussion. Jordan, who is the retired senior divisional vice president for Walmart and opened the first stores in Washington, D.C., revealed how his faith in Christ has influenced his career in business and management.
Some students have reacted positively to the ongoing chapel series. Sophomore social work major Brittany Hankins has been encouraged by the speakers who have presented their experiences in the series so far, and she is looking forward to hearing more about how Christ has impacted professional lives and strengthened relationships with God.
“I’m very excited to hear more stories,” Hankins said. As someone interested in pursuing a career centered on Christian ministry and social work, she enjoys hearing the personal stories of others. “I think it’s very encouraging to hear how Christ has shown His love in so many different ways and in so many peoples’ personal and professional lives.”
On Feb. 9, the Integrating Faith in Life series will continue with a presentation by Ray Sylvester. Mike Clifford will conclude the series on Feb. 16. When the series concludes, students and faculty will have heard personal stories from five different professionals from a spectrum of fields and backgrounds. However, all speakers have one thing in common: their devotion to God and the recognition of His influence in their lives and career paths.