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Regent SPC Student Honored as a "Champion of Change"

By Brett Wilson | April 29, 2013

Priscilla Mondt.
Photo courtesy of Priscilla Mondt.

To the executives in the White House, she is acclaimed as one of the best and brightest female leaders in the nation. But, according to Regent University School of Psychology & Counseling student Priscilla Mondt, she is simply a follower of God's calling.

"I didn't do any of this," said Mondt. "God qualified me."

The United States Army veteran and Bronze Star recipient was recognized as a Champion of Change—a program initiated by President Barack Obama honoring men and women impacting the lives of those within their respective communities each week.

Mondt was chosen as a Champion of Change, along with 13 other female veteran recipients, from a pool of more than 300 nominations. The ceremony, held in March, placed her in the midst of other powerful female leaders in the U.S., including First Lady Michelle Obama. Mondt explained that she was "star struck" during the ceremony, as she was shoulder-to-shoulder with congressional leaders and female CEOs.

"It was very humbling, because spirituality in our nation was being recognized at the very highest level," said Mondt. "I felt like God Himself was being recognized."

Mondt, who currently serves as chief chaplain of the Veterans Healthcare Services of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is doing just that. As chief chaplain, Mondt oversees the spiritual care of 55,000 veterans in three different states, making a dream that spurred in her heart as a teenager a reality.

At the age of 16, Mondt took a trip to Germany. There, her eyes were opened to the lack of love and caring that chaplains in the area were showing to their constituents. She realized that the "harvesters" in this particular vocation were few, but that there was much work in the field to be done.

"I told the Lord that if He was desperate enough for workers in the harvest, He could send me," said Mondt.

But, obeying her calling to become a female chaplain was not an easy one. Her career as an active-duty service member began in 1974, during a time, Mondt explained, when men and women served in corps separated by gender. In 1975, however, the army's gender silos desegregated. For the first time, women were permitted to both serve alongside men, and eventually command them.

"That was a huge shift in both the military and society," said Mondt. "My role in life has been clearing the path for other women to follow."

The shift in the military allowed Mondt to begin the dedicated process of qualifying as a chaplain. Today, her work puts her alongside men and women struggling with their faith, battling post-traumatic stress syndrome, and wondering where God is in the midst of a chaotic world.

"Our society groomed women to be nurturing—and both counselors and clergy are supposed to be nurturing," said Mondt.

At the end of the day, Mondt rests in the fact that God qualifies His "harvesters" for the purposes for which He calls them to.

"God gives us a calling and He doesn't apologize for it," said Mondt. "So why should we?"

Learn more about the School of Psychology & Counseling.


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