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Kelli Worrall Receives 2021 Faculty Citation Award

Kelli Worrall Receives 2021 Faculty Citation Award

  • June 9, 2021

Kelli (Kolesar) Worrall first fell in love with Moody Bible Institute when she was invited to attend Candlelight Carols by a good friend who’d joined the Communications faculty. “I remember thinking and praying that perhaps someday in the far future…God might allow me to have a job like what she did, influencing the next generation.”

Soon God would open the door to her heart’s desire. She was hired as a professor in Moody’s Communications department in 1998 and wrote the scripts and directed Candlelight Carols events for many years.

“When I first stepped into the role of professor, it was with a great deal of awe and trepidation and excitement, and that sense has never left me. I’m full of gratitude,” Kelli said after Nancy (Andersen ’80) Hastings, executive director of the Alumni Association, presented her with the 2021 Faculty Citation Award at the virtual award ceremony on Friday morning of Founder’s Week.

Kelli was born in Minneapolis and grew up with disabled parents and a younger brother. She showed a gift for writing and graduated with a Communications degree from Cedarville University. She served as a short-term missionary with ABWE and also earned a master’s in Christian education from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. After working as an editor for Regular Baptist Press, she joined Moody’s faculty and soon met and married Peter Worrall ’00 MDiv.

“She’s a great partner with Peter,” says Communications professor Karyn Hecht. “They have written a book together, they do speaking engagements together, and really complement each other. They also have mentored a lot of students, especially in terms of marriage counseling.”

Eventually the Worralls adopted two children, Darrell and Amelia, and while raising a family, she earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Roosevelt University in 2011. A few years later she and Peter coauthored 20 Things We’d Tell Our Twenty-Something Selves, and in 2017 she wrote Pierced & Embraced (both Moody Publishers).

A year and half ago Kelli was appointed field chair of Music and Media Arts, a role with added responsibilities. She is now in her 23rd year of teaching.

“She deserves the Faculty Citation Award because she fills so many roles at Moody so very well,” says Music professor Jori Jennings. “She reaches such a broad spectrum of people through her teaching, through her leadership, through her writing, and through the very life that she lives. She is an exemplary person, and an exemplary faculty member.”

Bob Gustafson ’82, Communications professor, agrees. “Whether you’re chatting with her in the hall, whether she’s advising students or teaching a class, whether she’s writing a book or a blog, whether she’s speaking at a camp or a conference—and she does all these things—she does it with grace, and she communicates with virtue, and she really is a servant communicator.”