Illustration in the Big Apple: Trenton McBeth

By: Noelle Beans

Trenton McBeth

In the picture book, Stegothesaurus, readers get to follow the adventures of a young, word-loving stegothesaurus as he fights with his brothers, meets new friends, and is reminded of the never ending love of family.

Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) alumnus and current New York City (NYC) resident, T. L. McBeth, illustrated this successful book with author, Bridget Heos.

McBeth found himself at IWU after seeing that, in comparison to other schools, their art program was the most well-rounded and extensive.

He enjoyed his busy time as a student, graduating in three years, and is thankful for many of his professors who taught him and helped him make connections that would eventually allow him to move to New York to start his career after his 2015 graduation.

At the start of his burgeoning illustration career in NYC, McBeth was an extra in television shows and movies, including Daredevil (Netflix), Elementary (CBS) and Crashing (HBO).

As he has continues living in New York, McBeth has produced another children’s book, Big Words Small Stories: The Missing Donut, which is just recently published.

His first self-authored and illustrated book, Robot in Love, is set to go on sale December 25th of this year.

A sequel to the beloved Stegothesaurus is even in the works!

Amidst living in NYC, McBeth keeps his wits about him and his faith at the forefront: “New York can be kind of a cutthroat place, especially if you work in a creative field, and everybody has a lot on their plate,” he said. “Taking the time to have empathy and be kind to someone can really make a difference.”


You can learn more about McBeth’s upcoming projects and get the latest updates on his website:

You can also connect with him on Instagram: @t.l.mcbeth and Twitter: @T_L_Mcbeth.


Written by Noelle Beans, a writer for the IWU Alumni Center. Noelle is a sophomore Nursing and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College from Greenville, Illinois.

Prayers for Hope and Healing: Seeking God’s Strength as You Face Health Challenges by Sarah Forgrave

By: Kendra Housel

Sarah Forgrave is a 2002 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University and left with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Forgrave says that she looks back upon her time as a student very fondly, remembering how much she enjoyed the spiritual atmosphere on campus. One thing she really valued was the opportunities she had to know her professors on such a personal level. The ability to know them vulnerably, hearing about their home lives and spiritual walks was a rare gift that she feels you do not find on most college campuses.

She was initially drawn to the campus because of the distance it was from her hometown. As a high school senior, on her own for the first time, Forgrave desired a school that was not too far, but far enough that she could learn how to be an independent adult. At IWU, she found the perfect distance, even allowing her the ability to travel home on the weekends when she had the time. Another thing that initially drew her was the campus itself. Forgrave remembers being impressed by the facilities and the quality of the buildings on campus. As stated above, she deeply prioritized finding a campus with a strong spiritual atmosphere, and she found that immediately at IWU.

Currently, Forgrave is a published author and a wellness coach. After spending eight years working for a public accounting firm, she suffered through severe health complications after the birth of her first child. This caused her to spend a prolonged amount of time off of work and on long-term disability. This time led to her reevaluating her dreams and in a way, reorient her life. As she worked to make a full recovery from her illnesses, Forgrave discovered a deep passion for writing, both fiction works, and eventually nonfiction devotional literature. Her latest work, Prayers for Hope and Healing: Seeking God’s Strength as You Face Health Challenges is currently available. Forgrave says that she is still using her degree, just not in the way that she always expected she would. Her jobs both call for her to use her entrepreneurial skills, and she also keeps the books for her husband’s business.

Her time spent at IWU helped prepare her for where she is now in many different ways. The things she learned about business of course serve her as she runs multiple businesses. Further than that though, Forgrave says that IWU is where she really built her foundation of faith. She was exposed to what it meant to be open to God’s leading and to hear His voice. Without her experiences at IWU, she may not have been so responsive when God called her into a new season of life. Her career shift was unexpected and very difficult, but she knows that she is exactly where God wants her to be. IWU helped to teach her that when you feel as if you have finally settled into God’s will for your life, it does not necessarily mean that is the end of the road.

A big influence during her time at school, in terms of the growing of her faith, was found in the worship group she got involved in. She and about one hundred other students would gather weekly to spend time in fellowship, worshiping and praying. This group was primarily a global-minded group, and each week they would typically focus on a different country or situation. It was within this group that Forgrave began to discover how deep and powerful prayer really is. The book she just released is also a book of prayers, and she reflects on this time in the global prayer group as a main influence in spurring her to write this book.

As a health and wellness coach, Forgrave says that she always uses her her spiritual life. She approaches wellness from a biblical perspective, emphasizing that God created all of us uniquely and that there is no such thing as a one size fits all plan to wellness. Her main goal in coaching is to “help people understand who they are and that they don’t have to fit a certain mold to live out His will in the area of wellness.” The most important thing in health is that you approach it in a way that makes it a partnership between you and God. The process of finding clients has been varied and consistent. She teaches some fitness classes and many of her clients come as people who have taken her classes and want to build a more consistent relationship in the development of their health. A significant portion of her clientele comes from her large church where she teaches where she teaches a six week intensive.



Written by Kendra Housel, a writer for the Alumni Center. Kendra is a sophomore Education and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. She is also a member of the University Chorale. She is passionate about serving Christ through writing, singing and caring for others.

Gwen Jackson Releases Her First Book

Indiana Wesleyan University alumni, Gwen Jackson, released her first book recently. Below is a news release from Wesleyan Publishing House from November 1, 2017 about the book.



Expanding the times and ways to practice personal devotions is a permission author Gwen Jackson wants Christians to explore. In her first book, “Unforced Rhythms: Why Daily Devotions Aren’t For All of Us,” Jackson shares her journey from feeling defeated by daily devotions to learning how and when believers can connect with God. Jackson promotes connection over discipline.

The author recounts feeling plagued by failure and defeat as she strive to live up to spiritual expectations and forced practices that felt legalistic and lacking. Unforced Rhythms offers a life-giving perspective that gives freedom to believers to engage with God according to their natural Life Rhythm.

Gwen Jackson

Jackson notes that while there is a daily Life Rhythm, not everyone lives life to the beat of daily. Others may discover they live life to the beat of a weekly/ monthly rhythm, or a seasonal/ yearly rhythm. Attempting to connect with God outside of one’s Life Rhythm produces false guilt and condemnation, keeping the believer stuck in chronic defeat. Readers will find relief as they begin to understand the uniqueness of their own Life Rhythm, a discovery that will give grace and permission to engage with God in a way that comes natural to them.

Jackson, ordained in The Wesleyan Church, holds a bachelor’s degree in Christian Education from Indiana Wesleyan University. She has served with her husband, Dennis, for more than 30 years in spiritual formation coaching, teaching and mentoring. The Jackson’s have served in local church ministry and as missionaries with Global Partners in 11 European countries. Jackson received Advance Leadership Training through the Freedom in Christ Ministries under the teaching of Dr. Neil Anderson and was involved in the launch and implementation of a Freedom Ministry within the local church setting.

“Spiritual formation is my passion,” Jackson said. “There’s nothing I would rather do than come alongside others to find freedom in living the abundant life Jesus promised.”

To learn more about the book, visit