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The Simpson University Experience

Learn more about Simpson University and our majors and programs by hearing from students and alumni about their SU experiences.

“You really form this bond with our peers in your class. It’s a phenomenal experience, and I just loved that.”

Sean Smith, nursing, class of 2016

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    After spending over a decade working in business management, Sean Smith decided to pursue his bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from Simpson University’s Betty M. Dean School of Nursing.

    “The reason I chose nursing was the stability of the profession,” he said. “There’s always going to be a need for nurses. That drove me to going back to school and getting a degree in nursing.”

    Sean, an alumnus from Redding, heard about Simpson from friends who were in the nursing profession.

    “They told me bachelor’s nursing was the way to go,” he said. “Simpson’s program was competitive to get into, but worth it.”

    Sean said one of the things that makes Simpson’s BSN program unique is the type of education students receive.

    “I feel like the Simpson University nursing program is centered around the nursing profession, but it also focuses on the professional side of nursing and not just the technical and medical sides,” he said. “They provide you with leadership education, critical-thinking education, and theory that you might not get elsewhere.”

    Another unique feature of the program is Simpson’s simulation lab, which is equipped with life-like manikins.

    “You really do have the ability to understand the information you will be hearing in a clinical setting,” Sean said. “You’ll have already heard some of the sounds. You’ll have already done some of the skill sets that are necessary to be able to do well in your job because we have such a phenomenal simulation lab on campus.”

    Some of Sean’s favorite parts of being in the nursing program included helping people in their time of need, learning intriguing information, and forming a second family.

    “You really form this bond with our peers in your class,” he said. “It’s a phenomenal experience, and I just loved that. The camaraderie between nurses is extremely beneficial, and it’s a joyful experience to be a part of.”

    Based on his positive experience, Sean said he would recommend Simpson University to others.

    “Simpson has a family atmosphere,” he said. “You will get to know so many people, even people who aren’t in your specific area of education. Everybody’s so friendly, so open to meeting new faces and getting to know you.”

    Sean had this advice to offer incoming nursing students:

    “Try to be the best student you can for nobody but yourself -- that way you can be more competitive and have more options available to you,” he said. “You don’t want to sell yourself and your future patients short by not devoting as much effort into this program as you should and coming out the other end not fully prepared to be in the nursing profession.”

    In order to help offset the cost of the program, Sean completed his pre-requisite courses at Shasta College in Redding. He also received several scholarships and said he is grateful for the support from donors that enabled him to attend Simpson.

    “Those of you who are providing funds for students to be able to come and train themselves, to better themselves for the future, you are lifesavers; without you a lot of us would not be able to get to our fullest potential that we are able to because of you,” he said. “You are setting up the next generation of professionals, and Simpson brings out some of the best."

    Sean plans to work in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for two to three years before returning to school to earn his master’s in nurse anesthesiology.


“The Christian background, the professors, the program itself prepares you not only from a medical standpoint, but the focus is also on helping patients find optimal health.”

Mary Beasley, nursing, class of 2016

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    Before earning her bachelor’s of science in nursing from Simpson University’s Betty M. Dean School of Nursing, alumna Mary Beasley (’16) worked as a medical sales representative. While she enjoyed her job, she felt that she was missing a sense of fulfillment and considered a career change.

    “My customers were nurses and to watch them every day and to see the impact that they had on their patients’ lives struck me, and that started me thinking that nursing might be something I could do,” she said.

    Mary experienced the relational and personal aspects of nursing and the positive influence of caring nurses after her sister suffered from cardiac arrest and her mother was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The care and compassion that they gave, that they chose to give, it helped us all survive and cope with those situations,” she said. “Not only did they take care of my mother and my sister, they also took care of our entire family. That’s something I hope I can give to others. It’s what I want to give back.”

    While researching nursing schools, Mary, a Redding resident for over a decade, decided to look into Simpson because of its excellent reputation. After visiting campus and meeting with the admissions staff and nursing faculty, she knew the program would be a good fit for her. She started taking classes in 2012.

    Mary said she enjoyed many aspects of the nursing program, including working with patients and the relationships she built with her professors and classmates.

    Without my professors and classmates, it would have been hard to get through this process,” she said. “They were all so encouraging.”

    "Mary said one of the things that makes Simpson’s BSN program unique is that students receive a well-rounded education.

    “The Christian background, the professors, the program itself prepares you not only from a medical standpoint, but the focus is also on helping patients find optimal health, including spiritually, mentally, and emotionally,” she said. “I believe that makes you a better nurse.”

    Mary hopes to work as a medical-surgical nurse because she wants the opportunity to work with multiple patients and build relationships with them. She also wants to learn skills that will help her excel in other hospital departments.

    In order to offset the cost of college, Mary received scholarships and other forms of financial aid. She is grateful for the support from donors that enabled her to obtain her nursing degree from Simpson.

    “Thank you to those people who support and give to Simpson students,” she said. “When I first came to Simpson, the admissions and student financial services offices were so welcoming. They helped me look for every possible scholarship and financial aid program so that I could weigh my options to see what would work best for me.”

    Based on her positive experience, Mary said she would recommend Simpson’s nursing program to others.

    “This program prepares you to be a nurse who can holistically care for a patient,” she said. “If I were in the hospital that’s what I would want for my family, and I believe that the professors and program here can help you get that.”


“It’s a bachelor’s in nursing program that enables you to obtain a critical thinking nursing profession. It’s not just skill related. It’s connecting the ‘whys’ and seeing a big picture of your patient.”

Faith Barrett, nursing, class of 2016

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    Simpson University alumna Faith Barrett (’16) spent her childhood on a farm, where caring for animals prompted her to pursue a career in nursing.

    “That connection between care and nutrition and all those nurturing aspects that a nurse brings, I was doing those things with animals, but I was missing that relationship aspect,” she said.

    Faith grew up in Redding and was excited to learn that she could pursue her nursing degree locally through Simpson’s Betty M. Dean School of Nursing.

    “Being in a Christian environment and obtaining my bachelor’s through my hometown was what really piqued my interest in choosing Simpson,” she said.

    Even though it was challenging, Faith viewed her time in Simpson’s nursing program as a chance for personal growth and to develop strength and confidence.

    “The program challenges you to see who are and what circumstances you aren’t really good at and the circumstances you are good at,” she said.

    Faith hopes to become a critical care nurse and find a position on a telemetry floor. She would eventually like to work in either in the intensive care unit or the emergency room.

    “My goal is to work in the critical care setting because I love the ‘why,’” she said. “I like to know why things are happening and all the nitty-gritty details.”

    Faith gained a better of understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a critical care nurse by using Simpson’s simulation skills lab and manikins. She was able to practice her skills and go through potential scenarios she may encounter as a nurse.

    Faith said the thing she liked most about being a nursing student was all that she learned.

    “I’ve loved knowing what our body does and how beautiful it is what the Lord has created our body to do,” she said. “I loved immersing myself in information and building upon that information so that I know more why our bodies do certain things.”

    She also enjoyed the relationships she made while being in the nursing program for two-and-a-half years.

    “I’ve also loved the community that I’ve built with faculty members and my cohort,” she said. “We’ve become a family.”

    Based on her positive experience, Faith said she would encourage others to come to Simpson’s School of Nursing.

    “It’s a bachelor’s in nursing program that enables you to obtain a critical thinking nursing profession,” she said. “It’s not just skill related. It’s connecting the ‘whys’ and seeing a big picture of your patient.”

    In order to help offset the cost of college, Faith received multiple scholarships and government grants.

    “Simpson really broadens their horizons to find scholarships that can meet your needs,” she said. “They really have done a lot to look at my academics, even family members coming to Simpson, to help lower the cost so that it’s affordable for me."


“I enjoyed Simpson because of the small community we have. You can meet a lot of people and develop relationships that can last a lifetime.”

Ashleigh Menorath, nursing, class of 2016

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    Ashleigh (Higginbotham) Menorath knew that she wanted to become a nurse in order to help people when they were sick because others might not be willing to.

    “My heart and my passion are to serve others and to show others God’s love in a time where they might not feel God’s love,” she said.

    Ashleigh, from Grass Valley, Calif., first heard about Simpson University from friends. After researching the university online, she scheduled a campus visit.

    “I fell in love with the community,” she said. “I fell in love with the people here and how welcoming everyone was. I enjoyed the feeling of that close-knit, private, Christian college, while also getting that experience of ‘wow, I’m out in the world, and I’m experiencing life as an adult.’ That really attracted me.”

    One of the things Ashleigh enjoyed most about Simpson’s nursing program was the opportunity to practice various skills, including shots, nasogastric intubation, and IVs, on the manikins in simulation lab, while receiving guidance and feedback from her professors.

    “I was able to become proficient and feel comfortable in what we were doing while still having that safe environment where it’s OK to learn,” she said. “Once we’re done practicing on the manikins we can go out in the real world knowing that we can do what we need to and that we can do it right.”

    Ashleigh said her favorite aspect of being a nursing student at Simpson was the tight-knit family aspect among her peers.

    “I was with the same people in the same class for the last two-and-a-half years,” she said. “I loved it because I got to learn about each person individually. I know I’ve made some friendships that are going to last for the rest of my life.”

    Ashleigh said one of the unique things about Simpson’s Betty M. Dean School of Nursing was that admittance into the BSN program was merit-based instead of a lottery system.

    “It’s not just a chance that I got that I’m in this program,” she said. “I got picked because of how hard I worked and because of the values I brought to the table.”

    For Ashleigh, her time at Simpson was one of personal growth. In order to help with her studies, she learned how to develop time- and stress-management techniques. She grew spiritually by having the opportunity to attend chapel twice a week. She loved having the time to relax and focus on God.

    After she graduated in April 2016, Ashleigh got married and moved to North Carolina. She applied at various hospitals and clinics. She hopes to use the skills and knowledge she learned on multiple short-term mission trips.

    “I love serving others, and I love being able to experience different cultures and seeing how people live,” she said. “I love being able to immerse myself in other cultures and treat people in a way their culture approves of.”

    Based on her positive experience, Ashleigh said she would encourage others to come to Simpson.

    “I enjoyed Simpson because of the small community we have,” she said. “You can meet a lot of people and develop relationships that can last a lifetime.”

    “Simpson has a family atmosphere,” she said. “It’s not like your usual university or college campus where you feel like you’re part of a small group of people and everyone else is a stranger. On campus, you will get to know so many people, even people who aren’t in your specific area of education. Everybody’s so friendly, so open to meeting new faces and getting to know you.”


“I honestly sense the desire in the professors’ hearts to invest into the heart of the next generation of ministers and leaders that will be birthed through the Tozer Seminary program.”

Joshua Yang, Master of Divinity, A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary

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    Joshua Yang is pursuing his Master of Divinity through A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary, the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) seminary housed on Simpson University’s campus in Redding, Calif. He and his wife, Summer (Kyle ’16), hope to one day serve overseas as C&MA missionaries.

    Joshua chose to earn his master’s from Tozer because of the seminary’s missions mindset.

    “The vision that Tozer and Simpson University has to be a ‘Gateway to World Service’ was personally very applicable to me and drew me,” he said.

    Joshua said one of the unique things about Tozer Seminary is the professors.

    “From the experience that I have had at Tozer thus far, every professor is not only a teacher but a true doer of the Word,” he said. “They are active ministers who practice what they teach. They have been a source of encouragement and a challenge to my faith. They have taught me to think critically, yet humbly.”

    Joshua also said he appreciates the time the professors take to get to know their students.

    “The professors are always willing to communicate,” he said. “I honestly sense the desire in the professors’ hearts to invest into the heart of the next generation of ministers and leaders that will be birthed through the Tozer Seminary program.”

    Another unique feature of Tozer Seminary is the class structure. Joshua takes online and hybrid classes, which combine online and one-week intensive on-campus classes.

    “I can see a valuable lesson to be learned in each of the courses I have taken, and the things learned from the courses are definitely applicable to practical ministry and spiritual growth in the self and within the community and body of Christ,” he said.

    Even though most of his classes are online, Joshua has been able to build relationships with his classmates.

    “Through the interactions that happen within forums and in class, there is such a unique opportunity to get to know others who genuinely want to draw closer to Jesus and pursue a lifetime of ministry in their families, churches, work places and ministry fields,” he said


“Simpson has a tight-knit community, and it feels like a home away from home. It’s a great place to get your education and play sports.”

Kelsey Reibsamen, social science major, class of 2017

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    Kelsey Reibsamen first learned about Simpson University while researching Christian universities during her senior year of high school. She visited campus during her spring break and had the opportunity to meet faculty members and the volleyball coach and practice with the volleyball team.

    “The faculty and the people who work here were more than welcoming,” she said. “It was the Lord’s blessing for me to come here and play volleyball.”

    Kelsey, from Fallon, Nev., will graduate with her bachelor’s in social science in January 2018. She hopes to use her degree to teach history, economics, and political science classes.

    “I chose to major in social science because Simpson had a really good faculty line-up and because of my future goal of becoming a teacher,” she said.

    Kelsey said the professors are one of the things that make Simpson’s social science major unique.

    “They prepare you and give you the skills for whatever your future goal is,” she said.

    Kelsey was active in athletics, playing volleyball for four seasons.

    “It was a great way for me to get my foot in the door and make friends,” she said. “They volleyball team was like a second family to me.”

    She also served as team captain for two seasons.

    “Simpson prepared me for that role by teaching me to keep a Christ-centered attitude and to lead with a mindset with the Lord first,” she said.

    In order to help offset the cost of college, Kelsey received financial aid, including an athletics scholarship.

    “I would like to say ‘thank you’ to all those who donate because it gives me and other student-athletes the opportunity to play a sport they love while getting their education,” she said.

    Based on her positive experience, Kelsey said she would recommend Simpson to others.

    “Simpson has a tight-knit community, and it feels like a home away from home,” she said. “It’s a great place to get your education and play sports.”


“This institution believes in a Christ-centered and world-service community that allows people to grow and learn in their respective majors, as well as through courses that strengthen and model a Christian faith.”

Jackylene Gutierrez, English major, class of 2017

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    Jackylene Gutierrez first fell in love with the English language when she was in junior high school. Her passion to learn how people can connect through literature and writing inspired her to apply to Simpson University and pursue a degree in English.

    Jackylene, a senior from Richmond, Calif., decided to attend Simpson after visiting campus during Spring Preview Weekend her senior year of high school.

    “I fell in love the community and the Christ-centered atmosphere,” she said. “Chapel, in particular, took my attention. Seeing and hearing everyone sing praises to God overwhelmed me and inspired me to want to experience that kind of praise I saw and felt.”

    One of the things Jackylene found most unique about Simpson’s English program was its ability to blend a traditional undergraduate education and Christian faith.

    “I feel that with both of these influences, I have a greater understanding of interpreting and analyzing all that I’ve learned while walking with Christ and developing myself as a contributing member of society,” she said.

    Jackylene also appreciated the passion and excitement her professors had about their students and courses.

    “The professors have cared so much for me as an individual and seeing me succeed not only within the major, but in life as well. That has impacted me on so many levels,” she said.

    During her time at Simpson, Jackylene has been very involved in residence life, serving as a resident assistant for two years. She was responsible for organizing events that encourage community and mentoring the girls who live on her floor.

    “Serving as a student leader on campus has opened up a whole different passion for me,” she said. “My hope is to love just as Jesus loved and minister to people wherever he leads me.”

    After she graduates, Jackylene hopes to teach English overseas with a Christian-based organization. She would also like to one day write and publish a book.

    “English has the power to inspire; and just as past writers have impacted me, my hope and goal is to do that for others in the future,” she said.

    Based on her positive experience, Jackylene said she would recommend Simpson to others.

    “This institution believes in a Christ-centered and world-service community that allows people to grow and learn in their respective majors, as well as through courses that strengthen and model a Christian faith,” she said.

    In order to help offset the cost of college, Jackylene receives scholarships and said she is grateful for the financial support from donors.

    “Coming from a low-income family and being a first-generation college student, I couldn’t be more thankful,” she said. “Paying for college was one of the most hindering obstacles when I was applying in my senior year of high school. Giving finances completely to God allowed to come to Simpson, and the aid I have received has been a great help to my family and to me.”


“My degree is preparing me to communicate with others and make communities better. I can help people not only academically but also spiritually.”

Juliana Valencia, Spanish language and culture major, class of 2019

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    Juliana Valencia decided to pursue a major in Spanish language and culture from Simpson University because she loves her roots and wanted to learn more about Latin American culture(s). She wants to become a teacher in order to share her heritage with others.

    “I’m passionate about teaching people about my culture and language,” she said. “I want to talk with people and connect with them.”

    One of the things Juliana, a sophomore from Richmond, Calif., thinks is unique about Simpson’s Spanish major is the professors.

    “I think the professors are amazing,” she said. “They are very hard at times, but the struggles I've had have reinforced more my love for Spanish and it makes me want to learn more from them.”

    As a Spanish major, Juliana has gained a better understanding of other Latin-American peoples and cultures and how to interact with them effectively.

    “My degree is preparing me to communicate with others and make communities better,” she said. “Adding Christ in the center of my career is just a cherry on the top because I can help people not only academically but also spiritually.”

    As a freshman, Juliana worked as a teacher’s assistant for the Spanish professors.

    “Having an opportunity like this for me has pushed me to continue learning and do my best in class so that one day I can teach others about my culture and language,” she said.

    Based on her positive experience, Juliana said she would recommend Simpson to others.

    “It's a great campus to create your own trademark and help others in ways you never imagined,” she said. “I am growing academically, spiritually, and personally. Simpson has definitely turned into my second home.”


“I have wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl, and when I came to Simpson, I fell in love with the idea of working in a wilderness setting.”

Aixa Correa, outdoor leadership major, class of 2016

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    Ever since she was little, Simpson University alumna Aixa Correa has wanted to be an elementary school teacher. In 2012, she enrolled at Simpson and started pursing her liberal studies degree, but she switched her major to outdoor leadership after learning how the program incorporated different educational philosophies with working in an outdoor setting.

    “Outdoor leadership connects you to the world around you, to God, to others, and to yourself,” she said.

    According to Aixa, one of the things that makes Simpson’s outdoor leadership program unique is its focus on educating the whole person instead of concentrating on the recreational aspects of working outdoors.

    “Our program is about human development,” she said. “I have been extremely challenged physically through backpacking and other skills courses, mentally through the rigorous academic classes, and spiritually through the life-altering conversations in my community about materials presented in class.”

    Another key component of the outdoor leadership program are the professors.

    “The professors have been an essential part of my growth and development here at Simpson,” Aixa said. “They are very supportive and caring as well as challenging.”

    Aixa also noted that Simpson was ideally located for an outdoor leadership program.

    “You have multiple opportunities to explore the outdoors,” she said. “You have Mt. Shasta to the north, Mt. Lassen to the east, and the Trinity Alps to the west.”

    As part of the outdoor leadership program, students are required to do an internship. Aixa interned at a school in Puerto Rico, where she learned about the Waldorf education model by shadowing a kindergarten teacher.

    “It was such a wonderful opportunity, and I’m glad I was given the chance to do it,” she said.

    After graduating in April 2016, Aixa spent her summer participating in an internship with Adventure Risk Challenge, a Truckee, Calif.-based organization that works with underserved youth by providing integrated literacy and wilderness experiences.

    “I have wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl, and when I came to Simpson, I fell in love with the idea of working in a wilderness setting,” Aixa said. “This internship was the perfect opportunity to do both.”

    She noted that her outdoor leadership studies “prepared me tremendously” for the position. “My outdoor leadership degree has prepared for me for so many more opportunities that I never thought were possible for me,” she said.

    Aixa is considering returning to school to earn her teaching credential and receive further training in childhood education. She is also considering studying botany or horticulture.

    “There are so many things I want to do,” she said. “I feel like the sky’s the limit.”

    Based on her positive experience, Aixa said she would encourage others to attend Simpson.

    “The small community Simpson offers is something everyone can benefit from,” she said. “In a small caring community, people get the chance to grow and develop into the humans they are meant to be. It’s a great atmosphere to be in.”

    Aixa received several scholarships, which helped offset the cost of her education.

    “I am forever grateful for the generous and kind people that support Simpson students financially,” she said. Without donors, I could not have gone through this amazing life-changing journey.”


“I joined the Outdoor Leadership major hoping to get a degree in what I enjoyed, but it ended up being a place where I learned more about myself and about education.”

Shane Wachlin, outdoor leadership major, class of 2016

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    Shane Wachlin’s time in Simpson University’s Outdoor Leadership program was filled with self-discovery and personal growth.

    “Outdoor Leadership gave me a place to explore and be comfortable with myself and to develop my ideas of education and who I am,” he said. “ I joined the Outdoor Leadership major hoping to get a degree in what I enjoyed, but it ended up being a place where I learned more about myself and about education.”

    One of the things that most impacted Shane, an alumnus from Waconia, Minn., during his time at Simpson were his professors and their commitment to his education and their availability to discuss difficult theories and ideas.

    “They have committed deeply to my learning and to my development as a human being,” he said. “Their whole goal is to form you into a more compassionate, well-learned, educated and informed citizen who is able to have intellectual integrity. They are uplifting and encouraging.”

    After graduating in April 2016, Shane spent his summer working as an assistant instructor for Outward Bound, a national organization that offers expeditions and programs designed to “change lives through challenge and discovery,” according to the group’s website.

    “Outward Bound seeks to instill character amongst adversity, which is a passion of mine,” he said.

    After he finished this seasonal job, Shane decided to spend a year “steeping in his learning.” He wanted to take the time to read and write without being prompted to by a professor.

    “My liberal arts education has given me an understanding for the full person,” he said. “That includes reading literature, interacting with art, culture, math, and nature, being physically fit, and developing my mind, body, and soul.”

    Shane also hopes to attend the University of Edinburgh to pursue a master’s in environmental ethics or environmental education.

    “My ultimate goal is to because a professor and to develop the mind, bodies, and souls of the individuals I come in contact with,” he said.

    Based on his positive experience, Shane said he would recommend Simpson to others.

    “You will understand who you are better; you will become a better critical thinker; you will be able to understand difference ideas and philosophies; you will be given a better sense of belonging and purpose,” he said. “These skills allow you to navigate the world. It’s not just about a career; it’s about so much more than that.”

    Shane also discussed how Simpson’s emphasis on a liberal arts education is beneficial for many career paths.

    “Having a four-year liberal arts degree will prepare you to be a leader,” he said. “You can take the leadership models you learn into your parenting, your friendships, guiding, pastoral work, or the missions work.”

    Shane received several scholarships, as well as government aid, to help pay for college and said he appreciates the support from donors that enabled him to attend Simpson for three years.

    “Thank you for contributing to my education and to the lives of students who I will hopefully influence as I go out from Simpson,” he said. “You’ve changed my life; you’ve helped it. You will change other’s lives because I have been changed.”


“With such close community and so many experiences together, you get to know your professors, and they really get to know you.”

Anni Graham, outdoor leadership major, class of 2016

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    Due to the high cost of college, Annalisa “Anni” Graham delayed attending college after graduating from high school in order to travel and volunteer. However, after learning about Simpson University’s Outdoor Leadership program, she decided to give the four-year university a chance.

    “I’ve always preferred an 'experience' over a classroom environment, and Simpson’s Outdoor Leadership program is very focused on hands-on-experience,” she said. “I decided this would be much more valuable than any other program I had ever seen.”

    According to Anni, an alumna (’16) from Pasadena, Calif., the Outdoor Leadership program’s experience education model is one of the aspects that make the program unique.

    “What you’re learning, you’re also doing,” she said. “You’re in the classroom learning how to write papers and research, but you’re also getting the outdoor experience first-hand. You’re being faced with risk, and your learning how to deal with things as they come. It’s not just theory; it’s straight-up application.”

    Another important feature of the Outdoor Leadership program is Simpson’s location in Redding, Calif.

    “There are lots of places – national parks, recreation parks, state parks, lakes, and the coast – that are just a day’s drive from Simpson’s campus,” she said. “Whether it’s river kayaking, snowshoeing, mountaineering, or backing, everything seems to be in this area.”

    One of the things Anni said she enjoyed most about being a student in the Outdoor Leadership program is the sense of community within the major.

    “You progress through each year together, learning together, processing together, and having really hard times together,” she said. “It’s such a transformative experience to learn together. The accountability that comes from community to really push yourself and do the best that you can is unlike anything I have in my other classes.”

    Anni has also appreciated the opportunity to build relationships with her professors.

    “With such close community and so many experiences together, you get to know your professors, and they really get to know you,” she said. “I feel that my professors know me very well. They know my fears, my dreams, my strengths and weaknesses and have come alongside me and encouraged and empowered me.”

    During the summer between her junior and senior years, Anni traveled to a part of Kenya that had been destroyed by desertification. She worked with a non-profit organization and lived and worked on a farm where they grew their own food, ate completely vegan, had zero waste, recycled and composted, and trained the local villagers how to conserve water and grow their own trees.

    “It was a life-changing experience,” she said. “It was the first time I had been part of a long-term project that was using long-term strategies to solve a huge problem, and the people really respected them for it.”

    Even though she does not plan on being an outdoor professional, Anni believes the Outdoor Leadership program has prepared her to continue pursuing her storytelling and photography business.

    “I feel much more responsible, aware, and intentional about everything – how I spend my time, how I treat others, the environment, how to be a better follower or a better leader, how to write, how to research, how to work in a group, how to facilitate experiential learning,” she said. “The experience I had at Simpson definitely prepared me with the confidence and self-awareness that I will need for the rest of my life.”

    Anni was also able to apply what she learned in the classroom to her personal life. She credits what she learned in her risk management course with helping her say ‘yes’ when fellow Outdoor Leadership student Richard Bailey asked her out.

    “He asked me out a week after we had spent the afternoon swimming and going off the ropes swing at Whiskeytown,” she said. “I still felt like I didn’t really know him, but we had just taken a Risk Management course, so in my head I was telling myself, ‘you can’t live life without taking risks … so go for it.’”

    Anni and Richard got married in July 2016 on Black Sands Beach on the Lost Coast.

    Based on her positive experience, Anni said she would recommend Simpson to others.

    “You will be challenged, but it will be up to you to choose whether or not you want to be developed into a better person,” she said. “The professors go above and beyond, and it is a truly unique experience to be here as a student here.”

    In order to offset the cost of college, Anni received several scholarships and said she is grateful for the support from donors that enabled her to attend Simpson for four years.

    “The amount of money it takes to go to college was one of the huge reasons why I put it off for so long,” she said. “The scholarships I received were a big deal for me because they definitely influenced my decision to go to college and finish college because I felt like I could do it. School became affordable.”


“Not only have I learned what I need for my future occupation, I have acquired extra appreciation for the community and wisdom that our professors offer to us, which is just as valuable.”

Rachel Lowe, business administration major, class of 2017

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    Simpson University senior Rachel Lowe is combining her interests in business administration, marketing, and music to gain the knowledge and skills she needs to one day open and run a coffee house/music venue for young adults, a dream she has had since she was a junior in high school.

    “I decided to major in business administration because it’s something that involves people, and I really enjoy people,” the Eagle Creek, Ore., resident said. “I also want to be an entrepreneur in the future and make an impact in a business environment.”

    According to Rachel, one of the things that makes Simpson’s business program unique are the connections between students and professors.

    “Simpson provides students access to our professors’ hearts to see their students succeed,” she said. “Not only have I learned what I need for my future occupation, I have acquired extra appreciation for the community and wisdom that our professors offer to us, which is just as valuable.”

    As part of the business curriculum, students have to participate in an internship. Rachel gained valuable hands-on business planning experience during a three-week internship in Tapei, Taiwan, in 2016. She worked at coffee house run by Envision, the Christian and Missionary Alliance’s short-term mission and internship program.

    “It was very hard and very intense, but the communication skills and material I have learned in my business classes really helped me to work well with our group,” she said.

    In addition to her business degree, Rachel is also pursuing a music minor. She has served on the university’s chapel worship team and the worship team at a local church.

    “What I have learned in my Bible classes and music classes really helped me prepare for the culture that a worship team lives in and how it functions,” she said.

    One of the reasons Rachel decided to attend Simpson was the sense of community she witnessed when her brother was a student.

    “My brother told me about Simpson, and I fell in love with the community he was surrounded by, and I wanted to be part of that community,” she said.

    That sense of community is one of the reasons Rachel would encourage others to attend Simpson.

    “I cannot stress community enough and the unique opportunity to be in a place that fosters spiritual growth freely within the student body, staff, and faculty,” she said. “It is a collective mission that we all strive for, which is an encouraging environment to be in let alone a place that offers great academic programs to aid in your spiritual and personal growth.”

    In order to offset the cost of college, Rachel receives several scholarships and said she is grateful for the financial support from donors.

    “You have lifted huge amounts of stress off my shoulders as well as my family’s shoulders,” she said. “Your gifts have been a huge blessing for my continuation at Simpson.”


“The professors were passionate about my education and reestablishing how I thought about the Bible and God in a way that affected my relationship with Christ in a deeper and more intimate way.”

Rondoe Taylor, pastoral studies major, class of 2016

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    When Simpson University alumnus Rondoe Taylor (’16) decided to major in Pastoral Studies, he knew he had found a degree that combined his interests in community development and social work with a career he was passionate about.

    “I am doing what God has called me to do, and I am following my heart,” the San Francisco, Calif., native said. “I am doing something that gives me a sense of joy and fulfillment.”

    Rondoe said his professors at Simpson were influential in helping him decide to pursue his ministry degree.

    “They were passionate about my education and reestablishing how I thought about the Bible and God in a way that affected my relationship with Christ in a deeper and more intimate way,” he said. “They opened my eyes to a better understanding of how to dig deeper into the context of the biblical authors and the implications behind why they wrote what they wrote.”

    Rondoe’s classes and experiences with leading worship during chapel and being involved in Residence Life have helped prepare him for his future career.

    “I learned what it’s like to work with many types of people and see how to function together even if it seems impossible,” he said. “I also learned that what I am doing affects more than just me. I am a representative and ambassador of the kingdom of God.”

    Rondoe decided to attend Simpson after visiting campus a week before the fall semester of his freshman year started.

    “Simpson felt like the right place because of the atmosphere of hospitality, the size of the classes, and the small environment,” he said. “The people I met were really friendly and kind and very proactive in getting me into Simpson University programs.”

    After graduating in April 2016, Rondoe went to Eastern Europe through WorldSERVE, Simpson’s student missions program. After returning to the States, he started working with a children’s program. He plans on attending graduate school in order to pursue his Master of Divinity and potentially a master’s degree in either social work or marriage and family therapy.

    Based on his positive experience, Rondoe said he would encourage others to come to Simpson.

    “My time at Simpson has shaped me into a better individual in terms of growing in my faith and challenging myself to explore more about who I am as a child of God and how to carry the light of Christ into non-church areas,” he said. “Simpson has a good sense of community and fellowship that I will carry after I graduate.”

    Rondoe had the following advice to offer incoming students.

    “Take the time to really explore Simpson University, who you are, and how you can grow as an individual, in your walk with God, and in community with other people,” he said. “Explore what God has for you. Explore who you are as a person. Explore your talents, your strengths, your weaknesses and see where God is trying to put you and what mission God is calling you into.”

    In order to offset the cost of college, Rondoe received several scholarships and said he is grateful for the support from donors that enabled him to attend Simpson for four years.

    “Your generous contributions to my Simpson education enabled me to be the first individual in my entire family to graduate from college,” he said. “I get to see the dreams of God in my life come into alignment and fulfillment; and for that I am truly grateful.”


“I’m going to graduate equipped and empowered to go into ministry and do it at the fullest extent that God would have me do.”

Samuel Sexton, youth ministries major, class of 2018

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    Samuel Sexton came to Simpson University to continue pursuing the calling to be a youth minister that was placed on his life at an early age.

    “I thought about majoring in Pastoral Studies or Biblical Studies, but I found that the Youth Ministries major was what I was looking for in order to understand what I was going to do with the rest of my life,” said the Modesto, Calif., native.

    One of the things Samuel said makes Simpson’s Youth Ministries program unique is the practical experience that students gain from their classes. He has learned how to develop a year’s worth of ministry curriculum, including messages, themes, small groups, retreats, and leadership trainings.

    Samuel also appreciates how the professors incorporate a variety of disciplines in to their lessons, including psychology, sociology, theology, leadership, and pastoral studies.

    “Simpson has prepared me to lead and to serve by equipping me with the necessary tools to go out and do so,” he said. “My classes have all challenged me to move in a different direction that I thought I would go. They have all given me something new to think on.”

    One of the reasons Samuel chose to attend Simpson was because of the sense of community he felt when visiting campus before he applied.

    “The community here is off the hook,” he said. “People know who you are. They love you and accept you before you make the decision to come here. You feel welcomed; you feel loved; you feel embraced.”

    Samuel said his classes and experience at Simpson are preparing him well for a career in full-time youth ministry.

    “I’m going to graduate equipped and empowered to go into ministry and do it at the fullest extent that God would have me do,” he said.

    In order to offset the cost of college, Samuel receives several scholarships and said he is grateful for the support from donors that enable him to attend Simpson.

    “Thank you for empowering me to do all that I do,” he said. “I would not be here if it were not for financial aid. All that you give has contributed to my life to go out and serve people in a greater capacity than I ever would have dreamed.”


“Simpson has given me practical tools to utilize so I can enter into many closed countries and communities as a teacher and share the love of Christ.”

Summer Yang, cross-cultural studies major, class of 2016

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    Summer (Kyle) Yang graduated from Simpson University in April 2016 with a B.A. in cross-cultural studies and a minor in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). She plans on pursuing a master’s degree and using what she has learned to partner with her husband, Joshua, as a Christian and Missionary Alliance missionary.

    Summer first heard about Simpson from a high school friend who was attending Simpson. She was drawn to Simpson’s nursing program and heart for missions and initially enrolled as a pre-nursing major, but an encounter with a student majoring in cross-cultural studies led Summer to change her major.

    “She explained different classes, experiences, and opportunities you can have with the major, and I found it very unique, practical, and closely aligned to my passion for mission,” Summer said.

    During her time at Simpson, Summer received hands-on experience in a cross-cultural setting through an internship with Footsteps Ministries teaching English to students from Taiwan. She also developed skills to understand other cultures through cross-cultural communication, religions, language acquisition, and theology.

    “Simpson has given me practical tools to be utilized and to enter into many closed countries and communities as a teacher and share the love of Christ,” Summer said. “With Simpson’s motto to be a ‘Gateway to World Service,’ I have learned to steward my education as a Christian in my future ministry.”

    One of the things Summer liked most about Simpson’s cross-cultural studies program was the professors.

    “All of my professors spent at least 10-plus years as missionaries or overseas workers, and I loved that their understanding for cross-cultural studies are not just by the book and knowledge, but real-life experiences and practices,” she said. “They are very relatable and available to mentor and guide you in having a holistic theology of mission and service in the world.”

    Summer received grants and scholarships and said she is grateful for the support from donors that enabled her pursue her love of missions while at Simpson.


“At Simpson, you will find an incredible education, great professors, and a community that is going to love you and truly accept you for who you are.”

Lindsay Szymanski, general ministries major, class of 2016

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    Attending Simpson University was a transformative experience, both academically and spiritually, for alumna Lindsay Szymanski ’16.

    “Simpson University has played a huge role in my legacy being changed,” she said. “I did not grow up in a Christian home, and I didn’t grow up in a family where college was something that was widely pursued. I was the first one in my immediate family to finish a bachelor’s degree.”

    Lindsay, who is from Paradise, Calif., graduated from Simpson in April 2016 with a B.A. in General Ministries.

    “I chose General Ministries because I wanted a major where I could receive wisdom and knowledge about all different types of ministry; where I could learn about the needs of many different demographics of people, and learn how to effectively meet those needs,” she said. “When I looked at all the colleges I was interested in, Simpson was the only one that offered exactly what I was looking for.”

    When Lindsay first heard about Simpson when she was in high school, she had no interest in attending. After she became a Christian and she visited the campus, she knew Simpson was the college for her.

    “I knew that Simpson was a place where I would have a Christian worldview implemented into my education,” she said. “I would get to learn alongside others who wanted to honor God with their lives, and I knew I would be able to ask deep and real questions and be met with wisdom, compassion, love, and truth.”

    According to Lindsay, one of the unique features of the General Ministries program is the professors.

    “They are geniuses, and they have so much to offer their students in the way of wisdom and experience,” she said. “Our professors really love God, and they really love us.”

    As a student, Lindsay discovered her desire to use her General Ministries degree to work in the Student Development Office. Shortly after graduating, she was hired as the assistant director of student engagement at Simpson. She helps oversee the university’s commuter student services, intramural sports, student clubs, new student orientation, and First and Second Year Experience programs. She is also in charge of hiring and working with student leaders.

    "The experience I got at Simpson truly changed my life," she said. "I want to be able to be with college students as they wrestle with answering big questions like who they are and who they want to become. I would love to be able to help provide an experience like I had for current and future students of Simpson University."

    Lindsay said what she learned in her ministry classes will help her in her student development career.

    “I have learned how to listen to people, how to hopefully love them well, and how to practically care about them holistically,” she said. “I gained so much wisdom regarding interpersonal and relational skills. I have learned how to work on a team and where I fit best on a team.”

    Based on her positive experience, Lindsay said she would recommend Simpson to others.

    “If you are looking for a holistic, incredible experience and if you are wanting your life to be changed for the better, I would suggest Simpson University,” she said. “You will find an incredible education, great professors, and a community that is going to love you and truly accept you for who you are.”

    In order to offset the cost of college, Lindsay received several scholarships, including the Heritage Scholarship, and other types of financial aid.

    “To anyone who has given or is considering giving, it is worth the investment,” she said. “God is doing incredible things through your faithfulness and generosity. You are a huge blessing and a big reason why kingdom building is happening through Simpson University.”


“The professors are absolutely passionate about the students here – they love to engage with the students, not just in their academics but also in their spiritual life and mentoring them.

Kong Yang, worship ministries major, class of 2016

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    Kong Yang is a senior worship ministries music major at Simpson University, minoring in pastoral studies. He is co-leader of the chapel worship team, selecting songs and arranging musicians to lead the student body in worship twice a week.

    While at Simpson, Kong has also helped lead worship at the Redding First Church of the Nazarene. He plays guitar and bass, and also sings.

    Kong’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Thailand before he was born. He attends the Hmong Alliance Church in Sacramento and learned about Simpson through church friends. He visited Simpson during a spring preview weekend, where he visited a music class and met professors who profoundly impacted his life.

    “The professors are absolutely passionate about the students here – they love to engage with the students, not just in their academics but also in their spiritual life and mentoring them,” he said. “They do everything to empower our students to be the best we can be. When we graduate, they want to see us go out into the world and be great people in the name of Jesus.”

    Kong chose the worship music major because he enjoys serving others through leading them in worship. “More than that,” he said, “seeing others excel in whatever they’re passionate about, whether it’s sports, nursing, teaching, anything that they do well in. I love to see them worship God through every aspect of their life.”

    His time at Simpson helped Kong, who describes himself as “super introverted,” grow in confidence and leadership abilities. “In this community, I’ve learned how to be intentional about building relationships and friendships—something I wasn’t able to do easily before,” he said. “Friends and professors are very encouraging and really believe in me.”

    Kong received a music scholarship and student leadership scholarship and is grateful for the support from donors that enabled him to attend Simpson for four years.

    He hopes to use his Simpson education to become a worship pastor after graduation.


“Simpson has taught me what it looks like to be a humble leader with an emphasis in serving people and, in turn, the kingdom of God.”

Robert Kovacs, Bible and theology major, class of 2016

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    Simpson University alumnus Robert Kovacs ’16 was drawn to Simpson University after music professor Dwayne Corbin served as a guest conductor for Robert’s high school band in Chico, Calif.

    “When it came to applying for colleges, Simpson was the only one I looked into and applied to,” he said. “I visited campus sometime during my senior year, and I knew I didn’t want to go anywhere else.”

    Even though Robert initially came to Simpson to study music, he changed his major to Bible and Theology with an emphasis in Old Testament at the beginning of his sophomore year.

    “The Old Testament simply fascinated me,” he said. “The church today doesn’t always know what to do with the Old Testament, so I thought it would be good to develop an understanding of it.”

    According to Robert, one of the things that stands out most about the Bible and Theology major are the professors.

    “The faculty strives to pour into the students’ lives, not only on an academic level, but also on a spiritual and personal level,” he said. “They really show us what it means to be good students of the Bible while holding fast to our Christian values.”

    Robert feels that his Bible and Theology classes have given him a solid foundation to work in many different areas of ministry.

    “Wherever I end up, I have been well equipped spiritually and academically as well as in areas of leadership and service,” he said.

    Although he switched majors, Robert was still able to pursue his passion for music. During his senior year, he served as the worship ministries coordinator for chapel services. He also participated in a yearlong worship internship at Redding First Church of the Nazarene.

    In addition to working in the Spiritual Formation Office on campus, Robert was also active in residence life. He served as a resident assistant for two years and a resident director for one year. Working in these areas helped him grow as a leader.

    “Simpson has taught me what it looks like to be a humble leader with an emphasis in serving people and, in turn, the kingdom of God,” he said. “I have been developed as a spiritual leader as well as a leader who is equipped to go out and serve a larger community. I have felt very much supported, and I feel like the ways I have been able to serve this campus have really been a blessing to me during my time here.”

    Based on his positive experience, Robert said he would recommend Simpson to others.

    “I would encourage others to attend Simpson based largely on the community that is built here,” he said. “There are not many places where you get to live in such a close-knit community with others who have a very similar viewpoint and lifestyle pursuits as you do. To be able to build friendships that are going to be able to last forever is such a powerful experience and opportunity.”

    In order to offset the cost of college, Robert received several scholarships and said he is grateful for the support from donors that enabled him to attend Simpson for four years.

    “To those who give to support students I would say thank you,” he said. “Your generous hearts and your willingness to give allow students to have an opportunity that they might not get to have elsewhere in life. Thank you for your willingness to give back to this community and this young generation that’s being equipped to go out into this world.”


“Simpson has changed my life in ways I would have never imagined. I learned and grew so much through sports, student leadership, mission trips, and academics.”

Kendra Kaiserman, communication major, class of 2016

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    Simpson University alumna Kendra Kaiserman (’16) has a knack for sharing peoples’ stories through the written word.

    “I love writing and I love talking to people, so majoring in communication with an emphasis in journalism was the perfect fit for me,” said the Manteca, Calif., resident.

    During her senior year, Kendra developed her skills as an interviewer and writer through an internship at Enjoy, a Redding-based lifestyle magazine. She had articles published in three issues of the magazine while she was a student. She also served as the editor-in-chief of The Slate, Simpson’s award-winning student newspaper.

    Kendra also minored in business, and she plans to use her communication and business background to purse a career in public relations or marketing. She also wants to continue writing. Shortly after graduation, she was hired at Enjoy as a marketing/sales assistant.

    Kendra’s time outside the classroom also had a big impact on her life. Her leadership roles with Simpson’s First Year Experience (FYE), Transfer Connection (TraC), and WorldSERVE student missions programs taught her important life skills, including time and conflict management. They also caused her to grow as a person and a leader.

    “These positions pushed me out of my comfort zone and at times were quite difficult, but learning how to overcome those obstacles made me who I am today and I am thankful for those challenging times,” she said.

    Based on her positive experience, Kendra said she would encourage others to visit and apply to Simpson.

    “Simpson has changed my life in ways I would have never imagined,” she said. “I learned and grew so much through sports, student leadership, mission trips, and academics. I had such a great college experience here, and I know many others will have great college experiences here as well.”

    Kendra is grateful for the financial support and scholarships she received in order to be able to attend Simpson.

    “I would like to sincerely thank all who give to support Simpson students,” she said. “Without your generous donations, some would not be able to afford Simpson; for others, like me, it relieves so much financial burden off mine, and my family’s lives.”


“There is a great sense of community at a school like this. Students can relate to professors and get to know them. There are also lots of opportunities for a student to pursue what they love.”

Megan Hasebe, psychology major, class of 2016

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    When Megan Hasebe took a psychology class in high school, she knew she had found the right career path.

    “Since I was young, I always wanted to go into a field of helping people,” the Simpson University psychology major said. “I was hooked.”

    A resident of Visalia, Calif., Megan heard about Simpson University, a Christian university in beautiful Northern California, from her youth pastor and his wife, who met as Simpson students.

    She visited the campus—and was hooked again.

    “There is a great sense of community at a school like this,” she said. “Students can relate to professors and get to know them. There are also lots of opportunities for a student to pursue what they love.”

    The psychology major is one of the largest at Simpson, with professors emphasizing undergraduate research in addition to field experience opportunities and a wide variety of classes.

    Such experience can be immensely valuable for students seeking to get into graduate school or competitive internships. Simpson psychology students are also regular presenters at the university’s annual Student Research Symposium.

    Field Experience is a yearlong course that allows students to pair with an organization in the community to work as a psychology intern. Megan, who plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work, worked at an adult day health center.

    “It really helped prepare me for my future career,” she said. “Not only was I actually working somewhere, but in class we discussed things like resumes, interviews, ethics and situations we might run into in the field of psychology.”

    In addition to the guidance received from her professors, Megan has had other opportunities for personal growth and leadership experience at Simpson. She’s a leader in the Simpson Chorale and has been part of Strike Teams, small groups that help meet needs in the community.

    Megan is the first person in her family to attend college and said she is grateful for the financial support of those who donate to student scholarships, as well as aid such as Cal Grants.

    “I definitely wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the people who give,” she said.


“I was encouraged to use my inquisitive nature to pursue questions about the world around me as well as have my eyes opened to questions I never knew existed.”

Leanne Davis, biology major, class of 2015

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    Leanne Davis graduated from Simpson University in 2015 with a bachelor of science in biology. She is pursing her teaching credential and master’s in education through Simpson’s School of Education in hopes of becoming a middle or high school science teacher.

    “My education at Simpson was a well-rounded one that forced me to grow and challenged me in ways I never thought would be possible,” she said. “I was given a way to approach the secular world from a Christian viewpoint which will be beneficial for my future teaching career and as a Christian scientist.”

    According to Leanne, one of the unique features of Simpson’s biology program was the professors who were willing to invest time in their students’ lives.

    “By being able to know your professors and have them know you, an unlimited amount of doors are opened,” she said. “They are aware of your interests and aspirations, enabling them to give you research opportunities you are interested in, as well as, being your advocate for everything you want to achieve.”

    Leanne also enjoyed the hands-on experience she received in the biology program.

    “I was encouraged to use my inquisitive nature to pursue questions about the world around me as well as have my eyes opened to questions I never knew existed,” she said. “It is so fulfilling to be able to use my hands and literally work through an experiment or problem.”

    Leanne received financial aid to attend Simpson, including the President’s Scholarship, which covered 100% of her tuition. She is grateful for those who choose to help financially support Simpson students.

    “Students at Simpson go on to be researchers, teachers, missionaries, pastors, and much more,” she said. “Supporting students who are going into the world with a Christian background is invaluable. It is a way to take part in their future ministries and help change the lives that they are going to change.”


“The business professors at Simpson are really good at preparing their students to go out in the world and have great Christian morals and to be leaders in their industry.”

Jack Long, business administration major, class of 2017

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    Jack Long first heard about Simpson University from some of the pastors of his home church, and after visiting campus, he knew Simpson was where he wanted to attend college.

    Jack, a senior from Cameron Park, Calif., decided to major in business administration with an emphasis in marketing because the degree fit his outgoing personality and creative side.

    “I like business and enjoy meeting people and working on a team,” he said. “Business administration also offers a wide range of options for different careers.”

    The small class sizes and professors make Simpson’s business program unique, Jack said.

    “The professors are able to get to know you on a personal basis and help walk you through each course,” he said. “My professors have been there to help me with life and to be a success in the classroom.”

    During his time at Simpson, Jack has participated in several internships. In 2014, he interned for Meyer Marketing in Sacramento, Calif., and in 2015, he interned for Business Advantage Consulting in Folsom, Calif. This year, he is the intern for Simpson’s Marketing and Communication Department.

    After he graduates in April 2017, Jack plans to work for a marketing company in the Sacramento-area as a sales representative. He said he feels ready for his future career.

    “The business professors at Simpson are really good at preparing their students to go out in the world and have great Christian morals and to be leaders in their industry,” he said. “They are helping me create a foundation of knowledge in business with ethics and integrity.”

    Based on his positive experience, Jack said he would encourage others to attend Simpson.

    “The community at Simpson is very tight-knit; it’s a very close group of people,” he said. “I have made quality, lifelong friends while at Simpson.”

    In order to offset the cost of college, Jack received several scholarships and he is grateful for the support from donors that enabled him to attend Simpson for four years.

    “Scholarships have been a huge help as far as figuring out finances and how I will pay for school,” he said. “It really takes a lot of stress off me to have those scholarships.”


“I am passionate about this generation, and I knew that the Youth Ministries major would prepare me to call them to what they are created for.”

Brian Howell, youth ministries major, class of 2016

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    Simpson University alumnus Brian Howell ’16 has a heart for lost and broken youth. In order to learn how to best serve them, Brian chose to pursue a B.A. in Youth Ministries.

    “I chose to major in Youth Ministries because I wanted to develop my ability to walk with and mentor youth,” he said. “I am passionate about this generation, and I knew that this major would prepare me to call them to what they are created for.”

    Brian said one of the things that makes Simpson’s Youth Ministries program unique was the capstone course where students learn to plan out a year’s worth of ministry material and are equipped with pastoral care tools.

    “Simpson has prepared me to serve and lead well,” he said. “You will leave your four years at Simpson with a philosophy of ministry that is ready to present to any church or organization.”

    During his time at Simpson, Brian was very involved in residence life, serving as a resident assistant for three years. He described that work as transformational.

    “My involvement with residence life has prepared me for service and life in community outside the university, exposing me to hundreds of people unlike me and increasing my compassion and heart to see people become all they were created to be,” he said. “This is the heart of service, that we place the development of others above our own interests and intentions.”

    Brian graduated in April 2016 and began working as worship coordinator at a Redding church in May.

    He received a full scholarship to attend Simpson and is grateful to donors for their financial support.

    “You are investing in the lives of young leaders like myself,” he said. “God is using you to impact not only the Redding community but also the farthest reaches of the world.”


“Because of the experiences I’ve had at Simpson, every time I step on the campus, I get a feeling of home. This is where I got to dream about what God might have for me. This is where God gave me my calling.”

John Hinton, communication major, class of 2006

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    John Michael Hinton graduated from Simpson University in 2006 with a bachelor of arts in communication.

    “I wanted to figure out how to communicate the Gospel in a way that would impact people,” he said.

    John became a world traveler at age 7 when his parents took a job with an oil company in Saudi Arabia. As a blue-eyed, red-headed white boy in an Arab land, he stood out from the crowd and often found himself on the outside. Learning magic tricks from his father was one of the few ways he found he could gain approval from his friends, but he knew it was temporal. John found the only acceptance and love that was lasting: the love of a Heavenly Father. From then on, it became his life’s purpose to share the Gospel using any creative means possible.

    "My tagline is: I fake the supernatural to cause people to be interested in the real supernatural," he said.

    John has been “fabricating the supernatural” for 30 years. He has extensively studied the tricks and techniques used by psychics, mediums and faith healers. In his performances, he first defrauds their methods, revealing their false forms of spirituality. John speaks on real miracles and spirituality and how people should approach discovering the Real Supernatural.

    “My goal is simply to be a tool that God can use to spread His incredible gospel,” he said. “If my illusions earn me the right to be heard, awesome, but it’s the heart of God that I want people to truly walk away remembering.”

    A member of the exclusive, world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, John has traveled to numerous countries over the past 15 years to fulfill that purpose, including Papua New Guinea, Russia, Taiwan, El Salvador, Mexico, and France.

    In addition to his magic career, John spent five years serving as a youth pastor in Central California and recently moved back to the States after spending a year and a half doing missionary work in Paris, France, with his family. Most of his free time is spent sharing large cups of black tea with his wife, Maribeth, a 2006 Simpson general ministries graduate, and their two children.

    “Because of the experiences I’ve had at Simpson, every time I step on the campus, I get a feeling of home,” John said. “This is where I got to dream about what God might have for me. This is where God gave me my calling.”

    For more information on the ministries of John Michael Hinton: Speaker, Magician, Redhead, visit johnmichaelhinton.com.