CIU students making a big impact around the world

October 23, 2018

By Bob Holmes

Columbia International University students impact the nations with the message of Christ long before graduation. As a matter of fact, CIU students travelled on nearly four dozen missions trips last school year alone, most of them outside the United States. 

Many of those trips were internships where students ministered in a variety of ways: from community development in Kenya to ministering to Syrian refugees in Germany to Bible teaching in Nicaragua.

Senior Caleb Barth taught at a Christian school in Cambodia and assisted local believers who are bringing the gospel to rural villages. He says the internship taught him that the church in each culture faces its own unique challenges.  

“However, beneath these issues are a people worth sacrificing for,” Barth said. “I found so much beauty in the Khmer culture and it drove me to want to learn more cultures, seeing the beauty that God created when He made humanity.” 

Dr. Ed Smither, CIU dean of Intercultural Studies says the global internship is the most important element of the Intercultural Studies curriculum.

“Here a student gets hands-on field training and a good taste of what it is like to live and serve globally,” Smither said. “They are able to see the connection between their natural gifts, their training at CIU, and specific opportunities around the world. Increasingly, our students are going back to serve full time with the organization that hosted their internship.”

The CIU Rams athletic teams are often overseas on mission as well. The men’s soccer team travelled to Medellin, Colombia with CIU Intercultural Studies professor Dr. Victor Cuartas, a native of Colombia. While there, the team not only played soccer, but assisted children and youth in underprivileged neighborhoods, shared testimonies with teams they competed against, and provided the manual labor for a road project.

Meanwhile, some CIU students focused on mission opportunities closer to home, such as joining in disaster relief in South Carolina and assisting refugees resettling in Georgia. 

Where is God leading you to serve? Check out CIU’s undergraduate, graduate, seminary and online programs.

Excitement is building on the CIU campus with a dramatic increase in enrollment and on-campus expansion. Information on enrollment is available here or call (800) 777-2227, ext. 5024.