Courtney O'Donnell is an online student in the Family and Marriage Therapy Master's degree. She was saved at age 26 and accepted the Lord into her heart. She served in the Marine Corps for four years. She has an associate's degree and two undergraduate degrees - one in Leadership and one in Human Resources. She loves animals, horseback riding, art, and writing.
My story is quite extensive, but really it is His story. I started college right out of high school, went for two years in different programs, then decided to join the Marine Corps. I didn’t know what I wanted. I served four years and I enjoyed it. I started college back up while I was still active duty and received my associate degree.
I underwent a divorce and and felt lost but that is where I met the Lord. I was saved at age 26. At that point, I was working on my second bachelor’s degree, graduated, and then pursued a career at a therapeutic wilderness camp for girls. I served two years loving on broken hearts like mine at Camp Duncan in Aberdeen, North Carolina. God used that experience to shape and mold me into who I am becoming for Him.
I love that I can share my faith with my professors and fellow students and that we are always trying to encourage each other with scripture and God's love. We truly are a Christian community, not just a Christian university. Sometimes I feel like I miss out on face-to-face interaction because I am all online, but I have enjoyed video blog assignments and videos made by professors to help the learning experience.
I would say to someone just starting their degree, “don’t give up”. It doesn’t get easier, you get stronger. It is also never too late to be going back to school. I admire people who don’t let age play a factor in furthering their education. There are so many opportunities; let us not limit God in that way. Also, enjoy the journey… we need not rush to the destination and miss out on lessons along the way.