One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

by Rachel (Rathbun) Benefiel '23

Jeff Reep ’78, Director of Cedarville’s Career Services office, regularly tells students that the average person works 80,000 hours of his or her life. This is more time than they will spend with their spouse and children, recreation, or church. 80,000 hours is staggering. And yet, so many Christians buy into culture’s “grin and bear it” philosophy in their professional lives, working nine-to-five and waiting for their real ministry to begin.

“Worship isn’t just Sunday mornings. That’s a collection of worshippers,” Reep explained, “But all our hand finds to do is our service and worship, ultimately to bring Him glory.”

Reep and his Career Services staff believe that those 80,000 hours of work can be powerfully redeemed for Kingdom impact. They are on the frontlines of helping students achieve their career and educational goals. Last year, 98.7% of Cedarville graduates found employment or entered graduate school within six months of leaving Cedarville. Alumni work in the FBI, Honda, JPMorgan, and Procter & Gamble. They study in schools like Harvard and Johns Hopkins that our world deems prestigious.

Cedarville’s academic programs instill students with the professional skills needed to succeed, and the liberal arts core gives them soft skills employers are looking for. Career Services helps students build off this strong foundation to capably and winsomely find desirable positions and perform with skill and excellence in the workplace, shining a powerful witness for the Lord.


You will find the Career Services office in the Stevens Student Center, the central hub of campus. Its staff members provide students and alumni services like résumé review, mock interviews, career assessment tests, and access to the JobsforJackets and Handshake job search tools.

Career Services’ career coaches — Reep, Cam Arminio, and Jenny (Burkholder) Czerniak ’92 — Cedarville’s academic programs instill students with the professional skills needed to succeed, and the liberal arts core gives them soft skills employers are looking for. 6 7 cultivate their professional skills through regularly pursuing certifications, attending seminars, and engaging in conversations with employers about what they’re looking for.

Career Services has developed a “three-bucket approach” for the resources they offer students. They help students with Exploration, Navigational Skills, and Networking. These three “buckets” inform the staff’s priorities and methods for helping Cedarville students stand out in the job market.


The first bucket, Exploration, starts early for Cedarville students – as early as freshman year. As career coaches, Reep and Arminio both expressed how some of their most fruitful conversations with students have been helping them discover God’s calling for their lives.

“What I really try to do is encourage them to get as much information as they can,” Reep explained. “[They] follow the desires of their heart because they really are delighting themselves in the Lord. [When] that’s their treasure, their satisfaction, their identity, then I think those desires are going to be His desires.”

Career Services encourages students to start preparing for their careers even while they are still exploring their options. They believe there is no better time to start cultivating professionalism and gaining experience than the present.

This proved true for Peter Grinalds ’21, who now works at Procter & Gamble. After an internship with P&G his sophomore year, the company invited him back for a second internship and — ultimately — his current role. A part of his success came from his early start preparing. After three mock interviews with Career Services, he was ready to knock his interviews out of the park.

“Now that I am on the ’inside’ of recruiting at Procter & Gamble,” he said, “I see so much more clearly how an internship or job offer can hinge on a candidate just being a good conversationalist and making other people feel at ease.”

While students explore their career options and develop key professional skills, Career Services gives them a hands-on opportunity to practice what they're learning and gain real-world work experience: Cedarville's fall and spring career fairs.


Cedarville’s career fairs draw employers from all over the country to the Doden Field House for a day of meeting and recruiting students. 2023’s Fall Career Fair set University records, with 180 employers and well over 1,000 students attending. In all, more than 400 employers will recruit on campus each year.

For Cedarville, the employers’ interest is a major vote of confidence. Companies like General Electric, Procter & Gamble, Energizer, Honda, Google, and Northrop Grumman all participate in career fairs or send recruiters to speak in Cedarville classes. Brandy Cieniewicz is one such recruiter who regularly attends Cedarville’s fairs, recruiting for the Navy NUPOC program.

“Cedarville University Career Fairs are top-notch,” she said. “Cedarville students are polite, confident, and intelligent. Cedarville students are very open to talking about options for their future and will approach my booth with questions.”

It’s this kind of proactive, prepared behavior that opens doors for Cedarville students. When they put the Navigational Skills Career Services has taught them into practice, employers take notice.

Christopher Nunan ’15, who is currently working for Honda, reflected on the impact that career fairs had on his student experience.

“The opportunity to engage with such a large volume of employers for a school Cedarville’s size not only built my confidence and aptitude for engaging with employers,” he said, “it also helped me understand what real-world opportunities existed after graduation so I could determine how I wanted to apply and use what I had studied.”


Cedarville’s career fair success comes in large part from the help of alumni like Grinalds and Nunan, who open doors in their companies to hire more Cedarville grads anticipating the quality work and integrity Cedarville students offer.

Chris Ashcraft ’98 sees this kind of ambassador work as missional. About 12 years ago, after a period of discouragement about work culture, he and his wife prayed for other believers to join his team. Only days after that prayer, his company’s Human Resources reached out to ask him for his help as a recruiting champion for Cedarville students.

“Our Lord Jesus is so good!” he said about this call. “I was greatly encouraged to see God’s hand so evident and blessed to be reminded that He cares.”

The results of this partnership abundantly answered Ashcraft’s prayers. His investment in students includes not only representing his company, but also speaking in classes and forming relationships with students on his own time.

“Over time, God has opened doors for many students to apply and find roles at the large corporation where I work,” Ashcraft explained. “Some even reached the level of vice president.”

The Christian community formed by these alumni partnerships makes Cedarville’s network a powerful one. Arminio, Assistant Director of Career Services, expressed his gratitude for the support and encouragement of Cedarville alumni.

“There’s something special about knowing you’re connecting with an alumnus or another believer,” he said. “It really gives students confidence that they are going into a profession that may be secular, but they know there's someone who has a common belief at that employer.”

The deep encouragement and practical recruiting help Cedarville alumni provide current students goes unmatched, and it’s one of Career Services’ greatest strengths that they help foster those relationships — and spur both students and alumni on to further God’s Kingdom.


With the support of Career Services and the alumni network, Cedarville students have the practical help and spiritual encouragement necessary to pursue incredible opportunities for positions with impact across every industry. And the need for believers in the workforce is immense.

“Paul instructs us in Colossians 3 to labor heartily as unto the Lord and not unto men,” Nunan explained. “Our culture is in desperate need of young people who live and work in light of the command of Colossians 3.”

While this can be a daunting call for students entering the workforce or further education for the first time, especially in large secular organizations, Arminio offered encouragement from Isaiah 41:13.

“’For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand. It is I who says to you, fear not. I am the one who helps you.” He assured students, “If you are faithful in your work, whether you’re a garbage man or CEO of the company, the Lord is glorified, and He is rejoicing.”

Cedarville sharpens students to witness and work with noticeable excellence in every professional context, living their 80,000 hours of work with joy. In every position and platform, the Lord is their helper, and He can do incredible things with a heart that is humble and willing to serve Him!




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