Recent Alumni Recognition

Each year Columbia International University recognizes 12 recent alumni who have graduated within the last 12 years for their distinguished accomplishments in the marketplace, on the mission field or in church ministry. They are a faithful example of CIU’s five core values. These are: Authority of Scripture, the Necessity of the Spirit Filled Life, World Evangelization, Prayer and Faith, and Evangelical Unity.

Nominate recent alumni for honors

2020- Shirin Taber

Shirin graduated with her MA in Muslim Studies and is the Director of Middle East Women’s Leadership Network and Empower Women Media. With a background in ministry and cross-cultural training, Shirin also assists multiple organizations in media-based initiatives and partners with NGOs to promote women’s rights, peace building, and religious freedom.  


“My whole life I’ve had to learn how to be a bridge builder because I grew up with a mixed heritage. As I got older and traveled, I started to see that there was a huge gender gap within organizations and ministries, and women were often not invited to the decision-making table. So I decided to start focusing on training women to have full participation, visibility, and access to resources. CIU took me deeper intellectually and helped shape my perspective regarding how I think and communicate in regards to educating Christians and ministry partners about the Muslim world.”

2020- Eli Fader

Eli graduated with his MA in Theology and today lives with his wife Bethany and their four boys in Uganda working with South Sudanese refugees. Eli and his family have been working in South Sudan and Uganda since 2007, bringing Bible training through Theological Education by Extension (TEE). TEE partners with local pastors who help guide cultural conversation among students through discussion and implementation.

“TEE has brought transformation to our area as students start to realize that they can learn, grow, understand the word of God, and apply it to their life with the help of the Holy Spirit. One particular course that has been fun to go through is “Christian Family” and seeing people come to the full understanding of what God created when he created family. Faithfulness starts at home. I was modeled that through friends and faculty at CIU and my church at home. It’s so important for us to remember.”

2020- Emily Hall

Emily graduated from CIU in 2010 with her BA in Intercultural Studies, and today serves with Pioneers as their Special Projects Coordinator. Emily works with the Pioneers marketing team to capture stories from around the world of how God is moving in hearts, lives, and ministries. Before this position, Emily served with Pioneers in Florida working with mobilization, and later in Thailand at their International Directors Office.  

“My role with Pioneers is to capture how we tell the story of what God is doing around the world in a way that is meaningful and captivates the heart of the next generation. As I collect stories from our field workers, I love that I get to see and hear God’s heart for the world firsthand. CIU was a significant part of my life. The professors and staff who invested in me gave me words that I regularly remember today.” 

2020- Annie Gallagher

Annie completed a doctoral degree in Curricular and Instructional Leadership through CIU in spring of 2016. As a direct result of her doctoral research at CIU, Annie began a consulting and teachertraining business called Transformed PD. Based on Romans 12:2, the mission of Transformed PD is to “renew minds through relational professional development.”


“The doctoral program has prepared me well to view education through a biblical lens. I am often astounded at the level of expertise I have gained compared to others in similar programs. I am so very grateful to the Lord for leading me to CIU and appreciate the quality of teaching I experienced there.” Learn more about Transformed PD at

2020- Carey Schlieker

Carey graduated from CIU with her master’s degree in Intercultural Studies. Today she serves in West Africa as a nurse at a Christian and Missionary Alliance Hospital.


“In the last three years, my colleagues and I have trained over 300 local believers in telling Bible stories and how to use the Bible story method to share God’s Word in an oral culture. We also train local pastors and believers to use Bible stories in church planting and discipleship of new believers. It’s thrilling to see pastors get excited about a new method that works in their context. I’m thankful for the role CIU played in my preparation for long-term service!”

2020- Matt Simmons

Matt graduated from CIU with his BA in Intercultural Studies and became the franchise owner of Soccer Shots Columbia in 2009. Soccer Shots exists to teach kids ages 2-8 the fundamentals of soccer with a strong focus on character development.


“Soccer has been a passion for me for as long as I can remember. My father played soccer in college and passed along his love of the game to my brother, sister and me. Growing up in Peru, soccer was a part of everyday life. Through soccer, I learned the importance of teamwork, respect, discipline and the need for living a healthy and active lifestyle. I love Soccer Shots because it gives me and my coaching staff a platform to pass on these important principles to every child and family we serve.”

Learn more about soccer shots at

2019- Dr. Amy Roedding

Amy served for six and a half years as the Director of International Placement for the Christian and Missionary Alliance, and today serves the same organization as the Director for Candidate Recruitment and Development. She is responsible for recruiting and directing the next generation of Alliance workers, including pastors, children and youth workers, and missionaries.

2019- Clinton “Chip” Yoder

After graduating from CIU, Chip taught at Ben Lippen School from 2006-2013 before becoming a classroom instructor at the National Guard Youth Challenge Academy Training Center. In 2015, he joined the Air National Guard where he serves part time. He also teaches sixth grade ancient history and seventh grade world history at Northside Middle School in Lexington, South Carolina. He is married to Susan (’05).

2019- Amy (Marion) Watkins

Amy has served as the director of Clinical Services at a mental health and substance abuse counseling center in Camden, South Carolina. Recently, she began the transition to private practice providing similar counseling in the Columbia, South Carolina area. She is married to Dustin and has a stepdaughter, Tennyson (7).

2019- Ben Bachellor

Ben is the creation care specialist for The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM), developing gospel-centered, culturally appropriate, and locally-sourced solutions to environmental degradation. He equips missionaries around the world to take on gospel-centered creation care projects, such as reforestation, urban gardening, well drilling, aquaponics and sustainable agriculture. Ben is married to Rebekah and they have four children: Caleb (11), Samuel (9), David (7), and Lillianna (5).

2019- The Rev. Julian Dangerfield

Julian is the executive director of Shalom Outreach, Inc. in Northern Virginia. Formerly a software engineer, today Julian and his team train and equip pastors, medical doctors, teachers, social workers, and young people for missionary travel into the continents of Africa and South America. He also devised strategies with African United Nations ambassadors to confront the HIV/AIDS pandemic and to confront the social ills within their nations. Julian is married to Lisa Dangerfield.

2019- Lindsey LeDuc

Lindsey serves as the area manager for Lutheran Services Carolinas (LCS) in Columbia, South Carolina, overseeing programs that provide services to refugees in the Columbia area. She coordinates volunteer support with churches and community partners and supervises the direct care staff who assist in the resettlement of refugees to American life, including employment, school enrollment and managing culture shock. Lindsey is married to Paul and they have one son, Malachi (3 years old).