Sally Kleinknecht

I grew up the middle child of five in an alcoholic family. I loved my parents, but when they drank, my mom became verbally abusive. I learned early to "fly under the radar.' I tried to be a 'good girl,' be quiet, not cause any problems, and excel academically. In my family, what was important was what one looked like on the outside, not who one was on the inside. My parents took us as children to church, not because they were interested, but because everyone went to church in the Midwest. But when my Sunday School teachers talked about God loving me, I was interested! It amazed me that God or anyone could actually know me and still love ME. I had many 'friends' but no real friendships, because I was afraid to share my honest feelings. I thought that if anyone really knew me, they would see what my mom saw and not like me. I was SO lonely. When I was in middle school, a neighbor told me that the God of the universe wanted a relationship with me. That blew me away. I didn't really understand it, but if what she said was true, I wanted that! I started reading the Bible, trying to understand who this God was, and began working really hard to please God, which is what I thought He wanted. Throughout high school, college, and my early marriage I read the Bible most days, prayed, served in a church and in the community. I was still the 'good girl' trying to earn acceptance from both God and the world. I was relatively happy because life was good, but inside I knew I wasn't measuring up. I still feared that if my friends, my husband, or God really knew me, they would reject me. My husband, Paul, and I had one daughter, Sarah. I had always dreamed of having a large family of four or more children, but my plan came to a screeching halt. I lost a baby when Sarah was two years old. Then came four years of unsuccessful infertility treatments. I felt like a failure. I thought I must not be a good mom or God would have given me more children. I was mad at God ' here I was, a 'good Christian,' and He wasn't coming through for me. Maybe He really didn't love me. Maybe I wasn't really good enough. I was devastated. At that point I realized I had to make an irrevocable choice: either God was good and wanted the very best for me (even though I didn't understand) and therefore I could trust Him with my whole life, or God wasn't good and I should throw away my whole relationship with Him. So I decided to put my faith in what I knew was true about Him, from the Bible. I knew that God had chosen me (Col. 3:12). I knew that because of what Jesus did for me on the cross (Romans 8:1), God would never condemn me. I knew that nothing could separate me from His love (Romans 8:38-39). I laid down my greatest fears and finally accepted what God had been offering for years ' His unconditional love and acceptance of me. This love was not based on how much work I did for Him, or how many children I had or didn't have, or how perfect I was. This gave me a freedom to be me, to discover all He created me to be. I am still learning what it looks like to have a personal relationship with God. It is SO much fun to try new things and not be afraid of failure. After practicing Physical Therapy, and then staying home to raise Sarah, I went back to school to receive my undergraduate degree in Mathematics and my Masters in Education. I love teaching at USI ' especially building relationships with faculty and students. If you have any questions about my life or my relationship to God, or would just like to talk about the newest movie or book, please come by and see me. My door is always open!

My Life

Favorite Quote

"The gospel to me is simply irresistible. There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus." Blaise Pascal, a French Mathematician in the 1600's

Friends describe me

organized, loyal, relational, fun, kind

My hobbies

biking, walking, tennis, reading, movies, crafts

My undergrad alma mater

University of Michigan (Physical Therapy), University of Southern Indiana (Mathematics)

In college I drove

Ford Pinto, Pontiac Astre (4-speed)

If I weren't a professor, I would

be a missionary overseas (probably teaching)

Favorite books

Kite Runner, Mere Christianity, The Green Dolphin Street, Jane Austen books, George MacDonald Books

Favorite movies

Lars and the Real Girl, Crash, Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Wit, Lord of the Rings

Favorite city

New York City and Bay View, Michigan

Favorite coffee


Nobody knows I

took ballet for 8 years. I am such a klutz!