Paul D. Miantona‘03

Dr. Paul D. Miantona ’03, DBA, will never forget Saturday, Feb. 26, 1999. That is the day he left behind his refugee life and boarded a plane at the Abidjan International Airport in the Ivory Coast of West Africa to fly to a new life in Philadelphia. “As I bid the final goodbye to my parents, family members, and friends, I saw mixed expressions in their faces,” he recalled.  “For some, it was renewed hope and for others sadness.  As I stepped aboard the gigantic and bluish-looking Air France plane, I knew my life had changed forever.”   

Miantona and his family had been uprooted by the civil war in Liberia that began in 1989 and lasted for 14 years. “My parents, siblings, and I escaped the civil war and settled in the Ivory Coast as refugees, living on the refugee camp in Danane,” he said.   

Miantona, who quickly established himself with a job at a fast-food restaurant, had a goal when he arrived in America: to continue his education. “During that time, I began to fervidly pray that God may open the door for entrance to a Christian college.” And God did answer his prayers. “An old friend was attending Trinity Christian College and began to tell me about his wonderful experiences.” The friend knew of Miantona’s interest in soccer as well as academics, and introduced him to Dave Ribbens, then the men’s head soccer coach. “Coach Dave invited me to try out and by the grace of God I enrolled at Trinity Christian College in the Fall of 1999. I excelled in both soccer and academics and built wonderful and memorable relationships at Trinity.” In 2003, he graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems.  

Miantona continued his education after graduating from Trinity and earned a DBA with an emphasis in strategic management, an MBA and a Master’s degree in accounting and financial management. He currently works at Renters Warehouse as a real estate and leasing consultant and is an adjunct professor at Saint Mary’s University, Minnesota. He also co-owns a business called Brokers Select along with a partner.   

He credited Trinity for helping him develop servant leadership traits. “I learned to encourage diversity of thought and create a culture of trust,” Miantona said. “I learned to have an unselfish mindset and foster leadership in others.”  

At Trinity, he also learned the importance of giving back. “At Trinity, I was encouraged to join United Liberia Inland Church Associates & Friends (ULICAF), a nonprofit organization that built Liberian International Christian College.” He currently serves as president of the association’s board.  

Along with influential Trinity professors and staff such as women’s head soccer coach Josh Lenarz ’98 and Associate Professor of Education Kelly Lenarz ’99, Ed.D., his time at the College reinforced his belief in America as a country that embraces different cultures and appreciates the American ideal of liberty and justice for all. “Trinity captivated my attention and made me see America as a ‘beacon of hope’ for the hopeless; a ‘refuge’ for the refugees. It made me admire America as the United States of America.”  

Miantona said Trinity is exceptional and outstanding. “Trinity is the real deal and for this, I am grateful.”