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2020 Grad Teaching Internationally This Fall

2020 Grad Teaching Internationally This Fall

“I’ve learned that education is, at its core, the same everywhere, especially for Christian education.”

Elizabeth Viens graduated this spring with her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. In the fall, she’ll be teaching 3rd grade at an international school in Southeast Asia. Viens said, “Since I was about 10 years old, I noticed that I just had a really big desire to go internationally. I love traveling and people groups. I have a heart for the world and for lost people.”

Calvary was a top choice for Viens, who lived in the Kansas City area. She chose the education program because, “I’ve always loved kids; loved teaching. It was always kind of on my radar. I wanted something that I could do in a ministry context, not just the professional world.”

Viens has traveled to several schools abroad while at Calvary, visiting Russia, China, and Mexico. She said, “I’ve learned that education is, at its core, the same everywhere, especially for Christian education. Even though it may look different to different people groups, the goal is still to inform minds to be more like Christ and impact the world for his kingdom.”

Viens will be teaching through the organization Teach Beyond. She first encountered Teach Beyond when their reps visited Calvary’s campus, and she “felt like that was God saying, ‘here’s your direction.’”

As she puts her degree to work, Viens is excited for this opportunity to teach internationally. “I think as an educator, I’m helping prepare the next generation of people to be logical and sound thinkers, to have a knowledge of God and his word, and … preparing them to serve in the world wherever they go.”

Alum Returns to Chair Theatre Department

Alum Returns to Chair Theatre Department

Top right: England performs in Calvary’s 2010 production of The Importance of Being Earnest. Bottom right: England as The Cat in the Hat for Calvary’s 2013 production of Seussical.

“Story is a way to worship.”

Calvary alumnus Kenneth England is taking over the Theatre Department following the retirement of department chair Bobbie Jeffrey. England grew up in rural Illinois and came to Calvary for a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts. He said, “I knew that I wanted Bible education and Theatre education. I decided to do the Bible first and Calvary is where my parents attended and where my older sister was a sophomore.” After finishing his degree at Calvary, he earned his MFA in Acting from Purdue.

Theatre has been integral in England’s life for many years. He decided to pursue it as a career while in high school. “I was enraptured with the act of creation involved with theatre. Theatre’s magic captured me… I had never experienced such passion and joy as I did while doing theatre. I decided to take a risk and pursue a career path that I loved and inspired me.”

England started teaching at the undergraduate level while studying at Purdue. In the spring semester of 2020, he joined Calvary’s faculty as an adjunct professor of Theatre Arts. England said when the role of Department Chair opened up, he applied because he believes “Calvary needs a Theatre Department and I want to do what I can to make it successful.” He added that he was invested in the department because of the influence it had on his own spiritual growth. “When I was a student, the department played a huge part in the development of my spiritual life. In fact, many aspects of the faith did not make sense or only became personal to me after I learned to put Christianity in the context of story. I want to be able to provide the opportunity for that same growth to the students.”

As he steps into this new position, England is excited for the opportunities to help students connect their art with their faith and “connect the techniques of theater with Christianity.” He noted that the department is in a time of change, both in leadership and in the transition to a minor-only program. Since the department will only perform one full production per school year, England is looking for more ways to provide opportunities for student led projects. England said story is a powerful method to teach about relationships and connections and understanding the world around us. But ultimately, he said, “Story is a way to worship. God is an artistic God… So, when we engage in art, it is worship.”

Calvary Prof Publishes Work on Discipleship

Calvary Prof Publishes Work on Discipleship

Dr. Daniel Goepfrich, adjunct professor of Greek at Calvary, recently published a book titled, Biblical Discipleship: The Path For Helping People Follow Jesus. The book arose out of his long-standing desire to write a work focusing on salvation and discipleship together, as well as a desire to have useful resources for his church. Goepfrich, who pastors Oak Tree Community Church, said, “As a pastor, it’s very important to me that we have something our people could follow.” He said other curriculums seemed to focus on one area, “and I wanted to see something that was quite a bit more complete… to show that the Bible does lay out the path for genuine discipleship.”

The book has been in progress for over a decade now as Goepfrich has been developing information and resources on discipleship. He said, “I love to write and to think that way. One of my lifelong goals was always to write a couple of certain books… and it finally compiled into a book.” The book includes study questions to adapt it for personal study, small groups, bible studies, and other formats.

Goepfrich hopes the book will push people to change how they think about what discipleship is and how to do it. He said, “Revival doesn’t start in the academies. Revival doesn’t start in the seminaries. Revival starts in the churches, when everyday people come back to the Scriptures and say, ‘We need to do this better.’”

Check out this interview with Dr. Goepfrich about his book:

Dr. Washington Transitions to Chair Business Department

Dr. Washington Transitions to Chair Business Department

“I love teaching courses that can help students to think strategically.”

Dr. Germaine Washington, a professor in the Business Department since 2016, is moving into a new role as department chair. Washington earned her associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in Criminal Justice from Missouri Western State University, and worked in the substance abuse and mental health field for nearly 20 years before pursuing graduate education in Business Management. She said, “I always wanted to get my master’s, so I was searching around.” When she looked into Phoenix University, her admissions rep suggested she pursue an M.B.A. Washington disregarded the idea, but “she kept calling. And I just gave up. So I said, ‘God, this must be what you want me to, do because she won’t leave me alone.”

Washington dove into the program, graduated in a year and a half with her M.B.A., and came back a few years later to earned her Doctorate. “I ended up loving writing, and research, meeting new people, learning how to network. I felt that I just found me.”

A connection with Dr. Skip Hessel, the chair of the department, brought Washington to Calvary to teach in the expanding program. “Dr. Skip asked me, ‘Have you ever thought about being a college professor and teaching business?’ [I had been] praying, asking God, ‘What do you want me to do with this degree?’ …It was like God just smiled on me.”

Washington came to teach at Calvary in 2016. She said, “I came to find out I had a love for teaching. I enjoy giving back what was given to me when I was in school.” Washington is excited to watch the department grow and watch Calvary alumni building successful businesses. “I’ve had several graduates come to Dr. Skip and I saying they’ve learned so much in the business program.”

As she steps into her new role as chair, Washington is excited for the overall direction the department is heading. “In the umbrella of the Business Department, I love it all. I love teaching courses that can help students to think strategically. I love pulling talent out of the students when they tap into talent they didn’t know they had. And working with the students helping them to master their craft.”

Calvary Hits Enrollment High

Calvary Hits Enrollment High

460 is the highest enrollment in 25+ years

In early May, Calvary reached a milestone in student enrollment. Tania Edwards, Vice President of Enrollment Management, explained, “Our registration currently reflects 460 students…This is the highest enrollment in Calvary’s history for the past 25+ years.” Of the student body, a little over half attend in-person classes, and the rest do long-distance-learning through Calvary’s online platform. Edwards attributed the growth to “a combination of expanding our degree offering and focusing on the student experience.” This tailored focus has an impact “from recruitment, to getting them in the correct degree program that really gets them excited about attending school, to showing them campus life and the various activities they can get involved in.”

Despite the fluid nature of the current academic situation, Calvary’s numbers are growing, and Edwards noted that Enrollment had even seen an increase in inquiries in the past months. She said, “The Business Department is growing exponentially. I’ve seen a lot of referrals come from students in that program.” Calvary’s blended model provides vital adaptability as students look for a more flexible education. As her team works hard to prepare for the fall semester, Edwards said, “This is a result of prayer and effort on the behalf of all faculty and staff. Our God is truly gracious!”