by Sarah Mummert, Student Public Relations Writer
Dr. Sharon Rahilly, former professor of nursing at Cedarville University, never wanted to teach. And yet she spent five years teaching at Cedarville University, and now she directs a nursing school in Togo.
Rahilly’s first bachelor’s degree was in Bible and Christian education, but with missions on her mind, she pursued a bachelor’s in nursing, a field she felt could be easily paired with missions. Rahilly ended up with several other nursing degrees, including a master’s in nursing education from the University of California, San Francisco.
Before teaching at Cedarville, Rahilly taught nursing at Liberty University for five years. It was a call from Dr. Irene Alyn, chair of the department of nursing, that encouraged Rahilly to consider an open faculty position at Cedarville in 1992.
“I had always thought God would lead me to Cedarville,” Rahilly said. And it certainly seemed that he did.
Through networking and relationships, Rahilly has now found herself leading a nursing school in Togo.
A former student Rahilly supervised in clinicals at Cedarville was working as a nurse at a mission hospital in Togo when she called Cedarville’s school of nursing to notify them of a nursing shortage — they would have to close the hospital for five weeks if they couldn’t get someone to fill in, and such a closure would severely impact the community. The daughter of missionaries to Liberia, Rahilly volunteered.
By the end of her fifth week in Togo, Rahilly had fallen in love with the work — and the people. Two years later, once Rahilly learned the hospital was opening a nursing school, she knew that’s where she needed to be.
“The whole thing was totally God,” Rahilly said.
She helped set up the program there, as the two nurses who started the program had experience in teaching Bible but had never taught nursing. Coming out of teaching at Cedarville, Rahilly had 11 years of teaching in higher education under her belt.
Rahilly left Cedarville in 1997, and she started working full time with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE) in Togo in 2000, becoming the director of the nursing school in 2001.
“I am passionate about teaching and about following God wherever he leads, so I love doing this,” she said. “I wouldn’t change this for anything in the world.”