“Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) has been my spiritual and intellectual home,” said Cassie Olson, a new IWU philosophy and theology graduate.
Olson was introduced to IWU by a spiritual mentor who saw potential in her and began helping her prepare for college. Olson came for a visit and was impressed with the experience. “I loved the atmosphere, and felt there were people at IWU who were spiritually discerning and would challenge me in my worldviews,” she said. “From then on, I knew I would attend IWU.”
In her sophomore year, Olson took a philosophy class discussing existential philosophers. During the class she heard a few of her classmates say, “If only the philosopher knew better, if only they knew the truth like we do.” Olson became concerned about how her classmates discounted the philosophers for their diverse viewpoints. Over the course of this class period, Olson realized, “They were saying things I probably would have said just a semester before.”
The professors at IWU — especially Miranda Cruz and Abson Joseph — helped Olson sort through her concerns about the philosophers who critique Christianity. Through their discussions, she was able to work through challenges with her faith and identify her calling.
Olson says she will miss two main things at IWU now that she’s graduated: her professors and Noggle Christian Ministries Center, the building that houses the school of theology and ministry. “Professors brought about the huge transformation for me; they helped me find my voice when I didn’t think I had one,” she said.
In Noggle, Olson started each morning at 7:00 a.m. doing her homework while watching professors trickle in for the day and chat with each other. “It was the coziest place to be,” Olson said.
She offers this advice to incoming IWU students: “God does not hold you to the high expectation of knowing, but you still need to participate in learning.” She said learning together creates a unique opportunity for building new relationships because learning requires everyone to be vulnerable and open.
Olson will continue her education at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, in the fall to pursue her master’s degree.