Distinguished Opera Singer
Anderson University, Indiana
Lawrence Brownlee has become one of the most prominent bel canto tenors on both the national and international opera scene. He's won numerous prestigious awards, recorded several CDs, and been in such high demand as a performer that he often has to turn down offers.
"It's amazing what God has done in my life," he says. "I was just messing around when I took part in a recital my senior year of high school. After my performance, a voice teacher asked if I had ever considered studying classical singing. My father and I exchanged looks, thinking, This guy can't be serious!"
But he was serious. And the comment sparked a new hunger in Lawrence. A few weeks later he attended his first opera. "I was hooked immediately," he says.
Wanting to cultivate his musical gift, Lawrence planned to study music at a large public university. "Then I heard about Anderson," he says. "I decided to check it out. And I'm glad I did. It was there that my music really blossomed. Not only was the teaching phenomenal, but I also had awesome mentors both musically and spiritually. You just can't get that type of personal mentorship at larger colleges."
Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota
Kristin Wiebe, the director of anti-trafficking programs for World Hope International, sees the roots of her career extending back to the mindset of her college professors. "Bethel introduced me to professors who thought honestly about the world we live in," she says. "They could talk openly about the dynamic between their Christian walk and the secularand often uglyworld."
After graduating, Kristin worked in Bangladesh for three years and then traveled through Southeast Asia. Although aware of Asia's sex trade, she was devastated by the abuse and exploitation she discovered while in Thailand. Once she returned to her home in Nebraska, she felt compelled to find out all she could about human trafficking. "I learned it wasn't just happening in Asia and it wasn't just about sex," she says. "It was really a form of modern-day slavery, and it's happening to people all over the world."
God led Kristin to law school to gain tools to help fight human trafficking. Although it was way out of her comfort zone, she followed the Lord and obtained her law degree at the University of San Francisco School of Law. After passing the California Bar, she landed the job she now holds at World Hope International. In just four years, she has assisted in bringing hundreds of girls to freedom in Cambodia.
Crossroads College, Rochester, Minnesota
When he was a biblical studies and theology student at Crossroads College, Albert Hsu's professors recommended many books to him. They meant a great deal to Albert and he began to notice something. "The ones that seemed to always help me the most were published by InterVarsity Press," says Albert. In fact, by the time he graduated from Crossroads, Albert owned more than 200 IVP books.
It was only fitting, then, that after going to Wheaton College for his master's in communications, Albert got a job at InterVarsity Press.
Today, he's an associate editor at InterVarsity Press. He's also a columnist for Christianity Today and the author of three books, Singles at the Crossroads, Grieving a Suicide, and The Suburban Christian (all on InterVarsity Press).
"When I was a teen, books by authors like C. S. Lewis, Frank Peretti, and Max Lucado helped me understand God and Christianity," he says. "Now, I enjoy working in Christian publishing because books are a strategic way that God can work in people's lives."