Criswell News

Criswell College graduate shares how the College’s education equipped her to become a well-prepared teacher.

May 6, 2024


Chenaniah Cogburn Marino, a 2024 graduate of Criswell College, shares how the college’s education equipped her to become a well-prepared teacher. It is a privilege for us to share her story.

During my freshman year of high school, I researched different educator prep programs. I didn’t know much back then, but I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Every program I looked into was overly complicated and did not interest me. The moment I looked over the education program at Criswell I knew that was exactly where I was supposed to go. The degree plan was simple. It had the required courses without extra fluff, and I was going to get a double major (first in Bible and Theology). I was so confident in my choice to come to Criswell, that it was the only place I applied to my senior year of high school — a decision that shocked most people. It had been very clear to me from the moment I learned about the elementary education program, that this was the place God had called me to for my college education.

My time at Criswell these past few years has been full of growth, self-reflection, self-assessments, exemplary education, and the formation of lifelong friendships. I was able to come into a place of thriving rather than surviving, and loving the experience of college. The start of my college career was hard. I had no idea what I was doing or how to do it. I struggled with intense imposter syndrome and mental health issues. I was, fortunately, blessed by friends and faculty members who stood by me and helped me find my way. Being a student in a smaller college gives you the opportunity to grow close and form relationships with the professors and staff. This is such a wonderful blessing because I never once felt like a number on a roster or just a name. I was known and loved. When I was struggling, the professors would reach out to help me and guide me on the path to success and it meant the world to me. With a smaller school, you also get the opportunity to know everyone and form a support system that spans the student body. This became such an important part of my life, as all these wonderful people kept me afloat these past five years.

The wonderful guidance and instruction of Dr. Brown and the wonderful adjuncts have helped me become the best teacher I can be. I was presented with amazing opportunities to practice and exhibit my skills as an educator, through teaching labs at a private school and student teaching in Dallas ISD. I was given every moment to learn, improve, and become the teacher God called me to be. Out of all the places I could have gone for an education degree, I am so thankful I came to Criswell. I truly believe I could not have received better preparation to enter the world of teaching anywhere else. I often tell people that I firmly believe that Criswell has the best education program in the state. I will forever be thankful for the years I spent here completing my undergraduate degree and that this is where God led me.



Criswell College admits students who are Christians of good character, without regard or reference to race, national or ethnic origin, color, age, disability, or sex (except where regard to sex is required by the College’s religious tenets regarding gender and sexuality) to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of these classifications in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other school-administered programs.