“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference." (1962)
Taking the road less traveled, Dr. Terilyn Goins, Professor of Communication Studies has done just that. In her one year here at Emmanuel, Dr. Goins (aka Doc G) has made a tremendous difference in the lives of each student and faculty member she meets.
“When God calls us to something,” Dr. Goins says, “He will equip us to do whatever He puts before us, in ways we may not understand or anticipate.”
Earning her B.S. in Communication Studies from Liberty University, an M.A. in Rhetoric and Communication Studies from the University of Virginia and her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Indiana University, Bloomington, Dr. Goins is adeptly qualified to teach in the area of Communication.
God began testing her faith when He asked that she consider Emmanuel as her next place of employment. “On a whim, I applied for the position but then withdrew my application because I was unable to live in the area,” says Dr. Goins.
But God had different plans for Doc G. A couple years after the original application submission, Dr. Goins was, once again, presented with an invitation to come to EC. Although she initially declined it the second time around, God’s handiwork was apparent.
“God kept bringing EC to my mind and, after much prayer and consideration, I felt led to get back in touch with HR,” Dr. Goins says. “From that point forward, it became obvious this was a path God had for me at this particular juncture in my life.”
And indeed it was. After one semester here, her son, Taylor, who was already attending college elsewhere, came to attend Emmanuel — something Dr. Goins says she could not have anticipated was on the horizon.
“The important thing is to do whatever He calls us to, even when it doesn’t make sense to us,” Dr. Goins says. “Generally, His plan will unfold once we have made the decision to follow Him.”
Although she lives in Georgia during the academic school year, she frequently takes trips home to Virginia during the semester to visit her family.
“It’s a challenge to live in two places,” Dr. Goins says, “but one I know God has called me to and will, therefore, see me through.”
Trusting in His plan, Doc G has been able to build many relationships in and out the classroom. She acknowledges that working at a school the size of Emmanuel allows for one-on-one mentoring that is not so easily accomplished in larger school settings.
She says the Christian foundation at EC affords her the freedom to share her faith, making God a real part of the daily educational experience.
“The greatest joy I get out of the educational experience is watching students grow and expand their horizons,” Dr. Goins says. “It’s always heartwarming to know when you’ve made a difference in someone’s life.”
Regarding her ability to reach out to students, Dr. Goins says creating a safe and positive classroom environment is key.
“Establishing connections and rapport with students is all about giving them a safe environment within which to interact and feel free to be open and honest about their personal identity, their worldview, and their perspectives on life, both in the classroom and within the larger community,” she says.
With this in mind, it’s no secret that Dr. Goins is all about reaching people to connect them with Christ. When she’s not working at Emmanuel or visiting her family, Dr. Goins is using her gift of song to reach and inspire lives.
“One of my passions is using my vocal talent to share not only the message of Christ, but also as a means to inspire and motivate people to think about life choices,” Dr. Goins says, adding that her desire is to see people lead lives “driven by ©principle, purpose, and passion.”
Every Christmas, Dr. Goins creates a program, “The Magic of Christmas,” which involves her immediate and extended family and includes drama, dancing, skits, stories, and singing–all geared toward the specific inspirational goal and pointing people toward Christ.
“Last year’s show was about living in the here and now,” Dr. Goins said, “all the while preparing for the life that awaits us on the other side.”
Always keeping Christ in mind, Dr. Goins does not take lightly her role in His plan.
“If we truly wish to reflect the cause of Christ and fulfill the Great Commission, we must do so in a spirit of love and openness,” Dr. Goins says, “rather than through a lens of legalism and judgment. I see my role as one of planting the seed–for salvation or discipleship–while God yields the return.”