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Celebrating Columbia’s First Graduate from our Dual Degree Partnership with Indiana Wesleyan University

By Katie Rempel, Columbia Bible College and Indiana Wesleyan University Grad of 2023

(Above Katie Rempel is pictured selling her homemade Kombucha on campus at one of our Maker Markets!)

My name is Katie Rempel and I am currently the first graduate from a pilot program from Columbia Bible College and Indiana Wesleyan University! This program is incredibly fascinating and dual in nature as half of my time has been spent deep in biblical theology and the other biblical courses that CBC has to offer while the other half of my time has been spent completing business management courses at IWU from Accounting to Human Resource Management to Communications. Indiana Wesleyan University is a widely recognized and accredited leader in online education, offering a plethora of options for those interested in professional degrees including Management, Communication, and Marketing.

In light of this, another incredible element of this program is that I will have come away with two degrees in four years – one of them being a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and the other a Bachelor of Arts in Practical Theology. All of this has been achieved without ever having to leave CBC! It all began with completing the Social Entrepreneurship diploma at CBC where all of the credits achieved directly transferred to requirements for IWU’s program credits. In my third and fourth years, the course work has been a balance of various semester-long courses at CBC – from New Testament Theology to Spiritual Formation and Discernment – as well as numerous five week courses offered by IWU. This process allows students to complete more course requirements in a shorter span of time. As a result of this accelerated rate, this program is definitely not for the faint of heart as it requires substantial time management skills and discipline when maintaining the course work of online intensive classes. In the end though, it is all very rewarding! I’ve come away with a diverse selection of knowledge in practical, biblical, and managerial subjects, all of which can ultimately help me succeed in my career, ministry, and life-style pursuits.

As I mentioned previously, this program also allows students to stay on campus and continue in student life at CBC. This was of significant importance to me in my second year as I was able to continue in student leadership – in recreation and Vespers leadership (Tuesday night worship) – as well as continue to grow and develop the friendships I had made. CBC is such a unique experience – as many Bible colleges offer – in that the Christian community can act much like a greenhouse for one’s spiritual growth. And because of this opportunity to further my education, I’ve been able to continue to grow under the mentorship of professors, the guidance of supervisors, and the support of deeply loving friends. In this, I feel prepared to enter the workforce knowing that God’s work at CBC has allowed for a solid foundation of faith and has provided a strong group of individuals that can support each other as we act on the vocations that God has called us into.

I believe the church and its mission is to serve God and make Him known in order to further God’s Kingdom. I believe this is best done through a continuous pursuit of justice and peace, of selflessness and love, and a desire to remain faithful to God’s guidance and His Spirit. I have learned that even though I might not evangelize internationally, even if we are not explicitly sharing the Word of God, our lives should reflect the truth and character of Christ so that others may come to recognize and know him by our words and actions. This is how I view business and entrepreneurial pursuits in the secular world – as an opportunity for me to utilize my strengths in creativity, entrepreneurship, and leadership for furthering the Kingdom of God and as well as being His light in everyday situations. Although serving the church body is of great significance, I’ve learned at my time at CBC that my vocation can – and should – extend to all areas of my life. As Jesus says in Matthew 5:16, and as I hope to pursue regardless of my next job or direction in life, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”