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Evangel alumni perspective: Sara Groves (Colbaugh)

Name: Sara Groves

Graduation Year: 1994

Major: English Education / History

Current Position: Singer/Songwriter

City and State: St Paul, Minnesota

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

I have been a touring singer, songwriter for 20 years. My most recent release, “Abide With Me”, was recorded at the Art House North, a small church and community art center that my husband and I run in Troy Groves, St Paul, Minnesota. 

What is your favorite memory from Evangel?

I have too many favorite memories to count. My years on Activities Board would top the list. The size of Evangel allowed me to try many different things from participating in musicals to touring with the Concert Choir. The excellence of the faculty stands out to me as well. I was encouraged to think and to question, and to work out the integrated life at every level. This was invaluable to me.

How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?

Even though I wasn’t a music major, the Liberal Arts approach to learning and the commitment to the integration of faith and life have influenced my music tremendously. I would say a marker of my work has been to communicate not just about the lens of faith itself, but about how everything in life can be seen through the lens of faith. I was equipped to do that at Evangel.

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

It prepared me to be a critical and discerning thinker and gave me the space to grow these skills in a sympathetic environment. I am so grateful that this exists for my kids as they are heading into this next phase of life.

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

Evangel embraces the idea that work, beauty, family, play, and community in and of themselves are good. They are worth our full pursuit and excellence!  Recognizing that any call is rooted in craft and that pursuing excellence in that craft is the beginning of participating in God’s mission in the world. The ‘reconciliation of all things’ is an important part of accepting God’s invitation to a full life, and helps us trade transactional evangelism for a robust testimony of the Christ-life. This kind of embodied life saves us from getting stuck in consumer-faith, and helps us contribute to the communities we are in, and awaken the Kingdom imagination in the people around us!

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

I appreciate the contributions of a person of faith who understands what the integrated life can look like, and is not compartmentalizing faith and life.

About Sara Groves (Colbaugh):

Sara Groves is singer/songwriter and recording artist with a passion for justice and a heart of mercy. She has joined forces with International Justice Mission to advocate for victims of human trafficking for the past 12 years. Sara has been nominated for 7 Dove Awards and has produced a string of successful albums including her latest, Abide With Me, a collection of hymns recorded in a 110-year-old church. For more, visit: