Balanced Training: The Maranatha Way

It is the Maranatha way.

The young man you see playing trombone in the orchestra is also a starting linebacker for the football team, leads those who share his dormitory floor in devotions every week, and helps in his church’s rest home ministry. The young woman who becomes an audience favorite for her solid supporting role in the spring play is also the soccer team’s best defender, travels to Madison many Friday nights as part of a street witnessing team, and plays the piano for junior church on Sunday.

The notion of balanced leadership training at Maranatha can be traced back to Dr. B. Myron Cedarholm and his wife, Thelma, who worked together to establish the College in 1968. It is a legacy that Dr. John Davis, recently named Dean of Students, said he intends to carry on.

“In my mind, the campus experience is just as valuable as the classroom experience,” said Davis, who officially began his new duties following Commencement. “If there is peer pressure on our campus, it’s the expectation of involvement—positive peer pressure.”

Training the next generation of Christian leaders is Maranatha’s mission. A challenging academic experience is one component of accomplishing that mission. So are campus and church leadership opportunities. So is involvement in music, drama, and athletics. So is community outreach.

Maranatha places great emphasis on integrating classroom training with co-curricular activities and local church ministry.

“The framework of being Baptist and the diversity of opportunities here is what really sets Maranatha apart,” Davis (left) said.

Davis will continue his duties as Director of Alumni Services while overseeing the Student Life Office and the Office of Student Activities. Peter Huber was recently hired as OSA Director.

“I look forward to working with Peter,” Davis said. “God has helped us assemble a great team here.”

The Student Life and Student Activities offices promote leadership training through offering practical opportunities to exercise that leadership. Every student society has officers that must organize ministry activities, intramural sports teams, and society outings. Every class has officers that prepare class chapels and promote class activities. Every residence hall has a supervisor, every floor a resident advisor, and every room a designated room leader.

Providing that many chances for students to learn practical leadership skills is an integral part of student life at Maranatha.

“That design is intentional,” Davis said. “The leadership structure works. I can say that because 92 percent of our graduates are still very active in their local church ministries. They’re continuing to exercise the leadership they learned here.”

Not everyone comes to campus expecting to become a leader, but leadership opportunities and balanced education are part of the College’s unique culture. That is one big reason why the Maranatha experience is often “more than you expect.”