First Person: Erika Moeschke

“Life and work are all about relationships. If I were writing the story of my life, I’d choose this title: The Art of Living a Relationship-Centered Life.”
Laura Warfel headshot

LW Warfel

December 6, 2023 Academics, Giving

Erika Moeschke headshot

Erika Moeschke ’12

“Life and work are all about relationships,” says Erika Moeschke. “If I were writing the story of my life, I’d choose this title: The Art of Living a Relationship-Centered Life.”

Erika’s relationship with the Olivet family began before she was born. Her grandmother entered Olivet Nazarene University (known then as Olivet College) in 1941. Her dad and her sister, as well as several of her aunts and uncles, are Olivet grads. Growing up in the Nazarene church in northern Michigan, Erika had chosen a different path. But then, as He often does, God redirected her to Olivet. She began her undergraduate years as a pre-med student, but soon switched to child development with a minor in social work.

God continued to develop His plan for her when Erika worked as a student caller in Olivet’s Phonathon fundraiser during her junior and senior years. During that time, she made connections with team members in the Office of Development. She also connected with representatives from Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL), a higher education consulting firm.

After graduating from Olivet in 2012, Erika accepted a full-time position with RNL. Over the course of her five years with the company, she worked with 14 different universities across the country plus the Minnesota Orchestra. “At first, I enjoyed the traveling and the opportunities I had to meet new people,” she says. “When the travel became difficult and I realized I hadn’t yet worked with any Christian universities, I began to explore my Olivet connections.”

In 2018, she joined the Development team as the director of annual giving. In 2021, her role expanded to director of annual campaign strategies and community development with additional responsibilities as a major gift officer.

“Being part of the Olivet team is such a joy because Olivet is a place that is true to its mission,” she says. “The commitment to excellence is obvious in everything we do as a university. Our focus is on students first. On making sure they’re prepared, academically and spiritually, for their future.”

Erika Moeschke sitting at desk smiling

One of Erika’s favorite Olivet memories happened in April 2022 with the Day of Giving. In addition to the outstanding results of the more than 750 donors participating and the more than $150,000 raised in one day, Erika saw everyone on campus and in the extended Olivet community coming together to support the University.

Each day, Erika has the opportunity to work with current Olivet students. That is one of her greatest joys. “I not only have the privilege of helping to make education a reality for students,” she says. “I also have many opportunities to show them Olivet’s mindset for education. When I’m meeting with student workers and volunteers, we open every meeting with prayer. We sometimes stop a meeting to pray about a concern. I also meet with them individually, ask them to get lunch or get coffee. I talk with them about how school is going for them and how life is going for them. I’ve worked in secular settings, and I know Olivet is a special place for many reasons.”

People sometimes ask Erika why she has chosen to work at a university with conservative Christian values in a world that is neither conservative nor Christian. Her answer often surprises them. “Our greatest challenge leads us to our greatest opportunities,” she says. “As Christians, we are to share God’s love with others. That’s what we’re doing at Olivet. And that is changing our world.”

One of the greatest challenges of Erika’s work is the knowledge that fundraising never stops. The aging donor base and the students who are just graduating have very different mindsets for giving. An important part of her work is developing younger generations of the Olivet community into the major donors of the future. Her approach is to start the conversation about Olivet and why “Education with a Christian purpose” is important. Then she has the foundation on which to build future conversations about investing time, talents and treasures in preparing world citizens who are going to make a difference wherever they are.

“We’re entrusted with what Olivet is going to be for years to come, for preserving Olivet and its mission,” Erika says. “I enjoy coming to work every day. I love what I do. I love the people I work with. I love serving and honoring God. He has a bigger plan beyond our wildest dreams. It’s my joy to be part of that work. I know I’m where God wants me to be.”

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.

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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