California Baptist University’s new Resident Director for the University Place Women, Paula Sherman, lives a life of servanthood. Sherman is an avid antique collector and vintage lover. Holding a bachelor’s degree in Media Communications from Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn. and a master’s in College Student Affairs from Azusa Pacific University, Sherman is hitting the ground running as a first-year RD.
“I desire to promote community and holistic development,” Sherman said. “I want to be able to keep the girls accountable spiritually, academically and emotionally. It’s going to be a year of growth and we will be able to foster community as long as our hearts are all pointed to the cross.”
Sherman heard about the available RD position from a good, long-time friend and colleague Bethany Scott, who is now the RD for the College View apartments located across the street from the CBU entrance. “I took a leap of faith while applying for the position when it opened in July. I was in a place of career exploration, wanting to build stronger relationships with students, outside of admissions and administration.”
After working at Biola for the past four years, Sherman and her husband, Lee Sherman, have had an interesting transition to CBU. But, they are transitioning to the culture of the campus fairly quickly. “The hardest thing has just been adjusting to a new campus and new culture. Remembering names of faculty, students, and places… it’s the silly things,” Sherman said.
Sherman reveals that becoming acclimated with a new campus has been a humbling experience. Embracing the unfamiliar has made her feel vulnerable. “I have been impressed by the maturity of those in on-campus leadership. Throughout training I would ask things like, ‘Okay, where is Simmons Hall?’ CBU has incredible students, and those in leadership have been so full of grace and compassion. They didn’t doubt my authority or placement in this role once, but helped me through it.”
The geographical transition is not the only change this new position has brought in Sherman’s life. “This job is so different than my previous ones. It’s not an 8 to 5 schedule; I can be called in the middle of the night. It’s so fast-paced, but it’s such a huge privilege.”
Sherman recognizes that this chosen career is unlike any other, providing close knit relationships with students across campus. “I am not just working with students, but living among them. When I leave work I am still at work.”
Throughout the year ahead, Sherman and her staff of one graduate assistant and ten resident assistants, desire to set up a three-tiered approach to mentoring and accountability. “I pour into my RA’s and then they pour into their residents,” Sherman said. “Our mission this year is to humbly live out love. We are here as a support, to help women on their faith journeys, to care for them, pour into them and invest in them.”
Events are an important means of building community in living areas. The UP Women hope to bring meaning to their events. “A goal of ours this year is to do programming with a purpose. From brainstorming ideas to actual execution, we want events to not only be aesthetically pleasing, but to provide take-aways,” Sherman said.
Sherman is completely invested in the students in UP, as well as those in all the living areas on-campus. Her life is a reflection of the love that Christ has shown to His people. Sherman strives to live by Ephesians 4:1, living a life worthy of the call of Christ. Living upward, with her heart pointed to the cross.