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Engineering in Missions

  • “Employ whatever God had entrusted you with, in doing good, all possible good, in every possible kind and degree …" — John Wesley

  • All Olivet graduates enter the world truly having been entrusted with much knowledge, experience and wisdom plus a strong faith foundation. What counts, what really matters, is the application of these gifts in a manner that represents Christ. We challenge our engineering students to innovate with a purpose and bring hope.

    Missioneering: Bringing hope to those in need through design, science and innovation

    Olivet encourages engineering students to leverage their gifts and talents for a greater purpose, referring to them as “missioneers.” Christian engineers have tremendous potential to transform the world for Christ.

    Whether they go on to work for a large corporation or serve on the mission field, our students can be a powerful force for achieving Christ’s mandate to help those in need and spread the hope of the Gospel around the world.

    “As Christian engineers, we are to apply our knowledge and training for the purpose of bringing hope to the hopeless in the name of Jesus Christ,” says Dr. Shane Ritter, department chair. “I’m excited about this opportunity to influence young engineers in realizing this goal and approach in their lives.”

    Engineering mission projects include:
    • Swaziland, Africa (2013, 2014): Irrigation system for AIDS outreach
    • Thailand (2012-2013): Carbon-fiber composite development for bamboo bike ministry
    • Haiti (2014): Rainwater collection systems 

    While engineering as a field dates back to as early as 4,000 B.C. in Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, in recent times it has emerged as distinct and apart from government and military dominance. Innovation with a purpose took root, and engineers now bring hope to dozens of communities.

    Engineering has exploded into more than 100 disciplines within the four main branches of Mechanical, Electrical, Civil, and Chemical Engineering and touches virtually every aspect of our lives. Olivet seeks to provide a distinct vision of “innovation with a Christian purpose.”

    Our engineering program approaches this unique call in two primary ways. First, we are passionate about providing outstanding and rigorous academic training in the engineering field.

    Second, and most importantly, we seek to develop the Christian character of our students as they begin to unlock and discover the complexity, power and order of God’s creation, so that they may at an early point be aware of the potential for bringing hope to those in need.

    In 2013 and 2014, a group of engineering majors traveled with other Olivet students to Swaziland on an Olivet Missions in Action (M.I.A.) project to benefit the people of this small country in southern Africa. Over the next several years, teams of Olivet engineering students will be collaborating with groups from other Olivet majors to design and construct state-of-the-art, high-yield produce gardens and large agricultural fields with creative irrigation. These projects will combine both tangible technology developed by our geological engineering and mechanical engineering students, as well as one-on-one ministry and fellowship with those we will be serving.

    Ask any Olivet engineer what drives him or her and, in more cases than not, you will get the simple answer: “Innovate with a purpose and bring hope.”