Humanitarian Engagement welcomes new director

Cheryl Craven
(Photo courtesy of: Cheryl Craven)
Cheryl Craven (Photo courtesy of: Cheryl Craven)

Written by: Lizbeth Rodriguez-Diep

Cheryl Craven has accepted the position of Humanitarian Engagement (HE) director. According to Craven, HE’s previous director, Melissa Moore, is pursuing a new job at Child Impact International.

Craven had been working as the School of Social Work’s office manager for the past 11 years. She was not only an employee of the School of Social Work — she was a student as well. She recently graduated with a Master of Social Work degree in December. 

As many graduates do, Craven prayed that God would open a door, but not just any door– one  “of greater responsibility and influence for Him.” During that time, the HE department had an opening for a new director.

“The Humanitarian Engagement department equips students to serve others both locally and around the world,” Craven said in a statement to the Accent. “Local Engagement provides opportunities for community service in the greater Chattanooga area, while Global Engagement covers everything beyond Chattanooga.” 

Craven said she accepted the position because she believed it was God’s will for her at this time. This was not the first time she had heard about the position, but she said she decided to wait on His timing. 

“When the position was not offered before, I accepted that it was not God’s timing and focused on a goal of completing a master’s,” Craven said. “The Lord speaks to us in different ways. He spoke to me through people, circumstances and through a general sense of peace that this was His will for me at this time.”

Through her experiences, Craven said she is learning to trust in God.

“God is teaching me to sit with others in their joy or disappointment and to take time to celebrate or grieve myself, and through it all, to trust Him and press on as He leads,” she said

Through all of the “exhilaration and disappointment,” she said the team in the Office of Ministry and Missions “has been a delight to work with and [has been] very supportive.” 

Craven said her prayer for every student is “to embrace the concept that we are saved to serve.”

“We become like Jesus when we serve as He did,” Craven said. “I want everyone to experience the happiness that comes when their service becomes a way of life. Our goal in HE is to help students embrace a life of service, using what they’ve learned in the classroom to help bring others closer to Jesus.”

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