Action Photo for Hayden Rensner

Small Community, Big World

Photo of Hayden Rensner

Hayden Rensner

Effingham, Ill.
I feel so blessed by my choice to come here and everything it has brought me.

“I’m going to cry everyday next semester, but in a good way. I feel so blessed by my choice to come here and everything it has brought me.”  

Whether she likes it or not, Concordia has always been a part of Hayden Rensner’s life. “My mom, sister, and brother-in-law all went here, so naturally, I really did not want to go here.” For Hayden, everything changed when she visited Concordia’s campus. “When I was a senior, I came here to visit my sister for a whole week and I absolutely loved it. It’s small and the classes are very personal.” 

This encouraging community has been one of Hayden’s favorite parts of her Concordia experience. “Concordia is definitely a pretty small community. Sometimes it would be nice to just be able to walk around and not know anyone, but for the most part, it’s great. Everyone has the ability to form close relationships with their professors. Those close relationships are beneficial because the professors are people who genuinely care about you and want you to succeed.” 

Hayden believes these close relationships are part of the key to discovering one’s purpose and vocation “It’s important to remember not to freak out. You may just want to declare your major and have it all figured out. But it’s okay to take some time to think these things through. You’ll have people around you to help you go on the right path, and experiences that will shape the decisions that might influence you to change your major. I know I did.” 

“I started majoring in World and Intercultural Studies and then I switched to Director of Christian Education and then I switched back to World and Intercultural Studies very recently.” When asked about all these changes, Hayden attributes it to the mission trips she has been able to go on through Concordia. “I went to Africa through the LCMS, and I was also part of this really cool opportunity Vicki Anderson offers each year where you go to China and teach then kids English for six weeks. It was that experience that helped me realize I really love mission work.” 

Hayden recognizes Concordia as a place that can help her launch into big plans for her future. "I'm currently going through the process of becoming a missionary for the LCMS. I don’t really have a preference where they put me. I just know I want to get out there and share God’s light with others.”