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A blog featuring Winebrenner students & alumni

InStep

Alumna Leslie Fern – Called to Counsel with Hope and Compassion

When Leslie Fern completed her undergraduate and graduate work in Human Resources, she was done with studying and the all-encompassing gruel of student life. She settled into a full time HR position and forged ahead in her new life as a working adult. For over 20 years, Leslie’s life was full and meaningful. She cared...
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Alumna Katie Erickson – A New Teaching Experience

I love teaching. Growing up, when my cousin and I would “play school,” I always wanted to be the teacher. I started tutoring kids when I was in the 6th grade, mostly in math, and I really never stopped through high school, college, and beyond. Since earning my Master of Divinity from Winebrenner in 2010,...
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Ross Wiley – From Business to Ministry

When Ross Wiley moved to Northwest Ohio to oversee the expansion of his family’s restaurant business, he and his wife Elisha believed their time in the region to be temporary. They had planned to stay just long enough to establish a few new restaurants and then to head back to the West Coast or wherever...
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Caleb & Christina Acosta – Ministers to God’s Latino Fields

Since 2010, God has blessed the ministry of Pastors Caleb & Christina Acosta and their outreach to the Latino community, both here in the United States and abroad.    Caleb was born and raised in Venezuela and came to the United States in 1989. Christina is a native of Lancaster County, PA. God brought them together at a church gathering...
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Alumnus Dr. Murthy Kola – A Special Call to Minister Alongside the Incarcerated

Dr. Murthy Kola is a third-generation ordained minister who served as a minister of the Gospel in South India in his teens and twenties. Since coming to the United States in 1974, God has given him a special calling and gifting to work with many incarcerated youth and adults. Little did Dr. Kola know, as...
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Alumnus Chris McCormick – How God Used a “Silly Idea” to lead Chris to Seminary

July of 2013, Chris was taking in just a “regular” Sunday sermon from the book of James when the Holy Spirit clearly spoke to him. Arriving home from church, he shared his “impression” with his wife Cindy, adding on, “Isn’t that a silly idea?!” Expecting her to agree with him, Chris was shocked to hear...
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Alumnus Angie Swonger – Journey from Teacher to Pastor to Counselor 

When God called Angie Swonger into Winebrenner’s Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling (MACC) program, she was not at all the “traditional, straight-out-of university” graduate student. Having already been an educator for over 20 years, Angie was also serving in her local church as an ordained pastor (Church of God, Anderson).    It was 2015 when her senior pastor approached...
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Alumnus Katie Erickson – Pursuing Her Passions

Katie’s journey into seminary education and Christian ministry has involved some rather dramatic turns and a whole lot of trust in God. A 2003 electrical engineering graduate from Ohio Northern University, Katie went on to pursue her Masters of Engineering at the University of Toledo. Following in the footsteps of close family members, her long-term...
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Robin Gaines – Running from God’s Call

Robin Gaines: child of God, beautiful, intelligent, wise, industrious, kind, and disciplined. And for a long stretch in her life, running from God’s call! When Robin joined Friendship Baptist Church in Toledo, Ohio, she joined a loving community under the leadership of her longtime family friend, Bishop Duane Tisdale. She felt accepted, loved, and safe. While she was...
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