Counselling student improving her serve on and off the court

Posted: April 26, 2012

Healthy relationships and teamwork are two things Ashley Streuber values at work and play.

The Winnipeg resident completed an undergraduate degree at Briercrest in 2010 while playing on the Clipper volleyball team all four years. She returned this year to begin a master’s degree in marriage and family counselling while completing her fifth year of eligibility on the volleyball team.

“To come back was a very easy decision,” she explained. “I’m so familiar with the school and I love it. I made some great friendships here. It just made sense to come back here.”

Being a graduate student on the volleyball team has been a unique experience for Streuber.

“It’s been a lot of fun and it’s a little bit different being the oldest on the team, but it’s a great opportunity to build friendships and to hopefuly nurture the younger students–the freshmen on the team.”

Nolan Weinmaster, Briercrest’s women’s volleyball coach, is grateful for Streuber’s presence on the team.

“It has been a great privilege to coach Ashley for five seasons!” he said. “The younger players really admire her for her outstanding athletic ability, but more importantly, she is such a great example to them of a mature leader who has continually grown into an amazing woman after God’s own heart during her time at Briercrest. She naturally looks to connect with the younger players to help and encourage them when they are struggling through pressures of school, relationships, and playing high caliber volleyball.”

Streuber sees how her athletic experience and counselling education could both help to provide her future job possibilities.

“I hope to be in some kind of counselling or mentoring role,” she said. “I don’t feel called to any specific setting at this point. The general idea I’m hoping for is some kind of Christian community–whether that’s a Christian college or a counselling centre or a church. Even if I’m involved in coaching or chaplaining, I feel like there’s lots of opportunities.”

Streuber says that the professors are a key element that drew her back to Briercrest.

“I have always appreciated the personal touch they add to the classes and how they’re always willing to listen and talk to us outside of the classroom,” she exclaimed. “You can tell they’re really interested in our personal growth as well as our academic growth.”

She especially enjoyed her Christian Spirituality class taught by Cal Macfarlane.

“Being introduced to some of the spiritual writers–I really enjoy that type of reading,” she explained. “It’s people sharing their genuine struggles and concerns in Scripture and matters of life. Perhaps it’s because I’m geared toward counselling and I feel we can really learn from each other and that kind of writing. We can really learn from other’s experiences.”

The seminary program has provided Streuber with the opportunity to learn from some of her peer’s experiences as well.

“It’s nice to be around women who are my age but also women who are older,” she explained. “It creates opportunities for mentoring and for conversation.”

Although Streuber doesn’t know exactly where her future path will lead, she’s confident God will continue to reveal each step along the way.

“God’s been slowly unfolding the path for me,” she said. “Taking this program is a step in the right direction. I’m here on faith and enjoying every moment of it.”