Christian Union Alumna and Husband Now Sponsor Current Students' Bible Course
By Sarah Camp, Contributing EditorLindsay Grinols Simmons (Princeton '04) was one of just a handful of students involved with the budding Christian Union ministry when it first launched at Princeton over a decade ago. In fact, she was a member of the ministry's first women's Bible course. You might say that gives her a unique vantage point on the ministry's growth at Princeton over the years, where it has surged from three students in 2002 to more than 400 students in 2013-14.
"The year-over-year increase in Princeton students' engagement with Christian Union is astonishing," she says. "It shows Princeton students are hungry for the truth."
During her student years, Lindsay says her Christian faith kept her grounded. In Princeton's secular environment, "You need moorings to keep from drifting in a strong current," Lindsay says. Being networked to an encouraging Christian community is essential. "The college years are some of the best ones to have guiding principles of faith, and some of the worst ones to go without."
Lindsay graduated from Princeton, cum laude, with a degree in politics and a certificate in political theory. She was a member of the Princeton Tigerlilies (Princeton's oldest all-female a cappella group); the Princeton Tower Club; and a junior fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. She also studied abroad at Oxford University, Hertford College.
At many levels, Lindsay herself embodies Christian Union's vision to see Christians influence their field with godliness, combining a zeal for excellence with a purposeful, vocational mindset.
In 2007 Lindsay received her JD from the University of Virginia Law School, where she was active in the Law Christian Fellowship, among other groups. It was through a law journal that she met her husband, Josh. He struck up a conversation and she invited him to join her at the Law Christian Fellowship meeting later that day. Two years later, they married.
Today, Lindsay is Assistant General Counsel at the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Previously, she was attorney-advisor in the Office of the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and also Senior Advisor to the General Counsel. Earlier in her career, Lindsay was an associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in Washington, DC.
The path Lindsay took to each of these positions was intentional and Spirit-driven: "I've always been interested in making government work well. In law school, I learned that a niche within corporate law would align with my interests. Taking stock of my gifts and following the Holy Spirit's guidance led me each step of the way."
In the meantime, the Illinois native kept tabs on Christian Union's deepening impact at Princeton, and was pleased to see it extend its presence to other key campuses, including: Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale. Already an energetic supporter, Lindsay increased her advocacy for the growing ministry.
Since 2009, Lindsay's involvement with Christian Union has deepened. She is currently serving on the Princeton President's Council, alumni volunteers who are developing a nationwide Princeton alumni network to support and pray for the ministry at Princeton. "I have been honored to serve on the council," Lindsay says. "It gives me a great opportunity to see how a well-organized Christian ministry works."
Lindsay notes that one of the reasons she supports Christian Union is its strategy of developing the faith and Christian leadership skills at culturally influential schools. The purpose resonates with her, as does the ministry's proactive engagement on campus. "Christian Union leaders advocate with university administration and engage the culture at all levels."
"Most importantly," she says, "I see leaders and staff who pray, fast, and work diligently to bring God's kingdom."
For the past two academic years, Lindsay and Josh have sponsored a Class of 2016 fall semester women's Bible course. "I love being connected to current students and seeing our gifts at work," Lindsay reports. "I was thrilled to receive a video of students in the Bible course we sponsor introducing themselves and sending their thanks."
"Any investment I can make to enrich their relationships with Jesus is so worth it!"
The sense of satisfaction is deeply personal: "I see myself and my college friends in them, and I am grateful I can make a difference for them," Lindsay says. "Each of their souls is precious to God, and each of them has many lives to touch in the years to come. Any investment I can make to enrich their relationships with Jesus is so worth it!"
Lindsay and Josh now have two young children, a son, Jamison, and daughter, Eliza. Sensitive to God's timing, Lindsay is carefully balancing her time with her 1 and 3-year-olds with career considerations. "God has been faithful to lead me each step of the way, bringing me amazing opportunities I couldn't have anticipated. I know I can trust God with my career."
At the same time, Lindsay has become an ever-more-persuasive advocate for Christian Union, urging others to become ministry partners. "The number of students enrolled in Bible courses is limited only by the number of staff Christian Union can support – not because more students aren't interested. This is fertile ground!"