Adrien Span-Gale (‘18) attended Community College of Philadelphia for a few classes until an auto accident left her with memory loss and in need of two major surgeries. After having her second child, however, she knew it was the right time to return to college. “I knew that I was getting older, and I always desired to acquire a bachelor’s degree,” Span-Gale explains. She heard about Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School through a friend. However, she thought she couldn’t make time for working on her degree. She was raising two teenagers, working full-time and supporting her husband’s ministry where he is a pastor at Eternal Outreach Ministries in Philadelphia.
Instead, she found herself going to an open house for LBC’s Philadelphia location. She left with a newfound determination where she told herself “you can make time for everything, and this is something you’ve always wanted.” She returned to working on her degree in human services in 2012. While she was familiar with the field, her choice of study came from her own journey of being an advocate for her own family members, passionate about teaching children, having a heart to help others and being inspired by college professors in the field.
While she struggled with her confidence at times and questioned if she was “smart enough to work on her degree”, she knew she wanted to help others further in her life and ministry roles. “In church and at work, I try to take every opportunity to make someone’s life better; if it’s through encouragement, empowerment or an impartation,” she shares. “Most of all I try my best to show the love and attributes of Christ.”
As she continued in her studies, she realized she uses the information learned from her courses and interactions at her credit union job while processing loans and conducting financial education programs. Her job, in essence, is her ministry. She also uses her skills and knowledge to help at her husband’s church by referring individuals in need to appropriate social services and sitting in on counseling sessions.
While she was a student, Span-Gale balanced all her different roles by scheduling her days with specific tasks and asking for help, which meant sometimes she delegated responsibilities and projects, including cooking, to her husband, children and sister. She credits the understanding and support she received from her family and church while she worked on her degree. Since she has attended courses at both a community college and a Bible college, she understands the differences and importance of the role of an education from a biblical institute of higher education. “Biblical higher education is important because you can always reference a problem, solution or trial,” she shares. “In the Bible, we have many examples that can compare to our everyday life.”
She highlights how she loved LBC’s faith-based environment, small class sizes, learning about worldviews and taking religion classes. Her only regret was that some of the classes were not long enough for her. “I saw that you had your perspective, a Christian view and a worldview,” she shares. “I loved how the professors equipped every student to be effective, efficient and operate in excellence. I thought I knew what I know. However, by attending LBC, it has opened my eyes, and I didn’t know what I thought I knew. I now am able to see things much differently. I am reminded every day by the people that I come in contact with that they continue to let me know that it’s only because of God’s grace and mercy that my life and situation could have been the same as the person that I’m assisting.”
Her education also included an externship where she worked at a safe house with women transitioning from prison back into society. “I met people from many walks of life, and this kept me humble because they became a constant reminder of it could have been me in their shoes,” she says. “I acted as a support to the women where I initiated case management, assisted with employment, conducted group sessions, empowered and encouraged the ladies.” As she takes away “nuggets from every LBC class” and uses them in her personal and professional life, she continues to dream of what’s next.