Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Night to Shine

By Amber Ginter

Ohio Christian University Teacher Education students and faculty participated in Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine in Circleville Vineyard Church in February.  The event gave opportunities to show love and support to those with disabilities. 

Night to Shine is a prom where everyone can participate, delivering fun, dancing, music, food, and normalcy.  Created to embrace those with exceptionalities so that they feel loved and special, the event enables participants to show kindness in the spirit of Christian faith.

“It was a Christian event. Yet, you need not be a Christian to attend.  Involving everyone in the community made a good mixture and gave all participants a dose of Jesus,” students Morgan Jenkins, Jenny Keppler, and Autumn Paugh explained in unison.

Participating OCU students not only blessed others, but they received blessings. “We may have served some here tonight.  Yet, they blessed us,” noted Karee Neff, who wants to earn a master’s degree in special education.

Serving as ‘buddies’ to disabled persons, Karee Neff and Autumn Paugh become friends with their peer partners and engaged them in a series of participation stations from hair and makeup, to food, pictures, and dancing down the red carpet.  It was not limousine rides or free food that made these students feel compassion to serve, it was their ministering. “Night to Shine matters because it builds awareness, and those with exceptionalities deserve to be treated well like anyone,” noted Jenny.

OCU Teacher Education Professor Valerie Jones explains that “Here you can learn everything about teaching.  Yet, if you do not develop empathy, then you miss out.  If Jesus and His mission inform your actions, then you become a teacher who can make a difference.  We show the disabled our love through Christ.  We become a blessing to others as they are to us.”

OCU’s Teacher Education program trains teachers to engage effectively with disabled students. From teaching to exceptionalities, to field experience and training, courses help students learn and teach differentiation, develop individual education plans, as well as accommodations and modifications in interacting. “It is woven into the entire program.  Most important is we teach that God created exceptional children and young adults for a purpose.  It is our job as teachers to help them achieve their purpose,” concludes Jones. 

Archived Articles of Interest

Teacher Education Students Attend MLA Conference image

Teacher Education Students Attend MLA Conference

Teacher Education Students Attend MLA Conference image

Published: November 28, 2017

On Thursday November 2, 2017, many of our Middle Childhood Education majors attended the Ohio Middle Level Association Conference in Columbus, Ohio. The annual conference is held for Ohio teachers of grades 4-9. Ohio Christian University Professor of Social Studies and Language Arts Methods, Jayne Stevenson, and Professor of Science and Math Methods, Rolanda Hurtt, organized and invited their students to attend the conference as pre-service educators for networking and learning more about this always changing, and ever more important profession. OCU students attended workshops and
On Thursday November 2, 2017, many of our Middle Childhood Education majors attended the Ohio Middle Level Association Conference in Columbus, Ohio. The annual conference is held for Ohio teachers of grades 4-9. Ohio Christian University Professor of Social Studies and Language Arts Methods, Jayne Stevenson, and Professor of Science and Math Methods, Rolanda Hurtt, organized and invited
On Thursday November 2, 2017, many of our Middle Childhood Education majors attended the Ohio Middle Level Association Conference in Columbus, Ohio. The annual conference is held for Ohio teachers
Hope Springs Anew–OCU Responds to Opioid Crisis image

Hope Springs Anew–OCU Responds to Opioid Crisis

Hope Springs Anew–OCU Responds to Opioid Crisis image

Published: November 28, 2017

As the tragic effects of opioid addiction continue to grip the nation, in Ohio efforts to address them are well underway through initiatives by organizations such as Propel Ohio and Ohio Christian University. On Nov. 17, Teacher Education Professors Valerie Jones and Angela Flowers, along with student majors Maddy McCain and Emily Morton, attended Propel Ohio’s Collegiate Leadership Conference on the effect of poverty and the opioid crisis on Ohio youth.  They joined some 600 attendees in the University of Akron’s historic Quaker Station conference center to hear Ohio Senators Sherrod
As the tragic effects of opioid addiction continue to grip the nation, in Ohio efforts to address them are well underway through initiatives by organizations such as Propel Ohio and Ohio Christian University. On Nov. 17, Teacher Education Professors Valerie Jones and Angela Flowers, along with student majors Maddy McCain and Emily Morton, attended Propel Ohio’s Collegiate Leadership
As the tragic effects of opioid addiction continue to grip the nation, in Ohio efforts to address them are well underway through initiatives by organizations such as Propel Ohio and Ohio Christian
Thanksgiving for Students on Campus

Spirit of Thanksgiving Prospers at Ohio Christian University!

Thanksgiving for Students on Campus

Published: November 21, 2017

One OCU student, Clarissa Crowley, has taken initiative to organize a Thanksgiving dinner and remembrance celebration for students remaining on campus over the holiday. Crowley plans a 'ceremonial' observance of this traditional holiday that includes passing a thanksgiving card to each person at the table.  Each participant holding the card will describe a person, place, and experience from the past year for which they are particularly thankful.  This practice is a Crowley family tradition. After sharing their thankfulness, the diners will pause for prayer before enjoying the feast.
One OCU student, Clarissa Crowley, has taken initiative to organize a Thanksgiving dinner and remembrance celebration for students remaining on campus over the holiday. Crowley plans a 'ceremonial' observance of this traditional holiday that includes passing a thanksgiving card to each person at the table.  Each participant holding the card will describe a person, place, and experience from
One OCU student, Clarissa Crowley, has taken initiative to organize a Thanksgiving dinner and remembrance celebration for students remaining on campus over the holiday. Crowley plans a 'ceremonial
John Flaugher Racing

Student Profile: John Flaugher Charts Course to Global Ministry

John Flaugher Racing

Published: August 27, 2019

A senior Ministry major, John Flaugher was attracted to OCU by its affordability and an opportunity to join its track team.  He discovered OCU through a Bible study in Springfield, Ohio led by the father of OCU All-American soccer player Aubri Paugh who encouraged him to apply. OCU was among several top schools that John considered. As he explains, “I came to OCU’s main campus for an over-night stay event where I met many students and experienced the strong community atmosphere.  I quickly felt at home and part of the ‘family’ which effected my perspective.  I saw student life
A senior Ministry major, John Flaugher was attracted to OCU by its affordability and an opportunity to join its track team.  He discovered OCU through a Bible study in Springfield, Ohio led by the father of OCU All-American soccer player Aubri Paugh who encouraged him to apply. OCU was among several top schools that John considered. As he explains, “I came to OCU’s main campus for an over-
A senior Ministry major, John Flaugher was attracted to OCU by its affordability and an opportunity to join its track team.  He discovered OCU through a Bible study in Springfield, Ohio led by the
OCU Graduate Update - Allyson Jones image

OCU Graduate Update - Allyson Jones

OCU Graduate Update - Allyson Jones image

Published: October 24, 2016

Allyson is a 2016 graduate, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education (PreK-3). Allyson is now a 2nd grade teacher at the International School of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and loving every minute of it!  Allyson completed her student teaching at IST as part of our new Student Teaching Abroad program. IST is a private Christian school in the capitol city.  Allyson lives with other teachers and spends many of her weekends going on exciting trips in the rainforests, waterfalls, and to the beach as well as all the normal things like shopping and going to the movies and, of
Allyson is a 2016 graduate, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education (PreK-3). Allyson is now a 2nd grade teacher at the International School of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and loving every minute of it!  Allyson completed her student teaching at IST as part of our new Student Teaching Abroad program. IST is a private Christian school in the capitol city.  Allyson lives with
Allyson is a 2016 graduate, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education (PreK-3). Allyson is now a 2nd grade teacher at the International School of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and loving