Discovering Calling One Day at a Time | Geneva-bwin体育
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Discovering Calling One Day at a Time

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In 2012, Jeff Carpenter graduated from Geneva College with his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, and in 2017 he graduated with his Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) degree. As he reflected on his time at Geneva he remarks that it included “a lot of growing up.” Like many, college was a formative time for Jeff as he expanded his perspectives and learned to think deeper. He learned to ask the question, “How am I serving God in how I go about my life?” As he sought to find the answer to this question, his trajectory in life began to change.

After completing his undergraduate degree, Jeff worked in engineering for a couple of years, however, he began to wonder if engineering was really the field he was called to. He decided to work for Ligonier camp for one year and then returned to Geneva for the MAHE program. Throughout the MAHE program, Jeff realized his calling to work in higher education and gained a strong foundation for working in this field. He found several aspects of the program to be valuable including the intimate feel of the cohorts, the small classes where you get to know the professors well, and the opportunities to build relationships. He also highlighted the value of having a program that focuses deeply on building a strong foundation of philosophy that grounds practical work in the field. Jeff says he gained perspective through the program as he was able to see a broad view of higher education and gain a new perspective on how to approach problems.

standard-webpage-in-text-image-8.jpgJeff believes that Geneva shaped the trajectory of his life. He says, “My Geneva education shaped me to be able to reconsider my priorities and what I value. I stopped to ask what God was calling me to.” As he considered where God was calling him, he found his way to Gordon College. The practicum requirement helped him to get a job at Gordon as a Resident Director and the Intramural Director. He felt prepared by his education at Geneva because it pushed him “to think about the trajectory of how different generations of college students operate, and how other factors can impact a student.” He also had experience with intramural sports from his time at Geneva, so he was well-equipped to excel at both of these roles.

Jeff was promoted to the Director of Residence Life and now works overseeing the RD staff and working with the students. He loves that he is able to pour into the lives of the students at Gordon and that his family can engage with the students and build relationships. In his current role, he can be a resource for young professionals and students. He says, “I want to pass on something that has been given to me,” and as Director of Residence Life he is able to do just that.

When asked about integration of faith into his work Jeff recognizes that it is easier because he works at a Christian institution, but he also notes three specific ways that he integrates his faith into his work. He uses a redemptive process of discipline as he works through disciplining students. Redemptive discipline to him looks like follow-up conversations, encouragement, and listening to students reflect on their situations. He also integrates his faith in the way that he cares for students in crisis. Students must deal with a lot of very heavy things. He admits that “If I did not have my faith it would be overwhelming to hear these stories of pain, tragedy, and heartbreak.” Integrating his faith into his work means that he is able to lean on God and trust Him to care for his needs and the needs of his students. He also integrates his faith into the way he supervises his staff. He says, “The way I supervise my staff, I always try to have the perspective of what this person’s story is that God is writing, how they are reflecting God’s glory, and what they can do to serve this team.” He believes that seeing people in the image of God makes a huge difference in how he leads his team.

As Jeff reflects on his time at Geneva and where he is now, he sees the power of a lot of small transformative moments. He realizes that his life changed so much in just a few years because God was able to take small moments and turn them into course-altering life changes. His story is a reminder to trust the direction that God is leading you, even when it might go against the plans you made for your life. Jeff Carpenter followed the call that God had on his life and is now finding fulfillment in his vocation and can see the influence he is making on the next generation of college students.


Mattigan Burleigh ‘24

Nov 10, 2023

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