When Jesse Kemmerer graduated from Emmanuel College in 2015, he knew one day he would pursue a career in Exercise Science but felt God leading him in another direction.
After spending several years working on-location at Eagle Lake Camp in Colorado, Jesse returned to the northeast in 2019. Moving to the Athens, Ga. area, Jesse taught physical education at the middle school level, coached Cross Country & Track, and worked in landscaping.
Unsure of what was next for him, Jesse prayed.
“During that time, I realized where my heart and passion were,” he said. “I realized what God put inside me was a love for exercise and science.”
With this realization, Jesse decided to go back to his roots, pursuing a Master of Exercise Science degree from the University of North Georgia, which he will complete this fall.
Then, with one phone call, Jesse’s journey came full circle.
“Dr. (Scott) Bryan called me about a professor position they had opening in the Kinesiology and Sports Management Department,” Jesse remembers. “He encouraged me to apply. I had seen the listing weeks before, but told God if he wanted me at Emmanuel, he would have to make a way.”
In his conversation with Dr. Bryan, Jesse learned that Emmanuel was launching a Master of Exercise Science program in the fall, and much to his surprise, Jesse was asked to interview for the Program Coordinator position for the Master of Exercise Science program while on campus.
After going through the interview process, Jesse was offered the Program Coordinator position.
“Just being considered for a position like this is humbling,” he said. “Everything is lining into place and coming full circle.”
In Jesse’s trips back to campus during the interview process, he felt peace knowing God was orchestrating his steps behind the scenes.
“It feels right,” he said. “I’m back where God wants me to be, and that’s where I want to be – in the center of his will.”
Jesse is confident the experience he gained both in the field and through his graduate studies will help him in this role.
“The camping experience helped me grow such a knowledge and relationship with God,” he said. “While there, God taught me that I had to have him as my #1 priority over everything. The camping experience also gave me many business-oriented skills, like recruiting, hiring, managing, and developing programs, things I can use to help the graduate program get up and started.”
He plans to take the information he’s learned through his Master of Exercise Science program and help create courses that can be used at Emmanuel. He hopes to develop a program that will be on par with graduate programs across the country.
“It’s beneficial for me being fresh out of graduate school because I know how they’re teaching today,” he said. “Being able to have that on the table when I’m talking to prospective students and other professors, being able to dialogue with them on how we can create the best experience for our students will be great. I can advocate for our students knowing what they’ll be going through.”
When Jesse first received the job offer from Emmanuel, he prayed that God would bring the right people to the program.
Already, the program has garnered interest from recent graduates from Emmanuel.
What will set the program apart?
“Emmanuel is Christ-centered, that’s the biggest factor,” he said. “You get to have a dialogue with your professors and staff about your faith, and that’s encouraging. Relationally, being able to hire adjunct professors and staff that are devoted to the students and building relationships with them, I know for Dr. Bryan and I, that’s our heart.”
Lastly, Jesse hopes that as the program grows, they can invest in the newest technology and research to prepare students for the field.
When asked who made a significant impact on his life, Jesse didn’t have to look far.
“Specifically in the field of Exercise Science, Dr. Bryan and Dr. Rick Wilson at Emmanuel made a great impact,” he said. “Dr. Bryan taught most of my classes in Exercise Science. Dr. Wilson was my PE instructor, we had a great relationship and still do. I keep up with him because he played a big role in my life during my time at Emmanuel.”
Jesse is encouraged about the opportunities present at Emmanuel to grow the program.
“I’m excited about the commitment Emmanuel has made to grow and improve,” he said. “That’s the same attitude I am bringing into this program. I can’t wait to see God bring the right people into the program. I have tremendous faith that this program will have a big impact.”
With one phone call, Jesse Kemmerer’s journey came full circle. As a student at Emmanuel, Jesse found a passion for Exercise Science and mentors that poured into him daily. Now, as the program coordinator for Emmanuel’s graduate program in Exercise Science, he hopes he can do the same.
Click here to learn more about Emmanuel’s Master of Exercise Science program!