Calvary’s K-12 school offering quality Christian education in Colorado and worldwide through blended model.
Calvary’s K-12 Academy in Colorado has begun its first independent school year. Calvary University Academy (CUA) was created through a partnership between Calvary University Innovation Center and Riverview Christian School. CUA offers quality Christian education to Morgan County, Colorado, families as well as students worldwide, using Calvary’s blended model of education.
Superintendent Ian Bacon said classes were going well, and students were “settling in getting to know each other and the school.” CUA spent the last school year in transition, and Bacon said, “There is curiosity of what we are doing. We are establishing ourselves within the community now that the transition has occurred.” He deemed it a definite positive response from the local community.
With the transitional period over, this is the first school year CUA has used the blended course structure, and Bacon explained that the response had been good with their online student base. Especially in the upper grades, the format is causing waves of interest. High school students take early college courses streamed from the Kansas City campus. Bacon said, “It has been wonderful watching the students begin the courses and realize they are much more capable than they knew.”
Bacon estimated half of the on-campus students were returning families who were involved in the transition, and half had no prior knowledge of Calvary. As the campus expands, Bacon anticipates the growth that their course structure facilitates. “It is exciting to think that in the future our students in Colorado will be able to interact with classmates around the world!”
For more information about Calvary University Academy, please visit our website or call (970) 842-4604.
CUA Students performing science experiments.
Upper level students take dual enrollment college courses.
In order to be faithful stewards CU is forced to reevaluate
In 2017, the Lord, through the wonderful people of Fort Morgan, Colorado, gifted Calvary University with a magnificent 130,000 sq ft facility which was renamed the Calvary University Innovation Center (CUIC). This gift was accompanied by a tremendous outpouring of public support, which CU leaders at the time knew would have to translate into significant student enrollment if the effort there was to be sustainable.
The initial plan was to transform the facility into a unique, innovative space where Christian educators, ministries, and the public at large could co-locate, collaborate and hold events.
Unfortunately, a year and a half later, the university still can’t get off the starting blocks.
As CU quickly pursued and investedin this vision, and despite its unflagging efforts, to include faculty and staff relocation, one key obstacle has stalled sustainable progress: the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CODHE) has still inexplicably delayed in granting CU permission to offer anything but “religious” programs in CO.
More than a year ago, CU submitted application to operate in CO as a University. The CODHE only granted approval as a religious entity, meaning that CU could offer its “religious” based programs, but couldn’t operate as a university offering more in-demand degree programs like business and education. Knowing that those two programs in particular were the greatest need and opportunity for student enrollment in the area, CU continued working with the CODHE, rapidly submitting all requested information.
Each dutiful submission resulted in requests for more information and, at times, revelation of new submission requirements inexplicably neglected earlier in the process.
To CU leaders it has seemed like more than a year of runaround, as the school has not been able to get the simple approval it needs and has easily acquired in other states. “We would have never dreamed we would still be at this stage after a year and a half. It is crippling – we have high quality, in-demand programs, and have had no problem receiving accreditation and reaccreditation with national and regional accreditors.”
The process Dr. Bitner, CU’s Chief Academic Officer, referred to is the CODHE’s referral of all submitted materials to a pair of private consultants who review, comment, and recommend. The school is essentially at the mercy of these consultants and their limitations. “It seems clear that the consultants the CODHE outsources are very comfortable with traditional models of education, but seem unfamiliar with multisite and online programs. Perhaps because the latter is the model we are bringing to the table, we have been placed into back and forth process. I am sure these are good folks, but the processes don’t seem to serve the people of Colorado very well.”
After almost two years of substantial planning, preparation, and CU investment, university leadership finds themselves at a point where, in order to be faithful stewards of what God has entrusted to them and not hamstring other university operations, they are forced to reevaluate how to proceed in Colorado.
Tania Edwards, VP of enrollment management, explained that because of the continued delays and sea of red tape, CU is now two major recruiting cycles behind. This, coupled with the university’s over $2 million investment in the past year and a half demands an urgent change to its model. “Because we have not been able to recruit based on the in-demand programs we offer, we have seen only marginal growth in Colorado-based enrollment—an unsustainable situation.
Unfortunately, the CODHE’s disappointing delays deny us the ability to recruit for the very programs that could sustain us. It has been very disappointing that with this high level of personal investment in the state and in Ft Morgan, the state’s agency hasn’t been helpful. It is a remarkably frustrating place to be.”
In today’s uncertain and turbulent times, extended delay and indecisiveness in the higher education realm often equates to institutional suicide. Still profoundly grateful for the gift of the property in Fort Morgan, as well as the opportunity to come alongside and ensure the sustainability of Riverview Christian Academy (soon to relaunch as Calvary University Academy), CU is reevaluating how to best steward the property.
Accordingly, Dr. Cone is leading a comprehensive reevaluation of the university’s operation in Ft Morgan. “We are completely committed to the people of Fort Morgan and of Colorado. Because to this point we have not been granted the ability to offer our full catalog of programs, we are reevaluating and retooling for long term sustainable efforts in Colorado. This will probably mean shifting our operations into more economical facilities, as we will never come close to covering the cost of operation in the Innovation Center without the state approval to operate as a university.”
Cone expects CU to move quickly so as to still be able to serve Coloradans in the long-term. Calvary leaders will be pleading Calvary’s case before the CODHE commission at the next opportunity. “We are looking at ways to have less of a footprint as we move forward, and the partnerships we have formed will be important in that process.
We may even be looking at selling the building that houses the Innovation Center. In the short term, we have been forced to consider some uncomfortable decisions.”
Nevertheless, while Calvary University has encountered obstacles in Colorado, efforts in the state have still contributed to CU’s award-winning global enrollment growth. Several degree programs can be taken locally at the Innovation Center, including Bible and Theology, Biblical Counseling, Ministry Studies, Pastoral Ministry, Youth Ministry, Intercultural Studies, and Worship Arts. Most other degrees can be taken online or through CU’s main campus in Kansas City.
You are invited to join us in person or online for a three-day Community Course discussing Biblical Philosophy and Worldview.
Biblical Philosophy and Worldview examines competing worldviews and philosophies, focusing on the four components of epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and socio-political thought. This course addresses the questions of “How can we know?” “What is reality?” and “What should we do about it?”
By exploring the implications of philosophy, and its impact on worldview, students will develop an understanding of what worldview is, how it is engaged, and why it is important. Basic components of the Biblical worldview will be examined and contrasted with aspects of non-Biblical worldviews.
Taught by Calvary University President and Research Professor of Bible and Theology, Dr. Christopher Cone, this course is open to any who are interested in examining the foundations and implications of philosophy and worldview. This course is also available for those pursuing academic credit as a Calvary University master’s-level student.
As part of the continuing introduction of the Calvary University Innovation Center in Fort Morgan, CO this course is free of charge for anyone interested in auditing the course via the classroom or joining the live-stream broadcast from anywhere across the globe. You must be registered to participate, so please fill out the form below.
God provided the 35,000 books in this full university library through the closing of Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska. The officials at Grace chose to give their entire library to Calvary, and we are so grateful.
Getting 35,000 books from Omaha to Fort Morgan is no small task! However, God provided again. Keim TS, a trucking company in Sabetha, Kansas, donated their time and a truck to haul the boxes of books to Colorado. What a blessing!
Keim TS transported the books to Colorado.
Calvary faculty and staff spent a Tuesday Work Day disassembling shelves that were left over from when our Kansas City library moved.
Calvary faculty and staff in Kansas City (pictured: Tressa Shoemaker, Dr. Luther Smith, and Tim Hange) disassembled shelves for the Innovation Center.
The shelves and some furniture were loaded up and driven out to Colorado back in June.
Randy Grimm and John Oglesby loaded shelving to be transported to Colorado.
The shelving has been set up, but the books are still in boxes.
Dave Vande Berg traveled to Colorado to put together the shelves.
We are looking for someone with library knowledge to help put the books in their new home. If you are interested in helping with that project, please contact Jeff Campa (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are also looking for a part-time library branch manager for the Innovation Center. Click here to get more details.
KANSAS CITY, MO – Calvary University and Riverview Christian School of Morgan County, Colorado have signed a landmark agreement that creates a partnership between the two schools. Under the agreement, the 2018-19 academic year will be a transitional year, designed to maximize continuity for the local students, while both organizations move toward a full acquisition of Riverview Christian School operations by Calvary University at the end of the transitional year. At that point the Riverview Christian Board will become the Advisory Board for the new academy, as the school rebrands as Calvary University Academy. The new academy will function as a laboratory school, and will offer education in the university model, with three days of formal instruction and two days of individualized learning and application for students.
Calvary University Academy will provide instruction using the unique blended model from Calvary University classrooms, with video recorded classroom experience, and online and campus students learning and interacting together. Calvary University and Riverview Christian School officials are excited that this approach will help Calvary University Academy to be accessible not just to traditional Christian school students, but also to homeschool students around the globe, ultimately making it easier for parents to choose Bible-centered education for their children. The agreement will also provide significant scholarships for all historic RCS graduates to attend Calvary University.
The agreement between Calvary and Riverview is a reflection of Riverview’s longstanding commitment to ensuring that there is quality Christian education available to Morgan County families and youth, and is an expression of Calvary University’s commitment to providing globally accessible, quality, and affordable Bible-centered education that prepares Christians for excellence in life and service in the church and in the world according to the biblical worldview.
Riverview Christian School is in the process of relocating from its historic campus (which RCS leaders are working to sell to a Christian ministry or church) to Calvary University’s Innovation Center in Fort Morgan, Colorado, and is now enrolling for the 2018-2019 academic year.
For questions regarding the agreement between CU and RCS, enrollment at RCS for the Fall, or to inquire about purchasing the old Riverview campus, RCS can be reached at 970-842-4604, and CU can be reached by emailing email@example.com.