Student profile: Bailee Nichols-Clary ’17

Bailee Nichols-ClaryPARENTS: Robert Nichols and Sherry Clary
MAJOR: Bible and ministry


I did not feel I was ready to attend a four-year college after graduating from high school. I was looking specifically for a two-year Christian college, which led me to Hesston. I knew Hesston was the right fit after I came to an open house day. As soon as my mom and I got back in the car I was already saying, “I want to go back!”


I have felt very welcome at Hesston. It’s a friendly and personable atmosphere, and I love how involved the community is with the college students. Having mod parents helped me make connections when I first arrived on campus as a freshman. This year’s homecoming theme of “Home Sweet Hesston” and the shared experiences between Hesston College, Hesston High School and the wider community speaks to the great relationships we share.


I come from a Pentecostal background, and this year I have the opportunity to do an internship at Hesston United Methodist Church. Then throw in attending a Mennonite college! Sometimes the exposure to multiple perspectives challenges me as I sort out my beliefs and learning, but it’s also shaping me and allowing me to grow in my faith.


At my internship I prepare and lead Sunday school class for elementary and middle school students. I also teach “Bible Zone” for the elementary-aged kids on Wednesday nights and I help with the after school program on Thursday afternoons. My internship is giving me so much experience in the field I am hoping to pursue. I have gained mentors along the way, and I love seeing the children’s smiling faces as they come in ready to learn and have fun.


I have always loved working with children and have dreamed of teaching children in some form. The things children learn at a young age stay with them and can impact their future lives. I think it’s extremely important to teach and engage with them because they are our future generation of leaders. After my time at Hesston, I plan to transfer to a four-year Christian institution where I can earn a bachelor’s degree in Bible and ministry. Someday, I’d like to work at my home church, Park Place Ministry Center as the Children’s Ministry Director.


“Bailee has such a heart for Jesus and for all people! She’s always willing to go the extra mile. She’s a good listener. She has a kind word for everyone. It’s inspiring to see how she has answered God’s call to ministry and it’s a joy to get to be a small part of equipping her for that call.”
— Michele (Schrock) ’81 Hershberger, Bible and Ministry faculty