Each year Columbia International University recognizes 12 recent alumni who have graduated within the last 12 years for their distinguished accomplishments in the marketplace, on the mission field or in church ministry. They are a faithful example of CIU’s five core values. These are: Authority of Scripture, the Necessity of the Spirit Filled Life, World Evangelization, Prayer and Faith, and Evangelical Unity.

Nominate recent alumni for honors

KenoyerJanuary 2018- Faith Kenoyer

Faith has served for 24 years in North Africa as head of a private international school. She has a passion for helping third culture kids adapt and thrive in a new culture. “This year we have 14 different cultures in the school. Children growing up away from their parents’ home country have specific challenges as they adjust to a culture that is not their own. Staff members help these ‘third culture kids’ adjust to the local culture, learn a foreign language, and provide them with a supportive environment where they can thrive.”


February 2018- Amelia McNeilly

Amelia lives and blogs from her home base in North Carolina. From 2009-2015, she served as a booking agent for three Christian comedians in Hollywood while reviewing over 480 books on the website Goodreads. Despite having Cerebral Palsy, she doesn’t stop! “I saw the Lord at work in what some call a dark and crazy place. I saw Jesus lived out in Hollywood — which is my dream.”



March 2018- Jacob Pursely

Jacob has been ministering in the Middle East since 2002 serving as an elder at a church he planted and at a sister church. He is an evangelist, apologist, and founder of a ministry school in the Middle East. He also facilitates reconciliation between Turkish and Armenian Christians over the Armenian Genocide that took place 100 years ago. “It has been a joy and privilege to serve our King in the Middle East for over 15 years. Experienced and knowledgeable CIU professors prepared me to serve in the Middle East, and I established ministry partners in the classroom who serve with me today.”


April 2018- Erich and Kelley Schindler

Erich and Kelley have served as missionaries in Taipei, Taiwan for 10 years. They assist in operating two gospel coffee houses and a church, as well as ministering to moms and their children at a local mission center. “We don’t go to church. We are the Church. We believe God has called us to take the church into places where it currently doesn’t exist. Using a non-traditional church-planting platform such as a gospel coffee house, gives us opportunities to interact with and bless our community, while at the same time sharing the love of Jesus with many who have never heard about Him."


May 2018- Jay Ezelle

Jay ministered as a youth pastor from 2007- 2013. Today he serves as a sheriff’s deputy in Pulaski, Virginia, where he received a Lifesaving Award in 2017. “Working in law enforcement, I’ve had more opportunities to grow relationships. Dealing with different people in different situations every day, I look for back-door approaches to speak truth into their lives, and I work hard to give people a positive outlook on law enforcement. Regardless of career or vocation, the Lord will use you to impact those around you.”


June 2018- Todd Marrah

Todd serves as superintendent at Tree of Life Christian School and as executive pastor of Rock City Church in Columbus, Ohio where he recently helped launch a business and incubator center in the area. He is also a board member of the Columbus Dream Center and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). “I had a professor who told me in the first week of CIU classes, ‘Don’t be overwhelmed by all that you have to do. Simply persevere in the next thing we ask you do. You’ll learn what you’re supposed to learn and you’ll graduate!’ That’s not just good for school, that’s good for life.”