Asbury University Students Grow and Serve over Summer Break – Asbury University
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Asbury University Students Grow and Serve over Summer Break

June 11, 2024

The beginning of the summer for many Asbury students, faculty and staff brought a wave of service and personal growth opportunities, including international travel. A common theme was the abundance of moments to explore a God-given imagination and witness His character through engaging with people, culture, and the natural world. 

Isabel Firster ’25 was a student attendee on the Holocaust Studies Tour.  

“There is no way I could have received such an impact full of visceral education and growth in a classroom or from a textbook,” Firster said. “The Holocaust Studies Tour gave me an opportunity to step out of the world I know and have a chance to grow in a new environment with a wealth of information and experiences I never would have had if I hadn’t gone on this trip.” 

Asbury’s Director of Global Initiatives & Programs Ashley DeMichael alongside professors Dr. Daniel Strait and Dr. Brian Shelton ’89 led students to Italy to tour and learn in Rome, Florence, Venice, and Verona.  

“Asbury’s study trip to Italy animated our historical imagination, put us in touch with a rich language and culture, and thrust us back to antiquity where, for a brief moment, all things seemed new by being so ancient,” Strait said. 

“As a professor, I found it rewarding to see students connect theological ideas about God and church history in cathedrals and ancient spaces,” Shelton said. “As the sites fostered emotions like beauty, wonder, and awe, I was honored to lead the students into thinking about their faith and a greater understanding of the world.” 

Alumna Kyla Rowell ’23 traveled to Jordan to support and study local organizations in their community development efforts and spoke of the impact the trip made upon returning. 

“Being in the wilderness where the Israelites wandered for 40 years, standing where Moses stood and looked at the Promised Land, and being at the baptismal sight of Christ makes you stop and reflect on the story we find ourselves in. It makes you realize that God has been at work in humanity providing a way in the wilderness,” Rowell said. “Since being home, I have continued to reflect on my own faith and seen where God is creating life in my soul.” 

Grace Price ’25 went to the Galápagos Islands to dive into the field of biology while closely studying indigenous wildlife.  

“The hands-on learning and experiencing God’s creation in the islands was such a blessing, and I enjoyed growing closer with my peers and professors along the way,” Price said. “I definitely challenged myself physically and academically, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.” 

A group of Asbury students, faculty, and staff will soon embark on a trip to Hungary to engage in elementary education and ESL opportunities. Learn more about Global Initiatives & Programs at Asbury University.