After five years of influencing Huntington County’s teens as Campus Life Director of Huntington North High School, Dave Ramseyer left the senior class with one intriguing thought; “Cherish life: what it means to be as opposed to what it means to do.”
Dave, a 2000 youth ministry graduate from Huntington University, shared his message at the baccalaureate program for Huntington North High School before venturing to Colorado to begin his new role as National Campus Life Director at Youth for Christ. He later was named vice president of national ministries for Youth for Christ, USA.
"Young people have taught me what it means to live life to the fullest,” said Dave, reflecting on his years in high-school ministry. “I spent my days building relationships with students, teachers, parents and other adults in the community that I might first show them that Jesus has changed my life. The goal is to share life together so much that they begin to see the difference Jesus is making in my life each day. As I develop a deep enough relationship with these people, I can share specifically what Christ has done for us. It is a matter of sharing life together and then helping them to see that real life starts when Christ is part of the equation.”
Sometimes choosing a college can seem like an equation, filled with the mind-boggling variables of financial aid, majors, location — the list goes on and on. For Dave, a native of Wooster, Ohio, the answer to the college equation became clear when he visited Huntington University.
“I really visited a lot of Christian colleges trying to find the best fit for me to studyministry,” Dave remembers. “The truth is that once I stepped on the campus, I felt a peace. The faculty, like Dr. Dave Rahn, who took time to share with me, gave me a peace. The beautiful campus helped me feel at ease. The friendly student atmosphere helped me feel comfortable. But more than anything, I think I felt a peace that Huntington University was where God wanted me.”
The friendly environment that drew Dave to Huntington is a natural part of having a small, close-knit campus community. Dave points out that forming deeper relationships is among the great advantages of being at a smaller institution like Huntington.
“You actually get to know your professors,” Dave said. “You get a chance to know all the people that live around you. And eventually you feel like Huntington University becomes one big family.”
A key part of that family atmosphere is Huntington’s professors, who constantly seek to challenge students in both academics and in their faith. Dave says his ministry professors especially inspired him with their real-life example of the Christian faith.
“I think the way my professors helped me gain a Christian experience for ministry was by unveiling their own,” Dave recalls. “They helped us to see how real Christ was in their life and job. I truly wanted to follow their example as I pushed forward in my career.”
As a youth ministry student, Dave says the most valuable aspect of Huntington’s program was its ability to provide real world experience. In addition to volunteering with local ministries during college, students also get the chance to work in a ministry of choice during the senior year, through a seven month internship experience called PRIME.
“I really felt like I hit the ground running in youth ministry,” Dave says. “I definitely didn’t know it all nor will I ever know it all. However, I had a great chance to learn about ministry in the classroom and then turn around and put it into practice through ministry experiences.”
“Huntington University really pushed me to understand how my faith practically applies to everything in life,” Dave recalls. “The university helped me prepare to work with people, prepare for ministry, prepare to take care of my finances, and even prepare me to have a disciplined work ethic. The people at Huntington helped me develop a well-rounded worldview that daily effects how I live.”
Having reaped the benefits of a youth ministry degree at Huntington University, Dave highly recommends HU to future students.
“Huntington is a great place to study ministry because it helps students learn the underlying principles of ministry while pushing you to practice what you are daily learning,” Dave said. “You will truly walk away with not only great knowledge, but first-hand experience in the ministry of your choice. That is priceless.”
Discover what Huntington University can do for you.
Are you interested in studying youth ministry? Tell us about your dreams and aspirations, and we'll respond immediately with a custom viewbook made just for you! Build a brochure now!