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June 24, 2021

Online Christian Ministry Degree Empowers Student to Advance the Kingdom

Carin Roy was in ministry for years before pursuing her online Christian ministry degree with Grace College. Because she was already in her field, every class impacted the way she interacted with those in need around her, and her education gave her the support she needed to advance the kingdom.

She is proof that there is no necessary timeline for your education.

Choosing an Online Degree

As a young college student, Roy didn’t get the chance to finish her bachelor’s degree because of anti-war riots that shut down her university. Around that time, she married her husband Tom, moved to Winona Lake, Indiana, and began working while Tom attended Grace College.

In the years that followed Tom’s graduation, she taught Bible studies and traveled with her husband. But she wasn’t done learning for the advancement of the kingdom. In 2019, Carin discovered the online Christian ministry degree program and started working toward her bachelor’s.

Trained for the Kingdom

Beyond the opportunities and training Grace has provided, the school has unconditionally supported the Roys in their ministries, particularly Unlimited Potential (UPI), an evangelistic and discipleship ministry which takes professional baseball players on missions trips all over the world.

“Grace has been fantastic,” Carin said. “As UPI grew, Grace employed Tom until he could go full time with his ministry. Grace was amazingly supportive.”

While the Roys were excited to jump into ministry, it wasn’t an easy choice at the time.

“It was kind of scary going out on our own,” Carin explained. We didn’t have a guaranteed paycheck.” In fact, the Roys’ humble beginnings at UPI included a rotary dial phone, a card table in the basement, and one employee: Tom. In order for the fledgling ministry to thrive, the entire Roy family had to be on board. And they were. Carin and her daughters each took several overseas trips with the ministry and were forever changed by the experiences they had.

“We didn’t visit countries as tourists,” Carin said. “We got to be immersed in the culture and get to know the people. It was life-changing for all of us.”

On these trips, Carin often acted as a host for the wives of the baseball players. She spoke for wives’ retreats, taught wives’ Bible studies, and spent hours on the phone, mentoring and encouraging them through difficult trials.

“Baseball life is not easy,” she explained. “Especially in the minor leagues. There’s a lot of pressure on the families, so there was a big opportunity to minister to the wives.”

The Roys truly stepped out in trust, prioritizing their ministry over their own comfort, and the result has been nothing short of miraculous. What started as the makeshift station in the Roy basement is now an international ministry that has reached nearly 70 countries and has changed the lives of countless baseball players.

Completing a Lifelong Goal

When the couple retired from UPI, Carin started taking online classes at Grace.

“One of my passions is teaching other women how to teach the Word of God. The online classes have done a good job of equipping me for that,” she said.

Now, she’s dreaming of new opportunities for ministry as she gets ready to graduate with her bachelors from Grace’s online ministry programs this summer.

“I have loved every second of my degree,” she said. “Some of the classes enhanced and enriched what I’ve already experienced in ministry, but it has also expanded my thinking.”

One class that expanded Roy’s thinking was Youth Ministry.

“I wasn’t sure I needed the class since I don’t plan to go into youth ministry. But I’ve learned things that I can apply to young people in my life. I’ve been able to encourage my grandkids and their friends and understand their culture. It’s given me a passion for the emerging generation. I think they’re going to be world-changers, and I want to be part of that.”

Through the online ministry programs, Roy has learned that she desires to be involved and make a difference among the younger generations. But whatever comes next for her, she has the skills she’s acquired from her online Christian ministry degree to guide her.

“It’s been a lifelong goal to finish my degree,” Roy said. “The program is rich and valuable. Soak up everything you possibly can. It makes you think and apply what you learn. It’s comforting, challenging, and inspiring, so embrace it and dig in.”

Are you interested in starting or completing an online Christian ministry degree? Check out Grace’s bachelor’s in ministry leadership!