Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Behind the Scenes: Inside Festival of Carols image

By Amber Ginter ‘19

Behind the scenes, behind the curtains of this year’s Festival of Carols, the perspective is different for the eyes of this observer, who happens to be part of the creative moment team.  The choirs warm their vocal cords until their voices float in glorious harmonies across the auditorium. The actors labor in hectic preparation to perform with excellence and seeming effortlessness.

Learning choreography with live choirs singing was a challenge that Movements from the Heart (MFTH), the creative movement team, met in the practice time afforded before the first performance for the audience. Performing “Joyful, Joyful” and “Janeman” gave MFTH opportunity to be a blessing through creative movement.

The ensemble of choirs, solo vocalists, and musicians gave a unified performance pleasant to the ear and warming of the heart. Performers worked as one, as, similarly, Christ encourages followers to be His body to complete His will. From the orchestra sitzprobe (seated rehearsal) to early-morning preparation, the performers give heart and soul so that the Good News would touch the audience.

Addressing the Festival’s purpose, Stage Director Valerie Jones explains these productions require the close teamwork of those who wish to lead others to worship Him. The University’s largest event, the Festival celebrates Jesus’ birth creatively year after year.

Working with Director of the University Chorale Dione Bennett since January, Jones interprets Bennett's vision and creates a drama that will move audiences. Of the theme, Jones says, “Her vision was ‘peace on earth,’ showing Christmas celebrations across the globe. It’s new and visually stunning, including lighting and culture themes for the carols with movements by drama and creative movement teams. It’s exciting to have the groups celebrating Christ’s birth together.”

The Gospel is proclaimed through different ethnic expressions. As Bennett explains, “These performances show praising Christ happens in many cultures. We should worship together, offering peace on earth that pushes others to find Christian faith."

Featured carols were "Around the World at Christmas Time,” “March of the Toy Soldiers,” and “Christmas Festival,” followed by the main event chorus of “Betelehemu,” “Huron Carol,” “Still, Still, Still,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World,” “Carol of the Bells,” “Star of Wonder Medley,” “Joyful, Joyful,” “Janeman,” “All Praise to Thee,” and “I heard the Bells.” 

Festival of Carols: Peace on Earth brought hope to attendees during this Advent season.

Articles of Interest

Max McLean As C.S. Lewis on Stage at OCU

C.S. Lewis is Coming to Ohio Christian University

Max McLean As C.S. Lewis on Stage at OCU

Published: October 20, 2021

Ohio Christian University is excited to bring “The Most Reluctant Convert” to its Circleville Campus. There will be two shows only, on January 15, 2022, at 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM in the Ministry and Performing Arts Center (MPAC). This Fellowship for Performing Arts production has toured the United States from New York to California and played on campuses such as Princeton, Vanderbilt, Wheaton, UNC-Chapel Hill, and many other esteemed institutions of higher learning. Using C.S. Lewis’ own words, award-winning actor Max McLean brings the brilliant Oxford fellow to life, taking us on his
Ohio Christian University is excited to bring “The Most Reluctant Convert” to its Circleville Campus. There will be two shows only, on January 15, 2022, at 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM in the Ministry and Performing Arts Center (MPAC). This Fellowship for Performing Arts production has toured the United States from New York to California and played on campuses such as Princeton, Vanderbilt, Wheaton,
Ohio Christian University is excited to bring “The Most Reluctant Convert” to its Circleville Campus. There will be two shows only, on January 15, 2022, at 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM in the Ministry and
OCU Dark Road Banner

Drama Team Presents Fall Production: Dark Road

OCU Dark Road Banner

Published: September 27, 2021

Ohio Christian University’s Drama Team is honored to present this year’s fall production, Dark Road, written by Laura Lundgren Smith, on Friday, Nov. 12th at 7:00 PM in the Ministry and Performing Arts Center’s auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.  This play may not be suitable for some younger audiences who may find the subject matter disturbing.  Parental discretion is advised. The play focuses on the story of a female concentration camp guard, Greta, who has been given a death sentence for her crimes committed under the Nazi regime. Given one last chance to tell
Ohio Christian University’s Drama Team is honored to present this year’s fall production, Dark Road, written by Laura Lundgren Smith, on Friday, Nov. 12th at 7:00 PM in the Ministry and Performing Arts Center’s auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.  This play may not be suitable for some younger audiences who may find the subject matter disturbing.  Parental discretion is
Ohio Christian University’s Drama Team is honored to present this year’s fall production, Dark Road, written by Laura Lundgren Smith, on Friday, Nov. 12th at 7:00 PM in the Ministry and Performing
Fall Revival 2021

Semester Begins With Revival Services

Fall Revival 2021

Published: September 10, 2021

Students started the new semester with three days of revival services in the Ministry
Students started the new semester with three days of revival services in the Ministry
Students started the new semester with three days of revival services in the Ministry

OCU Among The 25 Safest Colleges Campuses in America

Published: September 10, 2021

Ohio Christian University earned twelfth place on college data and review site Niche's list of the top 25 safest college campuses in America. Niche analyzed data and student reviews to look at which campuses are the safest. This honor did not escape the attention of Newsweek magazine, read their article here. Niche's Safest College Campuses ranking is intended to highlight colleges with little to no campus crime, drugs, or alcohol usage.  They consider not only the campus data, but also the crime incidents in the local area, rates for violence and arrests, and comb through student
Ohio Christian University earned twelfth place on college data and review site Niche's list of the top 25 safest college campuses in America. Niche analyzed data and student reviews to look at which campuses are the safest. This honor did not escape the attention of Newsweek magazine, read their article here. Niche's Safest College Campuses ranking is intended to highlight colleges with
Ohio Christian University earned twelfth place on college data and review site Niche's list of the top 25 safest college campuses in America. Niche analyzed data and student reviews to look at
OCU Summer Celebration Photo

2021 Summer Celebration Picnic

OCU Summer Celebration Photo

Published: August 6, 2021

Ohio Christian University held its first ever Summer Celebration Picnic on Friday, July 16, 2021. This was a time for OCU Alumni, donor partners and community members to get together and enjoy Food, Friends and Fellowship. In spite of some scattered storms, many people of all ages gathered together. Matt Hunnell, VP of University Advancement commented: “Despite a little rain, we had a great turn out.  It was wonderful to see smiling faces on campus, and our friends enjoying music, a good meal, and time together.  We look forward to many more events and gatherings on campus in the
Ohio Christian University held its first ever Summer Celebration Picnic on Friday, July 16, 2021. This was a time for OCU Alumni, donor partners and community members to get together and enjoy Food, Friends and Fellowship. In spite of some scattered storms, many people of all ages gathered together. Matt Hunnell, VP of University Advancement commented: “Despite a little rain, we had a great
Ohio Christian University held its first ever Summer Celebration Picnic on Friday, July 16, 2021. This was a time for OCU Alumni, donor partners and community members to get together and enjoy Food

Archived Articles of Interest

Orchestra Shares Gospel Through Music in Japan image

Orchestra Shares Gospel Through Music in Japan

Orchestra Shares Gospel Through Music in Japan image

Published: November 8, 2019

This summer, Ohio Christian University’s orchestra went on its third mission trip to Japan. From Jul. 29 to Aug. 17, students had the opportunity to share not only their musical talents but their passion for spreading the gospel. The orchestra directors, Roger and Linda Stieg, completed their graduate work at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan. After graduation, the Steigs were asked to come back to play some concerts. They agreed to return, hoping to be an example of how God can use even musical talent to help fulfill the Great Commission. Found in Matthew 28, the
This summer, Ohio Christian University’s orchestra went on its third mission trip to Japan. From Jul. 29 to Aug. 17, students had the opportunity to share not only their musical talents but their passion for spreading the gospel. The orchestra directors, Roger and Linda Stieg, completed their graduate work at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan. After graduation, the Steigs
This summer, Ohio Christian University’s orchestra went on its third mission trip to Japan. From Jul. 29 to Aug. 17, students had the opportunity to share not only their musical talents but their
Trailblazers Participate In 21st Annual Ralph C. Starkey Community Action Day image

Trailblazers Participate In 21st Annual Ralph C. Starkey Community Action Day

Trailblazers Participate In 21st Annual Ralph C. Starkey Community Action Day image

Published: October 16, 2019

CIRCLEVILLE, OH – Last Wednesday, the Trailblazer Athletic Department, in partnership with the university, participated in the 21st annual Ralph C. Starkey Community Action Day. This year, Ohio Christian partnered with United Way of Pickaway County to expand the reach and scope by coordinating and bringing together the organizations individual efforts to serve the community.
CIRCLEVILLE, OH – Last Wednesday, the Trailblazer Athletic Department, in partnership with the university, participated in the 21st annual Ralph C. Starkey Community Action Day. This year, Ohio Christian partnered with United Way of Pickaway County to expand the reach and scope by coordinating and bringing together the organizations individual efforts to serve the community.
CIRCLEVILLE, OH – Last Wednesday, the Trailblazer Athletic Department, in partnership with the university, participated in the 21st annual Ralph C. Starkey Community Action Day. This year, Ohio
Students Serve Community in 21st Annual Ralph C. Starkey Community Action Day image

Students Serve Community in 21st Annual Ralph C. Starkey Community Action Day

Students Serve Community in 21st Annual Ralph C. Starkey Community Action Day image

Published: October 16, 2019

Over 460 students from Ohio Christian University and local high schools through a partnership with United Way of Pickaway County came together on Oct. 9 to serve the community. During OCU’s 21st annual Ralph C. Starkey Community Action Day, students engaged in clean up and restoration projects at 44 sites throughout Circleville and the surrounding county. Before starting, the students were addressed by event organizers, Ralph C. Starkey’s daughter Beth Starkey Hill, Circleville Mayor Don McIlroy, and Pickaway County Commissioner Brian Stewart. Executive Director of United Way Jama
Over 460 students from Ohio Christian University and local high schools through a partnership with United Way of Pickaway County came together on Oct. 9 to serve the community. During OCU’s 21st annual Ralph C. Starkey Community Action Day, students engaged in clean up and restoration projects at 44 sites throughout Circleville and the surrounding county. Before starting, the students were
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Ohio Christian Ranked Among Best Online Logistics Management Programs image

Ohio Christian Ranked Among Best Online Logistics Management Programs

Ohio Christian Ranked Among Best Online Logistics Management Programs image

Published: October 16, 2019

Ohio Christian University was recently ranked as offering one of the best online baccalaureate programs in Logistics Management. The university was ranked 8th out of 15 by the Online Schools Report (OSR), which serves as a resource for students pursuing online programs. According to OSR, their rankings are based on six data points: three schoolwide and three program-specific. For schoolwide, OSR uses student satisfaction, admission rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the median debt of graduates from that program, how many
Ohio Christian University was recently ranked as offering one of the best online baccalaureate programs in Logistics Management. The university was ranked 8th out of 15 by the Online Schools Report (OSR), which serves as a resource for students pursuing online programs. According to OSR, their rankings are based on six data points: three schoolwide and three program-specific. For schoolwide
Ohio Christian University was recently ranked as offering one of the best online baccalaureate programs in Logistics Management. The university was ranked 8th out of 15 by the Online Schools Report
Student Volunteers

Ohio Christian Partners to Serve Community

Student Volunteers

Published: October 16, 2019

Ohio Christian University will hold its 21st annual Ralph C. Starkey Community Action Day on Oct 9. The event historically sends out over 400 students, faculty and staff into the community of Circleville and the surrounding area to serve those in need. This year, Ohio Christian has partnered with United Way of Pickaway County to expand the reach and scope by coordinating and bringing together the organizations individual efforts to serve the community. Ohio Christian has traditionally held Community Action Day in the spring but switched to fall this year so the day would coincide with
Ohio Christian University will hold its 21st annual Ralph C. Starkey Community Action Day on Oct 9. The event historically sends out over 400 students, faculty and staff into the community of Circleville and the surrounding area to serve those in need. This year, Ohio Christian has partnered with United Way of Pickaway County to expand the reach and scope by coordinating and bringing
Ohio Christian University will hold its 21st annual Ralph C. Starkey Community Action Day on Oct 9. The event historically sends out over 400 students, faculty and staff into the community of