Mission Trip to Taos

I never expected to go on a Gardner-Webb sponsored mission trip. Yet here I was, on a plane to Albuquerque, New Mexico and then hopping on a van to drive up the mountains to Taos.

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I went on the trip to Taos because I wasn’t going to get to go on a mission trip with my home church to Memphis, Tennessee. I had been on the trip every year since sixth grade, so I was wanting to “fulfill my Christian duty” as I thought it were, by going on a yearly trip. I had also never been west of the Mississippi River unless you count a five minute stay in West Memphis, Arkansas.

On this trip I met some interesting people, including Benny and Edna Romero, two Taos Pueblo Indians who took a step of courage and instead of following their parents footsteps, started the First Indian Church of Taos, New Mexico.

I also met Glen Strock, pastor of the Pecos Valley Cowboy Church, a man who spent years as a wayward artist wandering around the United States until he felt God calling him to start a church for cowboys in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico.

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I built relationships and made new friends with my fellow Gardner-Webb students and leaders. We worked hard together, sweating in the Western sun, putting out mulch, painting sheds, cleaning a church, and moving that stupid washing machine (Kyle Medlin, you’ll appreciate this). 

We also hosted a worship time for children at the First Indian Church. While the kids were…let’s just say crazy, we had a lot of fun playing games, singing songs, and learning bible verses. In fact, one child gave his life to Christ that night, making it all worth it!

Going into this trip, I just thought I’d be doing another mission trip because I am a minister’s kid and that’s what I’m supposed to do, but I was able to forge relationships with my peers at Gardner-Webb and grow closer to the Lord. I loved it so much, I went back a second time!

If anyone at Gardner-Webb is cautious about going on a mission trip with the school, I say go for it! You’ll make new friends, meet interesting people and you’ll grow in your walk with God.

Romans 10:13-14 says “for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

Be the ones that go out and preach, because it may take a group of college students from a school in the tiny town of Boiling Springs, North Carolina going thousands of miles across the United States or the world to tell people the good news. 

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Richard Martin is a senior Broadcast Journalism Major from Gaffney, South Carolina. He is a volunteer student assistant with the Gardner-Webb football team, and is a member of Campus Ministries United

A Typical Student Schedule

Do you wonder what classes you’ll take in your first semester? If you haven’t declared a major, you’ll probably end up taking the core classes that every student must take in order to graduate. Gardner-Webb’s liberal arts curriculum allows you to take courses in a variety of interesting subjects, including art, religion, history, and music. Students must also complete four semesters of Dimensions, a weekly program that brings in outside speakers to discuss important topics in religion and culture. Here is an example of what your schedule might look like during the first semester: 

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

8:00am-8:50am: New Testament 

9:00am-9:50am: Composition I 

11:00am-11:50am- Personal Health 

Tuesday and Thursday

8:00am-9:15am- Technology in American Society 

11:50am-1:05pm- Art Survey 

Once you have completed your first semester, you have a lot more freedom to choose the date and time of your classes. Some students prefer early classes to free up their afternoons, while others like to load up on Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes and take Tuesday and Thursday off. The beauty of college is that more often than not, you will have the flexibility to choose your own schedule!

Raygan Hall: Senior. Psychology Major. Youth Discipleship Minor. 

A Day in the Life of a Gardner-Webb Student

Life as a Gardner-Webb student is about more than going to class and doing homework.You have the opportunity to create incredible friendships, get involved in student organizations, and participate in on campus activities. Once your classes are done for the day, there is still so much to do! I love taking classes early, which leaves the afternoon open to do homework, hang out with friends, and participate in other aspects of campus life. 

Breakfast in the Caf is the best place to start your day. They have all the best breakfast foods, such as eggs, bacon, waffles, pancakes, hash browns, fruit and cereal. After eating a good breakfast, you are ready to conquer your classes for the day. You might go to three or four classes before lunch, depending on how your schedule is set up. Then, you can head to Chick-fil-A with a friend for lunch. After this, many students will go to Tucker in the afternoons to study and hang out with friends. Tucker has private study rooms and public spaces for everything from casual socializing to group study work. 

Tucker hosts many student activities events, like pumpkin painting in the fall or build-a-bear around Valentine’s day. You and your friends can go and participate in one of these fun activities together! Tucker is also the home of the Gathering, a weekly student-led worship service that takes place on Tuesday evenings. Attending the Gathering is a great way to meet new people and find opportunities to participate in campus ministry and community. 

If you go to bed early, this might be the end of the day for you, but if you’re a night owl, grab some friends and watch a movie in the lobby of your dorm or head out for a late night Cookout milkshake run. After a day like this, a good night’s rest is a must, so get some sleep and get ready for another full and fun day here at the Webb!

Raygan Hall: Senior. Psychology Major. Youth Discipleship Minor. 

5 Best Study Spots on Campus

Gardner-Webb’s campus has several places to get away and crack down on some of that homework you need to get done. It’s tempting to hang out with people and forget about your work, but there are some spots on campus where you can do both! 

1. The Library 

As the designated quiet area on campus, the library is probably the most obvious study space. What you may not know is that the basement of the library is one of the best places to go if you really need complete silence. The basement of the library is usually less crowded than other parts of the building, and has desks in the very back that are perfect to sneak away to. The study rooms on the top floor are great for group work as well. 

2. Tucker Student Center 

The Tucker Student Center is a great place to eat, hang out with friends, and study, though it’s not the most quiet place on campus. If you like to work and socialize, this is the place for you, but the study rooms on the top floor are a better option if you want a quiet place that’s still close to food and other people. This is great for longer study sessions, , because you can walk down a flight of stairs to grab some food if you get hungry. 

3. The DCC 

There are some tables and couches in the Dover Campus Center that are perfect for studying in the middle of a busy day. If you’re in between classes and don’t want to walk all the way back to your room, this small space is a convenient alternative. It’s also right next to Chick-fil-A if you need a quick bite to eat. 

4. Your Room 

While its certainly not glamorous, your room can be an ideal study space. I like to be social once I’ve left my room, so I take advantage of the time I do spend there to get work done. Hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to have a roommate who feels the same way so that you are able to study together! 

5. Outside 

It’s surprising how many students you will find sitting on a blanket studying in the middle of the quad during the fall and spring. It is so beautiful outside some days that even homework can’t stop you from taking it all in. Sometimes, the best way to get work done is a change of scenery.

Raygan Hall: Senior. Psychology Major. Youth Discipleship Minor. 

How I Picked my Major

Going in to college, the biggest question you often get asked is, “what do you want to major in?” It’s on every application you filled out, and it’s asked every time you step onto a college campus. The weight of that simple question seems to determine your entire future, and it can be challenging to find your niche. So, how do you figure out what major is right for you? 

First off, know that coming to college without knowing what you want to major in is perfectly normal and a lot more common than you might realize. Most college students will tell you that even if they came in thinking they knew what they wanted to major in, once they got here, they changed their mind once or twice. In high school, most of your classes are just general subjects, and even your freshman year of college, that can be the case as well. Because of that, it’s hard to determine what truly interests you until you’ve explored and experienced several subjects in more depth. 

Coming in to college, I was confident that I was going to major in psychology because I have always been interested in the way that minds work, but I had no idea what I wanted to do with that degree. I am now a senior, and I am still a psychology major, but in taking many different types of psychology classes, I have figured out the field of study in psychology that most interests me. To figure out what you want to major in, I would suggest looking at the things that interest you the most and following in that direction. Your major might determine what you spend much of your future doing, so you want to be doing something you truly love. That is the beauty of college - you get to choose what classes you take! 

So, as you think about what you want to major in, do some soul searching. Find out what interests you and what you love, and don’t be afraid to explore different options or even change your mind once or twice. Don’t feel pressured to know exactly what you want to do when you get here, because the purpose of college is to figure out your place through furthering your education in an area of study where you can thrive.

Raygan Hall: Senior. Psychology Major. Youth Discipleship Minor. 

Top 5 Tips to Be Successful in College

1.     Get a planner and use it.

Once you are in college, a well-organized planner will become your best friend. College professors have high expectations for you to be responsible, so it is important to keep up with all of your assignments and due dates. Writing them all down in a planner at the beginning of the semester is an easy way to look ahead and see what you have coming up - it can also prevent you from getting overwhelmed by the amount of work you have due. Planners help you get ahead and stay ahead. 

2.     Find friends you can study with.

Sometimes, it’s challenging to get focused and get your work done. Finding friends you can hang out with, but also study with, is the best combination. Having someone else around can keep you accountable for getting your work done and give you some new ideas on how to study more effectively. Being with other people not only helps keep you on task, it makes studying much more enjoyable!

3.     Create a schedule and try to stick to it.

Being away at school, you have a lot more freedom to choose what you do with your time. If you aren’t used to this, it can be really easy to get distracted by all of the fun things and forget about school and homework. But, if you create a schedule for yourself during the school day and try to stick to it closely, you are able to actually rest on the weekends instead of constantly worrying about class and assignments.

4.     Don’t overcommit.

It’s really tempting to try doing everything you’re interested in once you are at college, but your best option is to explore for a while, then choose to invest in a few things that stick out to you. If you’re being pulled 100 different ways, the feeling of over commitment can be terrible - so, take the time to figure out a couple of things that you are really passionate about, and focus on those! It is better to invest deeply than to spread yourself thin.

5.     Rest.

Don’t get so caught up in school, class, work, or fun that you forget to rest and take care of yourself.  Sleep is crucial to your college survival, and while it may be tempting to cut some of it out to make room for more fun things, it isn’t worth it! Make sleep a priority, and take the time to rest and do things that rejuvenate you. Sleep is the perfect cure for just about any problem college can bring.

Summer Scholars Program

The Gardner-Webb University Undergraduate Research Scholars program funded a total of 10 students during the summer 2017 term to participate in the Summer Scholars program. This represents the greatest number of scholars in the program’s history.

 As part of their research project, scholars will spend five weeks on campus working on his/her topic for 40 hours a week. At the same time, students will be mentored by a dedicated faculty member providing information and guidance to ensure a successful research experience for the scholar.

The program is directed by Dr. June Hobbs, who oversees GWU Undergraduate Research and serves as a professor of English for the Department of English Language and Literature.

Caroline Burnette is one among the 10 that participated this year. Her plan, to examine the correlation between gender roles and the treatment of mental illness in women in the Victorian Era through critical analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper."

Her mentor will be Dr. June Hobbs. Caroline is a senior majoring in English literature with a pre-law concentration.

Caroline answered a few questions about her experience.


How did you pick your faculty advisor? 

I transferred to Gardner-Webb as a Junior, and one of the first classes I took at GWU was with Dr. June Hobbs. She became my favorite professor instantaneously, and when I heard about the Summer Scholar program, I couldn’t think of anyone with whom I would be more delighted to work with. At the time, I had no idea how involved she was with this program; I ran to my favorite teacher and asked her to work with me. As my study progressed through the summer, however, I found it was incredibly beneficial to work not only with a brilliant scholar, but also with the woman who designed this research program. The amount of insight she had to offer on both these levels was incredible. 

How did you pick your research topic? 

Because of my interest in gender studies and women’s issues, this topic had been in the back of my mind for a while, just waiting for an excuse to be fleshed out and researched. I knew I wanted to examine hysteria and The Yellow Wallpaper, but as the project progressed, I was amazed to see how it quickly became so much more than the simple idea with which I started. 

Why was this topic important to you? 

As a feminist and an academic, I feel that this topic has not only personal but universal significance. To examine the history of hysteria is to examine a societal history of degrading and demeaning women, a malingering practice that still exists in various forms. Though the threat of institutionalization is less common, women who display strong emotion or challenge socially acceptable gender roles still run the risk of being labelled “crazy” or “hysterical,” and subsequently dismissed—particularly in academia. It is for these reasons that I feel this topic is deserving of extensive research and increased awareness in society. 

What do you feel like you learned the most from your research? 

Having learned so much through the course of this program, it’s difficult to pin down a single most beneficial experience, but I would have to say that aside from learning so much about a fascinating topic that interests me, as well as more information about future research practices, I also learned a lot about myself. In fact, prior to the start of this project, my future plans were geared toward becoming a defense attorney. 

I was interested in this career path because I’m passionate about social justice, but also because of my love for reading, research, and debate. The Summer Scholar program helped me to realize that I would actually find the most fulfillment from a career in academia and research. 

What did you enjoy the most about your research? 

The uninterrupted time to research! During the semester, so many things pop up that I would love to research further or spend more time learning about, and I can never do it, because of the constant deadlines in my classes. Getting to spend time away from all the distractions of college life and focus on study was amazing, and showed me that this is what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. I also loved having an opportunity to work so closely with someone as incredible as Dr. Hobbs. Anyone who is serious about research and academics should have this opportunity; It will change your life.

Why I am Thankful for GWU

It’s inevitable, no matter how old you are this time of year makes you stop in your tracks and think about the things around you; things that you may see or experience on a daily basis suddenly become things that you notice and are very appreciative of. Throughout my Gardner-Webb experience, I have made connections and relationships that have turned into things far greater than I could have ever imagined. Through being in the right place at the right time, and being involved with many student activities during my undergraduate career, I landed a position in the Undergraduate Admissions Office as an Admissions Counselor. My personal Gardner-Webb story is a pretty common one around here - I got stuck in the Webb. Through still coming to campus every day, I find myself getting caught in the routine. It’s time to take a step back and realize some of the many things that I am very thankful for when it comes to GWU:

 

 

1.     The Tucker Student Center

 

Y ’all, this building is something special. To me, this is the central gathering place of our students, faculty, and staff. Whether it is stopping for a cup of coffee with friends, grabbing a box for Operation Christmas Child, watching the Super Bowl, or writing that 10 page paper for Marketing Research that is due tomorrow, this is the place that everyone comes to. Even when it is super busy, there is such a peacefulness about this building that words cannot express.

 

2.     My Roommate

 

We all have that person. That person that you can shut the door with when you need to vent, who will show up with a Starbucks in hand because they know you have had a crazy day, who will rearrange 100 billion times because you won’t be able to focus until it’s done, or who will answer your phone call at any time just because. I am grateful that I have had many people in my life that have served in this role. Whether a roommate or officemate, having this person is essential for any place.

 

3.     Thanksgiving in the Caf

 

Yes, even as a staff member, this is the day that I look forward to. You walk into the cafeteria to find white table cloths, a warm thanksgiving dinner, and pie. The sense of community that one single meal can create is something I am so thankful that I get to share with students and fellow coworkers. I heard on the radio this morning that the holiday season makes you stop and enjoy the people around you - this is so true when it comes to sharing this meal during the work day.

 

4.     The Forever Family

 

I was always told about the concept of having this forever family but never actually understood it until I began working full-time. The size of Gardner-Webb is unique, and upon graduation, you become part of an extended family that will always be there for you. Every time I meet a fellow Gardner-Webb graduate, I find myself being able to talk with that person for hours about GWU. With amazing alumni serving as the Vice President of Marketing for the Charlotte Knights, a Lead Pastor at NewSpring Church, an Olympic Silver Medalist, and an award winning novelist, the connections you can make at Gardner-Webb are endless.

 

I am so thankful for Gardner-Webb University. Take time this holiday season, to think about what you are thankful for.

 

Caroline Fry. Undergraduate Admissions Counselor. Gardner-Webb Alumna.

 

Campus Ministries

One of the benefits to attending a Christian school is that there are so many different ministry opportunities. Wherever it is that you feel called to serve, we have various outreach and ministries that give students a chance to reach out to others in the community, get involved and serve others!

Here are some of the different ministries available for you to get involved with on campus. 

Men’s and Women’s Ministry

If you want to find a great small group on campus, this is the way to do it. We have many small group leaders that will be discussing different topics and you will be able to join a group based on what you feel like you need or the ways in which you want to grow. This group can be a place of refuge and rest during a busy week of school and is definitely a great way to make new friends around campus. 

Athletics Ministry

If you are an athlete or have a heart for the athletes on this campus, this is your chance to serve them. This group goes to the teams, gives them goody bags, leads devotions for teams and is committed to serving the athletes in different ways, whether it be washing their feet or baking cookies for them, and of course, going to their sporting events and encouraging them! 

Prison Ministry

About once a month, we take a trip to a local prison to share the gospel with inmates. You will have the chance to do a devotion with them, sing some worship music, and build relationships with these people who often do not get shown very much love and grace. Transportation to the prison is always provided and you will get to go experience this with other students. 

Prayer and Encouragement

This group is one that is typically working behind the scenes to support and love students on this campus. This group meets regularly to pray for all the students on campus. Also, each month there is a “dorm of the month” and during that month we specifically commit to pray for the people living there. This group also facilitates prayer and encouragement boxes around campus and organizes prayer walks around the school. 

FCA

Fellowship of Christian Athletes is a group for students who are athletic and want to learn how to grow in the Lord and share the gospel with their teammates. This ministry is an opportunity for fellow athletes to meet and share stories and encourage each other within their sports. 

Outreach Ministry

This group plans ways in which we can minister to others off campus. This group takes students to serve in places such as churches, homes within the community and to serve with Operation Christmas child. 

Gospel Choir

If you love to sing and want to use your talents to share the gospel, this is a great way to do so. This group goes around to different churches and events to sing about the great love of the Lord and encourage others through their music. 

Delight

This is a women’s group that is based on discovering your true identity in Christ while building authentic relationships with other girls on campus. This group meets once a week, and there is always a speaker and sweet time of worship and fellowship with friends. 

Young Life

This is an off-campus ministry in which college students have the opportunity to mentor and love on middle and high school kids in the community surrounding the school while walking through life with other college students who have a passion for seeing adolescents come to know Christ. They do this through building authentic relationships with kids. This ministry also has a small group on campus for students who are interested in growing in community and their relationship with the Lord and building strong leaders on our campus. 

Student-Led Worship

We also have The Gathering, which is a student-led worship service that welcomes all students on campus. Through music, a speaker, drama, and fellowship, each person is provided the opportunity to worship with fellow students. This happens once a week and is a great opportunity to be encouraged and find community within the school. 

No matter where you feel called to serve, we have somewhere for you to get invested on this campus. When you invest in ministry, you invest in community, which is a vital part of thriving during your college experience! We hope that you will be encouraged and find your place within all the ministries our campus has to offer.

Raygan Hall: Senior. Psychology Major. Youth Discipleship Minor. 

Opportunities from a Parent's Perspective

One of the lessons God has taught me through the experience of parenting is that there is so much I don’t know and thankfully, He does! 

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9. 

With each of my five children, I feel like I have worked to know them, understand them, and advocate for their best interests. This desire has often lent itself to me thinking I know what is best for them. For example, when it came to college selection, I felt like I knew my twins really well and could predict exactly what the right setting would be for their education. I brought our twins, Hope and Eden, to Gardner-Webb for a college visit because it is a Baptist school, and we are a Baptist pastor’s family. We enthusiastically registered for a tour, and I just knew which of my twins was going to love the school and see it as the perfect choice for her. I looked at everything that day through the lens of her major, preferences, and scholarship opportunities. The other twin seemed to be having a good time and asked appropriate questions, but I thought she was only being polite. I was convinced she had her heart set on a larger school. As we concluded our day and walked around the bookstore, I started informally polling the girls for their opinions. You should have seen my jaw drop when the twins had an opposite response to what I expected. Hope could sense right away that God may be leading her to Gardner-Webb, and she wanted to explore all scholarship options. Her twin thought God may be leading her in a different direction, and we just had to laugh at my surprise. 

Hope did follow the Lord’s leading in choosing Gardner-Webb, and what a great decision it has been for her! We have seen God provide her with opportunities to participate in ministry, live in a thriving student community, receive excellent academic instruction, and be in an environment that supports her desire to one day serve on the mission field. 

Opportunities for ministry 

Hope is a junior at Gardner-Webb. From the beginning of her campus experience, she was encouraged to serve and given options as to where and how she would utilize her gifts. Campus ministries and dorm life provided the setting for her to explore how God would have her to serve. I remember the night she started a Bible study in her dorm and wondered if students would come—they did! She combined her love for hospitality and the Bible by inviting the girls into her room for coffee, cookies, and Bible study. Campus Ministries has given her the opportunity to pray for students, pray with students, and share her faith. Her sophomore year she started a Baptist Nursing Fellowship chapter at the school to encourage students in serving in ministry through nursing. 

Opportunities to live in a thriving student community 

Hope is one of five children, so living with others is a way of life, but we all know as parents what it is like to wonder about that first roommate. I wondered, will her roommate love the Lord? Will she be considerate toward Hope? Will she like living with Hope? Will they be friends? Thankfully, the Lord answered all those questions in a positive way through her roommate Holland. It was the neatest thing to see their friendship develop and see them enjoy living together in the residence hall. Hope now lives in the Suites with a great group of girls that love God, life, and Gardner-Webb! 

Opportunities for excellent academic instruction 

We were excited to learn more about the academic community at Gardner-Webb. Hope was coming from a high school that valued academic instruction at a high level, and we wanted her to be able to continue that pursuit of excellence. As we learned about the Honors program and met the Nursing faculty, we knew it would be a great place for her to learn. For example, what an amazing experience she had in the Honors program when she was able to travel to Orlando, Florida and present an honors project with two other students. The nursing program challenges her each day to think critically and provide the best medical care. 

Opportunity to learn from professors who support her desire to serve on the mission field 

Hope, as one of the seven members of our family, had the tremendous opportunity to live two years in India on the mission field. She was age five to seven for those years, and I tease our kids that it really was just a big field trip as part of our homeschooling years. We learned so much as a family and loved living in India. Now, as an adult, she hopes to serve the Lord on the mission field by becoming a nurse. Can you imagine how encouraging it is for her to have professors who support her in this goal? They understand the call to missions and her desire to prepare for it through nursing. This past summer she was able to travel back to India and experience the medical work in that culture. 

I am so thankful that God orders the steps for my children and that Gardner- Webb is a part of His plan for Hope. As she continues her junior year, I am confident that she will continue to benefit even more from her experience there as a student.

 

Sherra Still. Gardner-Webb Mom.