Welcome to the Development Department at Calvary University! The umbrella of the Development Department covers Admissions, Advancement, Publications, Alumni Relations, and Marketing. We work to promote Calvary to both prospective students and prospective donors. Calvary University’s goal has always been to prepare Christians to live and serve in the church and the world according to a biblical worldview. Working within the realm of the Development Department is no different. We are staffed by men and women who love the Lord and strive to serve Calvary and our supporters as they are serving in the church and the world. The department uses these seven commitments as our standard.
- Be spiritually prepared for the battle.
- Trust God to be the fundraiser.
- Don’t make decisions without prayerful discernment.
- Be willing to invest the time in building Kingdom relationships.
- Always make the ministry more important that the money.
- Seek and value accountability.
- Be sure God gets the glory!
Chief Development Officer- Dr. Skip Hessel
Dr. Skip Hessel has worked for Calvary since January 2002. After completing his bachelor’s degree at Calvary in 1996, Skip’s passion for the ministry at his beloved alma mater drove him to complete a Master’s degree at the University of Missouri – Kansas City to prepare him to teach. Passionate to share Bible truth that applies to business, Dr. Skip began teaching business administration courses in the nontraditional studies program while working in manufacturing. In 2011, Dr. Skip became a full time Seminary professor while completing his Doctor of Management degree. He served as the Dean of the Seminary during the 2015-16 academic year. In July 2016, he became the Chief Development Officer. His favorite part of working at Calvary is ministering to the students and their needs. Saved at age 23, Dr. Skip’s favorite verse is Romans 5:8,”…But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.“
Executive Assistant to the Chief Development Officer- Bekah Spicer
Rebekah Spicer, an alumna of Calvary University, graduated in 2014 and was hired on full-time in February of 2016. Bekah feels blessed to be working at Calvary in an environment where the Lord is glorified and co-workers lift each other up. Bekah and her husband have served in ministry as youth pastor and wife at Shawnee Bible Church since August 2014. Bekah’s favorite verses are Job 5:16-18 and James 1:12. Job 5:16-18,“So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts her mouth. Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty. For He wounds, but He binds up; He shatters, but His hands heal.” James 1:12,“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.”
Executive Director of Advancement- Merv Wagner
Merv and his wife Trudy have celebrated 42 years of wedded bliss and adore their 4 children and 11 grandchildren. Merv is an alum of Carroll College in Wisconsin and Brookes Bible Institute in St. Louis. He has experience in loss prevention and served in many capacities at Brookes Bible Institute in St. Louis for 20 years. Merv was asked by Dr. Clark of Calvary University to be the Executive Director of Advancement in August 2013 and has served Calvary faithfully ever since. He greatly enjoys being able to interact with the students on a daily basis. His favorite verses are Philippians 4:6-8;13,”Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things... I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Marketing Manager- Brian Mason
Brian Mason has worked at Calvary University for 4 years and loves it “because of the impact we have on preparing Christians to serve Christ.” Brian and his amazing wife of 14 years, Stephanie, have 3 children- Madeleine, Abigail and Benjamin. Brian and Stephanie came to Calvary to finish their undergraduate degrees in 2010, and they walked across the stage together in 2013- both receiving a Bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership. Brian went on to earn a Master’s in Organizational Development from Calvary’s graduate school in 2015. Their current ministry is working as Area Directors for Younglife. His favorite verse is Philippians 3:12, “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”
Tania Edwards – Director of Admissions
Tania believes that Calvary University is unlike any educational institution in many great ways! She feels a unique level of excitement coming to work and enjoys being surrounded by individuals who are passionate to serve. She has 12 years of experience in college admissions leadership, over 18 years of salvation and roughly 4 years of Christian ministry leadership (alongside her husband). The reason she is so excited to be at Calvary is because she’s able to bring all these things with her to work, in an environment that aligns with her professional and spiritual ambitions. In addition, her convictions and His confirmation has convinced her that Calvary University is the place to be. Tania’s favorite verse is 1 Corinthians 1:30 “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”
Assistant Director of Admissions- Rebekah Parker
Rebekah Parker has been working at Calvary since 2011 and loves working at Calvary because of the people God has placed here! When she came to Calvary to finish her degree, Rebekah was only planning on staying until graduation. However, it didn’t take her long to get connected to the students, staff and faculty and to see their heart to live and serve with a Biblical worldview. Rebekah loves how the community at Calvary really functions like a family that lives and works together to impact the world for Christ! Her favorite verse is Psalm 13:5-6, “But I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”
Director of Publications- Ruth Grimm
Ruth has been working at Calvary since 2001. Alongside her husband, Randy, who also works at Calvary, they minister as pastor and wife at a church in northwest Missouri. They have two children and 5 adorable grandchildren. Ruth loves working at Calvary because of family: her grandfather was one of the founders of Calvary, and her parents, aunts and uncles, siblings, and children all attended Calvary. She loves being part of Calvary’s family, serving together with the rest of the faculty and staff. Ruth’s favorite verses are Philippians 2:14-16, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life . . .”
Alumni Relations Coordinator- Sara Klaassen
Sara Klaassen is the Alumni Relations Coordinator and has served at Calvary since May 2008. A deep love for the school has been instilled in Sara through her family heritage as her great-grandfather was a founder of Midwest Bible & Missionary Institute; all four of her grandparents and her parents have served the Lord at Calvary, and Sara appreciates that she is also connected to other alumni as part of the “Calvary family” because of shared experiences and relationship with Christ. Her favorite verses are Colossians 2:6-7, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him,strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.“