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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.

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Shaun LePage: Are you prepared for the challenges of ministry?

Shaun LePage: Are you prepared for the challenges of ministry?

Are you “prepared” for ministry? Calvary University’s mission is to “prepare Christians to live and serve in the church and the world according to the biblical worldview.” Shaun LePage, Chairman of the Ministry Studies Department at CU, explains in this conversation with Dr. Joshua Paxton, that the Ministry Studies Department is at the heart of Calvary’s mission.

Preparation for ministry requires more than knowledge of the Bible and theology. It also requires strong character and ministry skills. And CU’s Ministry Studies Department is also focused on equipping every student with a thorough knowledge of biblical principles for ministry so they will be prepared to serve in any culture at any time.

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

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. 

Dr. Joshua Paxton: Why you should care about Intercultural Eduction

Dr. Joshua Paxton: Why you should care about Intercultural Eduction

Intercultural Education is more necessary than ever before. According to Dr. Joshua Paxton, the need for Christians to understand how to communicate and relate with people of other cultures is only going to increase.

Paxton, Director of the Calvary University Burnham Center for Global Engagement and Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies, recently completed a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Intercultural Education. He was invited to join Calvary’s Shaun LePage for a conversation to clarify what exactly is Intercultural Education, why relating to and teaching cross-culturally is different from teaching someone of the same culture and some of the things a person needs to know in order to communicate and teach cross-culturally.

But this is not just for Christians in higher education. The “average” Christian or local church leader should also care about and give our attention to our own Intercultural Education because of the cross-cultural times in which we live.

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

Camy Crank: Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

Camy Crank: Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

Camy Crank was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. Her cancer went into remission after several months of aggressive treatment including chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and hormonal therapy. In January 2020, after finally feeling pre-cancer normal once again, she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, stage 4 terminal.

Camy says she fell in love with books while reading to her children, then become a writer when this book formed in her heart. In this book, Camy shares how she found hope in her suffering. Join Dr. Mike Dodds as he welcomes Camy for a conversation about her book and her journey with cancer.

Caring Bridge Link:

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

A Conversation with Randy Grimm

A Conversation with Randy Grimm

Randy Grimm has been on staff at Calvary University for 21 years and has seen God’s faithfulness to Calvary over and over. He is currently serving as Chief Financial Officer but will be retiring at the end of this fiscal year.

Join Dr. Mike Dodds as he welcomes Randy for a discussion about Calvary, ministry to college students and plans for the future.

Amanda Harman: A Writer on a Mission

Amanda Harman: A Writer on a Mission

Amanda Harman is a passionate writer, ready to impact the world of creative writing and literature. 

“Christians can and should use literature to impact the world around us.”

Amanda Harman grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and graduated on May 7th with an English Literature and Creative Writing degree. Since childhood, she has enjoyed family life, venturing in the mountains, and exploring the ever-widening world of literature. Amanda has also been a member of Calvary’s Nikao Leadership Institute for four years, in which she received individualized training in a variety of leadership contexts: “Calvary has helped me to see how the biblical worldview should impact all parts of my life, and I have learned how to execute writing in a way that points readers toward God. Because the Bible itself is literature, we as Christians can and should use literature to impact the world around us.” 

Amanda’s interest in creative writing began when she was in high school: “I took my first creative writing classes at Calvary, and they opened amazing new paths for me. I have written short stories, poetry, and even creative nonfiction. Not only that, but Calvary has helped me get experience in editing and article writing for their website, which makes it much easier to apply for jobs.”

In her last couple of years of attending Calvary, Amanda has been able to tutor students in a variety of subjects, which has given her amazing opportunities to share her knowledge, gain real-world experience, and encourage other students toward success. “There was one student a couple of years ago who worked with all of us tutors at one point or another,” Amanda reflects, “We worked with him diligently to push him away from academic probation and onward toward graduation. It was an incredible experience, and I love that I was able to be part of it.” 

When thinking of experiences that have impacted her at Calvary, and lessons she has learned through her time of being a student, Amanda states: “There are so many things, it’s hard to pick just one: the amazing mentors I’ve been blessed to work with, the opportunities to write and edit, the trust placed in me from the very beginning with my experience in Calvary’s Nikao Leadership Institute… It’s all been so wonderful in preparing me for the future.” She continues, “In particular, I am so grateful for Mr. Thomas Crank and The Warrior’s Pen giving me the opportunity to be on an editorial board. It’s an experience that has opened many job opportunities for me.” 

“In the immediate future,” Amanda says, “I am excited to get a job in my field of study and start working. More than anything, though, I am thrilled to marry a fellow writer (and the love of my life) by the end of this summer!” Today, through Amanda’s gained experience as a writer, tutor, and servant-leader, she is well-equipped to enter her world of study with a firm, biblical foundation to stand upon. 



Amanda graduated with highest honors as an official member of the Nikao Leadership Institute. 

What can we do about the “Dropout Problem”?

What can we do about the “Dropout Problem”?

It is known as “The Dropout Problem.”

According to recent studies, there has been an increase in the rate of dropouts—those walking away from the Church. In 2011, the rate was 59%. In 2019, that rate had increased to 64%. 

Join us as we discuss why is it happening? What can church and ministry leaders do about it? What can the local church do about it? What might Christian higher education’s role be in helping to solve it?

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

Camy Crank’s “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow”

Camy Crank’s “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow”

Camy Crank is a new author with a big story.

“Sometimes God doesn’t change our situation because He is trying to change our heart.”

In the truest sense of the word, Camilla (“Camy”) Crank is a warrior. In 2015, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and after five years of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and hormonal therapy, she was given a terminal diagnosis. Camy is married to Bob Crank, a mother of three children and grandmother of three grandchildren, and “fell in love” with books while reading them to her children during their growing up years. Today, she is an author of her first-ever published book, inspired by her real-life journey of what she lost, and what she gained through her breast cancer.

“I don’t want cancer,” Camy remembers thinking in a state of shock when she was first given her diagnosis. She prayed there would be another explanation to the growth in her breast, and told her husband, “I’m not afraid to die.” “Then don’t be afraid to live,” Bob had answered. She knew he was right. Camy later learned: “Choosing to live was a conscious choice that I was going to make over and over again.” Understandably, Camy’s diagnosis was a huge shock to herself as well as everyone in her family: “I was walking through life, taking care of my responsibilities, living the life I felt God called me to when BAM, I hit a bump in the road—I found out I had breast cancer.”

Yet, little did she know at the time, breast cancer would become a “high point” in her life, drawing her closer to God, her family, and her friends. Camy states: “People often say that God won’t give you more that you can handle. But in reality, He does give us more than we can handle so that we will learn to lean on Him and not just rely on ourselves.”  Camy emphasizes the truth that “No matter what, God has the final diagnosis.”

Camy’s book, Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow provides an insider’s perspective on the sorrow, resilience, and hope that can be found in the most unfavorable, and even terrifying life experiences. The lessons she shares with her readers are gems that are to be taken captive and treasured in the heart, as well as the soul.

(Quotes in this article are taken from Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.)

Review from 

This book was written by a friend of mine. I was connected with her through my son and his wife and she started emailing me when I was going through my breast cancer treatment. The book is an inspiration to anyone that reads it. Her strength, courage, endurance and amazing faith in God will change lives forever! Mine is changed and it is such a blessing to know her. Reading her book helps me to be thankful for each day and grateful for every single thing, no matter how small. I encourage anyone who has breast cancer or knows someone with cancer to purchase this book. I have had the blessing of being able to visit with Camy twice now and she is a blessing to me and anyone who reads this book. Thank you Camy Crank!”Carla D. Khatib

Camy is ready to share her story of survival and hope. Order your copy of Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow on Amazon! 

Rev. Tom Zobrist: A Man of Ministry

Rev. Tom Zobrist: A Man of Ministry

Calvary gave me a solid foundation of Bible and theology on which all of the ministry God has given me has been built.


During this year’s Calvary Commencement Ceremony,  Rev. Thomas (Tom) A. Zobrist will be receiving his Honorary Doctorate of Divinity. Additionally, Calvary will introduce the Zobrist Family Scholarship in recognition of Tom and his wife Cindi’s exceptional contributions to Calvary University and their deep and enduring ties to the Calvary community. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide financial support for those who, like Tom, actively demonstrate a passion for full-time ministry. 

Tom has been a pastor for nearly 35 years since he graduated from Calvary University in 1987. After just one year of internship, he was called to pastor Liberty Bible Church, a small storefront church in Eureka, Illinois. Over his years of pastoring, he has watched his once small church transform into a lively home of over 500 members: “We are a mission minded church from which many of our blessings come. We have an excellent leadership team there including two pastors that are also Calvary graduates, and we have many mature men to disciple our younger men.” Tom has also had a hand in ministries outside pastoring his church: “IFCA International, Calvary University, Brazil Gospel Fellowship Mission, and Adelphos USA are all ministries I have been able to serve for many years. I have grown to love the people and places and am thankful to the Lord and to LBC that I have been able to be a part of these ministries.” 

Tom’s experience of attending Calvary was both invigorating and challenging. He was a father of three children at the time, balancing family, work, school, and homework all at once; yet to this day he is incredibly grateful for the impact Calvary made on him both personally and professionally. He reflects: “Calvary gave me a solid foundation of Bible and theology on which all of the ministry God has given me has been built. The practical classes offered for pastoral ministry were all so valuable that I have kept all of the notes from every class and referred to them over the years.” As a young man, Tom looked up to many of the men that were leaders at Calvary during his educational journey, and he strived to reflect a life that exhibited dedication to the Lord as they did. Two men in particular, Dr. Madison and Dr. Langmade, impacted Tom’s life as a believer long after he graduated from Calvary. “I also have to mention one Board of Trustee member that first told me of Calvary and took me for my first visit,” Tom reflects, “Wilbur ‘Bud’ Miller was an elder at my home church and he remained my friend until the day he was promoted to glory.” Ultimately, through many men of faith at Calvary, Tom learned the importance of passing on knowledge and he experienced a new generation of leaders for the church: “That is why I encourage young people to consider Calvary, where they continue to teach the same theology after 90 years.” 

Concerning his ministry and career journey, Tom says there were “many hard knocks along the way”, but despite it all, he had many pastors help him in times of need and he had a church that was gracious and showed love toward him regardless of his flaws: “God used them all to refine me and make me a better servant of our Lord.” He goes on to say that there are so many accounts of impact he has had as a minister that he would have to write a book to share them all, but one of the most amazing experiences he had was baptizing his 79 year-old mother while her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren watched. “Our church continues to grow at a rapid pace and it is exciting to meet new families and watch them get excited about the Bible. I hope to work with more young aspiring pastors to help them gain the experience they need to serve in the local church.”


The Zobrist Family Scholarship will be given in honor of both Tom and his wife Cindi, for their deep and enduring ties with Calvary University.