Alumni Feature | Marisa Davis – Class of 2024

From day one, our students prepare for life beyond Highlands College. They are immersed in exceptional educational environments, intentional experiences, and a community of experts to develop the fortitude for a life of eternal impact.

One of our recent Pastoral Ministry graduates, Marisa Davis, shared how these collective experiences shaped and prepared her for an exciting new season. We invite you to learn more about Marisa and what God is doing in her life as an HC alumna!


Marisa Davis

2024 Highlands College Graduate

What is your role going to be?

My position will be the Associate Director of Sunday Production, Communication and Content at Coastal Church located in Daphne, Alabama.

As you reflect on your time at HC, what stands out the most?

As an HC student, the phrase “The best is yet to come” really resonated with me. As someone who was always fearful that my best days were behind me or that I was living in “the days,” this really freed me. Knowing that God has more good things to come, more people to reach, more ministries to start, and more than I can imagine encouraged me to step into ministry with optimism and purpose, knowing that my best days are ahead of me!

What is your favorite way to spend your day off?

My favorite way to spend an off day has to be by starting off with a workout at True40, grabbing a latte at Cala, spending time with my friends, and then ending the day with a wholesome movie. I love romcoms!

What has been the most impactful aspect of your time at Highlands College?

The most impactful part of Highlands College has been the staff and faculty. I truly did not expect the amount of support and mentorship that I would receive. It truly has blessed me so much to have leaders pouring into and investing in me. It has shown me how I can do the same for others as I step into full-time ministry; I can be available and supportive to the people God places in my life.

How did you hear about your new ministry opportunity?

The summer between my second and third semesters, I spent eight weeks interning at Coastal Church. I served on the students and creative teams, and God used that summer to call me to that church. By staying connected to their team, Coastal reached out to me about joining their team once they found out I was graduating this year.

Can you share a particular moment or lesson that has stayed with you since your time at Highlands College?

An important lesson that I learned in HC is to always go all in. It completely changed the game for me because there is no doing it halfway. You have to give every day 100% because you are not promised tomorrow. Jesus talks about this and how tomorrow has enough troubles of its own.

For me, this practically looked like giving every class, Small Group, ministry experience, and every moment all of the energy that God gives me. I benefited from not waiting until tomorrow to go all in with something and committing to the process that is Highlands College, so that God could shape 100% of me and not just the parts I wanted to be shaped.

A particular moment that will stay with me forever was during a class in my first semester. Our instructor, Brad Straarup, shared a completely different way to see ministry. People often come to HC thinking they are called to be a student pastor, worship leader, etc., but I learned that, ultimately, the call is people.

Brad had every student write out who we were believing for God to save. There were hundreds of papers lying on the floor, and it brought us to tears. To see the names piled up of people we are called to love changed our hearts. In that moment, God marked me that I am never called to a position, title, or job. I am called to love people; it is as simple as that.

What advice would you give to current or aspiring students looking to make an impact?

When you sign up to attend Highlands College, it is a ministry school, and that means doing more than the requirements ask of you. Whether it is Motion Midweek, Highlands Kids, or Outreach, the opportunities available to you are unlimited. Be intentional about finding a leader you want to learn from, submitting to them, and helping their dream come to life.

What are you most looking forward to in starting this new role?

The thing I am most looking forward to in my new role is getting to plant my roots deep. As I step into this new community, I want to go all in.

I am so excited to know the families that make up this precious community. I also want to be intentional about understanding all that went into starting and developing our church. I absolutely love the church and the pastors, so I am over the moon about joining their team. I am so expectant for all God will do!

We look forward to seeing how Marisa continues to make an eternal impact beyond Highlands College.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know one of our amazing Highlands College alumni. Learn more about Highlands College and how you can get connected to our incredible network of graduates around the world.