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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 for more information about financial aid, to view our catalog, request information or make a donation. 

STEM head Chris Basel excited as program expands

STEM head Chris Basel excited as program expands

Calvary’s commitment to educating from the biblical worldview means Calvary’s program is rare.

With Calvary’s addition of a chemistry minor, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) head Chris Basel looks forward to further expansions of the program. He said, in long-term goals, Calvary looks to add other STEM minors, such as math and biology. “The goal is for the minors to partner with the Warrior’s Choice degree,” enabling students “to go on to any professional school.” This opens opportunities for Calvary graduates in graduate studies such as medical science, biology, and chemistry.

Basel highlighted the importance of Calvary’s first distinctive, standing firm on the Bible. With the opportunities Calvary offers, students “don’t have to go to a secular college that teaches from a naturalistic perspective… You can come to Calvary and you can get Education, Bible and Theology, and now you can get Science and Math, too.”

Calvary’s commitment to educating from the biblical worldview means Calvary’s program is rare. Basel said, “[Because] we hold the Bible to be true and authoritative from the very first word, we are a creationist college. You can go to Answers in Genesis and search creationist colleges; we’re on there.” This standing makes Calvary one of “a relatively small number.”

Basel pointed out that, while “there is quite a lot of good competition within that small number, this gives people another opportunity” as they pursue biblical higher education. Calvary is one of only seven creationist colleges listed for the central United States, and one of fourteen west of the Missouri River. This small number of options positions Calvary’s Missouri and Colorado campuses to fill a national need for biblical education in STEM fields.

Basel said, “My desire is to meet the needs of students who have a variety of needs,” and he already has students from a wide range of the Midwest enrolled in his science courses. The blended format of Calvary’s courses enables students across the country to take advantage of low cost, high quality education in biblical degree programs.

Students in a Biology lab extract DNA from strawberries.

Calvary Starts a Chemistry Minor!

Calvary Starts a Chemistry Minor!

Calvary University recently approved the initiation of a chemistry minor, the first in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) field.  The first class will be offered fall 2020.  Classes will consist of general chemistry, organic chemistry, and analytical chemistry.  Minors in math and biology will be started later.  These minors provide the foundation for a career in a STEM field, including medicine, veterinary science, and dentistry.

All classes will be offered in the blended format – on campus, live-streamed, and online.  Laboratory experiments will consist of traditional and non-traditional formats.  There are two non-traditional formats.  The first consists of experiments conducted remotely on the student’s schedule using a lab kit.  Experiment results are entered into the Calvary learning management system using cloud-based software.  The second non-traditional format will consist of an approximately one-week module on campus. 

Professional Directed Studies provides opportunities for student growth

Professional Directed Studies provides opportunities for student growth

Student uses collaborative degree program to grow academically and spiritually.

Rebekah Crawford is a senior at Calvary pursuing a double major through Professional Directed Studies (PDS). She said she chose an English degree, “because I had enjoyed both reading and writing my entire life and thought it would be fun to get a degree that would allow me to do what I loved.” She transferred credits from high school towards her second major in Graphic Design. “It was also a plus that I enjoy creating things both hands-on and digitally.”

Through PDS, Crawford fulfils the requirements for her Graphic Design major at the University of Central Missouri (UCM) and takes courses for her interdisciplinary degree in English Literature and Creative Writing at Calvary. “Calvary has an articulation agreement with UCM and Calvary puts together a planner that fits the core needs for the degree, so a lot of the planner is based off of what UCM requires for that specific degree, but it isn’t an exact replica. My planner still reflects the general education and Biblical studies requirements that every student at Calvary has.”

Calvary holds articulation agreements with over twenty institutions worldwide, including four of the top colleges in the Kansas City area: Johnson County Community College, Kansas City Kansas Community College, Metropolitan Community College, and University of Central Missouri. Crawford spent her first semesters commuting for courses at UCM, but this semester, she is living close to UCM’s campus and becoming more involved in the school’s community. She commented on the way Calvary’s community prepared her for this new environment. “At Calvary, there was a curfew, room checks weekly along with devotions, and ample opportunities to be around believers that loved Christ just as much as I do. All of these things I feel have given me a sense of responsibility toward myself and others.”

Crawford spoke highly of PDS. “I think it’s a great way for Calvary to have more majors to choose from while also giving students the opportunity to use the biblical training they’ve been taught and put it to the test at a secular university in the sense of staying strong in their faith and not being afraid to share it with others.”

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.’”