First Person: Warren W. Rogers III

“ONU is an exceptional Christian university, preparing the hearts and minds of students to carry out the Lord’s restoration work in this world.”
Laura Warfel headshot

LW Warfel

April 26, 2023 Giving

Warren W. Rogers III ’98

Find your comfort zone and step out of it. When Warren Rogers’ mentor gave him that advice, a new way of living began for him. Many experiences that he never expected opened up for him. As he stepped into his future, he grew in humility as well as in expertise.

Looking in the rearview mirror, Warren clearly sees how God prepared him for his current position as a development officer for Olivet Nazarene University. His father is a retired Nazarene pastor, and his family moved many times during his childhood. Warren was born in England. He attended preschool in Los Angeles, elementary school in Mississippi, middle school in West Virginia and high school in Iowa.

He began his ONU journey by wanting to step out of his father’s shadow and into a place where he could learn more about himself and God’s calling on his life. He carried with him the grief of having lost one of his younger brothers, who was hit by a car and died at age nine.

As a ONU student, Warren majored in Communication and worked at Shine.FM, the campus radio station. “Professors like Dr. Jay Martinson and Dr. Beth Patrick-Trippel helped shape my undergraduate experience,” Warren says. “Dr. Martinson saw potential in me and encouraged me. He helped me step into my dream internship when I was a senior.”

Warren interned at FOX32 in Chicago during the reign of the Bulls and Michael Jordan. “I went to seven Bulls games and sat on the same floor with the reporters,” he recalls. “I had two dollars in my pocket when we were invited to celebrate Michael Jordan’s birthday. I even ate a piece of his birthday cake!”

He benefited from the generosity of ministry partners and donors who funded his ONU scholarship and helped him make it to graduation. He holds a BA in Communication and a MA in Religion from ONU. Today, he is blessed to work with donors who give to help this current generation of ONU students flourish.

During his freshman year at ONU, Warren met Jeena. They married six years later and are
the parents of four children. Their oldest child, Maya, is now a student at ONU and sings in the Proclamation Gospel Choir.

Recently, Warren experienced once again ONU’s commitment to living out “Education with a Christian Purpose” — this time, as a parent. “My daughter, Maya, texted me and asked me to send her one of our favorite devotionals,” he recalls. “She wanted to share it with her architectural drafting class when she led their class devotion time. No matter what class the students are taking, God is part of their education. ONU is an exceptional Christian university, preparing the hearts and minds of students to carry out the Lord’s restoration work in this world.”

Serving as a ONU development officer since 2018, Warren admits that one of his greatest challenges is not trusting in his own ability. One of the ways he builds that trust is by looking back over his career and seeing the steps God asked him to take to get to where he is today. He worked as an admissions counselor — first at ONU and then at two other Nazarene universities. He was the director of admissions and development for a Christian academy. He transitioned to the financial industry and worked as a financial advisor.

“I see the stepping stones the Lord used to prepare me for the work I’m now doing at ONU,” Warren says. “Now, I’m even pursuing my PHD, something that I had only dreamed of doing. God has given me many opportunities to develop and use my skills for listening, building relationships, empathizing and strategizing.”

As a ONU development officer, Warren travels throughout 15 U.S. states. He visits with ministry partners and donors to express gratitude, and to help them give money in the most efficient and effective ways possible. “These are real people giving real dollars and making a real impact in the lives of ONU students,” he says. “They are giving resources, time, talent, expertise, money, jobs, internships, goodwill, advice, counsel. All of that is part of the generosity that builds and sustains ONU and our students.”

Two of Warren’s passions are helping people live a generous life and helping college students step into their future. If he were to write a book about his life, the title would likely be Living by Faith. “I am diligently cultivating a personal relationship with Jesus,” he says. “That causes me to step out in faith every day.”

One of his favorite Bible verses that Warren keeps on a sticky note in plain view is Proverbs 2:6, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

“I’ve learned that earth is not our destination, and eternal life is not lived in the context of our mortal bodies,” Warren says. “That takes the spirituality of generosity to a level of purpose. The Lord is teaching me not just to steward my stuff, but to steward myself and who I am. The more I learn about generosity, the more I’m changed. I hope I’m teaching that to others, too.”


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

Published: 04/26/2023

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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