I have really fond memories of Cornerstone. I "grew up" there, in a way. From the time I entered as a Freshman in 1997 until the time I left my role as the Assistant Director of Admissions in 2004, I grew...a lot. Cornerstone's COR100 class introduced me to the idea of embracing a "Christian worldview." That one thing radically shifted my perspective on life and what it meant to live out my faith. Then I grappled with the Old Testament with the help of Dr. Brew, studying harder than I did for any other class in my academic career (seminary included!). I reveled in the exquisite magnificence of nature by mud bogging and sand duning my way through Gator's Intro to Biology course. I challenged my own faith convictions (while biting my nails off trying to keep up with the note taking) studying world religions in Dr. Cole's World History class. Every course expanded my understanding of the world and forced me to grapple with my faith in new ways. Near the end of my time at CU I took Dr. Whitmore's Christian Worldview class at the Seminary. That sealed the deal. My theology and philosophy on life were overhauled in a powerful way. I understood that I could bring my faith into all of life and live out my values in my culture without fear.
On top of growing me up spiritually, working as an Admission Representative at Cornerstone grew me up professionally. My boss, Admissions Director Brent Rudin, gave me an incredible amount of freedom to flex my newly formed academic muscles through recruiting, writing and public speaking opportunities in the Admissions office. I had to draw on all of my Communications degree training (thank you, Professor Cuffman, Dr. Detwiler and Professor Blanchard!) to meet my annual recruiting goals. I loved it! My admissions peers were incredible: Sarah Weichhand, Leslie Carpenter, Dana VanBellegham and too many others to list! I learned how to create strategic recruiting plans, plan and execute busy travel schedules, manage my own accounting, put together dynamic presentations and even create my own publications. It was really an incredible opportunity to hone my business and ministry skills in a variety of areas. The aspect of Admissions that I most loved, however, was coaching incoming students as they navigated the murky waters of choosing a college, picking a major, figuring out financial aid and adjusting to campus life. I loved being a part of their journeys.
Little did I know what a key part of my future my time in Admissions would play. By the time I left Cornerstone in 2004, I was serving in the Assistant Director of Admissions role. It was really difficult to leave the school. The community had become such a home for me, but both Brent and I knew it was time for me to expand my horizons. I enrolled in Regent University's School of Divinity, moving all the way to Virginia Beach to room with Cornerstone Alum Becky Weichhand. Two short (and incredibly busy) years later, I graduated with my Master's degree in Practical Theology with a Transformational Leadership Coaching emphasis. After graduation I served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Michigan and abroad and then I took a role working as an administrator for a Christian law student program. The latter was an incredible job, but I was behind the scenes and aching to be back on the frontlines of ministry once again. It was at that point that I began exploring the idea of using my Leadership Coaching training as a platform for ministering in a new way. I approached InterVarsity leaders (who I was still in close contact with) about the possibility of piloting a Coaching program for their Staff around the country. They agreed. I coached my first six staff and within two months, InterVarsity's leaders were coming back to me with an invitation to come on board permanently. Overnight, my life coaching ministry (Christian Life Coach Jennie Turton) blossomed with me taking on more Christian ministry leaders and lay people across the country and even overseas.
I now coach a steady stream of clients towards goals ranging from finding their life calling to balancing their budget to overcoming anxiety, run coaching workshops through local churches and speak at conferences. It's been incredible to see God expand things so quickly! I never saw myself as an entrepreneur. My heart has always been ministry. From back in my days in Admissions, I did not see myself as a sales person. I was a minister and a coach, walking high school students through the sometimes overwhelming process of transitioning to college. That is how I see myself today. I run a company, but my heart is still that of a minister/coach. I find myself giddy with excitement every time one of my clients experiences a breakthrough, meets a goal or finds healing. Life Coaching requires me to draw on everything I learned from my time at Cornerstone as a student and an Admissions Rep, from my time at Regent and from my time on staff with faith-based ministries. It is truly a convergence experience for me!
Life Coaching is an exploding field. I feel really privileged to be on the forefront of this...as a believer. I am a distinctly Christian Life Coach. I bring all of my theological and philosophical framework of life to the table when I work with a client. I am really grateful to Cornerstone for molding my perception of life and faith in a way that allows me to approach the marketplace as a competitive Life Coach while embracing a thoroughly Christian Worldview.
I participated in quite a few of the chapel services, helping with worship, drama, etc. I had a tiny part in one of the school plays, which was pretty fun and hilarious. I'm NOT the best actress! :) I was an R.A. in Crawford Hall. I went on short-term trips to Jamaica and Ukraine. I worked at CU as an Admissions Rep. I went on to become the Assistant Director of Admissions before leaving CU to pursue my seminary studies.
I still sleep in my Cornerstone sweatshirt, when it's actually cool enough here in sunny Arizona to do so without suffocating!
Prayer and Praise led by Ben and Ben in a small classroom. Family Visit Days when I worked in Admissions. It was so much fun to finally welcome the students we'd recruited to campus!
The salad bar! :)