Richardson shares her devotion to Christ in the people she interacted at NGU

Published on Tuesday, May 7, 2019

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North Greenville University

"We learn and research about our faith and put it against a lot of the common objections and arguments against it."
Mary Richardson, NGU Class of 2019


While reflecting on what drew her to North Greenville University, Mary Richardson (’19) from Rock Hill shared of the devotion to Christ in the people she interacted with on campus.

North Greenville University (NGU) celebrated spring commencement on May 4 in Melvin and Dollie Younts Stadium on the Tigerville Campus.

Richardson’s grandfather, Bobby Richardson, former New York Yankees second baseman spoke at several chapel services on campus and spoke highly of NGU to Richardson. But she said it was her older brother’s encouraging testimony that influenced her decision to apply.

The Christ-centered environment at NGU is exactly the type of community that Richardson sought after to continue her education.

One outlet NGU offers to students to promote the discussion of Christianity both on and off campus is the Life Answers Team (LAT), which focuses on defending the Christian faith.

“We learn and research about our faith and put it against a lot of the common objections and arguments against it,” said LAT team leader, Richardson.

Each semester, students serving in the LAT prepare a presentation and visit seven to 10 churches and schools to equip other Christians with the tools they need to know how to defend their faith.

Every time Richardson introduces the team on stage she jokes, “We are the life answers team, but we definitely don’t have all of life’s answers.”

Richardson spent three years working with the Life Answers Team. She shared she felt especially thankful for the ability to learn how to defend her faith along with having the opportunity to practice speaking in public.

“Life answers team has been an awesome opportunity,” she said.

As Richardson reflected on her time at NGU and the classes that prepared her for life after graduation, she highlighted two classes specifically offered for intercultural students: practicum 2 and cultural anthropology.

During her practicum 2 class taught by Dr. Allen McWhite, executive director for NGU’s Institue of Global Leadership, Richardson along with her classmates prepared for a trip to Ecuador. The class then traveled for a month during the summer to study effective methods for cross-cultural missions. The team worked alongside a missionary family that had served in Ecuador for over 30 years.

In her cultural anthropology class taught by Dr. Gerald Roe, chair of the intercultural studies department, Richardson learned not only about other cultures, but also how those cultures developed. This class kindled Richardson’s passion for learning about new cultures and studying different worldviews.

Richardson shared that she appreciated the ability to learn and grow in an environment with students edifying the idea of iron sharpening iron as portrayed in Proverbs 27:17. “I’m super thankful for the environment here at NGU,” said Richardson.

“I’m going to miss the campus atmosphere, but maybe not all of the assignments so much,” said Richardson with laughter.

Following graduating from NGU, Richardson hopes to share the Gospel with people in a cross-cultural setting.

Richardson plans to travel to Myrtle Beach with a BCM mission team to work with new church plants. She also hopes to do demographic research in the area to help churches.

After the summer of 2019, Richardson will travel to Arkansas, where she will serve a one-year term working in the mission’s department at the School of Ministry for Cross Church. Following that job, Richardson wants to join the Journeyman program with the International Mission Board.

NGU awards two honorary Doctors degrees

Alexia Newman, who celebrated her 30th year as head of the Carolina Pregnancy Center in Spartanburg County, was honored with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Lenna Smith, who retired as CEO from Piedmont Women’s Center in Greenville, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.

A moment of silence was held in memory of Austin Buice who was to be a member of the Class of 2019.  Buice, a secondary education major, was tragically killed in a car accident in Greenville County on Nov. 20, 2018.  A chair draped with a graduation gown, mortarboard, and a bouquet of red roses was placed with the graduating class to honor Buice.

NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr., welcomed more than 200 undergraduates, graduates, and doctoral candidates before 5,000 family and friends in attendance.

Mike Pereyo, founder and CEO of OOBE, an apparel design company headquartered in Greenville, presented the keynote address.



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