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Calvary Starts Collaborative Conversation over Think Tank

Calvary Starts Collaborative Conversation over Think Tank

Think Tank focuses on relationship between the church, school, and missions agency.

As part of the Conference on Global Engagement, Calvary held its first-ever Partners in Ministry Think Tank. The Think Tank was geared to address the question of how the church, mission agency, and school can work together in training missionaries for the field. Josh Paxton, Director of the Burnham Center for Global Engagement, organized the event designed to bring local pastors, Calvary leadership, missions agency representatives, and students together around the idea of, “How do we do this better together?”

The event took place Friday, January 31, with “around forty-five people in the room, including twelve pastors, missions reps, and a handful of students and some faculty members.” Paxton said, “We had some great discussion on partnership between the church, the agency, and the school.” Think Tank sessions covered the state of the world, the obstacles that hinder partnership, and the varied roles of the church, agency, and school in missions. After lunch, attendees discussed possible solutions to the complex problem of forging healthy partnerships. Paxton shared about Synergy and learning contracts as a couple of solutions for partnerships, and some other ideas were developed.

Paxton said one theme of the conversation “was definitely mentoring: with the pastor, with the mission agency, and at the school level.” Another significant topic was communication, “keeping open lines of communication, which of course requires relationship… There needs to be a system in place for ensuring those relational connections, because they don’t happen naturally.” Attendees discussed ways to forge stronger relational links between the three entities.

Terry Glidden, pastor at Grace Bible Church, said the Think Tank “was well worth the time … because of the opportunity to interact with and be introduced to like-minded men and women who have a heart to achieve reaching the world with the gospel.” Calvary staff member Jolayne Rogers said she and her husband “serve on our church’s Missions Committee and I picked up some really useful ideas from the Think Tank that I shared with the committee. They sparked some great discussion that I think will enhance our relationship with the missionaries we support.”

Josh Paxton, Director of the Burnham Center on Global Engagement, led a Think Tank in connection with the Conference on Global Engagment at Calvary University. 

The 2020 Conference on Global Engagement at CU included a Think Tank which brought together local pastors, Calvary leadership, missions agency representatives, and students around the idea of, “how do we do this better together?” 

Calvary Gears Up for Leadership Conference

Calvary Gears Up for Leadership Conference

Christian Leader’s Conference to address “What Makes Counseling Biblical?” Next Monday, February 17

On February 17, Calvary will hold the fourth annual Christian Leader’s Conference. This year’s topic is “What Makes Counseling Biblical?” Dr. Smith, Department Chair of Biblical Counseling, said this year’s conference subject matter “is two-fold… One point we’re trying to make here is what makes counseling biblical.” He pointed out that the term biblical counseling is used frequently, so specification of exactly what is encapsulated in the discipline is needed. “We’re going to try to look at the mechanics and elements of biblical counseling, and some of the fundamentals.”

The second aspect the conference will address, according to Dr. Smith, is “some misconceptions about the field of psychology. Is psychology a secular vocation? Can it be something that biblical counselors can utilize, something we should even be involved in?” Through the format of presentations and panel discussions, the Christian Leader’s Conference will address these questions and how they affect leaders in the Christian arena.

The Christian Leader’s Conference will feature presentations by Calvary faculty members Dr. Luther Smith, Dr. Christopher Cone, Dr. Thomas Baurain, William Stebbins, and Dr. Jeff Cox. Smith said, “The goal when people leave is to understand what biblical counseling is in contrast to all these other models. And, too, that they would have a more informed approach to disciplines, especially psychology.”

Conference Promotes Student Engagement in Missions

Conference Promotes Student Engagement in Missions

Missions Reps answer questions from students during All-Dorm Devotions.

Students met and interfaced with missions reps during Calvary’s Conference on Global Engagement.

Last week, Calvary held its annual Conference on Global Engagement, hosting missions reps from over 20 missions agencies. Students attended assembly each day taught by representatives from Calvary’s various Synergy partners. Reps offered several other seminars throughout the week, with topics such as engaging in spiritual warfare, church revitalization, facing the dark side of ministry, and addiction and trauma recovery.  Other events like All-Dorm Devotions, a movie night, and Calvary’s Haystack meeting gave students opportunities to interface with missions reps and familiarize themselves with the many agencies represented.

Josh Paxton, Director of the Burnham Center for Global Engagement, said he was happy with how the conference went, and liked the introduction of five chapel speakers for the week. He also mentioned Monday’s dorm devos was “a highlight, and students were able to ask mission reps questions. The theme was ‘10 Reasons Why I Shouldn’t Be a Missionary.’” Students wrote down their questions, “things like, ‘I don’t feel called to missions,’ or, ‘I don’t think I could be a church planter,’ and a panel of mission reps responded to questions to start a dialogue with the students.

Calvary student Lydia Stalcup said, “It was such an encouragement to have so many missionaries come for COGE.” She said the assemblies, seminars, and other conversations provided her with “insightful information for future ministry.” Paxton said these opportunities to interface are some of the best parts of the conference. “My favorite part is just the fellowship of the conference… It’s great to just catch up and fellowship with [the missions reps] and hear what’s going on in their corner of the world.”

Paxton pointed out that the Conference on Global Engagement is the most all-encompassing event at Calvary, and “it essentially takes over the entire school for the week.” He added that, “It’s an important part of Calvary’s culture, and of reminding us that, while we have different programs and different degrees and different interests… reaching the world with the gospel—reaching the lost—is something that we are all supposed to come together around.”

Paul Mattson from Crossworld speaks in Monday’s assembly.

Jeff McIntyre, Scripture Memory Mountain Mission, gives a seminar on “Unwrapping Your Spiritual Gifts.”

Shawn Haynie from Adelphos-USA answers a question on Monday’s Q&A panel.

Calvary Partners with Military Tuition Assistance to Train Students

Calvary Partners with Military Tuition Assistance to Train Students

Matt Blackledge, Air Force Reserves, leads worship at a prayer night on Calvary’s campus.

Vets and Reservists use Military Tuition Assistance to study Scripture and get marketable degrees.

Sgt Jonathan Haggard USMC (ret) served in the Marine Corps for eight years before coming to Calvary University to pursue his bachelor’s degree. He was searching for a local university to use his GI Bill and chose Calvary because it was close, “and the fact that it wasn’t just a Bible college,” but offered a range of widely marketable degrees in business, education, performance arts.

Haggard is studying Business Administration and Organizational Leadership, building off of the skills he acquired during his military tenure. Leadership training was one of the reasons Haggard joined the Marine Corps. He referenced the Marine concept of JJDIDTIEBUCKLE, an acronym for Judgement Justice Dependability Integrity Decisiveness Tact Initiative Endurance Bearing Unselfishness Courage Knowledge Loyalty Enthusiasm. “Those are leadership traits Marines are supposed to have. And I would say they all fit into Christian values.” Haggard’s time in the military was “training to be a leader. And as Christians, we’re called to leadership.”

Matthew Blackledge joined the Air Force Reserves three years ago, and currently pursues a master’s degree in Bible and Theology through the Air Force’s Military Tuition Assistance (TA). “I knew I wanted to go to a place to study the Bible, that’s always been my passion. And also, I had a goal to not go into debt at college. That was a big deal.” Calvary’s commitment to biblical education, keeping costs low, and working with TA met all of Blackledge’s criteria. Now that he’s here, he said, “I actually think I want to keep going and go all the way to PhD. Because when I’m 70, I want teach. I want to tell the story of the Bible.”

Calvary is proud to partner with veterans and enlisted soldiers to provide quality education, equipping them to live and serve, in the church and in the world, according to the biblical worldview.

Calvary University is approved by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs for the training of veterans.


Calvary University is a member of the DoD Voluntary Education Partnership.