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Alumni Board of Directors: Spotlight on Shelley Groves

Name: Shelley Groves

Graduation Year: 1993

Major: English Education/Social Studies Education

Current Position: Director of Teacher Education, Mid-America Christian University

City and State: Oklahoma City, OK

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

Currently, I am at Mid-America Christian University as the Director of Teacher Education. I have been in education, in one form or another, since I graduated from Evangel. I have been a regular classroom teacher in public and private schools for ten years and a professor in higher education for the rest of that time. In my current position, I train future teachers to enter the classroom as education professionals.

What is your favorite memory from Evangel?

I had so much fun at Evangel! My first year of teaching, I was constantly telling stories about the fun I had on campus with my roommate/suitemates (yeah Burgess 4th South!), and friends: spur of the moment trips to Branson, eating Andy’s frozen custard, playing/surviving pranks. I think I was a pretty good recruiter because some of my students ended up as Crusaders!

I’m also so grateful for the many professors who poured their lives into mine. There are still some class sessions that have a special place in my heart. Twila Edwards’ C.S. Lewis class conversations about living our calling in Christ through many different avenues are ones that I cherish. I’m also grateful for Dr. Nelson and the way that he helped me grow as his work-study. I learned so many things from him by watching him in the classroom that I still use today.

How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?

Attending Evangel was a real eye-opener for me. I always sensed a calling on my life, but I didn’t realize that my calling could be in a classroom. Learning about how God could use me in ways other than pulpit ministry was such a liberating and exciting revelation for me. Even though I have served on staff at a church, I know that my true calling is teaching students on a daily basis and showing them Jesus in a classroom setting. 

How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?

I was very involved in MECS (Ministry of Evangel College Students – now Crosswalk) while I was at Evangel. In that position, I did a lot of behind the scenes kind of work, but I learned so much about team-building and organization. That level of responsibility and active service is something that prepared me in many ways for the administrative work that I do daily. 

What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?

Recognize that God can use you in any vocation! God needs people to live out the calling of Christ in every field.  When we truly follow His leading and do everything as unto Him (Colossians 3:23), it really shows. I would encourage students to follow the Lord’s leading and work in every job you are given as if Christ himself was your supervisor. When we attempt that kind of excellence, we not only make a good impression, but we also show the world what serving God should look like. It sets us apart – in a good way.

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?

When I am hiring, I always look for servant-leadership. If graduates can serve others regardless of their title and follow the leader in front of them with devotion and hard work, they will quickly make a very positive impression. One of the most important attributes of recent graduates is having a strong work ethic and a kind spirit. Those qualities are becoming rare but are extremely important.