Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Meet Our New Apprentices at UTD

Each August we accept a group of college graduates onto our staff for one school year. They come to serve the community, to learn and grow in their own faith, and to explore the possibility of becoming a campus pastor long-term. As usual, we have an outstanding group this year! There are 12 in all, but 7 of them are serving at UTD. I'm going to let them introduce themselves. There's also a student testimony and a picture from Fall Camp below. We had a great turnout!

Thank you to all of you who pray for this mission and to those of you who give financially to support it. I'm so encouraged by your partnership!

My name is Cort Thomas. I graduated from UT Dallas with a BFA in Arts & Technology. I am very excited to be doing the FOCUS apprenticeship at my alma mater. I am excited to get to grow as a person, to serve the community at UTD, and above all to deepen my relationship with Christ. Something interesting about me is that I have been married since August of 2018!

(Another Fun Fact is that Cort is our only male apprentice at UTD this year.)

My name is Ashley Obregon. I graduated from The University of North Texas #GMG with a bachelors in Social Work. I love being with people, the enneagram, and being loud. I have always been someone who felt like they needed to advocate for people so social work made sense to me. When I was a student in this ministry, I saw the way people loved and fought for me. When it comes to the apprenticeship, I am excited to have the opportunity to learn the things that I loved most about social work within the world of ministry. My life would be very different if people hadn't fought for me, and I look forward to getting to be that for someone else. I pray that this year God uses me to be a fighter for someone.
My name is Erin Campbell, and I am from Plano, Texas. I recently graduated from The University of North Texas with a degree in integrative studies concentrating in social work, psychology and women studies. I am very excited to be doing the FOCUS apprenticeship! I loved being in FOCUS as a student at Collin and UNT, and I am thrilled to be able to serve this ministry and the people in it. I am also looking forward to learning from talented ministers and to deepening my relationship with God. God used FOCUS and the people in it to change the trajectory of my life. I cannot wait to see what He does with the staff and students this year.

My name is Kylie Von Runnen. I am a Texas native and graduated from UTD this past Spring with a degree in Business Administration. It is super special to get to be on staff at this campus that was so integral to my growth in my relationship with God throughout college. I'm using this season to learn more about God and fall more in love with Him as I love His people on this campus. I am so excited to be at UTD and can't wait to see what God does in and through me in this season of life! Fun Fact: I love Disney and cats.

My name is Maria Stufflebeem! I’m originally from Recife, Brazil but have grown up in the Dallas, Texas area. I graduated with a BS in General Studies with a double major of Nursing and Business Administration from TWU. I felt a fire in my heart for the FOCUS apprenticeship, and am so excited to be a part of it! I absolutely love the opportunity to dive deep in our classes, readings, and discussions as well as study with and mentor students, putting into practice what we learn from our classes! It’s an exciting experience getting to grow in the knowledge of the Lord and see Him at work in the campus!  I’m so honored to get to do the apprenticeship this year! Fun fact: I’m fluent in three languages and love listening to other languages, even if I can’t understand them.

I'm Hannah Diaz, a native Texan. I completed my B.A. in English at Texas Woman’s University in 2019. It was there that I found Christ through college ministry. After going to my first core at the beginning of my freshman year, I knew I had found a home with FOCUS. Since then, I've committed my life to discipleship and haven't looked back! I decided to apply for the apprenticeship with FOCUS, knowing that I want to spread the amazing news of Jesus and love other students the way I had been loved throughout my years in college.

My name is Hanna Mason! I graduated from UNT with a bachelors in Special Education, and have been teaching for the last two years. I chose to do this apprenticeship because I felt God calling me to explore campus ministry as a career. I hope to learn how to better minister to college students, how to think pastorally, and how to grow in my faith and trust in God. A fun fact about me is that I am the youngest of around 36 grandchildren.

The crew from our UTD Fall Camp! We had a great weekend talking about making decisions and persevering through obstacles and challenges.

Developing Our Pastoral Team

We are back in August and ramping up for the school year! We have an amazing pastoral staff, and an outstanding group of student leaders. At...