Pam Van Putten, who is the coordinator of mentoring and internships for the Studies in Ministry minor at Hope College, has been named among Western Great Lakes Young Life’s Women of the Year for 2018.
The program recognized 11 women in the region on Thursday, March 8, in conjunction with International Women’s Day. As noted in the organization’s online announcement, “These are everyday women — mothers, teachers, coaches, mentors, leaders, pastors, advocates — doing important work and making a positive impact in their communities and in our world. While these women are not affiliated with Young Life in any official role, we recognize them as important partners with the ministry of Young Life as we seek to enter into the world of adolescents, bringing light and hope and the Good News to every kind of kid.”
Van Putten was nominated by Chris Hofland, who is area director for Greater Holland Area Young Life. As shared in the announcement, he said, “Pam immediately sees the best in people and finds ways for them to use that best to impact others. Pam is the listener of all listeners. She’s a mentor to hundreds, an encourager to thousands. Pam has been living her life for others for decades.”
A 1987 Hope graduate, Van Putten joined the Hope staff in 2015. The college’s Studies in Ministry minor prepares students for non-ordained ministry positions in churches and organizations. She connects students in the minor with opportunities to gain experience through placements in the area.
She has abundant experience in many ministry settings in the Holland area. She recently served at Central Wesleyan Church in Holland, where she was the director of discipleship for student ministries. She and her husband, Mitch, have also been actively involved in Young Life, and have worked at Christ Memorial Church in Holland in youth ministry. Her community involvement also includes serving on the board of It Takes Hope, which is an effort to help raise awareness and money to find a treatment and a cure for Friedreich’s Ataxia, and on the board of Turning Pointe School of Dance.
Western Great Lakes Young Life covers northwest Indiana and the western half of Michigan. There are 30 Young Life areas in the region with a total of 117 active ministries.
The complete list of recipients, who include others from Holland and elsewhere in West Michigan, is available online.