To say Christine Anderson is an overachiever might be an understatement.
The alumna, former Student Chaplain, and volleyball player is an example of finding one’s calling in life while attending college.
There were many twists and turns along the way, but throughout her academic career she always found a way to show kindness and empathy to others. In fact, at a young age, she developed a motto to Humbly Serve through Christ’s Love.
“Kindness is important because it was something that Christ modeled in His life on earth,” she says. “As Christians, our aim should be to model Jesus in all His aspects, not just the ones we pick and choose. I strive to grow to be more like Christ in everything.”
How it all started
Growing up, Anderson attended a Christian & Missionary Alliance church in New Prague, Minn. After her sophomore year in high school, she set out on an adventure to complete early enrollment courses, first as a PSEO (Post Secondary Enrollment Option) student at another local Christian college, then at Christian colleges in Indiana and in South Dakota.
“I didn’t really fit in during those years,” she says. “The colleges were too big, and I didn’t find my place there. Everyone seemed to know each other already, and it wasn’t for me.”
During her senior year of high school, she completed general education and science classes as a PSEO college student and decided to pursue a degree in either nursing or biology. She also thought about playing volleyball, but decided against it.
“I was bullied a lot and made fun of, and sometimes didn’t get rides from other players on the team,” says Anderson. “Let’s just say I’m glad I ended up where I did.”
After her first two college years, she went on a mission trip that proved quite providential.
“I was high school friends with some of the students who went on the mission trip,” she says. “It seemed like everyone on the trip was from Crown College. The volleyball captain at the time encouraged me to apply. Everyone was like, ‘you should go to Crown!’”
She knew about Crown because she was part of a Bible quizzing program and attended a few volleyball practices and games. Because she had not played volleyball during her first two collegiate years, Anderson realized she was eligible to continue her volleyball career.
Her years at Crown
Anderson applied to Crown and started in the fall of 2016 as a junior.
“I wanted to do something in the medical field, and thought about med school,” she says. “Originally I was a nursing major, then a biology major. I would have been fine as a nurse, but the atmosphere of the colleges I went to my first two years made me rethink that.”
Her life plans changed when she started tutoring in the classroom before she completed her undergraduate degree. She would help other students with their papers and prep for tests, and realized she had developed gifts for helping others achieve more as students. She didn’t just tutor her peers, but made a point to help transfer students, moms, and international students.
She took on the job of helping her volleyball teammates, sometimes by offering constructive criticism. She says it is a mentality of kindness that is most important.
“My coach, Danielle Hall, helped a lot,” she says. “We had meetings once per week in season, and every other week in the off-season — she made sure we were doing well, and asked if we had any scheduling conflicts. She kept a close eye on us. She was really encouraging us to get together as a team. The second semester of 2018 we started a Bible study together. It was a really good time because we were already so comfortable with each other.”
Interestingly, one of the ways she practiced her life motto was to become a listening ear to those around her. She says, as an undergrad, students would tell her about their struggles and she made a point to always listen to what they had to say.
“By being someone to vent to, problem-solve with, or just encourage them in a simple statement can give someone hope for a while,” she says. “Kindness and being present tend to correlate. By putting away my phone to chat, people have started to respect my time more, too.”
Anderson graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in May of 2018.
Looking back, she noticed her calling started to take shape because she was able to help other volleyball players find success both on and off the court.
“I had a lot of people ask me for help, and I’d always tell them to come to my study lab,” she says. “Some day, I’d love to do a ministry with volleyball, a community center, or just playing volleyball with people. It is a really good ministry opportunity.”
Her advice to other students?
“Get a planner!” she joked. “I like to have a planner where I can see the whole week, my class times, what’s due, when I have volleyball, or any big things that are going on. I always take all of my syllabi for the semester and write everything down in my planner.”