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Jacob Gerding

Wengatz Hall Director

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  • MA, Higher Education & Student Development, Taylor University (2020)
  • BS, Youth Ministry, Evangel University (2018)


I grew up in a small, midwestern town in West Central Illinois where there were more cornfields than people. Originally, I went to a nearby college to study Graphic Design, but after a year of serving in my church's youth group, I felt the LORD was taking me down a new path of pursuing a degree in Youth Ministry, which required me to transfer schools.

I transferred to Evangel University to study Youth Ministry in 2014 and graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science. Throughout my time at Evangel, I served as an RA during my Junior and Senior years, which is where I felt the the LORD preparing to take me down another new path—this time the path was headed toward Taylor University and a degree in Higher Education and Student Development.

I came to Taylor in May of 2018 to be a part of the MAHE program's 12th cohort. I had a desire to explore my newfound love and passion for discipleship within the scope of Christian higher education, and Taylor quickly became a place that embodied discipleship in a way that I had never before experienced.

During my two years at Taylor (graduated in 2020) for the MAHE program, I served as the Assistant Hall Director in Wengatz Hall and loved the moments I had to invest and pour into the lives of the men who lived in and called the beautiful AC-less building home. After a year away from Taylor, I'm excited to be back on campus serving as the Wengatz Hall Director—a building and group of students that mean so much to me.

Advice to Incoming Freshman

My advice to incoming freshman would be this: invest. Invest in relationships. Invest in discipleship. Invest in learning. Invest in community. Invest in chapel. Invest in small groups. Invest in being. Invest in rest. Invest in play. It's no doubt that Taylor has a lot to offer and there's a lot you can accomplish in four years as a student, and it will be as much or as little as you're willing to put into it. But I promise you, if you just choose to invest into this place, you will reap benefits far greater than you could have imagined and for far longer than you could have hoped. I know that's been true for me.

Things I do

  • Lead a staff of 14 PAs
  • Facilitate and plan events for the hall community
  • Respond to students in crisis moments
  • Build relationships with students through various avenues
  • Oversee a graduate level student serving in the hall