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Students test calling to ministry through inquiry program

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Four Bethel College students are exploring congregational ministry this summer through the Ministry Inquiry Program.

Naomi Graber from Sunnyside Mennonite Church in Elkhart, Ind., will be working with Cyneatha Millsaps, pastor of Community Mennonite Church in Markham, Ill.

“I’m hoping for a time of growth and learning through service to a community full of life and love,” said Graber.

John Miller from First Mennonite Church in Hutchinson, Kan., will be at Christ Community Church in Des Moines, working with Pastor Kent McDougal.

Sarah Pohl from First Mennonite Church of Christian in Moundridge, Kan., will be working with Steve Penner, pastor of First Mennonite Church, Reedley, Calif. “What I’m most looking forward to is serving in many different ways and improving in areas where I know I need to grow in general, and in my faith,” said Pohl.

Caleb Regehr from Grace Hill Mennonite Church, Whitewater, Kan., will be at San Antonio (Texas) Mennonite Church, working with Pastor Rachel Epp Miller. “I am very excited for this opportunity,” he said. “I think it will be a great chance to sense God's direction for my life and to experience ministry.”

MIP is a joint program of Mennonite Church USA and the MC USA-affiliated colleges to help college-age young adults consider pastoral ministry as a vocation. Students are placed in Mennonite congregations although they do not have to be Mennonite to participate in MIP.

MIP allows students to experience ministry first-hand under the supervision of an experienced pastor. They also receive up to $2,000 in scholarship funds to be applied to tuition, and the host congregation supplies housing and pays other living expenses during the 11-week term.

Bethel College has had at least one student in MIP every year since the program’s inception – at Bethel – in 1987.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2009 and one of only two Kansas colleges profiled in Colleges of Distinction 2009-10. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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