Finding direction in life’s changes
Monika Hupe had just completed her associate degree in mathematics and had aspirations to become a teacher. But that meant going on to earn a bachelor’s degree and teaching certification, and as a wife and mother of three young children, she knew that this path was secondary to her responsibilities at home. She decided to wait until her youngest child started school before returning to school herself.
When that time came, Monika enrolled at Geneva College as a traditional undergraduate. She initially chose Geneva College because of its proximity to her home and its firm Christian foundation. As a student, her intention was to complete her certification to teach secondary math.
Upon enrollment, Monika was given a copy of the student handbook. The handbook was packed with college information, and it was there that Monika read about the Degree Completion Program (DCP). The DCP is a program designed specifically for working adults looking to complete their bachelor’s degree. With its accelerated classes and a once-a-week schedule, the DCP would accommodate Monika’s family life in a way that a traditional program could not. She decided to enroll.
But while the DCP’s schedule and timeline were perfect for Monika, it didn't offer the education degree she was looking for. That’s when she realized that God might have a different career planned for her.
“I chose community ministry because as a friend said to me, ‘What is your passion? What is God calling you to do or to be? What is God’s calling on your life?’” she says. “My passion and interest is families — how to help them achieve the best that God has for them.”
Monika didn't achieve her original purpose for returning to school, but she says that was because it was her goal, rather than God’s goal for her life. “Through the community ministry classes I learned a great deal about myself and rediscovered God’s calling on my life.”
Since graduating, Monika has continued her work within her church and as a facilitator for marriage preparation courses for TWOgether Pittsburgh. She has also completed her master’s degree in marriage and family counseling at Geneva College.
Completing two degrees while raising a family can be difficult, but Monika says the hard work is worth the effort. “You will learn much more than the designated topics; you will learn about yourself in different aspects, who God is and why knowing is important.”
– Abby Jackson