Marlene’s Story


Finding Hope in Florida–Celebrating Aloha in Hawaii

Marlene Rice and Steven Tyler holding check for Maul Food Bank

When a university student graduates Summa Cum Laude and gives the featured valedictorian speech at graduation, you know that student is someone special.

Marlene Rice lived an exciting life before coming to Trinity Florida. She worked in Christian television, smuggled Bibles into closed countries, and assisted major organizations in their fundraising. But when Marlene went through a personal crisis, she knew she needed to be anchored more deeply in her faith. “Trinity came to my rescue,” she says.

Marlene enrolled at Trinity Florida in the midst of a personal crisis disheartened and discouraged. Once she started classes to complete her college degree, she discovered healing and grounding in the Word of God, “Trinity Florida really saved the day for me—it was an amazing experience to study there.”

Marlene was thrilled to discover that Trinity Florida transferred in all of her previous credits and even gave her college credit for her prior ministry experience. “Every professor there was phenomenal—they took time to talk with me—and I appreciated how much they respect their students. I knew they cared about me and were willing to invest their time and energies in me.”

That personal attention and support Marlene experienced is one of the special aspects of Trinity Florida, “Every encounter made me feel valued, and the professors are all mature Christians who are experts in their fields. I received an excellent education at Trinity Florida!”

Now, as an author, radio personality, and director of development for the Maui Food Bank in Hawaii, Marlene participates in the annual New Year’s “Concert with A Cause,” hosted by Hollywood film producer Shep Gordon, to benefit the Maui Food Bank. Shep’s holiday celebration has become known as “the world’s most exclusive New Year’s Eve party,” with a star-studded line-up of performers such as Steven Tyler, Mick Fleetwood, Willie Nelson, Sarah McLachlan, Linda Carter, and many more, including Alice Cooper, a self-identified Christian who shares openly about his faith in Christ. Throughout the years, this event has provided four million meals to those who are food insecure in Maui County.

After years of exciting adventures around the globe, Marlene still raves about her Alma Mater, “I loved Trinity! I’m so glad I completed my degree there!” Marlene explains, “One of the biggest things about Trinity Florida is the loving community—students feel the focus is on them, and I experienced that firsthand. Every student is there because they really want to be there, and that’s why I loved finishing my degree at TIU-Florida.”

Today, Trinity International University-Florida offers a BA in Biblical Studies and an MA in Theological Studies. The community of like-minded Christians from diverse backgrounds and perspectives continues to be a distinctive value offered at TIU-Florida. Students make lifelong friends and grow intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and vocationally as a result of their Trinity Florida education. The MA in Theological Studies continues to be a popular and rewarding program for the students who pursue it.

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