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

OCU Graduate Update - Justin Hamilton image

OCU Graduate Update - Justin Hamilton

OCU Graduate Update - Justin Hamilton image

Published: October 24, 2016

Justin is a 2016 graduate, earning his Bachelor of Arts in Middle Childhood Education (grades 4-9) with concentrations in English Language Arts and Social Studies. Justin has obtained his license and is now serving as a substitute for all of Pickaway County, schools in Ross County, such as Unioto and Zane Trace, and also Teays Valley School District. Aside from subbing, Justin is working and just finished a collection of H.P. Lovecraft novels. He has enjoyed having more time for family and his church as well. Keep up the good work Justin!
Justin is a 2016 graduate, earning his Bachelor of Arts in Middle Childhood Education (grades 4-9) with concentrations in English Language Arts and Social Studies. Justin has obtained his license and is now serving as a substitute for all of Pickaway County, schools in Ross County, such as Unioto and Zane Trace, and also Teays Valley School District. Aside from subbing, Justin is working and
Justin is a 2016 graduate, earning his Bachelor of Arts in Middle Childhood Education (grades 4-9) with concentrations in English Language Arts and Social Studies. Justin has obtained his license
Teacher Education Department Meeting image

Teacher Education Department Meeting

Teacher Education Department Meeting image

Published: October 24, 2016

The Teacher Education Department had a meeting with all students Wednesday, October 19th.  Topics on the agenda were new CAEP accreditation standards, ideas for a TE spring trip, updates on the potential AYA programs, information about supplies and materials that are available to them.  A survey was taken concerning student retention and degree completion.
The Teacher Education Department had a meeting with all students Wednesday, October 19th.  Topics on the agenda were new CAEP accreditation standards, ideas for a TE spring trip, updates on the potential AYA programs, information about supplies and materials that are available to them.  A survey was taken concerning student retention and degree completion.
The Teacher Education Department had a meeting with all students Wednesday, October 19th.  Topics on the agenda were new CAEP accreditation standards, ideas for a TE spring trip, updates on the
OCU Graduate Update - Annie Edmonds image

OCU Graduate Update - Annie Edmonds

OCU Graduate Update - Annie Edmonds image

Published: October 24, 2016

OCU graduate Annie Edmonds shares this update from the field: I am currently working at New Beginnings Christian school  in Columbus Ohio, teaching first grade. There are countless times I refer back to my education while in the classroom. It is so encouraging to know that I still have a great support system at OCU, I know that if I ever needed anything they would be there in a heartbeat! I am thankful for each one of my professors that took time to help me achieve my goals and dreams!  
OCU graduate Annie Edmonds shares this update from the field: I am currently working at New Beginnings Christian school  in Columbus Ohio, teaching first grade. There are countless times I refer back to my education while in the classroom. It is so encouraging to know that I still have a great support system at OCU, I know that if I ever needed anything they would be there in a heartbeat! I
OCU graduate Annie Edmonds shares this update from the field: I am currently working at New Beginnings Christian school  in Columbus Ohio, teaching first grade. There are countless times I refer
OCU Students Minister Through Drama image

OCU Students Minister Through Drama

OCU Students Minister Through Drama image

Published: September 13, 2016

Ohio Christian University is excited about launching a new semester of the drama ministry travel team, Living Parables.  This group is made up of 14 residential undergraduate students (two teams), including the Student Leaders Brittany Twining and Haley Fowler. The group is under the direction of Mrs. Bethany Bolin, who is a graduate of OCU and possesses many years of teaching and leading drama.   Living Parables ministers in churches, schools and youth events presenting sketches of real-life circumstances which focus on the gospel as well as moral values.
Ohio Christian University is excited about launching a new semester of the drama ministry travel team, Living Parables.  This group is made up of 14 residential undergraduate students (two teams), including the Student Leaders Brittany Twining and Haley Fowler. The group is under the direction of Mrs. Bethany Bolin, who is a graduate of OCU and possesses many years of teaching and leading
Ohio Christian University is excited about launching a new semester of the drama ministry travel team, Living Parables.  This group is made up of 14 residential undergraduate students (two teams),
Students Serve on Summer Camp Teams image

Students Serve on Summer Camp Teams

Students Serve on Summer Camp Teams image

Published: August 27, 2019

The Ohio Christian University Summer Camp Teams have now wrapped up their ministry for 2016. A group of 49 OCU students ministered at 27 camps this summer in seven different states—Ohio, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Georgia, and Indiana. The students were hand-selected through an application and interview process and received over 50 hours of training in preparation. Student Camp Leader, Mekayla Deffenbaugh, shared her experience with camp teams saying, "OCU Camp Teams have given me the opportunity to expand my comfort zone, meet amazing people, test my patience,
The Ohio Christian University Summer Camp Teams have now wrapped up their ministry for 2016. A group of 49 OCU students ministered at 27 camps this summer in seven different states—Ohio, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Georgia, and Indiana. The students were hand-selected through an application and interview process and received over 50 hours of training in preparation.
The Ohio Christian University Summer Camp Teams have now wrapped up their ministry for 2016. A group of 49 OCU students ministered at 27 camps this summer in seven different states—Ohio, Kentucky,