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Should evangelicals stop converting people?

Should evangelicals stop converting people?

Should evangelicals stop converting people?

Does everyone need to be converted to Christianity? Evangelicals say yes. It’s called “Conversionism”: the belief that lives need to be transformed thorough a “born-again” experience through faith in Jesus Christ. But not everyone is excited about this belief. It assumes everyone is a sinner—we’re not okay the way we are.

Dr. Joshua Paxton leads the Calvary Conversations team—Dr. Mike Dodds, Dr. Timothy Hange and Shaun LePage—in a conversation about this distinctive of Evangelicals listed by historian David Bebbington. How shall Christians be “evangelical” in a world that can easily be offended by conversionism? 

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

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Calvary ranked in top 3% of Christian colleges and universities according to Christian Higher Education: An Empirical Guide.

Calvary ranked in top 3% of Christian colleges and universities according to Christian Higher Education: An Empirical Guide.

Christian Higher Education: An Empirical Guide (2023) explores the question of how to find a university that truly aligns with its Christian identity, providing a helpful evaluation guide that students and their parents can use in their decision-making process. Created and researched by experts in the field of Christian higher education, the guide serves two purposes.

First, it evaluates the crucial ways colleges and universities express (or do not express) their Christian identities when making marketing, curricular, co-curricular decisions.1 Secondly, it scores Christian institutions based on how effectively they operationalize their Christian identity through their administrative policies.2

In the authors’ evaluation of Calvary University, they ranked it in the top 3% of U.S. and Canadian Christian colleges and universities—indicating high levels of performance when collectively ranking its use of Christian language, its membership requirements to attend, teach, or work at the university, and its curricular, and co curricular decisions.

“The way to learn what an institution truly loves is to look at its goals, its rationale for meeting those goals, the policies and incentive systems created to reach those goals, and accountability structures for reporting results.” 

Calvary is honored to be recognized as a university that is Christ-centered in its endeavors. For those interested in learning more about the relationship between the Christian identity and institutional policies of today’s Christian colleges and universities, Christian Higher Education: An Empirical Guide is a must read!

 Sources Used: 

1-2 Glanzer, Perry (2023). What is a Christian University? A New Book That Answers This Question. 

 

 

Why do evangelicals believe the Bible is true?

Why do evangelicals believe the Bible is true?

Why do evangelicals believe the Bible is true?

How do we know what is true? The National Association of Evangelicals claims that most evangelicals believe in “biblicism.” They have a high regard for and obedience to the Bible as the ultimate authority. Where do Christians get this idea? Are they anti-intellectual?

Calvary’s Dr. Mike Dodds had a conversation with the Calvary Conversations team—Dr. Tim Hange, Dr. Joshua Paxton and Shaun LePage—about this important distinctive and why it is such a fundamental part of the definition of “evangelical.”  

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

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Marissa Hitt: Artist, Entrepreneur, and Business Student

Marissa Hitt: Artist, Entrepreneur, and Business Student

“As soon as I could pick up a paint brush, I started painting. I’ve been creative at heart ever since.” 

Marissa Hitt is a young artist who has been grabbing the attention of Kansas City with her artwork since she was in kindergarten. She is the founder of her small business, Melane & Co., through which she is pursuing her passion of creating and selling watercolor wall prints, cards, and custom portraits.

As a young child, Marissa spent much of her time in nature, going to libraries, and pursuing creative outlets like making art pieces or looking through illustrated nature books. 

At just five years old, she started showing her artwork at galleries in the Kansas City area. The creative impact of her formative years combined with the early success of her artwork inspired her to establish Melane & Co. in 2021. 

“Every experience I have been through has helped shape what God is doing through me today. He even opened doors for me to work with non-profit organizations.” 

 Through Paintings by Marissa (her first business), Marissa donated artwork to charities such as Love Without Boundaries, Kansas Children’s Service League, and Sunflower House. Today, Marissa is still passionate about giving to others. Through Melane & Co., she has donated her work to honorable organizations, one of them being On Eagle’s Wings Farm, a non-profit organization committed to supporting and ministering to children in difficult circumstances. 

“I create paintings that bring others delight and donate my work to causes I care about. As I reflect on this, I think to myself: ‘This where God has me, using my artistic abilities and entrepreneurial endeavors He gave me to serve Him.’”

Marissa is majoring in Business Marketing and Entrepreneurship at Calvary University. Through her education, she is excited to pursue Melane & Co.’s definition of success, which is to grow in God, see how He works through business, and foster meaningful relationships with her community. 

“I want to find ways to honor God through the artistic and entrepreneurial gifts He has given me. As a Christian entrepreneur, it’s important to approach Melane & Co. with a love for the Lord and others. I chose Calvary University because of its sincere recognition of the true knowledge God provides.” 

Although Melane & Co. was created only a couple of years ago, it has met with great success. In addition to launching an official online shop, Marissa has been able to make connections with owners of local coffee shops. For months, her art has hung at Prayer Box Cafe in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. This year, Homer’s Coffee House in Overland Park Kansas plans to display her artwork for the month of January, and she plans to donate some of her work to Calvary University’s annual Feast and Fund event. 

Marissa is a firm believer that Christian entrepreneurs can use their biblical perspectives to faithfully serve others, because their work is always connected to their relationship with God.

Future plans for Melane & Co. include finding more opportunities to display her artwork and one day adding products to her shop from which a portion of the proceeds can be given to charitable causes. Marissa is a firm believer that business is so much more than a means to gain a steady income. She sees Melane & Co. as an opportunity to serve others.

“It’s a dream to spread joy through my artwork, just one brushstroke at a time.”  

 

 

Faculty Spotlight: Karen Hange Earns her Doctorate of Education in Teaching and Learning

Faculty Spotlight: Karen Hange Earns her Doctorate of Education in Teaching and Learning

Dr. Karen Hange is a passionate academic instructor determined to improve online and in-class learning experiences for students at Calvary University. 

As Program Director of Elementary Education, she recently earned her Doctorate of Education in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning from Grand Canyon University in the summer of 2023.

After marrying Professor Tim Hange in 1988, Karen graduated from Calvary University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She then taught at Blue Ridge Christian School for one year before she was hired as Summit Christian Academy’s Preschool Director for ten years.

One night, Tim and Karen attended a Family Life conference that put on their hearts a desire to adopt children from Russia. After prayer and thoughtful consideration, they adopted two children which then led to multiple ministry trips to Russian orphanages. After several years, God opened the door for them to serve as full-time missionary-educators in Moscow, Russia’s Hinkson Christian Academy for eight years. A year after their return to the states in 2017, Karen was asked to be Calvary University’s Dean of Women.

In 2018, Karen transitioned into her life-long dream of being a professor at Calvary as the Program Director of Elementary Education.

Karen started working on her doctoral degree in 2017 because she knew it would be beneficial for her role at Calvary. The topic she chose for her dissertation was blended learning. Through her research, she discovered how to facilitate effective learning experiences for the current generation:

“I focused my research on how professors can build connectedness within learning platforms, especially for students within the online community. Ultimately, I discovered ways to help online students have meaningful learning experiences as their in-class peers.”

Since earning her EDD, Karen stated that her greatest joy in being a professor has been watching her students grow in their teaching journeys:

“I enjoy seeing my students develop skills as teachers and then living out their faith—both through Christian ministries and through their spiritual and academic experiences here at Calvary.”

Today, Karen continues her research in blended learning and shares her expertise with students who share her passion to provide outstanding, biblically-based education for generations to come. 

 

 

Was the Cross of Jesus “cosmic child abuse”?

Was the Cross of Jesus “cosmic child abuse”?

Was the Cross of Jesus “cosmic child abuse”?

The cross is an unusual choice for the symbol of a religion. It shows that the death of Jesus is one of the key beliefs of Christians—evangelicals in particular. But many today are asking whether we got it right—was Jesus our substitute? Was His death an atonement which satisfied the wrath of God? Some say this is akin to “cosmic child abuse.”

Dr. Tim Hange led a conversation with the Calvary Conversations Team—Dr. Mike Dodds, Dr. Joshua Paxton and Prof. Shaun LePage—about what is technically labeled as “crucicentrism.” Is the cross truly central to the Christian faith? Join us as we explore this important question, and we invite you to participate in the conversation using the links below.  

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

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Looking for an affordable education? Calvary may be your school.

Looking for an affordable education? Calvary may be your school.

Today, countless students are faced with the challenge of accessing an outstanding university with affordable tuition rates.  

As Gen Z’s concerns escalate over this issue, Calvary has risen to the challenge by presenting itself as an affordable solution for many. 

According to an article published from Midwest Higher Education Compact, college enrollment remains particularly inaccessible for underrepresented students from American Indian, Latino, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander descent. In fact, more family income is required from underrepresented minority students than for white students in both two-year and four-year public Midwest colleges.1 

One of Calvary’s chief objectives is to be an institution of higher biblical education for all students, regardless of financial resources and ethnic identities. When students consider Calvary as their university, they consistently find that our tuition, room, board, and fees are significantly more affordable than other institutions of higher biblical education.  

In fact, IPEDS reported that for full-time, first-time degree and certificate-seeking undergraduate students for the 2021-2022 academic year, Calvary’s tuition and required fees were 30% lower than other faith-based institutions.2 

At Calvary, we are passionate about equipping students with an outstanding education that can be utilized in future careers and ministries. We consider ourselves blessed to offer our outstanding educational experience to all students in need of an affordable, higher biblical education.  

 Sources Used: 

1 Schwartz, Natalie (2023). Gen Z Values College, But Affordability Concerns Remain.

2 Institution of Education Sciences (2022). IPEDS Data Feedback Report 2022. 

 

What is an “evangelical” and is it a ruined word?

What is an “evangelical” and is it a ruined word?

What is an “evangelical” and is it a ruined word?

The term “evangelical” has a rich heritage in Church History, going all the way back to the Greek word behind “preaching” or “proclamation” in the Bible, up through the Reformation. But in modern U.S. culture, it has been linked to politics and is often used for people and movements that are unbiblical in their beliefs.

The Calvary Conversations team is asking the question, “Should we continue to call ourselves ‘evangelical’?” But the first important step is to ask, “What exactly is an ‘evangelical’?” Join us as we explore these important questions about the identity of God’s people in our culture.

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

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Bible Conversations in the Gospel of John: Lee Smith

Bible Conversations in the Gospel of John: Lee Smith

“Pastor Lee Smith writes with the skill of a careful exegete and the heart of a pastor-teacher. ”

Lee Smith is a retired pastor and current author who recently collaborated with CU Press to publish Biblical Conversations in the Gospel of John – Exegetically Based Devotionals for Serious Followers of Jesus. Lee graduated from Calvary Bible College in 1970 with a B.A. in Pastoral Studies, received his Th.M from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1974, and earned his D.Min from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1990.

Lee grew up in rural Iowa in a family of farmers. At seven years old, he received Christ. He describes his mission to pastor small town churches as a “growing conviction” that remained even when he was in seminary and other students questioned him: “They thought I was crazy – asking me why I’d want to do that instead of choosing to pastor bigger churches. I chose rural churches because that’s where my passion was, and I’ve pastored them for forty years.”

Lee’s experience as a pastor played a major role in his evolving career as an author. Besides his most recent work, he has published three books: Getting Along with People: A Manual for Pastors, Reflections of a Small Town Pastor: Engaging in God’s Mission in Smaller Places, and Bible Conversations in Genesis. With the biblical knowledge Lee has gained throughout the years as both a pastor and an author, his new book is filled with insightful knowledge.

When speaking on what inspired Lee to write Biblical Conversations in the Gospel of John – Exegetically Based Devotionals for Serious Followers of Jesus, he stated it was ultimately God’s Word because “that is what will change people’s lives.” He also added that he’s always had a special appreciation for the book of John because of its emphasis on the gospel, John’s practicality in his writing, and how “Jesus speaking to the disciples throughout the book of John is still very relevant for all of Christ’s followers today.”

Lee’s purpose for his new book is two-fold. First, he desires his readers to gain a deeper understanding of the gospel as presented within the book of John from an intellectual and spiritual perspective. Secondly, he wants his book to inspire readers to “grow in their walk with Christ, all for the glory of God.”

Dr. Dodds, Director of CU Press:

Pastor Lee Smith writes with the skill of a careful exegete and the heart of a pastor-teacher. Bible Conversations in the Gospel of John is Pastor Smith’s second volume in his “Bible Conversations” series. Not intended as an in-depth commentary, this study of the Gospel of John still touches on the significant exegetical issues in the text while challenging the reader to respond to the truth in the text. Written by a pastor-teacher, this volume speaks to the reader with a conversational tone, and then encourages the reader to life-change. As with the first volume, Bible Conversations in the Gospel of John is for “Serious Followers of Jesus” – those who seek to be changed by their study of God’s Word.

Lee’s new book is available for purchase at amazon.com today!

How can you help people if you’re not a counselor?

How can you help people if you’re not a counselor?

How can you help people if you’re not a counselor? People all around us need help. They need encouragement, help and answers. Should ordinary, average Christians wade into the waters of “counseling” or should we leave that to the professionals?

Calvary’s Dr. Tim Hange, along with Dr. Joshua Paxton and Shaun LePage, invited Dr. Luther Smith—Chairman of Calvary University’s Biblical Counseling Department—to explore this issue.

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

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