Adult Graduates at Different Life Phases Attain a Common Goal

On May 4, the College of Adult and Graduate Studies celebrated its’ largest graduation class with 413 students claiming their diplomas. Students say the success of the program is due its’ appeal to busy adults in all walks of life with respective ambitions.

For James Phillips, a former military sergeant and financial business owner, entering his 60’s made him think about what was next for his life.

“I wondered if this was the time to truly look at preparing for a landing in retirement, or if God had simply inserted a ‘comma,’ identifying an unfinished piece of business in my life,” Phillips said.

Phillips took action after listening to a pointed sermon where his pastor said, “If you think James Phillipsyou're done serving God, then just die!’ Now, two years later and armed with his Bachelor of Arts degree in Leadership and Ministry, Phillips is seeking ordination from the Churches of Christ in Christian Union. He already has delivered sermons, made sick visits, served at funerals, and taught adult Sunday school lessons.

“At a time when many would, perhaps, be thinking about retirement, Ohio Christian University played a vital role in helping me to begin to finish the sentence,” Phillips said.

Time management became vital for Romy Nos who graduated with his Master of Arts degree in MinRomy Nosistry with a concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling. With a full-time job, church commitments, two young children and another baby on the way, Nos credits OCU’s flexible format and his devoted wife for making his master’s degree possible.

“It did force me to be a lot more intentional and disciplined with my time,” Nos said.

He knows the temporary time sacrifice will help him to attain his potential in Christ and in his career.

 “I feel that having this degree will open up some more doors of opportunity and allow for me to increase my overall marketability towards my true passion,” Nos said.

Xengxou Vang has always wanted to break into the healthcare field and OCU incorporated the faith and support systems which were important to him.

“The best part of my education at OCU is the people that I have encountered throughout my two and half years. I believe we have built such a great bond that we became much like a family,” Vang said.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business with a concentration in Healthcare Management and plans to pursue his master’s degree.

“Having faith that God will supply all my needs, keeps me reaching for the mark,” Vang said.

Venita Milburn was already a veteran of the healthcare industry when she started her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business while juggling her full-time job as a manager for the Brown CounVenita Milburnty Women’s Health LLC and consulting for various health organizations.

“In addition to learning about how to be a more proficient manager and business leader, I also was able to increase my knowledge of the Bible bringing me to a closer relationship with God,” Milburn said. 

Ahead for Milburn is pursuing a master’s degree, continuing to volunteer for her church missions, and working with the local county probation department to help people change their future.

“Empowering ourselves with knowledge can be both invigorating and rewarding.” Milburn said.