Years ago, Jennifer Brunges wouldn’t have pictured herself at Kuyper College.
“I wasn’t raised in a Christian home; I have no biblical background whatsoever,” she said.
In fact, she added, it took some time to consider herself going back to any kind of college. She spent several years working as a hospice aide before finally deciding to pursue the education necessary to become a nurse in the field.
Just after enrolling, however, Brunges and her family entered what she describes as their “job season”, confronted with a host of hardships that eventually became too difficult to bear.
As her husband lay in a hospital bed, battling a life-threatening illness, she visited the on-site chapel.
“I wasn’t a praying person, but I needed help,” she recalled, her voice tinged with emotion. “I felt like God spoke to me and told me I was supposed to become a hospice chaplain, instead of a nurse.”
That encounter left her and, eventually, her husband Al, hungry for more.
“It completely changed everything. We’re all in now, the Gospel is our life,” she said.
Once Al recovered, Brunges says she began searching for a college that would help her follow God’s direction, and it wasn’t long before she discovered Kuyper.
“I sent in my application and met with Anne (Essenburg) in admissions. Kuyper felt like home, and that really solidified the decision for me,” she recalled.
She chose a major in social work to provide a well-rounded foundation to her education, and she plans to pursue a chaplaincy program after graduation.
Though it is difficult to choose a favorite aspect of her time at Kuyper so far, Brunges said the relationships she has built with her professors are certainly one of the most valuable.
Though the path that brought her to Kuyper has been rough at times, Brunges is still grateful to be where she is today.
“I feel like God had to have me go through those 20 years and all their struggles to be able to apply it to life now,” she said.