Chad Gehring: Athletic Ministry Coordinator and Professor of Global Connections
August 8, 2013
Originally from Mounds, Oklahoma, Chad Gehring joined Evangel’s football coaching staff in 2004. A graduate of East Central University with a Master of Arts in Education, Gehring served as the offensive line coach and special teams coordinator for seven years.
Gehring now directs The Evangel Athletics Ministry (T.E.A.M.), which connects Evangel athletes with service opportunities. Gehring also teaches Global Connections, a course that provides all Evangel students with cross-cultural experiences.
Gehring and his wife, Emily, married in 1994. They have three children, and the family enjoys doing outdoor activities together.
What makes Evangel’s new Intercultural Studies/Global Missions department special?
It’s the people who make our department special. We have a very dedicated team of faculty and staff who are wholeheartedly behind the vision of helping every student on campus have a cross-cultural experience. Most importantly, however, are the students who make up the department. They are energetic, passionate and eager to experience the world from a Christian worldview and utilize what they have learned at Evangel University in the global marketplace.
Why should every student take a mission (service) trip?
It’s no secret that the world is getting smaller (figuratively speaking, of course). New technologies have given the world access to peoples and places like never before in the history of mankind. To gain a sense for this globalization, our students need to travel and experience other parts of the United States and the world. To gain a deeper appreciation of a Christian worldview and to be challenged understand their call in life more deeply, students need to interact with other people groups in diverse cultures.
What is your role within the Global Connections program?
My role within the Global Connections program is to focus on the academic delivery of the course material. It is my job to determine what course textbooks the students should read as they prepare for their cross-cultural experience. I am also responsible for creating the curriculum and the assessment tools used in the course. Our goal is to arm our students with useful and meaningful information that will help them understand and process the differences and similarities of cultural exchanges between them and people from another culture.
How will Global Connections and the Intercultural Studies/Global Missions Department be changing with the consolidation of Evangel, CBC and AGTS?
We are excited about the consolidation and looking forward to our department expanding not only in number, but in diversity of people and personality. We welcome the changes and believe that our department and its emphasis will strengthen as a result of the consolidation. We are excited about the future and hope to be a key asset to our campus community.
What is the main purpose of T.E.A.M., and what do you enjoy most about working with athletes?
T.E.A.M. is the vision of our athletic director, Dr. David Stair. Our goal is provide our athletic teams with unique and intentional opportunities to use their athletic talents to minister to others. We have found that our athletic teams have the ability to make a meaningful impact on the lives of others in our community, in our nation and around the world, so we want to facilitate that by designing cross-cultural exchanges with our team and other people groups that involve a component of athletic competitions and ministry. As a former coach in the department, it is a tremendous blessing to continue working with other Christian coaches who have the desire to see their teams minister to others. My role as the coordinator of T.E.A.M. is to come alongside the coaches, listen to their ideas and dreams about mission and ministry and then do everything in my power to help those dreams become reality.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Take a look at a lot of options. Narrow down your choices with lots of prayer and research about the places that suit you best. Finally, make a decision about what university to attend after high school by being able to say, “I did it the right way. I prayed about it, I researched it, I visited it, and my heart, head – and gut tell me that Evangel University is the best place for me.” Never underestimate the power of your gut instinct.