Each year, Lincoln Christian University faculty honor outstanding students from various fields of study.
Criteria for selecting these honored graduates include academic excellence, personal maturity, spiritual depth, and ministry involvement. It can be argued that many of our graduates qualify for this honor, however, we chose these students not only because they are well deserving of such recognition but also because they represent the best of their fellow classmates. The LCU faculty honors these and all LCU graduates as they continue to use their gifts to serve others to God’s glory.
School of Undergraduate Studies
Rachel Nassiff, BS in Bible, BS in Elementary Education (Illinois State University)
Teacher Education Field Award
Rachel Nassiff has consistently excelled in her studies, in her teaching, and in her service. She is quick to volunteer and exceptionally well organized. Rachel has also been involved in countless hours of Kingdom service through teaching and mentoring children and youth in the church. She impacted lives for Christ through her teaching in the public schools. She was an invaluable part of our program, always willing to guide and mentor her peers who are coming through the program behind her. We are excited for the difference she will make for Christ in the lives of children in the classroom and in the church. Rachel completed her degree in December.
Joseph Mangano, BA in Biblical Studies
Bible/Theology Field Award
In recognition of completing three semesters in Biblical Greek and five semesters in Biblical Hebrew, the Bible/Theology field has chosen Joseph Mangano to be its 2015 honored graduate. Academic work in these languages requires mastery of paradigms and vocabulary lists, understanding of order and structure, as well as passion and patience. In addition to excelling in the classroom, Joseph ministered to small congregations in central Illinois at Minonk and Middletown.
Clayton Chamberlain, BA in Preaching Ministry
Christian Ministries Field Award
Clayton Chamberlain models Paul’s words in Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Clayton is passionate about his call to preach. While at LCU, he preached in class and served in local churches. He has been, and is being, transformed into the preacher God has called him to be. His assignments were offerings, humbly submitted. We have also watched him be transformed in God’s will for his life. Clayton has served as student body president and counseled many younger students. His internship in New England has led him to follow God’s call to return to the New England area to serve.
Abigail (Reynolds) Smith, BA in Philosophy
General Education Field Award
Abigail Smith has demonstrated a deep and complex understanding of the importance of her education and Christian worldview. Associate Professor of Philosophical Theology Dr. Christopher Simpson noted, “In her time at LCU, Abigail has proven herself to be an extraordinary student as manifested in her diligence and conscientiousness in the face of difficult texts and daunting tasks, and in her capacity to bring ideas together at the end with intelligence and clarity of thought and speech. She displays a rare combination of a gracious and warm bearing along with a persistent drive for excellence that is worthy of recognition, praise, and emulation.” We pray for God’s blessings on her as she begins the next chapter in her life, and are eager to see how He will use her for His Kingdom.
Hargrove School of Adult & Graduate Studies
Timothy Revis, BA, Christian Ministry
Undergraduate Programs Honored Student
Timothy Revis has been an outstanding student in the Hargrove School of Adult & Graduate Studies. He has also been a dedicated servant leader in his local church and an amazing family man. According to Dean of Students Stephen Collins, “Tim entered our school in the midst of a very busy and successful career in technology and has given himself wholeheartedly to ministerial study. Overcoming some very difficult physical challenges, he excelled in his studies, involved himself in intercultural mission endeavors, and served as a worship leader.” He has accepted a full-time ministry with First Christian Church in Decatur, Illinois, where he is living out our challenge to use education where one lives, works, and worships.
Anthony Collins, MA in Intercultural Studies
Graduate Programs Honored Student
Anthony Collins graduated in December. As a student, he consistently went above and beyond to research and understand the topic at hand in a way that was particularly relevant for his ministry contexts. His enthusiasm for ministry is evident, and it is easy to share in his excitement for whatever he’s doing and planning. His studies have helped him in his role as the Student Ministries pastor at Crosspoint Christian Church. His enthusiasm for intercultural studies has rubbed off on his 7-year old daughter, who recently launched her own campaign to raise $5000 for an orphanage in Haiti. He is one of LCU’s first MA in Intercultural Studies graduates and plans to pursue his MDiv at LCU.
Master of Arts in Counseling Honored Student
Susan Haerr lives in Taylor, MO, with her husband and four children. Beyond the academic excellence she consistently achieves, Susan demonstrates a deep level of curiosity and compassion. Her insightful comments and questions enhance the learning process for those around her. She demonstrates a strong ability to integrate psychological and theological concepts. She makes mature clinical decisions and manages to maintain a healthy and kind sense of humor in the midst of very difficult clinical situations. Susan completed her clinical practicum training at Mark Twain Behavioral Health in Hannibal, MO, and has been offered a position at Chaddock, a residential treatment center for children, where she recently completed her internship. Susan remains involved in ministry through her home congregation and has plans to further develop equine therapy at her home ranch.
Master of Divinity Honored Student
Steven Stern carefully navigates marriage, family, study, and ministry into an integrated whole. He cares deeply about learning, gives attention to study as a lifelong learner, ministers faithfully to a growing congregation, and demonstrates compassion throughout his ministry. He is loyal, yet keeps an open mind and open heart. He is concerned for personal spiritual growth and for spiritual formation in those he serves. He loves the Scriptures, Christian history and theology, and the church. He strives always to apply truth in his own words and deeds for the sake of Christ and those he leads. He generates love for local and international missions at Franklin Christian Church in Franklin, IL, where he is the preaching minister.
Master of Religious Education Honored Student
Exemplary performance in the classroom is one dimension of a model student which Laura Hendrickson has achieved, but on our campus it means so much more. She has been a servant leader, working on the Seminary’s student cabinet, building community among her fellow students, giving meaning to seminary as more than just classes and degrees. Laura is a recognized and respected leader on campus, and represents what is best in the MRE program. She currently works at LCU as Administrative Assistant to the Academic Office. We are very happy to serve alongside her on the Lincoln campus.
Kellye Saad, Christian Education
Master of Arts Honored Student
Kellye Saad paired her work at church with the completion of her MA at Lincoln Christian Seminary. While a student, she concluded a ministry, moved to another ministry venue, and started at Richwoods Christian Church (Peoria, IL), where she serves as Children’s Director. Married, with two children, Kellye balanced her pastoral and academic life with family life, finishing her MA with distinction. Her classes focused on congregations, ministry, and family, culminating in an extended research paper, which focused on the parents’ role in childhood conversion and discipleship. Her creativity and dedication to furthering her studies in preparation for Kingdom service are self-evident and a credit to her commitment to Christ and His church.