Bentley and Susan Hill
Working with College Students for Over Twenty-Five Years
The Hills Recently Wrote and Published Meaningful Conversations For Dating Couples
Bentley and Susan Hill have been serving Carl Albert State College students since 1997 when Bentley became the Director of Baptist Collegiate Ministries at the CASC Poteau campus. In addition to helping Bentley with the campus ministry, Susan has gone from adjunct instructor, to full time faculty, to division chair of Communications and Fine Arts at CASC.
Their ministry has impacted thousands of students, and just recently the Hills wrote and published a book they feel will be beneficial in their work with students. Susan stated, “Over the years, we have had so many students ask about Bible study resources that would be appropriate for dating couples. It was only when our own daughter and son-in-law began dating that we realized there were plenty of resources for engaged and married couples, but nothing geared toward those who are dating. I kept hoping someone would come out with one but finally felt impressed that it was our responsibility and privilege.” Their recently published book is Meaningful Conversations For Dating Couples.
Bentley and Susan explained this was their first venture into writing a book. “Once we committed to the book, it took about a year to write, with the goal of a chapter a month. Once we had the book completed, we went into the publishing phase and within about four months the publishing and printing was done and the book was on the market.” They continued, “We wrote this to have it available to our students, and to use as we counsel with students.” When asked if another book was in the future, Susan explained they felt they had been obedient to what they were called to do with this book, so another was not in the plan at this point but who knows!
Their journey to Carl Albert State College was a move home for Bentley, who grew up in Howe and graduated from CASC. “I’m a country boy, and even going to Northeastern State University (NSU) for a bachelor’s degree was a big decision, but that is where I met Susan so it was a great decision. We finished at NSU, and both thought we wanted to work with college students.”
As a young married couple, the Hills landed at the University of Hawaii for a year and then knew for sure they were called to work with college students. Bentley shared, “Susan loved Hawaii, but me not so much. It was beautiful, but it wasn’t LeFlore County.” From Hawaii they went for graduate degrees at Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. They worked at OSU-Okmulgee for five years with Bentley in campus ministry and Susan serving as Dean of Admissions. The chance to move to Poteau and lead the CASC campus ministry brought them “home” twenty years ago.
Susan’s step into teaching at CASC opened up during the past seven years. “I was a stay at home mom with our two children for 13 years of our time here.” Their son Brent is an accounting major at East Central University. Their daughter Samantha serves in Children’s Ministry, is married to Nick Wann, and even bigger news – Bentley and Susan will become grandparents this July when Samantha and Nick have their first child.
The Hills concluded by pointing out the help on the book from Samantha and Nick. Throughout the book, there are sections called “Keeping it real with Nick and Samantha.” Susan stated, “Having their perspective on topics was a special touch to the book.” The Hills dedicated their recently published book to their families, as well as the students of CASC, OSU-Okmulgee, and University of Hawaii. Many of the stories included in the book come from Bentley and Susan’s relationships with these outstanding students.