CCO staff member Elizabeth Messer ministers to students at Grove City College. Before he joined CCO staff, Elizabeth worked as a teacher, as a stay-at-home mother, and as a college ministry volunteer.
As I looked to return to the workforce after being at home with my young children, I naturally looked to teaching positions because that had been my experience and my training. But, as I began to apply for these positions and interview, my heart was grieving, knowing that returning to work as a teacher would mean that I would have to give up the work that I had been doing on a volunteer basis with college students for the past 15 years.
I am eternally grateful for the CCO because they have made it possible for me to continue the ministry that I had a heart for, and was already doing on a volunteer level, but in a professional capacity. I am partnered with the church where my family and I worship, so my life is very integrated; I worship with these students that I am called to minister to. On the campus of Grove City College, I am recognized as a campus minister and work under the office of the Chaplain. Having a more “official” title has given me more visibility and credibility to reach even more students than before. And, the reputation of the CCO and the training that they offer to their campus ministers has made my transition much easier.
The view that I had for returning to work was so small, so narrowed on what my training and experience had been up until that point. And, of course, I use that experience every day in my work with students. I thank God that His vision was so much grander than my own, that he saw a way to bring my heart for ministry and my vocation together with a campus ministry position working with the CCO.