May 23, 2023

Call them pioneers. Call them trailblazers. Call them graduates.

Jonathan Crossman, Noah Boyer, and Rebecca Downey made history on May 5, 2023, as the first students to complete all four years of the Organizational Leadership (OL) degree at Faith. Each was part of the program’s inaugural class, which began in August 2019.

The mission of the OL program is to equip students with the knowledge and skills to work with, manage, and lead people. It distinguishes itself from traditional business programs by emphasizing soft skills like critical thinking, leadership, team-building, and strategic planning.

“I didn’t know what to expect going into the program as a freshman,” said Jonathan Crossman. “Mr. Baldwin got things off to a great start. There are a lot of great fundamentals to the program. It mixes applicable leadership with core classes like management, human resources, and accounting. By the time you hit your senior year, you realize what you learned is not just textbook stuff, but real life.”

Former Faith professor Jared Baldwin was the first to lead OL, and built it from the ground up. It is now one of the largest programs at Faith. In 2022-23, Mr. Jeff Hilla took the reins and has continued its upward trajectory. Being a part of a new degree program and seeing it progress through all four years has been a rewarding experience for the three pioneers.

“Three or four years down the road, when I see how big the program has grown, it will hit,” said Crossman. “Someday, when I send my kids here, I can say I was part of that program when it first started and was one of its first four-year graduates.”

Crossman noted the one-on-one instruction he received, the close-knit relationships he built with classmates, and the passion shown by each of his professors as some of his favorite characteristics of the OL program. His favorite experience was a capstone project that he and others worked on, which involved a role in planning the student center remodel at Faith—a project that bore fruit this past summer when it incorporated several of the concepts and ideas presented by OL students.

“That made it real, said Crossman. “I would recommend OL if you want to make an impact as a leader—whether that is in ministry or in business.”

Jonathan Crossman will work for Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary this coming school year as a traveling representative for the admissions department, making presentations to Christian schools, churches, pastors, and prospective students with his soon-to-be wife, Morgan (Stephens). Noah Boyer is putting his knowledge into practice as an operations manager for Angstrom Precision Molding in Ottumwa, Iowa. Rebecca Downey is an associate at Lifestream Clinic in Ankeny, Iowa.

If you would like more information about the Organizational Leadership program at Faith, visit