Redding Woman Gains Academic, Spiritual Education at Simpson University

For Immediate Release


Denise KnoxREDDING, Calif. - Redding resident Denise Knox’s time as a student in Simpson University’s ASPIRE degree-completion program was a time of academic and spiritual development.

“I chose Simpson because it was a Christian university, and it was local,” she said. “I not only wanted to study general education, but I wanted to learn more about the Bible and sharing my faith in Christ with the world.”

Knox, along with more than 230 other students, received degrees during Simpson’s spring commencement ceremony on April 30. She was also inducted into Alpha Sigma Lambda, a national honor society for continuing education students who maintain at least a 3.8 grade-point average.

Knox first attended college in 1977 but dropped out when she got married. She returned to school in 2007 and earned her certified nursing assistant (CNA)/home health aide credentials from Shasta College in Redding. She worked as a CNA prior to attending Simpson.

Knox explored options for returning to college and decided to pursue B.A. in organizational leadership through the School of Adult Studies.

“I chose organizational leadership because it seemed very well-rounded,” she said. “It prepares individuals to lead in any group or organization, but it can open up a door to a teaching career as well. It gives more options to be hirable, in my opinion.”

While in the ASPIRE program, Knox was part of a 16-month-long on-campus degree program. She attended class from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays.

“One of the things I learned about myself in this pursuit is that I need to be around people, engaging them in person,” she said. “I am an audio/visual learner, so being able to engage the instructor, watch him/her and ask questions on the spot is important to me. I enjoy when others in the classroom have a different slant on something and they speak up.”

Knox, a 57-year-old widowed mother and grandmother, faced multiple challenges during her time in the ASPIRE program, including struggling with family issues and finances.

“Doing this program at this stage in my life has been a real challenge, but I know God has a purpose in all of this,” she said. “I have met so many great people along the way who have helped me. My faith tells me He sent them to me. And now that it is almost over, I can look back and see His hand in all of it. He took care of me.”

By attending Simpson, Knox said she was able to achieve the deeper biblical understanding she was searching for.

“I am less worried now about having all the answers about God,” she said. “I am more interested in walking in a moment-by-moment relationship with Him that is vital and alive. I feel like since I have been at Simpson, I really see God in others in a more intense way. I look for God in others.”

She said she also gained a great understanding for other cultures.

“I learned much about other cultures, other worldviews, and that the gospel message has to be given out with wisdom and sensitivity to people who do not have the same background as I do here in the West,” she said. “God created a very beautiful diverse world with many different cultures, and they bring glory to Him. I feel more equipped to share Christ with others who are unlike me now.”

Based on her positive experience, Knox said she would recommend the ASPIRE program to others.

“I think it is always good to further your education, and the ASPIRE program is a way someone can do it and not lose their home and job in the process,” she said. “This program expands your thinking and helps you to understand that people who disagree with your view are not necessarily wrong. In fact, you may find out that you are the one who is wrong.”

Knox is unsure of how she will use her degree, but she is considering multiple I ideas, including working in family services, education, or church leadership. She is also thinking about teaching on the mission field.

-Written by Elise Wilson

-Denise Knox was also featured in an April 30, 2016, Redding Record Searchlight newspaper article.



Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit


Contact: SU Public Relations
(530) 226-4737