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Plans for Fall 2020

Plans for Fall 2020

Safely Returning to Normal

Calvary University is planning to open as normal in the fall semester of 2020—starting August 17. However, we will also provide important options and measures to ensure everyone’s safety 

Faculty will still have the option of whether to hold classes online only or invite students back into the classroom. Students, as always, will be able to make the same choice—either online or in person. Until further notice, online and in-class courses will be set at the same tuition rate to accommodate these choices. 

Every measure will also be taken to ensure that all who live, work and study on the CU campus can do so in a clean and safe environment. The University continues to work in close consultation with national, state and local public health officials. Our priority is to maintain the health of the CU community 

For Athletics, we will always adhere to the federal, state or local guidelines when participating in any activity. We also are working closely with the NCCAA and the MCCC conferences as everyone is monitoring how best to keep our athletes safe. Workouts are taking place now. Practices are set to resume in August.    

We invite you to use the contact form below if you have any questions 

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Are Models Accurate?

Are Models Accurate?

Chris Basel  

M.S.

Department Chair of STEM, Assistant Professor of Chemistry 

During the past few months, we have heard a lot about “models” that predict what’s going to happen during the Covid-19 pandemic. We have all become familiar with phrases like “flattening the curve” and “will there be a second peak?” The models are designed to predict such things as the number of people that will be infected by the virus or the number of deaths from the virus. That is a somewhat gruesome business. But what are models and how are they made? Perhaps more importantly, how reliable are they?

For the last 20 years, I spent my professional life developing pharmacological models. These models help predict what happens to drugs in the body and how effective they are. Some of the models are useful, some are not. A brief look into the basics of modeling will help clarify this confusing field.

A model is typically a mathematical prediction that is based on information related to what you are trying to predict. Some models are very simple, some are very complex. They can be divided into two major types: “top down” and “bottom up” models.

Let us take a simple example to gain a better understanding of what is going on. By searching the internet, you can easily find a calculator that will predict how tall an infant will grow to be. How do they do that? One way is to collect the height of infants (say 2 years old) and check their height later (say when they are 18 years old). After gathering this clinical data, a mathematician then would create a relationship between a typical two-year-old’s height and a typical 18-year-old’s height.  Wait a minute – what is a “typical” person? The more limited you make your model by defining what you mean by “typical” or breaking this down into different groups (for example, one model for males, another for females), the better the model. This is a top down model – using actual measured height data to generate a prediction tool.

On the other hand, another way you could predict how tall an infant will grow is to look at their genetic makeup, the environment they live in, what you expect their diet to be, and so forth. With the knowledge of which genes control height and how the environment and diet typically affect height enables one to make predictions of how tall someone will grow. The better you understand how this information affects height, the better the model.  This is a bottom up model – using the factors that affect the phenomenon (in this case, height) to generate a prediction tool.

Anyone who has worked with models very long learns that the accuracy of models can vary greatly. It is a tricky business and creating good models typically takes a long time. Biological variability (we are not all the same!), unknown factors, and inaccurate data are just a few things that lead to poor models. In reality, models are an educated guess and might work even if they have nothing to do with the phenomenon (height in the examples above). This has led to the common aphorism that “all models are wrong, but some are useful” (first attributed to the statistician George Box).

Models can be useful, sometimes very useful, in making predictions. In our current situation, most of the models have been created quickly and changed frequently as more data is collected. There are many factors at play and honest experts in the field state the obvious – they are not sure what is going to happen. As much as possible, avoid stressing over models – but do not ignore advice from scientists and medical professionals! And never forget that the Lord is in control.

Student Development Stays Connected Despite Social Distancing

Student Development Stays Connected Despite Social Distancing

RDDs Micah Wildason and Zak Kirkman.

Challenging circumstances create opportunities for growth

Social distancing has created an unusual environment on Calvary’s campus, but Student Development’s Resident Discipleship Directors (RDDs) and Resident Discipleship Leaders (RDLs) are finding creative ways to keep connected with the student body.

RDD Charissa Harwerth said, “Some of the RDLs are still having devos over zoom or other video chatting software. These have been really impactful for the students who are at home to still connect with each other and with their RDL.”

Other RDLs are staying in touch and encouraging students through texting, phone calls, or getting coffee, praying, and going on walks. Harwerth said, “I try to keep up with the girls that I was working with, and I keep up with intentional conversations and asking probing questions.”

The need for creativity is shaping the student body remaining on campus. Harwerth said, “For the few of us here I think that it will push some people closer to each other and into deeper relationships and others to finding new ways to cope with anxiety. For the most part, I think that once this is over the student body will bounce back well for next year… Because we are all living through this together, we all have a sense of understanding for others and how difficult this is.”

Maintaining relationships within the social distancing guidelines takes a lot of intentionality, but also provides rich rewards. RDL Brooke Glaszczak said, “I try to look for people who are in need of something (whether that be a reminder of truth or some encouragement), and I try to help meet that need however I can. Students have walked through some difficult things, yet they have also seen firsthand God’s faithfulness and providence at work. God has calmed anxious hearts. He has provided spiritual refreshment.”

RDL Jenny Her noticed that, “it has taught a lot of students to lean on one another to get through this. I have been so encouraged to see how much the students are still pouring into one another despite the pandemic!”

RDL Logan Hiskey pointed out that, “A lot of the ways in which we do that have changed, but our goal of serving the student body for Christ hasn’t changed.” The changing circumstances themselves have created opportunities for growth. Jenny Her said, “[It] can honestly be pretty frustrating because I want to do so much! But at the root of it all, I think God is just teaching me to sit back a little and just trust in Him.”

As the semester ends and students prepare to return home, Glaszczak noted. “While many of us are still waiting and wondering how God is specifically going to use the messiness of the current circumstances, we are sure of God’s faithfulness to work all things for our good and His glory. We trust that He is still in control and reigning on the throne.”

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 cefonline.com/covid19.

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.”

Graduation Events Postponed

Graduation Events Postponed

Calvary University looks forward to our Graduation weekend with much anticipation every year. It is a time to fellowship with each of our students and celebrate what God has accomplished through their lives in their studies here at Calvary. 

In light of recent guidance from the CDC and government authorities in limiting the size of gatherings, we have determined that it is most appropriate to postpone our Graduation events until June 26 – 27. 

COVID-19 and the public response has created a very fluid situation, and we want to exercise the utmost caution and consideration for everyone.

Let’s all be prayerful and vigilant as we navigate these challenging times together, with confidence that God is truly in control.

Feast & Fund Rescheduled for August 7; Online Auction Starts Soon

Feast & Fund Rescheduled for August 7; Online Auction Starts Soon

Calvary University has postponed their Feast & Fund Auction to August 7. Registration for the event will reopen in light of the new date. An online auction for the Mahomes and Kelce jerseys will open April 1 and run until May 15, and an online auction for a bundle of beef will open April 1 and run to April 15.