Westmont Magazine Five Friends from Westmont
A group of Westmont alumni have traded the hills of Montecito for the winters of Illinois to attend graduate school at Wheaton College.
Chris Bergmann ’96 left Westmont intent on fulfilling the visions God placed in his heart. He began a company in San Diego called Educational Adventures, which mentors students of all ages in academics and looks for opportunities to teach them about Jesus Christ. During its four-year existence, the business has flourished, quadrupling in size and sending students to colleges such as USC, Stanford and Westmont.
Chris also became active in a soccer ministry and toured Europe with Missionary Athletes International to evangelize. After going to Holland last summer with the organization, Chris felt called to ministry. He applied to MAI for a two-year internship and enrolled in Wheaton to pursue a master’s degree in educational ministry. As part of his work with MAI’s Wheaton office, he serves as general manager of the Chicago Eagles, the semi-professional soccer division of MAI. The ministry recently acquired a franchise in the United States Soccer League. Chris looks back at Westmont as “the catalyst in my personal growth that allows me to serve in our Savior’s kingdom.”
Early in her career at Westmont, Corey Glass ’97 knew that her passion was to mentor and disciple college-age students. While on campus, she was active in the college group at Goleta Community Covenant, and in December 2000 received her master’s degree from Wheaton in educational ministries with an emphasis on college students.
Corey has accepted a position with Camp May-Mac, a summer camp for inner-city youth in Santa Cruz, Calif. Her responsibilities include mentoring and shepherding the entire female staff. Her long-term goal is pursuing relationships with college-age men and women in a variety of contexts. Residential life, teaching, inner-city ministry and college ministry all interest her.
Although Josh Higgins ’96 has always been interested in history and archaeology, but taking a class from archaeologist and former Westmont professor Ron Tappy lit a fire. Josh wanted to pursue something he was passionate about — and instill that passion in others, as Professor Tappy had done for him.
Josh is pursuing his master’s degree in biblical archaeology and expects to graduate in May 2002. He would like to teach during the school year and spend his summers excavating. An avid scuba diver, Josh’s underwater excursions have been limited during his time in the Midwest, but he is planning to teach a scuba course in the spring and to get more involved with his new church, Harvest Bible.
The night Michelle Howell ’98 graduated from Westmont, she boarded a plane to Wisconsin to attend Honey Rock Camp, where she learned about leading multi-week wilderness trips for junior high, high school and college students. These outings help people grow in their spiritual walk with Christ by presenting them with different challenges. That summer, she led canoeing and backpacking trips through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The experience was so profound that she realized she would not be pursuing a career in biology, her major at Westmont.
Michelle graduated from Wheaton and the educational ministries program in December. She has accepted a position in the youth ministries practicum with Honey Rock Camp. Her main responsibilities are discipling students in the program, planning activities and teaching various lessons. After that, she hopes to pursue residential life at a small, liberal arts Christian college, most likely as a resident director. Michelle is thankful that Westmont gave her a good foundation and set her in the direction of her life’s work.
Unlike his four Westmont classmates at Wheaton, Greg Thomas ’94 isn’t completely sure of his plans after he graduates in 2002 with a master’s degree in evangelism and spiritual formation. A graduate resident adviser at Wheaton, Greg is finding that he really enjoys college ministry. At the same time, he has a great burden for ministry to the homeless and the poor.
Greg is certain that no matter what direction he goes, evangelism will be a natural part of his life. He is enjoying Wheaton’s program and its unique training specifically for evangelism. He also appreciates the small size of the program and the chance to interact extensively with and be mentored by the professors. This style of learning has been very beneficial for him. After his graduation from Westmont, Greg spent four years on staff with a youth ministry in St. Louis, Mo., called K-Life, working with fellow Westmont alumnus, Jeff Fox ’94.