All posts by Sydney McKneelen

Sydney Mckneelen is a Johnson University student in Tennessee studying Communications with a focus in journalism and media.


JU Sophomore gearing up for new year, new singing opportunity​

Knoxville — Caleb Giffin, a Sophomore at Johnson University, is preparing for his second year of college.

“I am very excited to dig deeper into my Bible knowledge and continue building my new and current relationships,” he said.

Giffin is a Worship Ministry major and said he is excited to get back into his classes. One project in particular that he is excited about being apart of is Vox Royale.

Vox Royale is a new music performance group starting this semester that will include both a cappella and other forms of music.

Only a handful of Worship Ministry students were selected to be part of this new opportunity.

“I am looking forward to working with super talented vocalists and performing songs outside of the traditional worship music,” Giffin said.

Music is not the only activity Griffin has been involved in at JU.

Giffin said he is involved in a couple of work-study positions around campus. One position he said he also held last year is landscape assistant for Plant Services. Along with that position, Giffin said he is also going to be a teachers assistant for Mark Weedman.

He said that outside of campus life, he is looking forward to church-hunting Sundays.

“It is really interesting to see how differently churches run things,” he said.

Giffin said he found out about the university through a Johnson recruitment team when attending Camp Rudolph located in Virginia.

He said he chose Johnson because of the current students he had met and the great things he had heard about the music program.



Young Life seen from the perspective of JU student

KNOXVILLE —  Emma Sharp, a student here at Johnson University, has been volunteering at the Young Life ministry in Knoxville for almost six months.

Sharp is a media ministry major who transferred from Lee University last semester.

Sharp, who has had multiple experiences with other universities said, “this is the first school I have felt with a real sense of community and family and that I am not just a number.”

After graduation, Sharp said she would like to apply what she has learned and work in a mission’s organization or in a church as their media director.

About once or twice a week, Sharp said she spends her free time with the Young Life ministry.

Young Life is an organization where leaders go into local high schools to build a spiritual relationship with teenagers by supporting and hanging out with them.

Sharp said she is involved in Young Life because she wants to pour into these teenagers as much as her mentors did when she was in high school.

“I really have a heart for high school kids,” Sharp said. “That’s [high school] where I had the most struggles, but also the most fun.”

Sharp said she really enjoys being the constant in the teens’ lives, especially when she realized most do not have one.

She said a personal goal for herself is to get to know at least five students well enough to start a campaigner’s group and help them grow in their spiritual life.

A campaigner’s group is an in-depth Bible study, rather than the five minute devotions that introduce the students to the Bible during Young Life club meetings.

Sharp said she is excited to see how God works through each leader and witness great change within each student.