First Person: Crystal Kraemer

“I so appreciate the ways Olivet keeps Christ at the center and weaves our Christian faith into every aspect of the educational experience.”
Laura Warfel headshot

LW Warfel

February 20, 2024 Giving

Crystal Kraemer horizontal headshot

“I’m not the same person I was when I graduated from Olivet in 2004,” says Crystal Kraemer, office manager who assists the Development team with many administrative details. “God has stretched and changed my life in so many ways.”

Following graduation, Crystal and a group of social work majors served on a mission trip to Romania.“ Jan Hockensmith, one of my professors who influenced me, led that trip,” Crystal recalls. “We applied our education in the real world. That was a life-changing experience for me.”

Spiritual grounding while a student and ONU’s great sense of community prepared Crystal well for the next chapters. “My heart is to serve others,” she says. “I so appreciate the ways Olivet keeps Christ at the center and weaves our Christian faith into every aspect of the educational experience.”

Her life and career have brought her many surprises, as well as countless blessings. After earning her degree in social work, Crystal took a job at The Salvation Army’s shelter for women and children in downtown Indianapolis.

When Crystal married Scot Kraemer, also an ONU grad, they moved to Kansas to start their lives together. During the ensuing years, she and Scot became parents, and she stayed home with their three children for several years. Just before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, she homeschooled them. Prior to their unexpected return to Illinois, she worked outside the home as a paraprofessional in the special education department of an elementary school.

In 2019, God called Crystal, Scot and their three children to return to Bourbonnais when Scot accepted a job with ONU. “I had spent four years with my special ed students and had served them in every way,” she says. “It was not an easy decision to uproot the family and make the move to Illinois. We felt God’s leading and followed.”

After their relocation, Scot and her children quickly began this new chapter of their lives. God was also calling Crystal to something new. After working in Olivet’s bookstore for two years, she was encouraged by several ONU staff to apply for the office manager position with the Development team. She had no intention of doing so but felt maybe God was calling her to this particular area. In August 2023, she was hired for that position.

“My job is to serve others by helping the office run smoothly,” she says. “I want the rest of our team to be able to focus on the work they are doing.” In her work, Crystal also has the opportunity to serve students by supervising six student workers on a daily basis. Connecting with them on a personal and professional level is one of her greatest joys.

Keeping Christ at the center and taking one day at a time are important priorities for Crystal. She strives to focus on the right here, right now, today. “I’m amazed each day by how I am now a part of the continuation of ONU,” she says. “God knows better. I’ve never felt so welcome at a job before. I already feel like I’ve been here for a long time. I still have so much to learn. I love being surrounded by people who are passionate about sustaining and growing ONU.”

To learn more about donating to Olivet Nazarene University, contact the Office of Development at or 815-939-5171.

Laura Warfel headshot

LW Warfel

Laura Wasson Warfel is a story gatherer, writer, editor, and follower of Jesus Christ. A good listener, she distills details into meaningful communications. Her greatest joy is to bring others along with her on her faith journey. In 2015, she launched More Than A Widow, a ministry to help widows live beyond the label and find their more.

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