Bethel Celebrates 2014 Alumni Award Recipients
Courtney Richards ’87
Founder and Director of RENEWED Ministries
Alumnus of the Year
The Rev. Courtney Richards is a global missionary focused on mentoring young leaders in the church, helping men to be better men and better fathers, and training others to make disciples. He graduated from Bethel in 1987 with a B.A. in psychology, and has also studied theology at Jamaica Theological Seminary and received an M.A. in psychology from Wheaton College. From 1991-1996, Richards worked at Bethel as director of student life, associate dean of students, assistant professor of psychology and counselor. He also served at Jamaica Theological Seminary as head of the behavioral and social sciences department and senior lecturer in psychology, counseling and spiritual formation. He is now the founder and international director for RENEWED Ministries, whose mission is to engage in evangelism, mentoring and leadership training in the Caribbean and around the world to help persons come to their full potential for the glory of God. Richards is also the regional coordinator of Key Training International, sponsored by World Partners of the Missionary Church. Richards travels and speaks internationally, having preached in many countries across five continents, but makes his home in Kingston, Jamaica, where he enjoys reading and hiking.
Jason Miller, a 2008 graduate of Bethel, is a teaching pastor and senior leader at Granger Community Church (GCC) near South Bend, Ind. During his 10 years there, he has led worship, launched a college-age ministry and led the creative arts teams responsible for video content, music, drama and live production. In his current role he focuses on his preaching responsibilities, speaking regularly in weekend services. Miller is nearing completion of a master’s degree in theology with a focus on biblical studies at the University of Notre Dame. His passion for learning and cultural impact led him to create the Michiana Forum at GCC, a space for thought leaders to tackle high-stakes conversations. He became a student of peacemaking through his engagement with The Telos Group (Washington, D.C.), encountering the tension in the Middle East firsthand, and exploring ways that American faith communities can positively transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Miller lives in South Bend, Ind. with his dog, Jack, but also spends a lot of time in Nashville, Tenn., where he plays keyboards with singer-songwriter Seth Abram. Through all of this, he’s acting out of the conviction that better questions lead to better stories, and that the Gospel is as beautiful as it is true.
The acting and singing credits of Jennie Sophia – the stage name of 2002 Bethel graduate Jennie (Yoder) Grunseth – include more than 24 stage shows and appearances in film and television. She most recently starred as female lead Fiona MacLaren in the Goodman Theatre’s revival of “Brigadoon,” receiving positive reviews from critics in the New York Times and the Chicago Sun-Times, and being nominated for a Jeff Award for Best Leading Actress. She also starred as Nellie Forbush in the Lincoln Center’s “South Pacific” second national tour, then reprised the role at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, Maine, where she received an Independent Reviewers of New England nomination for best lead actress in a musical. Other Chicago credits include roles in “Les Miserables,” “Sound of Music,” and “Oliver!” at The Drury Lane Theatre, “Passion and Shell” at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, “Circle of Friends” at the American Girl Theatre, as well as shows at Light Opera Works and The Circle Theatre. Her regional credits include numerous roles at the Round Barn Theatre in Nappanee, Ind. and the Wagon Wheel Theatre in Warsaw, Ind. Bethel theatre patrons will remember Sophia’s performances as Maria in “West Side Story” and Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady,” among others. Sophia lives in Chicago with her husband, Dan Grunseth ’01, and son, Gavin.
Danny Randolph graduated from Bethel in 2000 with a B.A. in business administration and in 2004 with an MBA. As a student at Bethel, Randolph was part of the 1997 and 1998 NAIA men’s basketball national championship teams and later served on staff as an assistant coach for the team, helping lead them to the 2005 NCCAA national championship game, 2007 NCCAA national championship, 2008 NAIA final four and 2009 NAIA elite eight. As head women’s golf coach at Bethel, he led the Pilots to 43 tournament championships, five conference crowns, three NAIA Region VIII titles and six NAIA National Tournament appearances, including a runner-up finish in 2009. In 2012, he became the head women’s golf coach at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., and has since led the Fighting Knights to 21 tournament victories, three NCAA tournament appearances, coached 10 All-America selections and won back-to-back NCAA Division II national titles in 2013 and 2014. He has won three coach of the year titles – Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2014, and received national recognition as the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2014. He and his wife Peggy (Huls) Randolph ’03, a former volleyball standout at Bethel, have two basset hounds, Flash and Ollie.