Charity Kauffman (’07), daughter of Christian bookstore owners, spent her childhood surrounded by Christian publishing, media, and ministry.
“As a student at Messiah, I was interested in pursuing similar fields outside of the retail industry. Studying communication offered opportunities to develop writing and interpersonal skills relevant to a variety of professional and ministry settings,” she says.
After graduating from Messiah with a degree in communication (public relations concentration), Charity worked in community relations at a Christian school in Central Pennsylvania before taking a job as the children’s ministry coordinator at her church. She then found herself at Bethel Seminary, where she graduated summa cum laude with a master’s degree in children and family ministry.
“My first year of seminary opened doors for me to move to Colorado Springs, where I worked on a Children’s Ministries staff at a mega church. While there, I had the privilege of writing and directing our VBS curriculum,” Kauffman shares. She also led family events, created Children’s Ministries promotional materials, provided administrative support for the Children’s Ministries Department, and enjoyed speaking at several Christian elementary school chapels in the area.
In March 2014, Charity accepted a position as the Director of Children’s Ministry job at Hunt Valley Church and made the move to the Baltimore area, where she currently resides.
She explains, “Any given day might involve volunteer recruitment, training and communication, curriculum writing, connecting with parents, vision casting, running programs that align with our mission and vision, updating websites, connecting with kids and parents through social media, reading articles about ministry to children and families, collaborating with staff members, and creating fun environments for kids to learn about Jesus.”
Kauffman enjoys teaching both large and small groups, as well as researching and writing lessons that communicate God’s story of redemption. “I love hanging out with and learning from my little brothers and sisters in Christ,” she says.
She adds, “My work influences in children’s spiritual formation. Their experience at church affects their view of God and His people. Additionally, I want to make sure that kids enjoy a safe and secure environment when at church.” As a result, she spends a lot of time developing, maintaining, and communicating safety policies and crisis plans.
While at Messiah, Kauffman participated in concert choir, women’s ensemble, and the Public Relations Campaign. She also studied abroad in Russia and at the Contemporary Music Center in Nashville. Her favorite college memories include SAB concerts and singing at the National Cathedral with concert choir.
She notes, “Good leadership hinges on good communication. Whether I’m writing an email, explaining a policy, leading a volunteer workshop, or advocating for children in a church congregation, I use skills developed in communication classes at Messiah. Additionally, Bible and theology classes whet my mind’s appetite to deeply dive into Scripture. Basic exegetical skills and hermeneutic guidance helped to prepare me to approach the Bible as a learner and a teacher.”
Kauffman advises current communication students, “Avoid passive verbs when writing for Nance McCown. Be open to professors’ guidance and learn from their expertise. Take advantage of resume building opportunities while in college. Never lose your sense of childlike wonder when it comes to life and faith.”
A contributor to the Cory Center for Children’s Ministry website, Kauffman has also published work in Children’s Ministry Magazine. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music and cheering for the Pittsburgh Pirates.