New Residence Life Director is Shepherd, Administrator, Cook; Ethan Young Now on the Job
By Bob Holmes
If freshmen at CIU ever get a little homesick for a homemade meal, they could stop by the apartment of new Residence Life Director Ethan Young. He loves to cook. But then, his recipes may not be like mom used to make.
“The one that we have made I don’t know how many times — and it is fantastic — is a Northern Thai soup called Khao Soi,” Young begins in a dreamy voice listing from memory some of the ingredients: coconut milk, yellow curry paste, turmeric, cilantro and garlic.
“It’s just one of those foods you eat and with every sip you are like — ‘Oh, this is so good,’” Young continued as he seemed to relive the dining experience in is mind.
Young would like to share his passion for food with all the freshmen. But more importantly, freshmen getting their first “taste” of college life, as well as upper classmen, will benefit from Young’s other passions for shepherding and administration.
“I love ministry. I love serving the Lord’s people,” said the 39-year-old former administrative pastor and church elder. “This position seemed like an excellent fit. There is a need for administrative competence, yet the purpose of that is to facilitate relational ministry.”
Young, who grew up a “missionary kid,” will “shepherd” student leaders; 14 RAs and 14 community life coordinators who will then minister to the rest of the student body.
“That’s what excited me about this role,” Young said. ”It is a very good fit for what I enjoy doing.”
Young has been at CIU for the last three years working on his Master of Divinity degree at Columbia Biblical Seminary, graduating last April. Studying on campus and living in the on-campus Pine View Apartments, has given him the opportunity to interact with undergraduate students he’ll be shepherding.
“From the 18-23 year olds I expect various levels of spiritual maturity,” Young explained. “Some of them may have just accepted Christ over the summer. Some are further along in their walk with the Lord. We’re all knuckleheads in some way, shape or form at that age. We’re still figuring things out. We’re still growing. This is a fun context to grow in.”
Young adds that his ministry will include his wife Amy and his son and daughter; six-year-old Daniel and four-year-old Zoe.
“We asked the Lord to direct us to a ministry opportunity that our whole family could participate in, and I see that will clearly be the case,” Young said. “Certainly Amy will have the opportunity to minister to the young ladies — they’ve already connected with her. I think our kids will have opportunity to hang out and be a little brother and sister to the students.”
But getting everyone in the Youngs' apartment for his Thai soup specialty may be a challenge.
“I’m hoping (student leadership) will invite some of the folks on their hall to come once in a while. But we may have to find a bigger venue!”
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CIU has announced $25 million in expansion plans for the campus, including construction of the $20 million William H. Jones Global Business and IT Center. CIU is accredited by SACS-COC.