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Dr. Granados is intent on fulfilling Calvary’s mission

Dr. Granados is intent on fulfilling Calvary’s mission

“Presidents come and go. What endures is the mission.”

“In academic institutions we always have a change that is coming,” said Dr. Alexander Granados, the new president of Calvary University, who officially took office on the first business day of 2021. “We have students who come, and obviously they graduate. There are faculty and staff that as they grow professionally, sometimes the Lord will transition them to new jobs. Presidents come and go. What endures is the mission of the institution.”

And Dr. Granados is intent on making sure Calvary stays focused on that enduring mission. “As I come in as the new president,” he said, “the mission remains. So, I’m not changing the mission. My job is not to change it. It is to fulfill it.”

On December 15, 2020, the CU Board of Trustees announced the hiring of Dr. Granados. Tom Zobrist, Chairman of the Board of Trustees said, “Dr. Granados comes to us with an extensive knowledge of higher education, business, fundraising, and strategic planning. But, more importantly, we know him to be a man of great faith and humility.”

Dr. Granados was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and migrated to the United States with his family when he was 10 years old. He became a Christian as a teenager while living in Southern California. In 1992, he enrolled at UCLA where he studied international relations and comparative politics.

“The Lord was working in my heart, as I matured in faith and life,” he said. “I got more involved at church as the college and young adult pastor and recognized that I love to teach and preach. I realized that although I was preparing to go to law school, I really enjoyed ministry and my friends encouraged me to consider utilizing my gifts of administration and teaching in Christian higher education.”

In 1995, he attended seminary at The Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, California, where he earned his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees. In 2008, he earned his PhD in Intercultural Education from Biola University in La Mirada, California.

In addition, he has extensive experience in leadership. He has served as a President, Associate Provost, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Associate Academic Dean. He has served in three other institutions: The Master’s University, Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham, Alabama, and most recently Piedmont International University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He has led administratively and pastorally among diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, gender, disability, and ethnic communities. He has held administrative positions in both domestic and international for-profit and non-profit organizations.

He also brings to Calvary a broad background of research and scholarly interest. He has studied the interaction of international and domestic factors in educational, religious, social, political, and economic development of Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Latin America; educational strategies for children displaced due to war and violence; the historical, religious, and cultural factors that influence classical and modern Jewish Education; academic and spiritual development; theological and biblical method of missions; church planting and multiplication, and urban ministry and planning.

Dr. Granados is excited to bring his training and experience to Calvary University.

“The history of Calvary now becomes part of my story,” he said. “The legacy of faithful men and women who earnestly pray and sacrificially give in ways that we can barely imagine becomes my precious heritage. I’m responsible for maintaining the Christian focus in the mission of the university in such a way as to preserve a pervasive Christian influence throughout the entirety of our campus culture. I’m entrusted with the health and integrity — financial, academic and institutional — of the university, what an amazing honor and privilege.”

Dr. Granados takes the helm during a time of great uncertainty and many challenges. But he also noted that this is not the first time God’s people have faced uncertainty and challenges.

He said, “Let us ponder for a moment: in the midst of the Great Depression, Calvary University opened its doors. Right? We have been blessed by those heroes of the faith who were obedient to God’s calling. The immensity of the task before them and the scarcity of resources did not discourage them. We stand on the shoulders of giants and are blessed to be the stewards of the institution they envisioned. Their vision to equip servant leaders for Christian living and service worldwide through being an institution of academic and spiritual excellence continues to be our strategic objective. The mission of Calvary University to produce graduates who are biblically grounded, spiritually mature and culturally relevant remains our fundamental purpose.”

By Kara Adams

“I live the dream of my countrymen, and I live with that burden.”

Dr. Alexander Granados, Calvary University’s new president, was born in Bogota, Colombia. He and his family migrated to the United States — more specifically, the state of California — when he was ten years old.

He is quick to express his gratitude for the opportunities he has received in the US.

“I get to live the dream of many of my countrymen, and I carry that burden. Knowing that my days are their dreams. I have been blessed with great education and I have been blessed with great opportunities to serve the Lord. Many of them are in villages and in frontline ministries, that they dream of educational opportunities, that those are my realities. To be in academic institutions like Calvary — that’s my reality. And because of that, I live my dream, but I live the dream of many people. As a Colombian, as a latin person, I’m very blessed, very blessed.”

Dr. Granados met his wife, Dorian, at church shortly after attending seminary. They have been married for 23 years, and have known each other for 29.

She is my helpmate and gently calls me every day to be a godly man,” he said. “Marriage has been for me an opportunity to recognize areas in my life where I need to grow. I praise God each day for His wonderful gift, Dorian.”

They have adopted two daughters: Emma is 16 and was adopted from China, and Sophia is 14 and was adopted from Colombia.

Dr. Granados enjoys involving his family in whatever is happening on campus.

“We like to host a lot in our home,” he said. “For them to meet the people that I work with, the people that I’m serving with, and the people that I’m serving. And in that way for them to begin to understand what it is that I do.” Dr. Granados explained that Dorian enjoys having students into their home. “She does crafts and games and all kinds of cooking and sometimes, like, you know, survival guide to cooking in the dorm room.”

Dr. Granados also discussed his desire to not neglect his family while performing well at his job. He said he has seen it happen many times where a person gets so engrossed in their ministry or job that they end up neglecting their family and making them “widows and orphans.”

He continued, “We have always just tried to be very intentional. I don’t want my wife to be a widow and I don’t want my children to be orphans, and to feel like they’ve always got to compete with the church or the school. But instead to make them very much a part of that life. Because my desire is that the things that I love that they would love.”

Acknowledgement and Commitment

Acknowledgement and Commitment

Note: The following document is written in the first person because it represents what all those living or working on Calvary’s campus will be asked to “acknowledge” and “commit” to this year. If you have any questions, please contact the Student Development Department. 

Calvary University ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND COMMITMENT

All members of Calvary University have an important role to play in keeping our fellow students and Calvary University community safe by doing our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19. As a member of the Calvary community, I know that I must take steps to stay well in order to help protect others and promote a safe return to campus for all members of the Calvary community. Because of this, I agree to take responsibility for my own health and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Calvary University trusts God’s sovereignty and goodness during this pandemic, but also acknowledges that we must also take personal responsibility for our actions. One of Calvary University’s highest priorities is the safety of its students, faculty, staff, and visitors. I know that by engaging in campus activities, including attending classes, pursuing my education, living on campus, eating in the dining halls, attending activities, and participating in sports and recreation, I may be exposed to COVID-19 and other infections. I also understand that despite all reasonable efforts by the university, I can still contract COVID-19 and other infections. In order to reduce my risk, I agree to be an active participant in maintaining my own health, wellbeing and safety, as well as the safety of others, by making every effort follow the guidelines and expectations outlined by the university.

As more information is gathered and known, I understand that Calvary University may modify these guidelines and expectations. It is my responsibility to make every effort to keep myself apprised of these changes to help protect myself and the university community.

It is my Pledge to protect myself, my peers, and the Calvary Community by doing the following:

  • Agree to testing for COVID-19 and potential subsequent self-quarantining if I am identified as a contact of anyone who has been determined to be positive for COVID-19.
  • If I test positive for COVID-19, I agree to self-quarantine in a designated location until:
    • My symptoms have resolved, and
    • It has been at least fourteen days since the start of my symptoms, and
    • I have a negative COVID-19 test result.
  • Timely report any known or potential exposures to COVID-19 to the ResLife team and/or supervisor
  • Monitor for the following symptoms:
  • If I develop the above symptoms to contact either the health department or my health care provider, and to follow their instructions, which may include being tested for COVID- 19 and self-quarantining while the test results are pending, and/or being evaluated by a qualified health care provider.
  • Stay at home or in my room if I am feeling sick.
  • Participate fully and honestly with the Reslife team and university, the Student Dean’s Office, or Human Resources for contact tracing to determine whom I might have potentially exposed to COVID-19. · Wear a mask or the appropriate PPE where required by campus authorities and in accordance with the law.
  • Practice physical distancing as much as possible.
  • Frequently wash and/or sanitize my hands.
  • Keep my personal space, shared common space, and my belongings clean.
  • Respecting the precautions of others and the choices they make to ensure their own safety.

I understand COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus and it is possible to develop and contract the COVID-19 disease, even if I follow all of the safety precautions above and those recommended by the CDC, local health department, and others. I understand that although the university is following the coronavirus guidelines issued by the CDC and other experts to reduce the spread of infection, I can never be completely shielded from all risk of illness caused by COVID-19 or other infections. I agree to hold Calvary University harmless in the event of contracting COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, in exchange for the ability to participate in in-person classes, programs, and activities at Calvary University.

I have read, understand, and agree to comply with the commitment above. I also acknowledge that these expectations and agreement are a condition of my participation in in-person classes, programs, and activities at Calvary University, and that any failure to comply with the commitment above may lead to immediate removal from classes, programs, and activities and restriction from certain areas of campus or even campus as a whole. These expectations are for the entire Calvary Community and understand that continued employment and/or participation in Calvary programs, activities, and events constitutes my agreement to abide by these standards.

I take this commitment seriously and will do my part to protect the Calvary community. 

ABHE Visit Coming Up

ABHE Visit Coming Up

Comprehensive Accreditation Visit scheduled for April 21-23

Calvary University, Kansas City, MO, will be hosting a comprehensive accreditation visit by a team of evaluators from the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) April 21-23, 2020, to determine its compliance with the standards for accreditation. During the visit, representatives of the ABHE team will entertain comments from the public. Any members of the public interested in making a presentation regarding the College to the team should contact the College at the following telephone number (816 322-0110) or email teddy.bitner@calvary.edu to determine a meeting time. Persons wishing to submit third party comments related to the institution may send them to Director, Commission on Accreditation, 5850 T. G. Lee Blvd., Suite 130, Orlando, FL, 32822. Persons interested in reviewing the standards for accreditation will find them on the ABHE website at www.abhe.org. They appear under “about accreditation.” The institution is subject to the Institutional Accreditation Standards.

CU-backed Film Being Honored

CU-backed Film Being Honored

“Faith on the Edge” to compete for Feature Documentary Award

Faith on the Edge,” a documentary film backed by Calvary University in 2019, has been honored as an official selection by the Christian Worldview Film Festival based in Nashville, Tennessee.

The film was produced and directed by The Creation Guys, Pat Roy and Kyle Justice, who said, “We’re excited and honored that ‘Faith on the Edge’ has been selected to compete for the Feature Documentary Award in the Christian Worldview Film Festival.”

Roy and Justice created the film to address a new wave of Christians who are converting to a belief in the flat earth. It was designed to equip Christians to give Biblical and scientific answers to questions that they say “will inevitably come from family and friends.”

The film featured several experts and real-life experiments, including a weather balloon carrying a 360˚ camera 22.75 miles up into the atmosphere. This is how Calvary got involved.

Dr. Steven Boyd was one of the experts featured in the film. Boyd is considered an expert on the related subjects, especially the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. He holds a Master’s in Physics from Drexel University, a Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary as well as a Master’s and a PhD in Hebraic and Cognate studies from Hebrew Union College. He is the Director of the Cataclysm Chronology Research Group and a specialist in Old Testament and Semitic Languages.

A generous donation from Calvary University also helped with the spectacular balloon launch in Johnstown, Ohio. The balloon went several miles into the atmosphere, carrying a 3D 8K camera. The Creation Guys videotaped the launch and included the footage in “Faith on the Edge” in order to “demonstrate the curvature of the Earth.”

Justice called the nomination, “Very cool!”  “Faith on the Edge” will be played to an audience attending the film festival March 18-20. “The evening of the 20th,” he said, “there is an awards ceremony where we’ll see if it wins for ‘Feature Documentary.'” 

Unseen Reality: God’s Call to Be A Nikao

Unseen Reality: God’s Call to Be A Nikao

…And behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.

Revelation 4:2

“Why are You silent?” 

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand asked God this question in the midst of his sermon. But this was not the typical new year’s sermon. The message was delivered at some point during his 14 years in solitary confinement. If you’ve seen the movie about his life called, “Tortured for Christ,” you know that he had been imprisoned under the tyranny of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu in the 1950’s and 60’s for teaching and preaching the Word of God. 

You read that right: a sermon preached in solitary confinement. Wurmbrand explained in a book he wrote later called, Alone With God

“During my years of solitary confinement I composed 350 sermons. I created them in my mind, because I could not write them down. I delivered them every night to an unseen audience. I also committed them to memory by using the simple mnemonic device of summarizing them in short rhymes, which I repeated again and again. When I was released from prison I did not sleep until I had committed all of them to paper. I managed to do so for 348 out of the 350.” (Prologue, p.7)

One of those sermons caught my attention as I read Alone With God. It was entitled simply, “New Year.” As you read a portion of that sermon, try to put yourself in his shoes for a minute or so. Put yourself in that dark cell. Alone. Not knowing when the solitary confinement might end. Not knowing when your torturers might return. Read Wurmbrand’s words with shoes removed. To enter that cell and listen in on a conversation between a tortured brother and the Sovereign Lord is to step onto holy ground: 

“HAPPY NEW YEAR, MY BELOVED FRIENDS. Outside, the wardens interrupt the silence. They wish one another a happy new year. It is midnight. The year 1948 has passed. I cannot congratulate Jesus. It has been 1915 years since He was crucified. The 1916th nail will now be driven into His cross. I know that every doubt of mine causes Him more pain, as if a new dart were piercing His heart… There was a time when Jesus ‘had no fault, or I no fault could spy, when He was all beauty or all blindness I.’ But now, since I have nothing left in this whole world but my wit to live by, it has begun to value itself very highly. All else seems of little importance. My wit has questions to ask and I cannot stop it.

“I realize now that the New Testament had never satisfied me really, because I found the miracles recounted there much too small for the Son of God. Three people were resurrected, but millions of corpses remained dead. Only three families had the comfort of seeing their beloved ones restored to life. Many widows whose only sons died remained without consolation. Jesus stilled a storm, but on so small a lake as Galilee. Tempests on the ocean sank countless ships, and men drowned. He did not help them. On one occasion 4,000 and on another 5,000 (plus women and children) had a good dinner through miracles performed by Him. What about the next day when they were hungry again? And what about the millions who have starved throughout the ensuing centuries? He sent an angel to free Peter from prison. The incident stands alone. James was beheaded, and since then thousands have been martyred. 

“Why? How can the world go on? It is New Year’s Eve … I don’t understand You. Don’t You have power enough? Don’t You have the will to wipe away all tears? …If I were in the pulpit today dressed in a beautiful cassock, I would speak about the one great miracle, that a lonely Galilean who hung upon a horrible cross became the subject of thousands of confident songs, that the painful execution of a Man deemed a criminal proved to be the means of salvation for the whole world. But inwardly I would be dissatisfied. What you have done is beautiful, but too little for an almighty God who could make the whole drama cease at once. Why are You silent?” (pgs.84-87)

We can relate — on some level — to Pastor Wurmbrand’s questions. We have questions of our own: Why did God allow 245 million believers (according to Open Doors International) to experience high levels of persecution last year? Why does He allow persecution to grow? Five years ago, only one country — North Korea — was on the “extreme level” list produced by Open Doors. Today, there are 11! Why did God allow 4,136 Christians worldwide to be killed/martyred for following Jesus last year?

Maybe — as you embark on a new year — those things are too distant. Your problems, your suffering, the struggles you face are causing you to ask, “Are you listening, God? Are you there? Why are You silent?”

No doubt, good Christians throughout every century have had the same questions. First-century Christians and churches were threatened by the same species of persecution as that which Pastor Wurmbrand faced some 1900 years later. 

But make no mistake: God was not silent. 

Jesus dictated letters to the Apostle John — not with promises of immediate health and wealth or deliverance from all trials and suffering and evil. No, Jesus instead challenged those second-generation believers to be “Nikaos” (“him who overcomes”; Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:7). How? What could possibly give persecuted, suffering and terrified believers the strength to overcome such horrible threats? 

God’s answer came in a vision given to John more than 60 years after Christ died, rose and ascended. John was shown something that was intended to give strength to all who live with questions. He was shown something that should help all believers keep the suffering and struggles of this life in perspective. John saw the unseen reality of God seated on His throne.

“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.’ Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.” (Revelation 4:1-2, NASB95)  

Of course, the “One sitting on the throne” is God Almighty. And even though Revelation 4-5 will mostly take place in the future, this part of John’s vision describes the present reality as well. John was given the privilege of seeing the future when the “Lamb” of God will take the scroll, break open its seals, and begin the end of evil’s tyranny. That moment will be the beginning of the judgments of God (see Revelation 6-19) leading to the return of Christ — the King of kings and Lord of lords (Ch.19) — the millennial reign of Christ (Ch.20), and “a new heaven and a new earth” (Chs.21-22). 

But don’t skip ahead too quickly. 

Stop for a moment and take it in — read Revelation 4 as an act of worship! Don’t miss the significance of the imprisoned apostle being shown God on His throne. Don’t forget those for whom this vision was being recorded. And then, join with the “four living creatures” as they “do not cease to say”:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.” (Revelation 4:8, NASB95)  

Fall down on your knees with the “twenty-four elders” who “will (future tense, but we can do it now too) worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying

‘Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.’” (Revelation 4:10–11, NASB95)

Why worship? Why fall down? Why cast our crowns at His feet? Why should we seek to be overcomers? Because God is on His throne! That is reality! It is the ultimate reality! It is the unseen reality! God is presently seated on His throne! God will forever rule and reign in majesty and splendor! No matter what nonsense is happening in the world, no matter how out-of-control it may seem, God is on His throne! 

Revelation 5-22 tells us God will — in His perfect timing — bring an end to the trouble, suffering and evil of this world. He is not neutral between good and evil. He is not disinterested in our struggles. He has a plan to wipe away every tear. But, Revelation 4 reminds us — those who are currently incapable of seeing the invisible reality in the heavenly places — of the constant invitation of the Bible: Trust the Sovereign God!

Pastor Wurmbrand’s “New Year” sermon did not end with the question, “Why are You silent?” He concluded with these words: 

“Probably I am too small — not Your miracles. I am a disciple of Yours… How could an architect explain his designs to a disciple? Only a master builder could understand him. I suppose that all the beautiful things I crave exist, but I cannot see them yet. We must also reject the mistaken notion that a whole can be perfect only if each of its parts is perfect. Iago is vicious, an intrigue-maker and a liar, but he is a necessary part in a perfect work of art, Othello. For my part, I am in a small cell. We are all confined to too small a world. Imperfections seen by me can be a useful part of a perfect reality. Thank You for one more year. I will try to use it well for growth. Perhaps I will question You less next New Year’s Eve.” (Alone With God, p.87)

These thoughts of John’s vision and Pastor Wurmbrand’s sermon are offered especially for the alumni, faculty, staff and students of Calvary who may share Pastor Wurmbrand’s dissatisfaction at the turn of a new year; who perhaps desire to cry out to God, “I don’t understand You!” 

Whatever questions you carry over from 2019, whatever the 20’s bring, whatever frustration you feel, whatever struggles you face, whatever suffering you must endure, let us thank Him for another year. Let us seek to use it for growth. And, let us seek to be true “Nikaos” by keeping our focus on the “One sitting on the throne.”

Shaun LePage is Chair of the Ministry Studies Department, Instructor of Ministry Studies, and Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Calvary University.