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DESE Approves Master’s Degree for Principal Certification

DESE Approves Master’s Degree for Principal Certification

The Education Department at Calvary University seeks to prepare students to serve God in multiple settings. For the last 14 years, Calvary’s undergraduate Education majors have been able to obtain Missouri State Teaching Certification. Consequently, over the years, undergraduate Education majors have graduated and gone on to serve God in Christian schools, public schools, charter schools, rural schools, suburban schools, urban schools, and international schools.

Additionally, Calvary’s graduate Education majors have graduated with a Master of Science in Education with a focus on Educational Administration and Leadership, and they continue to serve God in various Christian educational settings. While they received a quality education, they were not state certified as principals.

Are you interested in serving God as a public school principal?

This month the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) granted approval of our Master of Science in Education (Educational Administration and Leadership) curriculum. Consequently, a Calvary University graduate Education major can now become state-certified to serve God as a principal in a Missouri public school.

Brief Overview of How to Become State Certified as a School Leader, K-12
    • Complete core coursework
    • Complete two internships
    • Pass the Praxis exam
    • Apply for certification

If you are interested in becoming state certified as a School Leader, K-12, please consider enrolling in Calvary University’s Master of Science in Education with a focus on Educational Administration and Leadership. If you have questions, please contact Dr. Mary Briggs at [email protected].

Would Jesus wash everyone’s feet because “He Gets Us”?

Would Jesus wash everyone’s feet because “He Gets Us”?

Would Jesus wash everyone’s feet because “He Gets Us”?

In the recent Super Bowl ads entitled “He Gets Us!” we’re told that “Jesus didn’t teach hate. He washed feet.” Certainly He didn’t teach hate. But did He really wash feet? Did He wash everyone’s feet? Is the symbolism of foot-washing appropriate for thinking about what Jesus wants to do in our lives today? Does this imagery help or hinder engaging a post-Christian culture with the Gospel today?

Join the “Calvary Conversations” team—Drs. Mike Dodds, Tim Hange, Joshua Paxton and Shaun LePage—as they explore these questions and others raised by the “He Gets Us” campaign, as well as some practical ideas for how to engage a post-Christian culture with the gospel message.

Visit the Calvary Conversations page to join the conversation, get on our email list and learn more.

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Is “He Gets Us!” an effective way to engage our culture?

Is “He Gets Us!” an effective way to engage our culture?

Is “He gets us!” an effective way to engage our culture?

The recent Super Bowl ads proclaimed, “He gets us!” What does it mean that Jesus “gets us”? Is that true? Is that the right message? The gospel message? Is it too short? Is it a distortion of the gospel? Is this an appropriate method for sparking conversation about Jesus?

Calvary University’s “Calvary Conversations” team discussed and debated the value and shortcomings of the “He Gets Us” ad campaign as well as some ways Christians can engage a post-Christian culture with the gospel message.

Visit the Calvary Conversations page to join the conversation, get on our email list and learn more.

Prefer Audio Podcasts?

Listen to audio-only on your commute using your favorite podcasting platform: SpotifyAppleGoogleRadio PublicPocket Casts, and Breaker.

Sign up to receive a weekly email notice for the latest episode of Calvary Conversations

Or…join our Facebook Group

Joshua Paxton: Testimony in Trial

Joshua Paxton: Testimony in Trial

“When you discover God is all you have, you realize He is all you need.”

As a child, Joshua Paxton believed God was evil for allowing him to suffer because of a rare kidney disease he has battled his whole life. After a painful but successful kidney transplant during high school, Joshua went to UCM with plans to become a geneticist, where he was invited to church by a group of Christians. He ignored their invitation but started reading God’s Word looking for fallacies. One night as he was reading, he became intrigued by the story of Jesus healing a man who had been born blind. Jesus’ explanation that the man’s blindness wasn’t a result of sin but so that God could be glorified resonated deeply with Joshua. “I realized that there was a reason for my kidney disease, and it wasn’t my fault—or anyone else’s.” 

On November 1, 1998, Joshua placed his trust in God and was baptized the same night. However, when his body rejected his kidney transplant exactly one month later, he had to take a break from college. During this time, he sensed the Lord’s leading toward missions but talked himself out of pursuing a life in mission work because of his health and the financial challenges involved. Instead, he began studying engineering at UMKC, and then spent a semester at Longview Community, but faced increasing health challenges until he ended up in the hospital with a condition the doctors could not seem to make sense of. 

In January of 2002, Joshua was done trying to run away from God and transferred to Calvary University to pursue Biblical Counseling as his undergrad. Through courses like “Missions in the Local Church” and “Introduction to Missions” and conversations with missionary Glenn Morgan, Joshua realized that while there were many witnessing opportunities in the United States, there were people in other parts of the world who had never heard Jesus’ name. Moved by this awareness, Joshua went on a mission trip to Italy, and became convinced that God was calling him to serve in international missions.

After graduating with a seminary degree from Calvary, Joshua and his wife, Amber, joined Avant Ministries and launched into raising support. The arrival of twin boys complicated their plans to go to the mission field and, unable to raise enough funds, the Paxtons settled to serve at Eco-Ranch Bible Camp in Alaska. After the camp ended, they returned to full-time missions support raising, but met with what Joshua described as the “final death-note” to their dream of pursuing missions: Avant Ministries’ health insurance was not able to cover the cost of Joshua’s anti-rejection meds.

While Joshua’s personal plans of pursuing the mission field in the traditional sense were over, God’s plan to use Joshua’s heart for worldwide missions was not. After one year of being Calvary University’s missionary-in-residence, Joshua transitioned into his role as missions professor. In his current role, he has had the opportunity to impact global missions in many ways. Joshua established the Burnham Center for Global Engagement to mobilize students to spread the Gospel to every tribe, tongue, and nation through classroom instruction, partnerships with mission organizations, and connections to mission-supporting churches. He also helps lead missions-focused groups at Calvary such as Haystack, a club in which Calvary students gather weekly to hear from and pray for missionaries. In addition to mentoring many students, Joshua also plays a major role in leading Calvary’s annual missions-focused Conference on Global Engagement. 

When reflecting on the spiritual life lessons he learned over the years, Joshua stated: “If I had not gone through so many trials, I would not have been able to do things I do every day here at Calvary—like counsel and mentor students who have faced similar challenges and trials.” 

Ultimately, Joshua has learned that no matter what trials have come his way, God has never left his side, and His sovereign plan is always best. “In Proverbs, it says that the mind of the man plans his way but the Lord directs his steps. This verse was my life. I had my plans and the way I wanted things to go—but God had a different plan, and in the end, His plan was better.”

Calvary’s 23rd Annual Golf Tournament

Calvary’s 23rd Annual Golf Tournament

Calvary University’s 23rd Annual Calvary Classic 4-person scramble golf tournament was a great success, bringing together 114 golfers at Eagles’ Landing Golf Course, located adjacent to the campus.  

The winning team of the overall tournament was composed of John Bollinger, Austin Bollinger, Chase Bollinger, and Billy Bollinger (pictured above). A highlight of the event was the putting contest, won by alumnus Ron Bedard (pictured to the right, CA81*). This contest was sponsored by David Vitt in memory of his sister and brother, Bernadette Vitt-Graber and Chris Vitt. 

The tournament raised over $33,000, thanks to the dedication and support of all of the participants and sponsors, including the primary sponsor, Gary & Liz Simons of Northland Sonic Drive-Ins. Participants enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by Chick-fil-A of Lee’s Summit and a tasty supper courtesy of Price Chopper of Belton, cooked by Calvary faculty and staff. Refreshing beverages were supplied by PepsiCo, ensuring everyone stayed hydrated and energized throughout the day. 

Thank you to all who joined us this year! 

Is the “He Gets Us” campaign a good presentation of the gospel?

Is the “He Gets Us” campaign a good presentation of the gospel?

Is the “He Gets Us” campaign a good presentation of the gospel?

During this year’s Superbowl, an ad entitled “He gets us”—an obvious Christian message—was aired. It got a variety of responses, both positive and negative. Were these ads effective? Were they appropriate presentations of Jesus and the gospel? Were they trying to correct misconceptions about Jesus, the Church, Christians? Were they seeking to encourage Christians to communicate Jesus and the Gospel more correctly?

Calvary University’s “Calvary Conversations” team—Dr. Mike Dodds, Dr. Tim Hange, Prof. Shaun LePage and Dr. Joshua Paxton—explore this subject together, looking for the positive and less-positive aspects of the “He Gets Us” campaign as well as the larger discussion of how to engage a post-Christian culture with the gospel message.

Visit the Calvary Conversations page to join the conversation, get on our email list and learn more.

Prefer Audio Podcasts?

Listen to audio-only on your commute using your favorite podcasting platform: SpotifyAppleGoogleRadio PublicPocket Casts, and Breaker.

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What is the relationship between music and worship?

What is the relationship between music and worship?

What is the relationship between music and worship?

Worship and music are such an important aspect to the life and community of a local church. And there have been diverse answers to the questions surrounding the kinds of music and the depth of the lyrics.

Calvary University’s Dr. Mike Dodds invited Dr. Ian Guthrie, Assistant Professor of Music at Calvary University, to discuss music and its relationship to faithful and meaningful worship.

___________________

RESOURCES MENTIONED BY DR. GUTHRIE:

  • Westermeyer, Paul. Te Deum: The Church and Music. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 1988.
  • Dawn, Mava J. Reaching Out Without Dumbing DownA Theology of Worship for This Urgent TimeGrand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1995.
  • MacArthur, John. Charismatic Chaos. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993.

Visit the Calvary Conversations page to join the conversation, get on our email list and learn more.

Prefer Audio Podcasts?

Listen to audio-only on your commute using your favorite podcasting platform: SpotifyAppleGoogleRadio PublicPocket Casts, and Breaker.

Sign up to receive a weekly email notice for the latest episode of Calvary Conversations

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Introducing Ron Sharp, Dean of Students

Introducing Ron Sharp, Dean of Students

Calvary is excited to welcome Ron Sharp into the role of Dean of Students at Calvary, bringing with him a wealth of experience and a deep-rooted faith. His faith journey began in his early years, growing up within the church, but it wasn’t until a pivotal moment during a revival service in 1976 that the gospel truly resonated with him. From that moment on, Ron’s life became a series of steps of faith in following Christ, leading him toward discipleship and mentorship.

With a B.A. from Southeastern Louisiana University and an M.A.T.S. and an M.R.E. from Liberty University, Ron’s career took him through Christian publishing and eventually to the role of mentor, both formally and informally. He developed a passion for discipleship through his interactions in college and later as an advisor at various institutions.

Ron’s approach to mentoring is marked by a belief in the importance of maintaining availability and genuine care. He emphasizes the importance of personal growth and development, seeing progress and maturity in his mentees as they navigate through life’s challenges. Ron shared that although he’s passionate about witnessing growth in students’ lives, his commitment extends beyond graduation, desiring to see students flourish long after they leave campus.

“I’m excited about the present—seeing the transformation and maturing that takes place. But more than that, I ask them, ‘What are you going to become? What are you going to do with all that you’ve learned?’”

As Ron steps into his new role as Dean of Students, he is excited to interact with students on a deeper level, both inside and outside the classroom. He sees Calvary’s weekly chapel services as a cornerstone of the campus community and is eager to foster an environment where students can grow spiritually and academically. Ron’s vision for Calvary encompasses a holistic approach to education, integrating faith and learning in a way that impacts not only the present but also shapes each student’s future.

With his experience, passion, and unwavering faith, Ron Sharp looks forward to making an impact as the new Dean of Students at Calvary, guiding students on their journey of faith and education with wisdom and compassion.

The Pursuit of Learning for God’s Glory

The Pursuit of Learning for God’s Glory

Calvary University partners with professors who desire to glorify God and equip students to do the same. Dr. Timothy Hange is a direct example of this with a strong passion for life-long learning, rooted in a desire to love and honor the Lord. Critical thinking, thoughtful engagement, and the pursuit of learning have all contributed to Dr Hange’s philosophy of glorifying God and of teaching.

Dr. Hange is currently a professor in the English Department and has taught at Calvary since 2017. He recently earned his Doctorate in English Pedagogy and Technology and English Language from Murray State University. This has further equipped him to serve Calvary’s English Department and provides a direct example to students of honoring the Lord through lifelong learning and intellectual curiosity.

As a professor, Dr. Hange desires to share this perspective with his students by challenging them to think critically and establish their own perspective from the truth of the Bible. By integrating literature, he helps students to develop a biblical worldview that is both informed by the broad scope of humanity and founded on Scripture. Dr. Hange fosters and encourages this in his courses and by modeling constant learning.

“If we are to love the Lord with our mind, we are to be constantly open to learning.” Dr. Timothy Hange

Desiring to learn has significantly contributed to Dr. Hange’s testimony and many of his life experiences. After seeking to understand all major world religions, Dr. Hange was astonished to find Christianity to be the single and best explanation for reality; leading him to place his faith in Christ at twenty years old.

This directly impacted the course of Dr. Hange’s life as he pursued both knowledge and Christ. He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and business administration, working for fifteen years in software engineering, after spending time as a Youth Pastor. God drew the hearts of him and his wife, Karen, to the people of Russia, leading them to adopt two children from there in 2002 and spend years travelling and doing orphanage outreaches. Two years after moving to Moscow in 2007, Dr. Hange earned his master’s degree in teaching English. This allowed him to teach in Moscow for eight years, in which he continued to work with orphanages, serve in an evangelistic outreach program, and thoughtfully engage in the Russian culture.

Dr. Hange’s life is a testimony of how God uses the skills and interests He has given us for His glory. As he passionately continues to pursue learning, Dr. Hange instills in his students that diligent learning not only glorifies God, but also equips believers to share truth with others in extraordinary ways.

How should Christians think about “the worship wars”?

How should Christians think about “the worship wars”?

How should Christians think about “the worship wars”?

“I love the drums in church!” “I hate drums in church!” “I love the contemporary worship songs!” “I love the old hymns!” We call this the “worship wars” in churches—so much debate surrounds the music in our worship services. Why? When is criticism good and when is it not so good?

Calvary University’s Dr. Mike Dodds invited Dr. Ian Guthrie, Assistant Professor of Music at Calvary University, to explore this important subject of music and worship in our churches.

___________________

RESOURCES MENTIONED BY DR. GUTHRIE:

  • Westermeyer, Paul. Te Deum: The Church and Music. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 1988.
  • Dawn, Mava J. Reaching Out Without Dumbing DownA Theology of Worship for This Urgent TimeGrand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1995.
  • MacArthur, John. Charismatic Chaos. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993.

Visit the Calvary Conversations page to join the conversation, get on our email list and learn more.

Prefer Audio Podcasts?

Listen to audio-only on your commute using your favorite podcasting platform: SpotifyAppleGoogleRadio PublicPocket Casts, and Breaker.

Sign up to receive a weekly email notice for the latest episode of Calvary Conversations

Or…join our Facebook Group