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Media and Storytelling, a Ministry

Josiah Crandall talks with a crew member while shooting his short film, The Library.
Student & Alumni Stories
Josiah Crandall talks with a crew member while shooting his short film, The Library. Photo by Josh Weinstock.

Josiah Crandall ('13) recently transitioned from working 9-5 at a creative agency to producing and directing his own short film. His MNU family has been integral in his success as a professional and media creator.

Originally from the Wichita area, Josiah says he remembers the feeling of stepping on campus for the first time. 

"When I got to MNU for the first time, it was like something clicked and it felt like this was where I was supposed to go," Crandall says. "One of the things that drew me to MNU was the people. A lot of the people were really encouraging and genuinely cared about me and what I wanted to do."

Josiah Crandall. Photo by Travis Young

Josiah Crandall. Photo by Travis Young.

Storytelling through video has long been part of Josiah’s life, and the opportunity to learn about that also seemed like a good fit.

"I have always liked the chance to tell meaningful stories and see the impact they can have," he says.

As a student, Josiah honed storytelling skills that would eventually lead him to a way of ministering to others. 

"I think MNU was a really good place for me to grow as a person and as a creator." Josiah says. "I was able to learn to just do things and not get bogged down by all of the fears or worries that come along with creating something. It gave me more confidence as an individual."

Shortly after graduating, Josiah married Amanda Nigus ('13) and began working for a Lenexa, Kansas media producer and then Muller Bressler Brown (MBB), a full service advertising agency, as a video producer. He also volunteered his time and creative talents at Journey Bible Church in Olathe.

"I went on a mission-trip to India to shoot footage for a partner the church had there," Josiah says. "We spent a week filming some documentary-type work for this missionary group. It was a really cool experience."

Upon his return, Josiah was offered a full-time position at Journey Bible Church as the video director. 

"Being able to use my talents in a direct ministry role has always been really appealing to me," he says.

In addition to his full-time position at Journey Bible Church, Josiah has been working on his first short film he calls, The Library. 

"I’d had this idea I wanted to explore about a person finding a book about their life in a library," Josiah says. "But I didn’t know how to make it a whole thing. I just really liked that idea."

This is where his MNU connections helped him with storytelling. He met fellow alum Reneé Devault (‘18) through his former theatre professor Heather Tinker ('98). Together they fleshed out the details of the story turning Josiah’s idea into a screenplay for a 40-minute film.

Josiah says the filmmaking process has been a difficult yet rewarding journey. 

"There are a lot of things that I’d do differently, but I’m still really happy with how it turned out and what I learned," Josiah says. "There’s a certain point where you can’t expect perfection from what you’re making, you just take it for what it is and what you get out of it. Sometimes part of the beauty of it is some of the imperfection in it."

Josiah hopes to inspire others to chase their dreams, even if the journey is messy. "If there’s something that you want to do that you have a passion for, try it," he says. "Just go for it and be okay with whatever happens. Then learn from it."

Josiah is sending his film to film festivals around the country. He hopes to hear whether it is accepted soon. 

This Issue

Fall 2020

With gratitude we present this issue featuring God’s blessings in allowing MNU students, faculty, staff and administration to be on campus and in classes during the pandemic. Many institutions were not that fortunate. Read all about it and enjoy surprising news about increases in enrollment and other progress happening during this unprecedented time.

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