Irene Stroh

Student Profile: Irene Stroh Picks Worship Leadership Major

During the summer of 2017 Irene Stroh participated in a Next Step Ministries mission trip in Alaska as a worship leader intern.  The opportunity came through OCU’s partnership with Next Step Ministries proved particularly significant to Irene, as it moved her to major in Worship Leadership.

Irene spent ten weeks as a volunteer intern in rural Fairbanks, Alaska, with nine other interns from colleges and universities in West Virginia, Texas, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The team worked and lived together, fast becoming ‘best friends’. Their host's accommodations for them was the basement of a rural church.  The team received field service training in Madison, WI, before traveling to Fairbanks.

Alaskan native tribe leader Will Mayo and his wife Yvonne, own and operate Vine Alaska, a ministry camp and retreat for spiritual rest open year-round. The team worked at Vine Alaska, building a cabin, and staining and cutting wood.  At the camp the team supervised groups of junior and high schoolers on week-long retreats in community service projects during the day.  Work projects included refurbishing rural homes, putting up new drywall and clearing surrounding grounds. The team prepared the groups’ daily meals.

During the internship the team had time between student groups for excursions to Anchorage, Valdez, and the Arctic circle, which are memorable experiences.

Irene’s responsibilities included preparing and leading nightly worship sessions where team members sang pre-selected songs while playing musical instruments.  Irene played piano, while other team members played guitar and box drum.  Irene selected the sets of songs based on different themes or topics for each session.  Because the student groups represented different Christian denominations—Catholic, Protestant, and non-denominational—they reacted differently to her selections of topics and songs which ranged from traditional to contemporary.

For Irene, her Alaskan mission internship was transformative: “I learned a lot about what it means to truly worship God.  Leading nightly worship sessions has given me greater confidence in my abilities and confirmed my feeling of being called to become a worship leader."


About OCU

Ohio Christian University is committed to offering a complete education that develops students intellectually, professionally and spiritually. OCU offers degree programs for residential undergraduate students, graduate students, and adult and online students. Every program is designed to equip students to become leaders in their careers, communities, families, and the world.