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Calvary University Gains Colorado Authorization

Calvary University Gains Colorado Authorization

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education approves Calvary University to operate as a degree-granting institution in Colorado.

 

Kansas City, MO, December 9, 2019 — Calvary University continues to innovate in Christian higher education by gaining the unanimous consent of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) to offer a full range of degrees (Bible, Theology and Liberal Arts) through the Calvary University Innovation Center (CUIC) in Fort Morgan, Colorado.

Dr. Christopher Cone, president of Calvary University (CU), announced on Thursday, December 5, that Vice President of Western Initiatives and Director of CUIC, William George, along with CU‘s Vice President of Student Development, Cory Trowbridge, met with CCHE Chair Tom McGimpsey, and the CCHE Board of Commissioners where CU received the official approval “to operate as an authorized private, degree-granting institution in Colorado pursuant to the Degree Authorization Act.” 

I want to thank the CCHE,” said Dr. Cone, “for the opportunity to serve the people of Colorado. We’re excited about being able to present these robust programs. This has been a very long and difficult journey, but this opens up horizons for CU in Colorado and beyond.” 

Calvary has offered all of its degrees worldwide for some time now through its “blended” model, which allows online students to take courses from anywhere via live stream or video recording, simultaneously with students in the classrooms on the main campus in Kansas City, Missouri. With this approval from the CCHE, CU will be able to offer all of its courses in and through the classrooms at the Fort Morgan site as well.

“Colorado is a big part of CU’s strategic direction,” Dr. Cone added, “so this opens up important doors for us. We’re currently assessing how to best utilize all of our locations.”

Dr. Teddy Bitner, Chief Academic Officer for CU, said, “We’re looking forward to expanding our programs in Colorado. We can now begin to pursue options like teacher education and business degrees that we could not offer before in Colorado.”

“We want to definitely thank Dr. Bitner and the Academic Department, as well as all those who made many and varied submittals,” said George. “Special thanks also to Heather DeLange, Director, Office of Private Postsecondary Education for bringing CU’s authorization to the CCHE. We are now free to offer our full-range of Calvary undergraduate and graduate programs (i.e., Education, Business, Music, Theater, etc.) out of our Colorado site.”

“I want to thank Jeff Campa and Bill George for their incredible labor and sacrifice,” Dr. Cone wrote in a congratulatory email to the CU staff and faculty on Friday. Campa served as Director of the CUIC beginning in December 2017, before being deployed to the Middle East by the U.S. Army as a chaplain in January of this year. At that time, George took the lead role in Fort Morgan. “This is an impossibility without them and their families,” said Dr. Cone. “I extend my congratulations to everyone there in Colorado.”

More information regarding specific degree offerings through the Colorado site is forthcoming. 

Calvary University is an accredited, Bible-centered university that has been preparing Christians to live and serve in the church and in the world according to the Biblical worldview since 1932. CU offers more than 60 accredited undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees, fully online or through the main campus in Kansas City, Missouri, and teaching sites located in Fort Morgan, Colorado, and Warrenton, Missouri. CU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the Commission on Accreditation of the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). Visit calvary.edu for more information about financial aid, to view our catalog, request information or make a donation. 

Student Obtains Much through Internship

Student Obtains Much through Internship

Josh Tomlinson is a Senior Pastoral Studies major who is finishing his internship at Lawson Bible Church on Dec 23.  “This internship has been such an incredible experience,” said Tomlinson.  “I am so grateful that God chose to send me here to serve.”

He has been serving at the church since August 29.  His tasks have included working with the youth group on Wednesday nights, serving on the worship team, and doing a little preaching. He has had the opportunity to learn a lot by joining their worship team and playing bass guitar on a weekly basis.  He is grateful for how God has challenged him while working in all three capacities. He can see that these opportunities have helped prepare him as he is about to graduate and look for his own ministry in the near future. 

Recently he had the opportunity to preach on John 17.  Josh has come to the realization that each time he preaches, the word of God impacts him just as much or more as the people in the congregation.  He is grateful for each preaching or teaching opportunity he gets because he can see himself maturing and he can also see his teaching and preaching style is being molded.   

This specific internship is very special because of the mentoring relationship that has begun to develop between him and Dr. Skip Hessel who is a professor at Calvary.  Dr. Hessel is also part of the leadership at Lawson Bible Church. They agreed to get together on Thursdays some time ago to begin talking about the possibility of an internship, but as time has gone by they have started a mentoring relationship that has surpassed just the internship.  Now they both take opportunities to truly challenge each other in critical areas when they meet weekly.  Josh is grateful for Skip and how he has been impacted personally by him to think deeper and more practically.  He is always challenged through the experiences Skip shares. 

Overall because of an experience like this, Josh is more confident in who God made him as a person to go and impact the world.  We are so grateful to see students like Josh come to Calvary and go through classes, projects, and internships, while they are building relationships that sharpen them as they seek to impact the world for Jesus Christ.

Dr. Keith and Pat Miller back at Calvary “for the students”

Dr. Keith and Pat Miller back at Calvary “for the students”

After teaching full-time for 24 years at Calvary, the Millers are back as adjunct faculty.

Dr. Keith and Pat Miller retired from teaching at Calvary in 2018 after spending 24 years as an integral part of Calvary’s community. But this fall semester, they’re back! Both fill adjunct professor roles, Dr. Miller in Bible and Theology and Pat Miller in Biblical Counseling. Keith said, “We’re enjoying it immensely right now. It’s nice to be with the students again.” He currently teaches Old Testament Survey II, and Pat recently taught Counseling Women as a modular course.

Pat said that when the Millers retired, “We knew it was the right time. And I think God’s really made it clear that it was the right time.” Since leaving full-time teaching, they’ve participated in conferences and women’s retreats and planned a trip to Brazil with Calvary adjunct Joa Braga.

Both of the Millers are passionate in their disciplines; Keith in teaching and preaching and Pat in “encouraging and empowering women to see their value and how God sees them.” Pat pointed out, they committed themselves to life in ministry, “and that doesn’t stop just because you get old.” Referencing their previous ministry in the pastorate, Keith said, “Whatever God called us to in a church, we were equally called. Now we get to do this together again.”

“What we missed the most is just the students,” said Pat about why they returned. They had already considered filling an adjunct role, so when the opportunity to teach arose, they were eager to join. “In a lot of ways, I feel like we’re where college students are. They’re being trained and they want to do ministry, but they’re saying, ‘God, I don’t know what you really want me to do.’ And we’re retired standing at the path saying, ‘Okay, we want to do ministry somehow.’ The same yielded, ‘Open up the doors and show us what you want us to do.’”

The Centurion’s Call: a Marine’s thoughts on Veteran’s Day

The Centurion’s Call: a Marine’s thoughts on Veteran’s Day

Thoughts on Veteran’s Day by SgtMaj Michael Burke, USMC (Ret)

On the morning of April 22, two young Marines manned an entry control point in the city of Ramadi, Iraq. Corporal Yale and Lance Corporal Haerter were from two different battalions conducting a turnover of the battlespace, transferring control from one battalion to the other. Inside this compound with the Iraqis were about forty Marines, some sleeping after a long night patrol, some going about their daily routine.

Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl wrote in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” It is a dangerous space which requires upright character and a strong moral foundation to navigate. Sometimes, in the moment of pressure, it is too late to give much thought to the dilemma. Often, the nature of the character we’ve developed chooses our course long before the situation arrives at our door.

At about 9:30 that morning, a twenty-foot tanker truck broke through the outer security perimeter of Iraqi soldiers and headed towards an old flimsy metal gate (the stimulus). At 500 yards, the Marines at the entry control point recognized the danger and began putting well aimed rifle fire on the cab of the truck (the response). At twenty-five yards, an American machine gun opened up fire, and the truck finally came to a halt about ten yards from the post. The truck exploded in a massive fireball. Approximately 2,000 pounds of explosive had ignited. Corporal Yale and Lance Corporal Haerter, having stood their ground, were so close they never really stood a chance against the blast.

The Iraqis manning the gate with the Marines had run (their response). An hour or two later, when senior Marine Commander General Kelly and the Iraqi commander came to view the blast hole that was seven feet deep and twenty feet across, the Iraqi commander said to General Kelly, “Why didn’t they run? My men ran and they lived.” General Kelly responded, “They couldn’t run. I hope someday you will understand that, but they couldn’t run because there were forty Marines on the inside of that gate depending on them.” Corporal Yale and Lance Corporal Haerter made their decision long before a bomb laden truck ever crossed their path.

Throughout his epistles, Paul calls on believers to take on the attributes of a soldier. Though it may seem odd for Christians to emulate soldierly virtues at first, there is a purposeful and practical reason. He uses military metaphors a number of times in his letters to the Philippians, the Corinthians, Philemon, Timothy, and most memorably to the Ephesians. There are also numerous Old Testament examples of warriors who conducted themselves righteously in the sight of God. Joshua, Caleb, Gideon, and David come immediately to mind.

Soldierly virtues are also often associated with loyalty, duty, sacrifice, and noble comportment. It was a Roman centurion who displayed more faith than anyone in Israel when he approached Jesus on behalf of his ill servant. (Matthew 8:1-13). In the book of Acts, Cornelius, a centurion, and his entire household were the first Gentiles baptized into the church. At the cross, when the attending centurion witnessed the events as Christ died, he praised God (Luke 23:47)

On July 18, 2010, Corporal Joe Wrightsman was leading a patrol crossing the Helmand river when an Afghan National Policeman (ANP) was swept away in the river behind him (the stimulus). Without hesitation, Cpl Wrightsman, in full personal protective gear, dove into the water in an effort to rescue the ANP (the response). He was last seen about fifty feet downstream when he surfaced briefly. Four other Marines had dropped their gear and went in after him but were unable to find anything. The entire Marine Expeditionary Force threw all its efforts into recovering Cpl Wrightsman. Every type of asset, aircraft, equipment, and personnel were employed. Taliban forces began to move in from the north in an effort to capture Cpl Wrightsman’s body before the Marines. They were thwarted after two days when the Americans recovered both bodies.

Joe Wrightsman was one of my Marines back in the 2000s. He was charismatic, funny, a natural leader. Lean, tough, and fit, he easily fit the role of an infantry squad leader. Younger guys immediately looked up to him. By the time I rotated out of the battalion, Wrightsman decided to extend his tour and deploy with his squad to Afghanistan.

Upon hearing what happened on July 18, nearly every one of us that knew him immediately thought, “But Wrightsman can’t swim!” Fortunately, America still breeds the kind of people with a bias for action who don’t dwell on what they can’t do. I imagine Wrightsman thought to himself, “I can’t let this guy down!” Then he heedlessly went after a man who wasn’t a fellow Marine or even an American.

I remember Wrightsman had a tattoo of the Green Lantern symbol on his arm. Many young men have joined the service with dreams of doing heroic deeds and exploits. No doubt Wrightsman was no different, hoping to emulate the valor of his childhood heroes.

One of my last acts as Wrightsman’s 1stSgt was to submit him for meritorious promotion to Corporal. At the time of his death, his current 1stSgt had submitted him for meritorious Sergeant. It was once remarked to me that all Joe cared about was being a Marine and taking care of his squad. That’s just about my breed of Marine, I’d say.

I think it’s no coincidence the Marine Corps Birthday, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving all fall in the same month. As we prepare ourselves for the rigors of the holiday season, take a moment to consider those few who made the decision to stand in the gap, negotiate the thin treacherous space between stimulus and response, and do the right thing. When the time comes, pray each of us can do the same.

To face the challenges of tomorrow, we must foster moral discipline and recognize the “space between.” Take positive action and purposely choose to be part of something better.

“And each man stands with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can.” 

– Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

Director of Advancement Awarded in National Contest

Director of Advancement Awarded in National Contest

Either we truly believe that God is God, or we crumble when we face difficult circumstances.”

Glennis Lamb, Director of Advancement and PhD student at Calvary, recently received an honorable mention award in a national essay contest. 

At the urging of some of her graduate professors, Lamb entered the contest which was sponsored by Townsend Press. Townsend was soliciting articles on “What do you believe, and how did you come to believe it?” offering awards and essay publication.

Lamb explained, “I wrote about how tragedy has a way of truly defining what we believe. Either we truly believe that God is God, or we crumble when we face difficult circumstances.” Her essay detailed struggles in her life and how she came to a deeper belief in God through them.

In her article, “The Ultimate Goal: Allowing Tragedy to Shape My Deepest Beliefs,” Lamb wrote that the question she wrestled with was, “Do I really believe God is God?” Through the painful experiences she faced, she found that God was ever faithful.

Lamb discovered Calvary University through her son, who recently graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree from the school. She followed him to Calvary shortly thereafter to complete her own Bachelor’s degree in Bible and History. After graduating with her undergraduate degree in just two years, she completed her Master of Arts in Bible and Theology and started in Calvary’s PhD program. She was hired as Director of Advancement in September of this year.

“My big goals are, I want to teach…” Lamb said, “and I want to write curriculum from an apologetics point of view. And I’m a real big history buff… I’m actually thinking about starting on my master’s in History.”

She is excited about her opportunities here at Calvary, both in Advancement and in investing in students’ lives. She has told more than one student, “If I can do this at my age… you can do this!” Lamb is committed to encouraging Calvary’s students to persevere and rely on God.

Looking toward the future, she said, “I will stay here as long as the Lord can use me here and as long as I am a blessing to others… I am sure I will go through many ups and downs, but being faithful to the Lord is the bottom line to my reason for working at Calvary.”

Calvary Introduces 5-Year BA and MDiv Degree Program

Calvary Introduces 5-Year BA and MDiv Degree Program

New 5-year BA and MDiv gets students through faster with less debt

Calvary University is announcing the latest development in their academic program: A 5-year Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Master of Divinity (MDiv). While traditionally, an MDiv takes three years of study after the completion of a four-year BA, this program compacts the seven years into five.

Calvary’s Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Teddy Bitner, explained that most MDiv programs assume the incoming student does not have a biblical background, so there is a lot of redundancy between a Bible college degree and an MDiv, especially for Pastoral Studies majors. The new program identifies the overlapping courses and eliminates the undergraduate equivalents so students, can, according to Bitner, “cut out hours and compress the timeline.”

The program requires 163 hours and has enough space for an undergraduate minor in Biblical Counseling or Business. Bitner said this is an innovation. None of the other 5-year programs he studied offered room for a minor. Students in the 5-year track work through their General Education courses the first two years before advancing to higher level courses.

The 5-year plan enables students to get through the program faster, get into ministry faster, and in doing so save money on tuition. Due to the intense nature of the program, applying students will be vetted by Bible and Theology and Ministry Studies faculty.

Five-year masters programs are not entirely new to academia. Bitner explained that Calvary did thorough checking with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) which confirmed that a large enough number of schools have incorporated the plan. It has become a broadly accepted practice.

Bitner pointed out that the new track would strengthen Calvary’s academic program and help students get into the field sooner to pursue ministry. “We want to reinforce the importance of a biblical foundation for ministry,” he said, “which is not always the case in other institutions anymore, especially in areas of languages. So we are becoming more and more unique.”