With a full-time editing career, a new book release, and a baby on the way, for Templeton alumna Kaylena Radcliffe (B.A. English Literature) there is never a dull moment. As a fellow English major and writer, I was delighted to meet with Kaylena and find out about her recent accomplishments and the next steps.
Abbie: Can you describe your journey from graduation to your current position?
Kaylena: My final semester of college, I married my high school sweetheart. After graduation in the spring of 2011, we decided to fund my husband’s graduate studies first, so I worked at a bank for a year and a half until I heard about the Christian History Institute through the Templeton Alumni Network, specifically recommended for me by former classmate, Redmond Brubaker. I started at the company as a customer service associate, and when my supervisor became aware of my writing skills, I was promoted to my current position.
Abbie: What is the Christian History Institute?
Kaylena: The mission of the Christian History Institute is to bring the story of our faith to a wide audience, especially to lay people. Each magazine is centered on a different topic of historical interest, and we present the topics in a way that people can understand. We have contributing scholars that are contracted for all our cover stories.
Abbie: So what is your position in the company?
Kaylena: My official title is Circulation Coordinator. I manage subscriptions, and I proof-read and edit the magazine, which is a quarterly publication. I’m also responsible for writing the study guides that accompany the Torchlighter DVDs, as well as pioneering our newest project: the Torchlighter children’s biographies. The Torchlighter series is a subset of the Christian History Institute; it’s children’s curriculum for Christian history education.
Abbie: And your first Torchlighter biography is scheduled to be released soon! How does it feel to see your name on the cover of a book, and what are the next steps for you?
Kaylena: It’s a bit surreal! The first Torchlighter book is a biography of Corrie ten Boom, and I certainly have my work cut out for me for the next few years. We’re creating an entire series of biographies on Christian historical figures: Jonathan Edwards, Amy Carmichael, and St. Augustine, to name a few. My first baby is due in May, and I’ll continue working with Christian History Institute as an editor. I also have a few personal novel projects that I’m working on.
Abbie: How has the Templeton Honors College prepared you for what you’re doing now?
Kaylena: It rounded out my academic education. I was exposed to a lot of different Christian traditions, and that’s really important for the work that I do now. It’s amazing to follow the story of faith throughout history. Perhaps the most valuable thing that I took away from my years at Templeton was the emphasis on educating the whole person, not simply acquiring a skill set. If you’re going into any field, being able to logically explain and articulate an argument is invaluable, and it’s not often that people emerge from college with these skills.
Abbie: What are some of the most important lessons that you’ve learned in the past three years?
Kaylena: I definitely had to learn that life is not about the pursuit of my own glory. I didn’t have a servant’s heart when I graduated, and I had to learn the hard way that life is about what I can do for the body of Christ, not what I can accomplish for myself. Our lives are not defined by our careers; they’re defined by Christ himself.
Article by Abigail Storch (’16): Abbie is a Templeton scholar majoring in English with a literature concentration and minoring in vocal music. She spent the fall of 2014 as a visiting student at the University of Oxford where she won the Frederick Buechner Prize for Creative Writing and the de Jager Award for Excellence in Research at Wycliffe Hall. Her research interests lie in the intersection between religion and literature, a subject she hopes to pursue at the graduate level. To read more of Abbie’s writing, visit her blog at www.abbiestorch.wordpress.com.