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Micah Sanders

Graduation year: 2018

Major: Theology

Hometown: Salem, Ore.

Learn, Grow, Transform

April 3, 2018

Hey everyone! I am now officially finished academically at Whitworth and am getting into a rhythm of working in full-time ministry in the West Valley community! It's kind of surreal. Through being a TA for Foundations of Christian Leadership and some Young Life training on campus, I luckily still get to have a foot in the Whitworth community. Speaking of the Whitworth community, I have been incredibly blessed to be a part of a great group of guys throughout my time at Whitworth. Honestly, those relationships are the highlight of Whitworth for me, and have had the biggest impact on the changes I have seen in myself.

Freshman year I came from a high school experience that had friends who followed Jesus, and lots of friends who did not. None of my circles of friends included the opportunity to be vulnerable in the way that I experienced at Whitworth. Living in Baldwin-Jenkins, I quickly got to know some guys and we have stuck together through the past four years. One of the biggest blessings is to have friends that I live with and am the closest with who also gave their time to youth ministry while in college. The ways in which we have been able to actually do life together has set a high bar for relationships and a vision for what real community looks like beyond Whitworth. Thank you, Whitworth, for cultivating spaces where that can happen!

I have grown a ton since stepping foot on campus. My willingness to share what is going on in my life has grown tremendously through my friends. I am a much more careful, critical, open-minded thinker than I was before Whitworth. I know Scripture much more completely and have a better understanding of what the Good News of Jesus is than I did four years ago. My understanding of organizations, leadership and the nonprofit world has also been nurtured heavily through both classes and experience. All of these things have come about not from a single class or experience, but as a result of my Whitworth experience as a whole. The experiences in ministry, the breadth of classes I attended, and relationships I've cultivated all play a role in my growth. Whitworth has been a stimulating place for me, where I actively learn both inside and outside the classroom. My personal desire to learn has been shaped by Whitworth, and I couldn't be more grateful.

For all of this, I say thank you to anyone who in any form or fashion supports Whitworth University. This place is not a joke. It really does produce graduates who are ready to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity. I hope you would continue to support Whitworth in the future so that hundreds more students like myself might be given a chance to learn, grow and be transformed as a result of their decision to attend this remarkable institution. THANKS!

Next: Young Life

Jan. 1, 2018

Preparing for Full-Time Ministry

Oct. 2, 2017

I am most excited this year about my role in a class generally 80-90 freshmen take called Foundations of Christian Leadership. I am the TA and a small group leader for the class, which I took and was deeply challenged by my freshmen year. In retrospect, no class has impacted how my years have gone more than this one, and I so badly want freshmen to have an opportunity to have a similar experience. It's a blessing to get to be a part of such a formative time in so many first-year students' lives, and is not a role I take lightly. Whether it be relationally, intellectually or in ministry, I hope to engage and challenge freshmen to step in to who God created them to be this coming year, and for the rest of their life.

The biggest challenge I face is certainly the amount of different roles and responsibilities I have going into this year. I am taking 16 credits myself, am the TA for Foundations of Christian Leadership, am team leading a Wyldlife team, leading Young Life, beginning to fundraise personal support for a position with Young Life that will start in the new year, and helping put on a Young Life Reunion at Whitworth during Homecoming. I feel as if I am a part-time student; as if I have one foot at Whitworth, and the other in the world of full-time ministry. It's going to be an odd semester full of many different tasks, but what I am involved with are the things that I enjoy doing deeply, and for that, I feel incredibly lucky.

I am infinitely grateful for the love and joy I have experienced from people and professors at Whitworth. I also appreciate the commitment to excellence in academics that Whitworth has. However, the aspect of the Whitworth community I think I will most miss is the deep thinking about issues in the world, and how as Jesus-following people we ought to approach them. I have been lucky enough to know a great deal of people who are not OK with the status quo and political correctness, and allow their experience of Jesus to actually transform their life and convictions. That starts with Beck, and flows throughout many relationships I have made. And along the way, there is a lot of love and grace even among disagreement.