Love of ministry grows on PRIME

New Covenant Bible Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has a strong relationship with Huntington University's ministry department thanks to the numerous PRIME students they have hosted in the past. This year, senior youth ministries majors Holly Lutton and Brandon Groff were the most recent HU students to spend their PRIME experiences at New Covenant. Lutton served within the high school ministry while Groff has been serving with the middle school students.
For Groff, New Covenant was not where he had planned on spending PRIME (Practical Research and Immersion for Ministry Effectiveness), but after his original location fell through suddenly, God opened the door for him to join the New Covenant family and fellow PRIME student Lutton.

"While I would have loved interning at the church in Michigan, I am so grateful that God brought me to Iowa instead," Groff said. "This is indeed where He wanted me to be."

Choosing to spend PRIME at New Covenant for Lutton was more like a leap of faith that has led to many meaningful experiences working with the high school students.

"To have gained their trust is an honor, privilege and responsibility that I cherish," Lutton said. "To show them love, grace and truth is my utmost desire in every interaction."

Both Groff and Lutton agree that their time on PRIME has both reassured and clarified their calling to youth ministry.

"I have found an incredible passion for young people, helping them to grow in their relationships with God and grow into mature young Christians," Groff said.

It also has taught them the importance of depending on God and listening to Him.

"There are long days, hard conversations and never enough time it seems, but the Lord is faithful to reveal himself and provide help through each challenging day," Lutton said.

They both are thankful for the Christian atmosphere and community that HU offers them and said it's one of the main reason they chose to attend the university. Though drawn to Huntington because of its ministry department, it was the overall campus community and the fact that HU provides a Christ-centered community in every aspect from the classroom to the residence halls that attracted them.

"This Christ-centeredness drew me to its doors, compels me to go out living with Christ as my center and encourages me to pull others along with me in striving to keep Jesus at our core," Lutton said.

PRIME is a seven-month, full-time, off-campus ministry experience with intensive mentoring by an experienced ministry leader. During the PRIME experience, students test their knowledge as they participate in this unique internship. Learn more at