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Calvary Hosts President’s Dinner at Loretto Campus

Calvary Hosts President’s Dinner at Loretto Campus

“Calvary is not its campus… first and foremost, it’s a place where God does redemptive work in individuals through Christ.”

Presidents Dinner attendees walked the halls of the historic Loretto campus last Thursday revisiting Calvary’s roots. For many alumni, it was a chance to relive the memories of their college experience at the campus where Calvary operated from 1967 to 1980. Nearly 150 persons attended the event and heard an address by interim president Jeff Campa, a performance by Calvary’s music group lux voces, and testimonies from alumni. Dave Allen, who assisted planning the event, said, “As a recent graduate from the Graduate school at Calvary, it was extremely gratifying to see the history on display” at the historic campus.

Gracia Burnham, who studied at the Loretto campus, shared a quote from Adoniram Judson, “There is no success without sacrifice. If you succeed without sacrifice it is because someone has sacrificed before you. If you sacrifice without success it is because someone will succeed after.” She encouraged the faculty, staff, and donors that the sacrifices they make have impact, even when they don’t see them. Alumnus Bud Jones added, “The foundation I received here is still preparing me… I have no better memories in my Christian life than the memories I have at Calvary.”

Chief Financial Officer Randy Grimm presented the annual Hand-in-Hand award, a recognition given to an organization that has blessed and served Calvary in the past year. Grimm presented this year’s award to Calvary’s Board of Trustees, “for their leadership, wisdom, and prayers in a year of great challenges.” Chairman of the Board, Tom Zobrist, said, “We do what we do because we love Calvary and we love Jesus… we want to glorify Him.”

Interim President Jeff Campa also addressed attendees, saying, “The alumni that call this place home can attest to [God’s] work in and through Calvary, and they are bearing witness to God’s faithfulness in their lives and ministry.” He added that, in the face of a difficult year, “We learned that Calvary is not its campus… first and foremost, it’s a place where God does redemptive work in individuals through Christ. For 88 years, God has used people just like you, organizations just like yours to sustain this work, and for that, we are ever grateful.”

Interim President Jeff Campa addresses attendees.

Touring the room where chapel was held.

Fred Hendricks shares how his time at Calvary impacted him.

Calvary students served the meal catered by Affordable Elegance.

Calvary Alum Launches Local Coffee Shop

Calvary Alum Launches Local Coffee Shop

Roberts opened Joy Coffee this summer.

“I’ve seen a lot of healing happen, and just community and fellowship that comes from drinking a cup of coffee with another person.”

On July 20th, Calvary Grad Moriah Roberts opened a new coffee shop in Independence, Missouri. Roberts said the shop, called Joy Coffee, has been in development for a year and a half now. It is the fruition of Roberts’ long-time dream. She said, “That was always kind of the end goal, to open a coffee shop and to provide high quality coffee, a high quality environment, and high quality service.”

Roberts graduated from Calvary in 2015 with a degree in Advanced Biblical Studies and a minor in Theatre Arts. She said, “I felt like if I wanted to eventually be in coffee ministry, I really wanted to get a good foundation of the Bible and Scripture. And what I loved about the Advanced Biblical Studies program was the way that [our department head] pushed us to work out our theology and be able to defend it on our own.”

Before she began work on starting her shop, Roberts managed Calvary’s Warrior Café for four years. She said, “There’s something beautiful about the fellowship that happened around a cup of coffee, or hot chocolate, or tea… I’ve seen a lot of healing happen, and just community and fellowship that comes from drinking a cup of coffee with another person.” Roberts expressed her excitement to see conversations, community, mentoring happen through Joy Coffee. “I’m just excited that we can be a small part of someone else’s story.”

Joy Coffee offers a family-friendly play space to entertain kids.
Joy Coffee offers a variety of coffees, teas, cocoa, and baked goods. Check out their website, or visit their location at City House in Independance, Mo.
Calvary Grad Serves Youth through Equine Assisted Learning

Calvary Grad Serves Youth through Equine Assisted Learning

Emily Schmidt at Horsepower

“The biblical view I got at Calvary is the lens through which I look at counseling theories.”

Emily Schmidt graduated from Calvary with her bachelor’s degree in 2010. She went on to earn her certification as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Play Therapist (RPT). She’s putting her degrees to work at Horsepower, an experiential learning program that helps students develop life skills in a ranch environment. Their equine assisted learning—equine assisted therapy when taught by a licensed therapist—focuses on reaching at-risk youth.

Schmidt said, “The program is about seven weeks long, and each week there’s a different theme.” These themes include communication, empathy, and decision making, and they help students develop and translate relational skills with horses to their human relationships.

The ministry at HorsePower appealed to Schmidt because of her long-time love for horses, as well as the integral role horses played in her coming to faith. Growing up with a difficult family life, she said, “I was desperate for a change, so I came up to Kansas City to go to a horse clinic.” She found an opportunity to work at a local horse farm, and through friends there, started going to church and was saved a few months later. She knew she wanted to go to Bible College, and she started her studies at Calvary in 2006.

Schmidt found Horsepower shortly out of college through a friend, and said, “It’s really interesting, because I remember volunteering, and I remember praying, ‘God, these kids need a Christian therapist. Please send them a Christian therapist.’ But I had no idea it was going to be me.” After attempting to start a horse-based program on her own, Schmidt decided to go back to school to become a licensed therapist. She also discovered natural lifemanship, a method of equine-assisted therapy that focuses on the therapeutic and healing effects that interaction with horses can have on psychological and behavioral disorders. Schmidt said many forms of horsemanship focus on controlling the horse, but HorsePower trains students to understand and work with their horse, teaching them a better model for healthy relationships.

With ten years of experience now, Schmidt said, “It’s amazing. We’ve had kids in the past that very clearly had no beliefs, and I got to share the gospel with them. Also, seeing them growing in ways that are going to help them relate to God in the future. We’re not always talking about God all the time, but we’re helping kids learn to have healthy relationships and attachment with humans.” She added that, “When working with kids, you don’t always see the fruit right away,” but the patterns they create prime the kids for a healthier relationship with God.

Looking to the future, Schmidt said her dream is to eventually be part of her own equine assistance program with a vision to “be compelled by love as we create space for relationships that bring hope and healing to a hurting world.” She said, “The biblical view I got at Calvary is the lens through which I look at counseling theories” without getting distracted by misplaced theories. “There are people who’ve dedicated their lives to studying human nature, and what they’re seeing is accurate, but something in their interpretation is wonky because of their worldview. So you can still learn, as long as you know how to interpret it biblically at the end of the day.”

Cory Young Named Alumnus of the Year

Cory Young Named Alumnus of the Year

Interim President Jeff Campa presents the Alumnus of the Year award to Cory Young on June 27.

“The free grace and the dispensational theology that I came out of Calvary with drives everything that I have done.”

Cory Young, a Calvary graduate of 2003, was given the Calvary University Alumnus of the Year Award at the 2020 Commencement ceremony on June 27. Young serves as a rodeo chaplain through Golden Spurs Ministries. He explained, “[Rodeos are] a subculture in the U.S. that, because of their lifestyle, they’re on the road a lot, so it’s a needed thing.” Interim president Jeff Campa presented the award to Young, who said, “The free grace and the dispensational theology that I came out of Calvary with drives everything that I have done.”

Young grew up near Belton, Missouri, just south of Calvary’s campus. Horses and rodeos were a part of his life from a very young age. He said, “I grew up in that world, and that was kind of part of my family.” Young was raised in a church that “didn’t really preach the gospel,” so when he attended a rodeo Bible camp at age 16, he heard the gospel for the first time. He expected to learn his sport better and thought he was “good on the church stuff,” but when he heard the gospel explained, he said, “I was an easy sell.”

Young came to Calvary to earn his bachelor’s degree in Missions and Pastoral Studies and said, “When I did my internship, I never thought I could do my rodeo ministry… but I ended up with a rodeo chaplain—the only guy that did it—and I actually did my internship with the same guy that led me to Christ.”

After graduating, Young worked for Calvary’s maintenance department and served as a youth pastor in Belton. “After that, I just started hitting I think ten rodeo Bible camps in the summer.” Young quickly became involved in the National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA), serving at the National High School Finals Rodeo and National Junior High Finals Rodeo for the past 15 years.

As Young developed his outreach, he formed Golden Spur Ministries. Young and his wife, Leslie, are currently the only members on staff, but they have trained other leaders who went on to Bible college and other ministries.

Young said 17 years down the road, his time at Calvary is still impacting his ministry. “I’m still going back and using resources and notes, and that foundation is essential.” He noted that, “I had to take Greek and a lot of hermeneutics, and it taught me how to learn. I rely on that every day. On the flipside, having the missions program’s courses on culture has really informed a lot of my ministry. Even though this is not as stark of a difference [in culture], it still trained me to look at things through the culture.”

Cory, his wife Leslie, and son, CT.
Young ministers at rodeos across the country.

Alum’s Book Tops New Release Charts in Science and Religion

Alum’s Book Tops New Release Charts in Science and Religion

“Calvary laid the foundation for my study of the Bible.”

Calvary alumnus Jeff Rhoades recently published his first book, The Bible, Dimensions, and the Spiritual Realm. Rhoades, who graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in 1994, said, “It’s really about looking at the spiritual realms as a higher dimension. We normally think of angels and God out in a three-dimensional world, so instead of God being in the fourth dimension, we think of God really big… and heaven is just way up in the sky.” Through his book, Rhoades examines the concept of the fourth dimension. “There are lots of things out there scientists that look at that say, ‘There’s more out there than initially meets the eye.’”

Rhoades said his years studying at Calvary “laid the foundation for my study of the Bible. Calvary gave me my biblical premillennial dispensationalist foundation so that when I continued to study, I was on track.” He noted that, when researching the scientific aspects of his book, “I’m reading a lot of science books, and there’s guys who are way off track. But there’s a piece of the truth in there.” He added that one of the biggest mistakes most scientists make “is they don’t have any foundation of truth to sift through these findings. Calvary gave me that foundation.”

The Bible, Dimensions, and the Spiritual Realm topped Amazon’s charts as the #1 new Release in Science and Religion early in May. The book is available to purchase on Amazon in paperback or kindle edition, and an audiobook is slated to come out on Audible later this month.

The Bible, Dimensions, and the Spiritual Realm

The Bible tells of a spiritual realm where heaven, angels, and God reside. Where is this mysteriously invisible realm? Science has opened the door to the possibility of higher spatial dimensions. Could this be where heaven is? Using God’s Word, this book will present evidence for the reality of the spiritual realm and also lay out the scientific evidence, from Einstein’s theory of relativity to string theory, that points to the possibility of a higher dimension or dimensions. Through this book, the everyday Christian will learn how to view the spiritual dimension or spiritual realm in a deeper way and will see clearly that there is much more to our universe than meets the eye. The seeking skeptic will also be presented with evidence that God is real and the Bible is His communication to man. The foundation is laid from the Bible, from science and from understanding that we are three-dimensional beings created by a Grand Programmer to live in the physical and spiritual universe. Because of sin, mankind lost the ability to see the spiritual realm, but through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, we can once again access the spiritual realm and live fully as God our creator intends.

Calvary Alumni Minister through COVID-19 Crisis

Calvary Alumni Minister through COVID-19 Crisis

Left: Pastor Tom Zobrist preaches a live-streamed sermon. Top right: Pastor Charlie Paine holds a service through Facebook. Bottom right: another alum, Dustin Garrett, holds a worship service online.

Calvary grads finding creative ways to serve

In spite of stay-at-home orders across the country, Calvary alumni are continuing their ministries. In lieu of holding regular service, many pastors have turned to streaming services. Calvary alum and chairman of the board Tom Zobrist, who pastors Liberty Bible Church in Eureka, Illinois, said, “Liberty was already broadcasting services with high quality video equipment for quite some time,” so the transition was easier for them. Another alumnus, Pastor Charlie Paine of Blue River Bible Church said their services had transitioned online as well. “[We are] conducting a virtual Sunday School class through Zoom… and a feature called Friday Blessings, in which we use the church Facebook to share blessings and praises.”

Staying connected as a church during isolation can prove difficult. Zobrist said Liberty Bible Church has a team that comes in on Sundays to produce their broadcasts, and “I have also been set up to be able to livestream with my phone in our home so that I can broadcast Sunday night and Wednesday night Bible studies when scheduled.” Even some youth group and AWANA events have transitioned to online.

Zobrist said their AWANA leader “developed a virtual AWANA on Wednesday nights that broadcasts opening ceremonies and devotions on Facebook and then leaders contact individual clubbers by phone so that they can keep up with their sections… Our youth also have been having a game and devotion on Wednesday nights with our new youth pastor, Josh Tomlinson, a soon-to-be CU grad. Josh hasn’t even officially started his ministries here yet, but is already developing relationships with our kids.”

Kansas City’s CEF ministries have been adapting to pandemic conditions as well. Another alum, Christy Heath, works as CEF’s local director for the Greater Kansas City Area. Heath said, “When the public elementary schools in our local area abruptly closed in mid-March because of COVID-19, we immediately began to respond with creative ministry strategies and tools for continued Gospel outreach to our 2,000+ after-school Good News Club (Bible club) children, their families, and many others.” CEF’s resources include an online Good News Club on Good News TV (U-NITE YouTube channel), Good News Radio, and online activity books, and other tools available at

As we live through these ever changing times, Pastor Zobrist said, “We look forward to the day we can be together physically again, but until then, we will make the most of the opportunities we are given. May we all stay faithful in these different days.”