One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

by Leanna Tomlinson, Josh Beers, Walt Price, and Steve and Beth Kuhn

The college decision is vitally important for future students, but it matters every bit as much to the parents who have spent so many years building into their children’s lives. For many parents, sending their children off to college prompts a host of questions. Are they in the right place? Will they find lasting friends? Will their college choice grow their faith, or will it cause them to drift away from their Christian upbringing? In this section, you’ll hear from parents who have struggled with those same doubts and hear how Cedarville has transformed their students’ lives during their 1000 Days.



I remember the fall of 2007. My husband, Lyle, and eldest child, Emily, had just completed their first campus visit at Cedarville. I had homeschooled our then seven children for the entirety of their education, so the prospect of sending my daughter even just one hour away to school was a bit unsettling. “This school is going to change her life!” my husband excitedly exclaimed when he called me. “I think it’s exactly what she needs! She will thrive at Cedarville!”

And she did thrive. There were many tears shed as we dropped our eldest off in the fall of 2008. The ache in my heart over sending my eldest away quickly melted as I watched her grow. New friends, classes, discipleship groups, chapel, residence hall life, it was all new and exciting! Challenges and trials also followed — an F on a paper, a troubled friend in the dorm, sickness, anxiety — but I saw my daughter gather strength to deal with these trials. She received wise counsel from friends and professors, daily chapel that strengthened her spirit, and a deepening knowledge of the Word as she completed her Bible classes. It wasn’t long before we realized we wanted this for all of our children. Over the next 14 years, we were blessed as six more of our children have attended Cedarville.

My husband was right; Cedarville did change their lives! When I compare my children’s experiences at Cedarville to my experience at a secular college, I am so thankful. I graduated from college a wounded warrior in need of healing and teaching. My children have been strengthened by their college experiences. They graduated with sound biblical knowledge, a solid worldview, lifelong friendships, and armor ready for the battle. We have been blessed to host hundreds of Cedarville students in our home over the years, so I know our experience has not been unique. These alumni are busy serving the Lord in their designated careers, but many of them are also raising godly families, serving in their churches, and discipling their coworkers.

We will always consider Cedarville to be one of the greatest influences on our family, and for that we are deeply grateful.




As a parent who has spent three decades investing in the next generation of leaders in nonprofit settings, I knew that paying for college was going to require an incredible sacrifice from our children and my wife and me. In the spring of 2017, my concerns were alleviated when our daughter Breanna received news that she had been chosen as a National Merit Finalist, placing her in the top 2% of students across the nation academically. The weeks that followed brought countless full scholarship offers from universities. As we went from a narrow list of schools to all options being on the table, we prayed together for God’s clear direction. Breanna’s love for science led her to pursue molecular biology, and her first visit was to Cedarville University.

Our first experience at Cedarville was chapel. Seeing thousands of students engaged in worship through music and the Word left a deep impact. As Breanna interacted with faculty and staff throughout the day, we knew we had found her home for the next four years. We canceled trips to other universities and began a path of trusting God to provide. Her experience at Cedarville allowed Breanna's roots to go deeper in her love for God and others while consistently being stretched in her learning inside of an amazing community. In a word, it was transformational!

Fall 2023, Breanna became one of six students (out of 132 applicants) to be accepted into the master’s program in genetic counseling at Johns Hopkins University. She has entered an arena where few Christians are employed, but this is the mission field God has called her to. As a dad, I see how Cedarville University has provided the framework for Breanna to soar professionally, but most of all to shine the light of the Gospel in a place where so many are desperately seeking hope.




Early on, we believed it was important to serve our family in a way that would encourage our children to be enthusiastic followers of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have not been perfect at that task, but we were committed to being intentional disciplers.

We were married seven years before we had children, and during those years we had a lot of time to reflect on and evaluate how God would lead us. We were certain we wanted to raise up a godly seed for His glory. So, when they arrived, we began the process of discipling our kids.

When you are young parents, you sometimes need a break! This need resulted in our first encounter with Cedarville students in the mid to late 80s. Into our lives stepped seven of the most incredible young men and women one could imagine, all from Cedarville University! As they watched our children so we could have time away together, the Cedarville students refreshed us with their genuine love for Jesus, which was demonstrated with our children. We were so encouraged and immediately fell in love with Cedarville and the type of students it attracts.

After returning from a much-needed date, I said to Idora, “how do you grow kids like these students?” It was clear to us that the value of a great education is not just a degree that prepares you for work in God’s created world, but a discipline that prepares young people with hearts to serve that world in a sacrificial way for His glory.

As time progressed, we became more involved with Cedarville University. Our children began to participate in drama at Cedarville before they had graduated from high school. The results of the Cedarville experience and the Lord’s grace has allowed our children to serve their churches, combat sex trafficking, serve as a nurse with CareFlight and Samaritan’s Purse, and serve our country as an intelligence analyst.

We trust that other families will see the value of a godly education for the glory of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.




We are so thankful for the way Cedarville has equipped our four children for their individual callings. The value they received by attending was not just in the degree, but also in the experiences they had while at Cedarville: daily chapel; ministry opportunities; missions trips, both in the states and overseas; classes taught from a biblical perspective; strong academics; and professors who were willing to build into their lives. Because of these important factors, they were well prepared to enter the workforce with a strong grasp of their faith.

At Cedarville, Megan was encouraged in her passion for teaching elementary students and drawing them to Christ. When she graduated and was applying for jobs, her first teaching job came through connections made during her field experience. Her academic advisor, as coordinator for student teaching overseas, was a helpful resource for Megan as she considered overseas teaching opportunities. Megan now uses her teaching skills at an international school in Spain, teaching missionary children.

Michael benefited from the strength of Cedarville’s engineering program. While he was still a student, he completed an internship at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as well as being an online tutor for college students in Ohio. When he began applying for grad schools, his professors were helpful and encouraging, and they wrote personal letters of reference for him, enabling him to be accepted into Cornell’s doctoral program, which he has now completed. He is currently applying his skills at a national lab in Colorado.

While John was studying allied health, Cedarville encouraged his desire to help others regain abilities for daily life. As he began applying for grad schools in the very competitive field of physical therapy, his advisor graciously read and reviewed his applications. As a result, he had several grad school options to choose from. The preparation he received from Cedarville helped him successfully complete his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Ohio University and take a job as a physical therapist in Colorado.

The skills and training that Emily received at Cedarville prepared her for the challenges of nursing in the midst of a global pandemic. She felt well equipped for her position as an ICU nurse at a level one trauma hospital, and she enjoys encouraging other nursing students to learn the skills that she gained through Cedarville’s program. She also credits several cultural and health courses with helping her prepare to serve the Lord through nursing overseas.

We are thankful that each of our four children was able to have the “Cedarville experience,” and we continue to pray for God to guide them as they serve Him.




As our son stood in front of his freshman speech class, he injected a dose of humor into his presentation, saying, “My grandparents met here at Cedarville. My parents, too. I guess there is no pressure on me, right?” Behind that lighthearted jest lay a profound truth about our family's enduring connection with Cedarville University.

In the fall of 2019, our twins, Micah and Madeline, embarked on their academic journey at Cedarville, eager to explore and grow. They weren't just freshmen; they were the continuation of a legacy, becoming third-generation Cedarville University alumni. It’s a story that intertwines our family’s history with an institution that has become a cornerstone of our lives.

Cedarville University has been more than just an educational institution for our children; it's been a place where their characters have been shaped and aligned with God's unique callings. Madeline's journey was particularly transformative. One Bible professor, along with his family, was instrumental in nurturing her passion for missions work, helping her find her path in life.

Micah’s experience was equally profound, though marked by different milestones. Amid the playful “pressure” of family tradition, he met his future wife, Katrina, and their relationship culminated in a joyous wedding this past fall.

Both Micah and Madeline forged friendships at Cedarville that we believe will stand the test of time, connections rooted in shared experiences and strengthened by the University’s community spirit.

As parents, watching our children grow in Christ over their four years at Cedarville has been a journey filled with gratitude and awe. The University didn't just educate them; it helped them blossom and mature spiritually.

To the future students of Cedarville, we say this: Embrace your journey with an open heart. The lessons you learn here will shape not just your career but your entire life.

Cedarville University, for our family, has been more than an alma mater. It’s a beacon of tradition, a guidepost for spiritual growth, and a testament to the enduring value of an education from a biblical worldview. As we look back on our family’s journey through Cedarville, we’re reminded of how institutions like this can anchor a family’s story across generations, weaving a tapestry of memories and growth that last a lifetime.

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