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A Look Back at One Voice

A Look Back at One Voice

Director Bobbie Jeffrey and Playwright and Lyricist Deborah Craig-Claar reflect on Calvary’s Spring Musical, One Voice.

In March, Calvary’s Theatre and Music Departments performed the musical, One Voice. When CU’s president, Dr. Christopher Cone, first asked Theatre Department Head Bobbie Jeffrey to produce a biblical musical, she contacted her friend and mentor Deborah Craig-Claar about adapting Craig-Claar’s Easter pageant One Voice for Calvary’s theatre.

One Voice follows the ministry of Christ through the eyes of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. Craig-Claar said, “I have always been fascinated with the big cast of “secondary characters” in the Bible. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were two such characters and I have often wondered not only how these two Pharisees came to a saving knowledge of Christ, but when and where they finally professed their faith to the world and to each other. Now there’s a story! And I finally decided to try and tell it. The result was One Voice.”

When it came to adapting the script for CU, Craig-Claar said, “I think it comes down to a simple shift of focus: the larger pageant version focused on events; the musical theatre version emphasizes characters… The human story is what is central to good theatre and that’s what became front and center for Calvary’s production.”

Jeffrey commented, “I think some of the strongest moments of our particular show came as a result of our limitations.” Ceiling height limitations made it most practical to have the crucifixion happen offstage, which became one of the show’s most powerful moments. Jeffrey also noted that they didn’t have enough people for the final scene. “We only had probably fourteen people left on the stage when we got rid of all the people who had played bad guys. So at that point I just made a decision that that had to be a point where we took off the mask. We had the entire cast come back… and they were themselves as they sang the final verse and chorus of One Voice.”

The power of the story’s beauty reached more than just audiences and the director; it found it’s way into the cast as well. After the production, the cast and crew circled up to pray and discuss what they had learned through the process of the show. Jeffrey said, “A lot of their reactions were that there was such an incredible sense of unity among the cast. And no one said this because it would have been cheesy, but they spoke with one voice more than any other experience they’ve had in a show.”

Reflecting on Calvary’s production, Craig-Claar said, “I am so blessed and honored that even after 26 years, this show seems to keep finding a new perspective and a new voice. As I watched Calvary’s fantastic production, I remember thinking ‘Most of these actors weren’t even born when I wrote this.’ But that’s the eternal message of Christ’s story, isn’t it; it never fades, it never ages, it is ever present and forever life-changing.”

Nikao Advances to “Sweet 16” in Logo Competition

Nikao Advances to “Sweet 16” in Logo Competition

Vote for Calvary’s mascot, Nikao, on April 22!

In lieu of the traditional “March Madness,” the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) is hosting NCCAA Logo Madness. At the end of March, all schools in the LEAGUE were randomly matched to form a bracket, with matches posted on Twitter for voting. On April 14, Calvary’s mascot “Nikao” won its third round and advanced to the “sweet sixteen.”

Calvary’s mascot, Nikao, was designed by Adam Weeks in collaboration with Phillip Parker during the 2015-2016 school year. Weeks said, “Calvary had been looking to update the mascot for their Warriors athletics teams to give a more modern design. Philip Parker, the ARA on my hall my freshman year heard that I had done some graphic design and asked if I would be interested in helping to redesign the mascot, a project he had been wanting to start for some time.”

Weeks made a rough draft based on the parameters of “a clean, professional-looking design of a Spartan-style warrior utilizing the teams’ colors of red, gold, and black.” Parker and the Athletics leadership worked with Weeks to revise the design until a final version was approved. Since designing the logo in 2015, Weeks has been involved in several other design projects for Calvary events and groups. He graduated from Calvary’s Biblical Counseling program in May, 2019, and now works as Calvary’s Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications.

Weeks said, “The Warrior has been the team name for Calvary’s athletic teams for over five decades, but the name Nikao, meaning “to conquer”, was chosen for the new mascot design to reflect our victory in Christ.” Athletic Director Jeanette Regier added, “We chose the name because that is what we feel God calls us toward. We want our athletes to learn principles for how to take God’s truth and use it in the battles of life.”

The next round of voting for the NCCAA Logo Madness tournament takes place April 22. You can vote on Twitter @NCCAAChamps, and retweet asking your friends to vote.

President Trump Recognizes CU Alum

President Trump Recognizes CU Alum

The Schneiders with President Donald Trump

President Trump recognized Robin Schneider’s NICU advocacy during his 2020 State of the Union Address.

During his 2020 State of the Union Address back on February 4, President Trump recognized Calvary alumna Robin Schneider for her efforts advocating for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) infants. Schneider graduated from Calvary in 2011 with her Life Track One-Year Certificate. In 2017, Robin’s daughter, Ellie, was born at 21 weeks.

In the State of the Union Address, Trump said this about Ellie: “In 2017, doctors at St. Luke’s hospital in Kansas City delivered one of the earliest premature babies ever to survive. Born at just 21 weeks and 6 days, and weighing less than a pound, Ellie Schneider was born a fighter. Through the skill of her doctors — and the prayers of her parents — little Ellie kept on winning the battle for life.”

Schneider said, “I was first told that I would lose Ellie at 17 weeks pregnant. When we told our church that, they immediately rallied around us and helped find babysitting for our older son, food, prayers, and visits.” The Schneiders visited several hospitals, “and each one told me that there was no hope and that they would not admit me.” Finally, at 19 weeks, St. Luke’s admitted her, “even though there was no hope for viability at that gestation.”

St. Luke’s hospital staff provided high-quality care and encouragement to the Schneider family. Schneider said, “When Ellie was born, I was told she had a 0% chance of survival no matter what they did, but that they would give me the option to attempt life saving measures, and when I said we did want that they worked extremely hard and saved her life. Throughout her entire 5 month stay they were extremely encouraging and helpful.”

Schneider pointed out, “Ellie is an anomaly not only in the fact that she survived, but that she has almost no complications, and none of her complications are serious.” All of the prognoses offered at Ellie’s birth included lengthy lists of side-effects and probable surgeries, but Ellie only had one complication that required a surgery, and now Ellie is a healthy toddler. In his address, President Trump said, “Ellie reminds us that every child is a miracle of life… Our goal should be to ensure that every baby has the best chance to thrive and grow just like Ellie.”

The months spent in the hospital with Ellie have greatly shaped Schneider. “All my life I was looking for my purpose, and was frustrated for many years. After Ellie was born and I spent all that time in the NICU, I discovered that my passion was advocating for these babies and their parents.” Now, Schneider has been able to use her family’s NICU journey “to help families, to encourage and draw them to Jesus, and to help bring miracles to others.”

The Schneider family: Elijah, Joel, Eliora, and Robin
Robin and Ellie

CU’s Online Biblical Studies Degree in Top 35

CU’s Online Biblical Studies Degree in Top 35

Calvary’s Bachelor’s in Bible & Theology was just ranked in the nation’s top 35.

Calvary offers a number of Bachelor’s degrees, including Bible & Theology, Pastoral Ministry, Intercultural Studies, and Youth Ministry.

Online Schools Report synthesizes data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the Bureau of Labor Statics, Payscale, and the College Scorecard. Ultimately, colleges are scored based on their commitment to online education, admission rates, student satisfaction, alumni debt, and speciality in the program in question.

Calvary is committed to training students to love and serve in the church and in the world according to the biblical worldview. Find out more about Calvary’s online degrees here.

Calvary Master’s in Biblical Studies Ranked Top 10

Calvary Master’s in Biblical Studies Ranked Top 10

Online Schools Report recently ranked Calvary in America’s 10 best online Master’s degrees in Biblical Studies.

This program offers students a totally online or blended educational program depending on your schedule needs. In addition to a five-year track for bachelor’s and master’s education, this school provides an accelerated one-year track for the Master of Arts in Bible and Theology.

Online Schools Report synthesizes data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the Bureau of Labor Statics, Payscale, and the College Scorecard. Ultimately, colleges are scored based on their commitment to online education, admission rates, student satisfaction, alumni debt, and speciality in the program in question.

Calvary is committed to equipping students for excellence in service. Find out more about Calvary’s graduate seminary degrees here.