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Dr. James Clark: Dealing With Conflict Biblically

Dr. James Clark: Dealing With Conflict Biblically

“Conflict is everywhere. In my book, I present Biblical solutions to conflict, whether personal, interpersonal, emotional, social, or spiritual.” 

Dr. Clark is an experienced pastor, chaplain, counselor, and educator who recently published his second book, Dealing With Conflict Biblically, through Calvary University Press. 

Dr. Clark graduated from Calvary Bible College in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Christian Education and a minor in Music. He then became as a Youth For Christ director in S.E. Iowa. He served six years as an associate pastor in Wilmar, Minnesota, while also being a college and Vocational-Tech Institute chaplain. Years later, he served as lead pastor in Lackland, Minnesota for five years while also serving as a prison chaplain at Stillwater, Minnesota prison. For ten years, he pastored in Waverly, Iowa and served as chaplain for the Waverly Fire Department. 

In 1993, Dr. Clark began teaching at Calvary and started the counseling department for both college and seminary. In 1993, he attended Bethel Theological Seminary and Trinity Theological College and Seminary, finishing his master’s and doctorate degrees in Biblical counseling. At Calvary, he served as an academic dean for eleven years, president for seven years, and is currently teaching as an adjunct professor. 

Dr. Clark’s journey in ministry began when he was just thirteen years old: “While attending a Youth For Christ rally in St. Louis I felt called to ministry. My church gave me opportunities to speak and I preached two summers in churches in Michigan. I was also active in our local Youth For Christ club from junior high through high school.” While a student at Calvary, Dr. Clark served for three years at Kansas City Youth For Christ as a club director, where he discovered that a career in ministry was his passion because he saw the need to counsel teens.

Dr. Clark saw the need for pastors and chaplains who truly desired to help people through continued counseling: “Being called to Calvary to teach counseling and head up a counseling center was a big step in my life; I loved assisting students in their counseling ministry.” After retiring, Dr. Clark decided to put his experiences and teachings in a Biblical Counseling book for the Christian community, Biblical Counseling for the Church and Community, published through Grace Acres. Now, he is releasing Dealing With Conflict Biblically, through Calvary University Press. 

While in ministry, Dr. Clark dealt with many different types of conflicts first-hand, which prepared him with the knowledge and experience to write Dealing With Conflict Biblically. He states: “It goes without saying that conflict is everywhere. In my book, I present Biblical solutions to conflict, whether personal, interpersonal, emotional, social, or spiritual. How to deal with conflict is clearly laid out in the Bible, which is what I expound upon with illustrations and biblical examples in Dealing With Conflict Biblically.

Dr. Clark is excited about writing several more books to inspire people to find the Bible relevant with solutions for modern society. “Calvary University Press has great potential to inform people about Biblical material to help them in their understanding, knowledge and growth in the Lord Jesus Christ!” Dr. Clark also looks forward to continuing God’s will for his life through following his callings in teaching, preaching, and writing. “I’m enjoying this phase of my retired life. As my physician said, God is not done with the Clarks yet!”


Dr. Clark is a highly respected and dearly loved alumnus of Calvary University. CU Press to honored to introduce his work.

Reaching the Unreached: Josiah and Lydia Stout

Reaching the Unreached: Josiah and Lydia Stout

“God is more concerned about who I become rather than what I do. ‘Be’ comes before ‘Do’.”

Josiah and Lydia Stout are newly weds who graduated this spring with degrees in Intercultural Studies and TESOL. Josiah grew up with his family in Omaha, Nebraska for most his life, where he says “Life was good ‘on the prairie.’” Lydia grew up in Missouri and Michigan with her eight siblings and two godly parents who she says exemplified following the Lord in a powerful way throughout her life. Josiah and Lydia met each other at Calvary University through the Nikao Leadership Institute, and married in the summer of 2021. Today, they are eager to embark on their missionary calling through receiving training with Ethnos 360 to reach the unreached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Josiah reflects that his time at Calvary has been “instrumental” in choosing the ministry and career he is now pursuing, and Lydia adds that her education at Calvary has trained and equipped her for her ministry and career through studying Intercultural Studies and teaching English as a second language. She states: “My intercultural classes have encouraged me to fully consider others’ perspectives and the influences that have shaped who they are. This will be important to consider as I try to learn the culture of the people I will work with someday in order to effectively share the Gospel with them.” Josiah adds, “Being in an environment with people to cultivate your passion, opportunities to wet your feet, and an atmosphere that elevates God’s Word have been three of the most instrumental ways my time at Calvary has prepared me for the future.”

The pull towards missions started for Josiah and Lydia when they were both just children. Josiah reveals that, “I was the kid who used my free time to read a book.”  He states that God used both the Word and missionary biographies to grow an early excitement in him to serve in missions, potentially overseas: “I never felt a specific call from God, although I enjoyed volunteering with CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship) during the summer and thought it could be fun to pursue a teaching ministry, possibly for children. God really used circumstances at Calvary to draw me to His Word and see His love and passion for those who have never heard the gospel.” Lydia recalls a time when she was in elementary school that specifically burdened her soul for the unreached. One day, a missionary speaker came to her school and pulled out a piece of paper that stretched down the audience’s aisle: “On this paper was a list of all the languages which did not have the Bible. It made me so sad, because I knew this meant they did not know the saving message of salvation.” Since this experience, Lydia says God has increased her burden for the unreached and that Calvary has enabled her to pursue a vision of reaching them successfully. Together, Josiah and Lydia are determined to reach the unreached as a unified force. 

During Josiah and Lydia’s four years at Calvary, they volunteered with Global FC: “Because of the four year commitment to tutor these refugees,” Josiah says, “We have developed deeper connections with them. A couple weeks ago Lydia and I were able to spend some time with a family that Lydia began tutoring her freshman year. Even though it had been months since we had seen them, there was a close bond that we sensed in the room.”  Lydia adds, “Global FC has provided me with opportunities to build relationships for Christ with refugee kids and their families. Working with this organization has allowed me to view people of other cultures in a more personal light than I would have otherwise.”

Both Josiah and Lydia have learned powerful lessons through their classes at Calvary. One of the key lessons that Josiah learned was the concept of “Know, Be, Do” which Dr. Joshua Paxton helped “drill” into his head: “What stood out to me is that God is more concerned about who I become rather than what I do. ‘Be’ comes before ‘Do’. All three areas (knowledge, character, actions) are a continual work in progress that God matures as we seek Him.” When reflecting on Lydia’s educational journey, she touches on a lesson that deeply impacted her life: “One of the professors at Calvary, Dr. Bonine, continually reminded me to think of the ‘people or things’ concept. This has reminded me to have the right perspective in life. I try to invest my time and energy into people, which will last forever, instead of things, which are only temporary.”

Presently, Josiah and Lydia are “anticipating what the future holds” as they enter Ethnos 360’s missionary training center this August: “We have been talking and praying about this decision for a few years,” Josiah says, “And so it feels hard to hold our plans loosely. We are excited to begin this next phase of what may lead us overseas in just a few years.” 

At Calvary, Josiah and Lydia were active students, participating in Nikao events, helping lead Haystack meetings, speaking in chapel, and graduating with special honors. 

Daniel Pitts: Creator, Filmmaker, and Entrepreneur

Daniel Pitts: Creator, Filmmaker, and Entrepreneur

Daniel is a successful entrepreneur who is determined to bring people closer to Christ through his creative works.

Keep working, keep practicing, keep getting better.”

In May, Daniel Pitts graduated from Calvary University with a Bachelor’s degree in Ministry Studies and Business Education. Daniel began experimenting with filmmaking at just nine years old; since then, it has become a passion and a ministry opportunity for him throughout his life. He reflects: “When I was a kid, my family got an iMac computer with iMovie on it, and from there I began making video after video. While I did not realize this as my calling at first, over time, I began to push myself further and further in what I could do in filmmaking, which is a process I still avidly pursue today.” After coming to Calvary, Daniel absorbed himself even deeper in his craft. While he claimed that his first film “turned out horribly”, it launched a desire in him to continue his pursuit into the filmmaking industry: “Throughout the rest of my college experience I continued shooting photo after photo, video after video, and taking opportunities to share my work with others and improve my skills.” 

In the summer of 2020, after Daniel created a short film and used it in an application to a video internship in Colorado, he was accepted into the program and was taught through it “many of the aspects and rules of filmmaking and how to make the highest quality videos possible.” After this experience, Daniel says he began working at Fellowship Church as a professional videographer. Over time, he began taking on freelance and passion projects, which have deepened his understanding of filmmaking and business. Today, Daniel believes that he is called to use his filmmaking as a ministry: “I believe I am meant to take my God-given and God-developed passion to share the good news of the Gospel through filmmaking.” 

Daniel also believes that his education at Calvary University has played a crucial role in preparing him for the future: “It’s given me a context to practice my art, it’s helped me learn how to build a business of my own, and it’s given me a spiritual basis for the work that I do.” In Daniel’s free time throughout his education at Calvary, he continually practiced his craft, created short films and other creative content, and his professors, RDLs, and peers supported him along the way. He states: “Being a freelance filmmaker and photographer is more than just doing the craft itself;  it’s a lot of business work. Calvary’s business classes helped me understand how to build a brand for myself, how to do accounting, and how to develop other necessary skills.” Ultimately, through Calvary and other experiences, Daniel says he has learned how filmmaking can be used to “further the kingdom of God,” and that his passion is  “not just a secular job, but can be used to bring God glory.”

One story of impact Daniel had in his professional development was during his internship at Summit Student Ministries in Colorado Springs, Colorado. There, he was tasked with the job of creating a highlight film over an online worldview conference: “This meant I needed to be able to capture a week of the student’s experience and transform it into a short three minute video. Being entirely online and never meeting a student in person created challenges for me because I couldn’t witness the students’ experiences face-to-face.” After working almost seventy hours in one week on the project, in addition to interviewing eight students via zoom to hear testimonies on how the conference impacted them personally, Daniel states that “All this work came into one video to be shown at the end of the conference–one that truly captured the experience of the students–and even brought tears to the eyes of many small group leaders because it was an authentic representation of their experiences.” 

Daniel states that the “main lesson” he learned as a child about his craft is the same lesson Calvary instilled in him: “Keep working, keep practicing, and keep getting better.” Through classes that taught biblical principles, experiences at Calvary, and other situations that simply demanded hard work, Daniel has grown personally and professionally.

Daniel is excited about future possibilities in his filmmaking career, but says that he is already excited about the opportunities he has gained through Calvary: “Throughout my schooling here, I’ve built connections through Calvary and personal experiences that I’m excited to pursue in the future for all different kinds of potential projects.” He further states: “Much of my work now and in the future will be freelance filmmaking and photography work, which is something that’s always new and different. One of these potential future projects is editing a promotional film for a ministry in Colorado. The variety of possibilities and means of sharing my God-given gifts is exciting, and there are many paths to embark on today, and in the future.” 


Daniel graduated with highest honors, and received the Business Administration Program award, Ministry Studies Program award, and the Who’s Who at Calvary award.

Calvary’s Outdoor Adventure Leadership Track

Calvary’s Outdoor Adventure Leadership Track

In Calvary’s Outdoor Adventure Leadership track, students learn to explore, grow, and lead for effective ministry impact. 

Calvary University’s Business Administration Department has introduced a course of study that combines biblical leadership, business principles, and wilderness education in the Outdoor Adventure Leadership (OAL) track. The OAL track offers students with a Business Administration major hands-on wilderness and leadership experience, with opportunities to grow personally, professionally, and spiritually.

The OAL track provides principles and practices for developing, administering, marketing, and managing outdoor programs. It gives industry perspectives on current professional outdoor leadership standards, practices, and risks. In addition, it grants professional exposure in the field while instructing students on biblical leadership, evangelism, and discipleship. 

Designed to transform students both intellectually and spiritually, the OAL track fosters leadership potential, servanthood, and a sense of mission. It empowers students by stretching them outside of their comfort zones while also training them in hands-on leadership opportunities. Unique opportunities for OAL students may include working alongside adventure organizations, learning how to minister to outdoor adventure groups, and trekking experiences overseas.

Graduates of the Business Program’s OAL track can make a big ministry impact. As they serve in parachurch activities in camping, adventure, and trekking, they can expect to make strong, long-lasting connections. These connections will provide opportunities to evangelize and witness to unbelievers, as well as disciple fellow believers in their walk with God. 

Ultimately, Calvary’s OAL track provides hands-on, experiential learning to those pursuing a career in a variety of fields within outdoor adventure leadership. It challenges students beyond their self-conceived limits, transforming them into powerful spiritual leaders in their chosen ministries and career paths.

Questions about OAL? Contact Tressa for more information.

2 + 2 =

Lance Rensberger: Trust within Trial

Lance Rensberger: Trust within Trial

Aftermath of helicopter following hangar collapse. 

“‘The safest place to be is within God’s will.'” 

Lance and Caitlin Rensberger are alumni of Calvary University who graduated one year apart from each other, Caitlin in 2015 and Lance in 2016. The couple, married in 2016, began building a family and serving at Ethnos 360’s campus in Arizona. Currently, Lance serves as a Maintenance Specialist for Ethnos360 Aviation, working on helicopters and airplanes to keep them running and outfitting new aircraft with upgrades for teams in other locations.

Recently, a disaster took place that challenged Lance and the Ethnos 360 team. The team in Brazil had just received the Ethnos 360’s Aviation R66 helicopter and had been renting a hangar on the airfield while finishing building their own hangar. On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, winds of over 100km collapsed the aircraft hangar, destroying their helicopter. Lance shares how God protected Ethnos 360’s pilot Jeremiah, who was inside the helicopter, cleaning the windows when the winds struck: “The windstorm was so strong and the accident was so sudden that there was even part of a wing from another airplane that crashed into the windshield of the helicopter.” This airplane wing went through the helicopter cockpit right over Jeremiah’s body, shielding him from the falling roof. By God’s grace, Jeremiah crawled out of the crushed helicopter uninjured

Lance reflects: “When we talked to Jeremiah about his experience, he couldn’t even remember getting out of the helicopter after the collapse…He just remembered one minute he was inside the helicopter–and the next moment he was outside of it–looking at the damage.” The insurance adjuster assessed the damage to the helicopter and determined it to be a total loss, providing Ethnos360 with the full amount for which it was insured and allowing a replacement to be ordered.

When reflecting on the impact this challenge had on his personal life, Lance states: 

“Looking at this experience, there’s been a few things I’ve been reminded about. First, the enemy can and does interfere with our day-to-day lives. The team in Brazil has gone through other trials similar to this one in terms of severity.  For instance, a friend on the team in Brazil was in a rollover car crash while moving to the new location. Yet, in every trial, they have experienced God’s ultimate protection. It reminds me of something someone told me recently, which is that the safest place to be in life is within God’s will.” Lance concludes: “I’m still not sure why that first R66 got smashed, but I do know that it is a part of God’s plan, and He will use it to further His Kingdom. God’s plans are never ‘messed up’ by the things we perceive as setbacks.”

Lance’s family plans to serve in the Philippines, although they have had a difficult time in preparation for this. “Covid has certainly played its part in this process, but on top of that I have some autoimmune disorders that need to be monitored to ensure that everything is still under control.” Lance states: “We’ve been talking with doctors in the Philippines to see if we would get the necessary care needed for me to stay there long term, but we’ve had a hard time finding answers via email. So, we plan to take a trip this August to visit the team in the Philippines and directly ask questions to the doctors there. We hope that those questions will give favorable answers so we can start the process of moving. We would come back to the U.S. to make one final round of raising prayer and financial partners and then be in the Philippines by spring or summer of 2023.” 

Today, Lance and his family are pursuing a life of service through Ethnos 360, where Lance is using his skillsets to further his career and ministry to God. Despite the struggles that have come along the way, God has continued to protect and provide, no matter what the circumstance. Jeremiah, the pilot from the helicopter accident, showed this same confidence as he reflected on God’s goodness despite the accident: “God is in control. He has a purpose and a plan and is controlling everything all the way down to the smallest details. Things will come in His most perfect timing, just like He did with protecting me in that helicopter.”


The Rensberger family: Lance, Caitlin, Eli, and Sadie.