August 19, 2021
Rooted in the mission of Grace Christian University is a call to serve others well. From its beginning as Milwaukee Bible Institute, transition to Grace Bible College, and continued advancement to a dual-accredited university, the institution develops students to serve others in communities, churches, and across the globe. While Online enrollment is an excellent option for some, many students seek a traditional residential experience and making this happen requires expanding student housing.
Brian Sherstad, Executive Vice President of Grace Christian University shares what went into the decision to increase student housing. “Five years ago our student housing maxed out. Additionally, housing has become more costly in our area as a whole and we knew it was necessary to remove this obstacle for those seeking to study at Grace. This expansion is not our first step to solving the housing limitation. Initially, we increased student housing by purchasing and converting existing homes around campus. Adding more student housing once again opens up more neighborhood housing while simultaneously meeting the needs of our growing student population.”
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As growth continues the school remains cognizant each step of the way to consider the impact on the community in which they reside. Campus Pastor Rick Pilieci serves local law enforcement as Chaplain for the Wyoming Police Department, students mentor youth in local schools and churches, and others pursue internships at non-profits nearby. Grace Christian maintains an open campus, where surrounding community members regularly walk their dogs and play on the disk golf course. Additionally, the security team on campus offers a layer of protection to the neighborhood.
The decision was made to keep Grace Christian University in Wyoming. As talks of expansion began there was an intentional effort to continue investing in the Wyoming community. The university works with many businesses, provides employment for those residing here, and produces graduates that often remain in the area and contribute positively to the workforce. “Our students are considerate, gracious, and volunteer at local non-profits in the Grand Rapids area. We are a learning community and being physically present in both living and learning enhances the experience for students. We expanded and renovated our kitchen and dining room in 2019 to increase both production and seating capacity. This allows us to accommodate additional students living on campus. Grace’s housing expansion also allows us to serve our students who are older and those who are married. These students are often staying in Wyoming and investing in the community after graduation,” says Sherstad.
Grace Christian is excited to remain a strong presence in the area serving both students and community members alike. Our expansion master plan can be found here Campus Master Plan.
Written by: Statia Smith