May 12, 2017

“Like many young people graduating high school, I wasn’t sure what road I should take. Education is a pretty big decision, especially when your interests don’t include an obvious path forward,” Emma Nichols recounted as she was preparing for her senior art project at Grand View University.

Emma came to Faith for the 2013-14 school year. Between attending Faith events, working with Faith students at Iowa Regular Baptist Camp, and having alumni family members, Emma grew up very familiar with Faith. She sought to build a one-year curriculum around classes that would offer spiritual growth and Christian living as an emphasis.

“I believe that we are all called to full-time Christian service—it just may not be vocational,” Emma explained. “What better way of preparing for life than taking a year to build a foundation of doctrinal truth.”

During her year at Faith, Emma enrolled in an art class at a local community college. Through that class, it became obvious that Emma had a passion for art and wanted to use it in a life of ministry for Christ. Emma transferred to Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa for her sophomore year and enrolled in their studio art program.

Emma has been working on her senior project at Grand View—a fully illustrated children’s book, each picture being a watercolor painting.

“Much time was spent considering what story to tell. I love biographies for their genuine nature. I decided that telling a story everyone knew might be good practice, but I wanted to take the opportunity to share a story that few would know—a story of family, faith, and living a life of steadfast dedication to the gospel. That story was of my great-grandmother, Erma. As a young woman, she felt strongly called to missions in China in the late 1910s, but after various circumstances, she was able to use her passion for young people and teaching the gospel as she raised six children who have all lived faithful godly lives.”

Emma’s long-term goal is illustrating children’s books. While this may be her passion, it is also her tool to bring God glory while on earth. Emma is graduating this month from Grand View and will be working at Iowa Regular Baptist Camp this summer before looking for employment this fall.

Emma’s senior project on display