One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

by Abby Totten, Student Public Relations Writer

Emma Haylett, a sophomore worship major with a songwriting minor at Cedarville University, has endless opportunities as she pursues her passions. This past summer, Haylett had the opportunity to work with recording artist and author Matt Papa during an internship at Marco Presbyterian Church, in Marco Island, Florida.

Haylett’s internship involved many responsibilities. She served as a worship leader, facilitated worship practices, planned Sunday morning sets and wrote one song each week of her stay on Marco Island. Through all of this, Haylett was closely mentored by Papa, songwriter and award-winning Christian musician who has partnered with groups like the Gettys and Matt Boswell. Emma Haylett and Matt Papa

“All the skills the Lord had been teaching me throughout my life prepared me for this internship,” said Haylett.

Haylett grew up in a military family, living in Germany, Hawaii, Washington and Colorado. Her life has consisted of traveling the world, which eased the daunting nature of moving far away from home on her own.

Haylett had previous experience with songwriting. In high school, Haylett gained mentor Marty Magahee through the worship program at Valor Christian High School, located in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Magehee mentored Haylett in songwriting and helped her write and produce her first song, “Crashing Over.” Through Valor productions, she also got to release her song “Made for Me” as well as create a music video, which won third place in the 2022 International Christian Film and Music Festival.

When Haylett arrived at Cedarville, it was the first year the university offered a songwriting minor. She began her worship classes and served on a chapel band team.

At the end of her first year, Haylett was presented with the opportunity to intern with Papa. She applied and was accepted on the team. This unexpected experience let her put into practice what she was learning.

“I got to take what I’m learning in my classes and apply it for real this summer,” said Haylett. “Learning how to use the technology and how to run services well, how to speak well and how to plan sets well. There’s a lot more than getting up 

By the end of the summer, Haylett wrote 12 new songs and reviewed each one with Papa.

Papa, one of the world’s top modern-day hymn writers, helped develop Haylett’s song, “Creator, which was released on September 30.

“Matt set me up with Travis Motley, his drummer, who owns a studio in North Carolina. I got to record a demo with Matt and send it over to Travis,” Haylett explained.

In addition to songwriting and worship leading at the church, Haylett led worship at a dementia unit of a nursing home, was a female leader for the church’s youth and became involved in the community of Marco Island.

“It was cool to see the day-by-day ministry. It was all about people and relationships,” said Haylett. “I got firsthand experience of building into that church. I got to see how the Lord is so clear and faithful. He just wants our obedience. The Lord just wants your yes and when he has it, he’ll put you on the map.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,082 undergraduate, graduate, and dual enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including a Bachelor of Arts in Worship, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit

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