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Religion Alumnus Profile

Kory Henkel (2011)

Kory is now the director of youth ministries at Bloomington Living Hope Lutheran Church in Bloomington and Shakopee, Minnesota. He is responsible for the junior and senior high ministries across two church campuses.

WHAT YOU DO • • •  I get to hang out with some pretty fantastic young people each and every day. I lead Bible studies, teach Word of God and confirmation classes, facilitate events and mission trips, coordinate volunteers, and work to foster and maintain relationships with our students.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU • • • I had a couple of amazing mentors when I was growing up—men of faith who were there to listen, guide, and share God’s Word with me. I am forever grateful for them. When I was presented with the opportunity to be that sort of mentor on a large-scale basis it was truly a dream come true. It is so fun to be able to see young people live their faith in their everyday lives, and it is a blessing in the highest degree to be able to encourage them and support them as they grow in that faith.

HOW YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE • • • I have a unique roll in our synodical circles; there aren’t many youth ministers in the WELS and ELS. As such, I have the opportunity to share resources and ideas with youth workers across the country on a weekly basis. I hope to be able to continue to do so in the future. I am currently pursuing graduate schools in hopes of continuing my education so that I might be able to move into more of a teaching roll. Ultimately, my goal is to go where I am lead while letting my Christ-light shine in everything I do.

HOW BETHANY HAS PREPARED YOU • • • Bethany was such a great experience for me! I was in a very unique situation, as I was commuting my last two semesters. All of the staff and each of my professors were so generous and caring, it was like being a part of a big family. I still get emails from professors asking how I’m doing and how my ministry is progressing. I have attended schools other than Bethany, but never have I met people who care as much as the faculty and staff of Bethany Lutheran College. I mean that. They have been such a tremendous blessing to me.

Beyond the classroom, I was given amazing opportunities to be in plays, sing in choir, even play in band and work on the MSU hockey crew. These are things that I would have never been able to participate in at other schools. I am grateful to have been a part of all those things, and the memories and friends that I made throughout will be with me for years to come.

WHAT YOU REMEMBER MOST • • • There are so many great memories—epic floor-wide Starcraft battles, intramural football games, and late-night musical practices. But I think my greatest memories are from band and choir tours. It is such a great time to travel the country with 50 of your friends, sing and play in beautiful churches, stay in sweet hotels, and eat delicious food. They were definitely experiences that I will not soon forget.

ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS • • • Go to chapel. Use the time to stretch and grow in your faith. Take a [Steven] Reagles class—it will challenge you in profound ways. Get to know Chaplain Moldstad, he’s a cool dude. Participate in extra curriculars—it is the best way to meet new people and truly maximize your time in Mankato. Be intentional with your time at Bethany, it flies by quickly. Also, enjoy the Schwan’s ice cream in the caf, it's pretty awesome.