Alumni Spotlights

Alumni Spotlights

Hear their stories, be inspired.

McKenzie Westland


What made you choose CLC?

I am not so sure I chose CLC as much as God chose CLC for me.  I believe with all my heart it was the Lord who placed me at CLC, but one thing that stood out to me was the culture of the school.  While demographically it is so diverse when it comes to age, race, and gender, there is such a spirit of unity within the student body.  And, of course, the spiritual culture is on another level.  Prayer and consecration is a priority and they are evident in the moves of God we have.

When did you graduate and what was your major?

I graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Theology.

What inspired you to pursue a degree in that field?

My desire and passion to better know and understand the word of God.

What makes CLC unique?

CLC is unique in the sense that its main focus is instilling in its students the importance of having a walk with God.  Academics are important, music is important, and social interaction is important, but a prayer life and love for the word of God are most important and that is what truly sets CLC apart.

Can you describe your ministry today and how your training at CLC helped you to thrive in your profession?

Currently, I work as the Music Director of Oak Park Pentecostal Church, the Sectional Music Director for Section 4 of the Indiana District, and the Chief Communications Officer at Exousia Group.  In my position as the local and sectional music director, I am tasked with cultivating an atmosphere of worship through music in our services.  I create monthly schedules as well as weekly plans for our services which helps better execute our practices and sets for service.  Being Involved in the music association for all four years of my Bible college career enabled me to be confident in learning and teaching parts, putting together a spirit-led worship set, and following the leading of the Holy Ghost in a worship service.  In my position as the Chief Communications Officer at Exousia Group, I work with many people across the United States to help them better understand the world of grant writing and open their eyes to see that churches are key recipients to receive grants.  I conduct all of the onboarding for clients as well as help operate daily tasks that pertain to teaching others how to write grants and performing consultations for churches that desire to receive grants.  Being in the Bible and Theology program at CLC, I was introduced to many key skills that I use weekly such as preaching and teaching in a variety of our classes here at Oak Park Pentecostal Church. It has also helped with my ability to speak at Exousia’s grant workshops while effectively sharing the gospel in our Bible studies and writing apostolic centered articles about grants for the Exousia blog.  Additionally. I have learned how to conduct business in a Godly manner that allows others to experience Jesus in a workplace environment.

What do you enjoy most about your work in ministry?

I enjoy being able to impact the kingdom of God as a career.  Growing up, my dad always told me that if I were to work a job that I love that I would never work a day in my life and I can attest to that statement.  Having a job in ministry is an extreme amount of hard work, but being able to work with those of like-mindedness in the faith is an absolute joy.  I love going to my job every day and getting to see how the power of Jesus Christ is at work in the community around me.  There is no better work than working for the kingdom.

What challenges do you face in your ministry?

Being flexible and prioritizing prayer and fasting.  After graduating from Bible college and working in the real world, I found that there are a lot of differences between ministry in Bible college and ministry after Bible college. You are not always met with the same resources you were in school and I have had to learn to be flexible and depend on God to provide where I feel I am lacking.  Prioritizing prayer and fasting was a big challenge I had to learn after graduating.  In Bible college, there was a constant push to pray and fast and there were times designated for you to do so, but after graduating I realized that if I was going to continue doing so I would have to not only make the time but the effort as well.  I had to learn to balance my responsibilities while still making sure I made time for what really matters.

Do you have advice for incoming freshmen or current students on navigating their college years and then transitioning to their ministry?

The biggest piece of advice I can give incoming freshmen or current students navigating their college years and then transitioning to their ministry is to put God first in absolutely everything.  If you put Him first and prioritize your relationship with Him through prayer and reading His word, He will always take care of everything.

What would be your advice for current students?

Enjoy the season of life that you are in now.  No matter what challenges it brings, whether it be challenges coming from home, financial challegees, or spiritual challenges, just take advantage of the time you have at CLC.  Pray as much as you can, fast as much as you can, get involved as much as you can, and make as many memories as you can because it goes by so fast.

What impact would you like to make on the world?

I would love to see people receive the revelation that Jesus is everythig they need and that through salvation, being baptized in Jesus name, and receiving the infilling of the Holy Ghost God can absolutely change their lives.  I just want to serve in the kingdom of God in whatever capacity the Lord allows and share with everyone what He has done in my life and that He can do in theirs as well.

-Sheila Wiley, Director of Alumni Relations