"Three years after I stepped foot onto the campus of the University of Cincinnati, my mother was diagnosed with cancer," says Dr. Rashad Minor. "So I relocated back to South Bend, Indiana, and divided my time between school and caring for her. I graduated with my bachelor's degree in seven years after starting my undergraduate degree program."
Advanced degrees seemed out of reach for Dr. Minor at that time in his life. But he soon realized that those degrees would help him excel in his career and make a difference in more lives.
In late April 2017, he received his MBA. Just two weeks later, he entered the Ed.D. program at Olivet Nazarene University. "I remember my first day on ONU's campus," he says. "There were several program leaders in the Weber Center conference room waiting to greet me and begin the on-campus interview. Dr. Houston Thompson, then the Ed.D. program director, walked me into the room. That was the most terrifying thing I had ever done in my life, to be in the presence of such an abundance of intellect and prestige that day."
Over the course of his studies, Dr. Darcel Brady walked with Dr. Minor as he navigated the challenges of completing the Ed.D. program. He credits her with pushing, coaching and mentoring him every step of the way. "I knew God already knew what He wanted me to do," Dr. Minor says. "I had to do the work and walk in faith with Him. Being able to complete my dissertation congruently with my course work made it possible for me to succeed in ONU's program."
Today, Dr. Minor serves as Director of Student Services for the South Bend Empowerment Zone, a branch of the public school corporation in South Bend, Indiana. This job was created just one year before Dr. Minor received his Ed.D. degree. He oversees a team of 25, consisting of social workers, deans, peace builders, family and community specialist personnel, and security personnel. He works at a middle school where he was once a student and his mother was a teacher, and in a district where he attended four of its five schools.
"As a Black male, I want to give young Black males a beacon of hope," Dr. Minor says. "Our youth often elect to follow what they see in the media and digress from the imperatives of education to seek monetary gain and fame. I encourage them to employ their minds, and to make an impact in their community and the lives of others globally. I've learned that it doesn't matter where you come from, the adversity you face, the challenges that are before you. My message to today's youth is to find God and be the person that He has called them to be."
For Dr. Minor, earning his Ed.D. degree in a Christian environment was priceless. He experienced God's influence in every aspect of ONU's program - prayer and devotions before the beginning of each class, prayer with members of his cohort, the privilege of using Scripture to support his positions when he wrote papers and gave presentations.
Bonding with the students in his cohort was an unexpected benefit of ONU's program for Dr. Minor. They continue to stay connected through group texts and to be transparent about what is going on in their lives. When he let them know that his father passed away in the summer of 2022, he knew his cohort was praying for him, and that those who could would be in attendance to support him during this difficult time.
This educational experience was life-changing for him. His critical thinking skills are sharper now, and he is sharper in his life and career, He credits ONU's rigorous program, especially the soul searching and self-examination involved, for his growth as an ethical leader.
"Sharing Jesus Christ in the public sector is a calling," Dr. Minor says. "I'm working to change the lives of our students and our community. God brought me through the hurdles and obstacles along the way so I can plant seeds of positivity and pour into our youth. I wouldn't trade my journey for anything. God used this Ed.D. not for the title or the accolades, but to get me to where He needed me to be to best serve Him and to glorify the Kingdom of God."
To learn more about the Ed.D. program, contact the Office of Admissions at email@example.com or 877-465-4838.