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Student Body President: We’re here “to know God and to make Him known”

The Student Body Executive Team (left to right): Joel Baumgarten, Kira Rymer Attaway, Joey Christensen, Miles Raven, Richie White, Alexis Deason, Zack Deason

January 2, 2024

Columbia International University Student Body President Miles Raven says he has been challenged to deepen his faith in God more at CIU than anywhere else he has lived. And for a “military brat,” that’s a lot of places from Texas to Turkey, and now Columbia.

But once he landed as a CIU student, Raven says he says he has encountered many who have “a deep and strong faith in God.”

“CIU as a community facilitates spiritual growth because of the incredible people that are here, the faculty, staff, and student body all have the understanding that the purpose of being here ultimately is to know God and to make Him known,” said Raven.

Raven says the role of student body president has grown him in his faith more than he anticipated because of his need to rely on God for leadership guidance.

“A lot of times God has shown me His love for me through the people that He brings into my life and I can honestly say, through attending CIU, God has shown His love for me in that way abundantly,” Raven said.

Raven points to two CIU professors who have served as mentors in his life; one with an impact off campus, and one campus.

Seminary Professor Dr. Andre Rogers is the senior pastor of Raven’s church, Concord Fellowship Baptist. Raven calls him “a man that I trust” and looks up to him for his knowledge of the Word and his confidence in God. He has also been an example to Raven of what it looks like to be a good husband and father.

“I have immense respect for him and will always be grateful to him for giving me wisdom and guiding me to opportunities to grow as a man and believer,” Raven said.

On campus, Raven has looked to history and theology professor Dr. Tim Dunn.

“He is a man that I respect and admire for his intellect and work ethic,” Raven said. “He is a role model for me as a solid man of God that I aspire to be like one day that has a solid relationship with God and is unapologetically authentic. Being mentored by him over the past year has been a huge blessing to my life.”

Raven graduates in May with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and hopes to do a two-year mission opportunity with the International Mission Board in Africa to research unreached people groups and learn the most effective ways to share the gospel with them. But he also intends to pursue a graduate degree in clinical counseling in the future.

“I want to counsel people from different cultures and backgrounds,” Raven said. “My master’s will allow me to pursue that dream.”

A spring 2023 student satisfaction survey identified the factor most important to CIU students and CIU’s top strength as “My relationship with God has been strengthened.”

CIU consistently ranks among the Top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report, as well as a Best Value Regional University in the South. Apply now or request information on enrollment by contacting Admissions at (803) 807-5024 or

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