Karissa Heckens is an active member of Elkhorn Hills United Methodist Church. She serves as accompanist at the 10:30 am worship service, sings with the Praise Team, leads the youth praise band, and serves in various other capacities on an ongoing basis. Karissa is pretty awesome, and we are glad to be able to share this wonderful article about her.
The following article comes from the October 31st, 2017, issue of Morningside Connect, a Morningside College Alumni Newsletter.
Student Spotlight: Karissa Heckens
Karissa Heckens has been active on campus through her various classes and activities from the moment she stepped on campus her freshman year. Heckens is currently a senior from Omaha, Nebraska, majoring in Nonprofit Management with Spanish and Religious Studies minors.
Heckens chose to come to Morningside because they offered a Nonprofit Management major and it provided her with unique opportunities she may have not otherwise gotten. She stated, “I chose Morningside for many reasons! First, it has the Nonprofit Management major, which is unique and able to provide me with a variety of valuable skills for serving others in both my professional and personal life. Second, the people here are extremely friendly, and this was quite evident to me from my campus visits as a prospective student. It is nearly impossible to walk across campus without receiving a welcoming smile from at least one person, and this was not something that was common at the other schools that I visited. Third, the scholarships offered to me by Morningside were quite generous and truly helped with the financial aspect of college. Lastly, I felt as if God was calling me to come here so that I could help develop the Campus Ministry Program here.”
Heckens is very involved in campus activities. She is the founder and the president of Christ Connections, a Christian group that offers students worship services, small group nights, movie and game nights, and volunteering opportunities. Additionally, she is in Omicron Delta Kappa, where she is serving as the co-Vice President for Into the Streets, a member of the College Choir, a Writing Center Consultant, and a Second Year Experience Mentor.
She enjoys the opportunities Morningside provides to their students, specifically how students are able to have the chance to develop their strengths and skills and the wide variety of leadership opportunities that they have. Heckens stated, “Thus, I have been blessed here with the experience of developing a Campus Ministry group from the very beginning, along with many other leadership experiences that have shaped my growth and that will continue to affect my life long after I graduate.” Additionally, she appreciates the opportunities she has received to create meaningful and beneficial relationships with her professors because they are great at offering support, whether it be in the classroom, or when discussing internships, graduate school, and future careers.
Her favorite thing about the activities she is involved in is the relationships she has formed with students and faculty across campus. Heckens stated, “In addition, I am extremely appreciative for the opportunity to positively impact the lives of others through my various activities.”
After graduation, Heckens plans to attend Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Kansas to pursue a Master of Divinity degree. Ultimately she hopes to be ordained in the United Methodist Church and practice ministry. While she is unsure what specific type of ministry she may want to pursue, she is thinking about either campus ministry, pastoral ministry, pastoral counseling, or even hospital chaplaincy.