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Why hassle with serious Bible study?

Why hassle with serious Bible study?

Why would someone already engaged in a successful career complicate life by enrolling in graduate school? Why would a person who has completed a successful career go back to school? Or what if you or a friend are involved in ministry as a lay person, why would you or they need seminary training? Is getting a degree online worth the hassle of the extra time and effort added to an already busy and fruitful life and ministry?

Join Dr. Mike Dodds, Mentor for the Master of Divinity degree at Calvary University, as he talks with Ric Joyner, founder of “Bible Study Company” (, about why he is pursuing a graduate degree at CU, and how learning to study the Bible has changed his life and marriage.

Visit the Calvary Conversations page to join the conversation, get on our email list and learn more.

Alumnus Recognized: Bruce Baker

Alumnus Recognized: Bruce Baker

Dr. Bruce Baker (CTS ‘97) and his wife, Bonnie, were married for 40 years and had three children together: Daniel, Jacob, and Elizabeth. Dr. Baker went to be with the Lord on February 13, 2022 from ALS complications.

Dr. Baker served in the US Navy for 11 years until he was honorably discharged in 1991. He dedicated the rest of his life to ministry and preaching the Gospel at various churches and across the globe. He received his Master’s of Divinity from Calvary Theological Seminary in 1997 and his Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Baptist Bible Seminary. According to his wife, “his extroverted personality made him a natural teacher and expository preacher, and God allowed him to be a gifted one.” Bonnie also said that he hardly ever wasted an opportunity to talk about Christ with those around him.

In 1999, Dr. Baker went on a mission trip and discovered the impact he could have in teaching pastors and church leaders from across the globe who did not have access to sound biblical teaching. From that point on, for as long as his health allowed him to, he traveled to over 11 different countries on 4 different continents on an annual basis. In 2007, he took a trip to central Africa which stirred within him a passion and love for the people who lived there. The trip also gave him the idea to start his own organization, called Becoming Mature. Dr. Baker created this organization to help train pastors and church leaders, as well as build churches in central Africa. The Bakers’ son, Jacob, is now the Executive Director and Missionary-at-Large for Becoming Mature. Bonnie and their daughter, Elizabeth, also help with the ministry. Bonnie is the Office Manager and Elizabeth is the Online Coordinator. The Baker family hopes to continue expanding the ministry and the work being done in Africa through Becoming Mature.

In the last 12 years, Dr. Baker wrote two books. In 2010, he published Spiritual Maturity: The Road to Wonderland. After being diagnosed with ALS in 2018, he wanted to write a book of hope for believers who, like him, would stare death in the face. In 2019, he published For Thou Art With Me: Biblical Help for the Terminally Ill and Those Who Love Them.

According to Bonnie, Dr. Baker’s true passion was teaching others about the Lord and the Bible. “When he could no longer preach, it was a very low point for him.” COVID brought about more complications for his desire to teach, as it meant that he was not able to leave home. However, God continued to use and bless Dr. Baker, “He was asked to teach the adult Sunday School class. He would sit at his computer, in front of the camera and God would give him just enough energy to make it through the lesson. But that was enough for Bruce,” Bonnie continued, saying, “Even right up to the end of his life, God just kept giving Bruce small, yet vital roles.”

Calvary University is delighted to recognize Dr. Baker for his faithful service in ministry. During Calvary’s commencement service on May 7th, Bonnie Baker accepted the Alumni Association Award on behalf of her late husband and announced the establishment of the Baker Scholarship in his honor.

To invest in the Dr. Bruce Baker Mermorial Scholarship fund, please click here to visit 

For more information about Becoming Mature, established by Dr. Baker, please click here to visit

Rev. Tom Zobrist: A Man of Ministry

Rev. Tom Zobrist: A Man of Ministry

Calvary gave me a solid foundation of Bible and theology on which all of the ministry God has given me has been built.


During this year’s Calvary Commencement Ceremony,  Rev. Thomas (Tom) A. Zobrist will be receiving his Honorary Doctorate of Divinity. Additionally, Calvary will introduce the Zobrist Family Scholarship in recognition of Tom and his wife Cindi’s exceptional contributions to Calvary University and their deep and enduring ties to the Calvary community. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide financial support for those who, like Tom, actively demonstrate a passion for full-time ministry. 

Tom has been a pastor for nearly 35 years since he graduated from Calvary University in 1987. After just one year of internship, he was called to pastor Liberty Bible Church, a small storefront church in Eureka, Illinois. Over his years of pastoring, he has watched his once small church transform into a lively home of over 500 members: “We are a mission minded church from which many of our blessings come. We have an excellent leadership team there including two pastors that are also Calvary graduates, and we have many mature men to disciple our younger men.” Tom has also had a hand in ministries outside pastoring his church: “IFCA International, Calvary University, Brazil Gospel Fellowship Mission, and Adelphos USA are all ministries I have been able to serve for many years. I have grown to love the people and places and am thankful to the Lord and to LBC that I have been able to be a part of these ministries.” 

Tom’s experience of attending Calvary was both invigorating and challenging. He was a father of three children at the time, balancing family, work, school, and homework all at once; yet to this day he is incredibly grateful for the impact Calvary made on him both personally and professionally. He reflects: “Calvary gave me a solid foundation of Bible and theology on which all of the ministry God has given me has been built. The practical classes offered for pastoral ministry were all so valuable that I have kept all of the notes from every class and referred to them over the years.” As a young man, Tom looked up to many of the men that were leaders at Calvary during his educational journey, and he strived to reflect a life that exhibited dedication to the Lord as they did. Two men in particular, Dr. Madison and Dr. Langmade, impacted Tom’s life as a believer long after he graduated from Calvary. “I also have to mention one Board of Trustee member that first told me of Calvary and took me for my first visit,” Tom reflects, “Wilbur ‘Bud’ Miller was an elder at my home church and he remained my friend until the day he was promoted to glory.” Ultimately, through many men of faith at Calvary, Tom learned the importance of passing on knowledge and he experienced a new generation of leaders for the church: “That is why I encourage young people to consider Calvary, where they continue to teach the same theology after 90 years.” 

Concerning his ministry and career journey, Tom says there were “many hard knocks along the way”, but despite it all, he had many pastors help him in times of need and he had a church that was gracious and showed love toward him regardless of his flaws: “God used them all to refine me and make me a better servant of our Lord.” He goes on to say that there are so many accounts of impact he has had as a minister that he would have to write a book to share them all, but one of the most amazing experiences he had was baptizing his 79 year-old mother while her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren watched. “Our church continues to grow at a rapid pace and it is exciting to meet new families and watch them get excited about the Bible. I hope to work with more young aspiring pastors to help them gain the experience they need to serve in the local church.”


The Zobrist Family Scholarship will be given in honor of both Tom and his wife Cindi, for their deep and enduring ties with Calvary University. 

Christian Leaders Conference Focuses on Reality of Creation

Christian Leaders Conference Focuses on Reality of Creation

Weekly Portraits of Calvary Life

On February 8, Christian leaders and Calvary students gathered for a one-day conference focused on creation.  Dr. Baurain taught the first session, and Dr. Cone spoke on how to use the truth about creation in evangelism and discipleship.  Dr. Gromacki’s lesson on why believing in a literal Adam matters doubled as Chapel for the students.  After lunch, Dr. Dodds addressed the theological significance of creation.  Dr. Boyd taught the final session of the day.  It is our prayer that all of the attendees came away with an understanding of the importance of the literal, six-day creation.

Sara Klaassen

Alumni Relations Coordinator

Celebrating God’s Blessing at the President’s Dinner

Celebrating God’s Blessing at the President’s Dinner

Weekly Portraits of Calvary Life

Last Thursday almost 200 people joined us for the annual President’s Dinner.  The theme for the evening was “Celebrating God’s Blessing!”  After dinner the program began with two songs by the Chorale.

The Calvary Chorale sang Kum Ba Yah.

Then we presented Hand in Hand Awards to Bill and Debi Keeney and Graham Union Church for their tremendous support of Calvary.

Bill Keeney (left) accepts the Hand in Hand Award from Randy Grimm.

Representatives of Graham Union Church


Dr. Cone announced two recent, huge blessings.  First, we have 401 students enrolled in classes right now!  Second, Calvary has been approved to offer a PhD in Bible and Theology launching in January 2019.  Following Dr. Cone we heard testimonies from three students as well as reports about God’s blessings in the Athletic Department, Colorado Innovation Center, and Kansas City campus buildings.

Student Tori Stahr gave a testimony.

The evening concluded with the first performance of Calvary’s new music group, lux voces.  We are thankful for each person who came to celebrate with us and for the students who served in various capacities throughout the event.

Sara Klaassen

Alumni Relations Coordinator


Upcoming Soccer Games

October 5, 4:00 p.m. at Haviland, KS vs. Barclay

October 11, 4:00 p.m. at Home vs. Union

October 16, 4:00 p.m. at Home vs. Kansas Christian

Upcoming Volleyball Games

October 5, 7:00 p.m. at Haviland, KS vs. Barclay

October 12, 6:00 p.m. at Home vs. Trinity Bible

October 16, 6:00 p.m. at Manhattan, KS vs. Manhattan Christian

Upcoming Calvary Events

CU Experience                        October 11-12

Fall Theatre Production:  All My Sons            October 11-14

Clay Shoot                               October 20

Cycle 3 begins                         October 22

Charles C. Ryrie Lecture Series          October 23-26

Theatre Arts Silent Auction     November 2

Out of Scarcity, Abundance – A Reflection on Mark 12:41-44

Out of Scarcity, Abundance – A Reflection on Mark 12:41-44

Out of Scarcity, Abundance

Dr. Joaquim Braga, PhD
Biblical Counseling Interim Department Chair

There are many reasons why Christianity doesn’t make sense to me. A righteous, all-good, all-powerful being that allows the existence of suffering and evil. A chosen nation, supposed to be a channel of spiritual blessings to all other nations, that is engrossed in worshiping a golden statue shortly after being miraculously delivered from the most powerful nation of the time. A Creator-King who is born as a helpless baby in a stable, literally in the middle of nowhere, destined to become the Redeemer and Savior of all. A divine kingdom supposed to change the world that is entrusted to twelve (make that eleven) unimpressive, mostly uneducated men with all sorts of spiritual blindness. An eternal being who experiences death for the sake of creatures who do not want to have anything to do with him in the first place. My list could go on and on.

I am making my way through the Gospel of Mark, and the other day I read a passage that reminded me, yet again, of how upside-down kingdom logic is when compared to the ways of this world.

“And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.And he called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on’.” (Mark 12:41-44)

If you stop and think about it, there are several things about this passage that are upside-down. Take a closer look at who Jesus is using as an example of spiritual discernment and worship. This unlikely model that we are supposed to emulate has three fundamental things going against her according to society: she’s a woman, she’s a widow, and she’s poor! Both in Jesus’ times as well as in ours, these are traits that would encourage the elite to ignore and even despise this woman. Her gender makes her inferior and voiceless, her marital status makes her helpless and needy, while her poverty makes her empty-handed and devoid of anything good to offer.

(By the way, we could also assume this woman is also advanced in age since she’s a widow. But since she already has plenty going against her, let’s not add this one more thing to our list. We can safely say we have at least three significant strikes against her.)

Everything about this person screams of scarcity. Not enoughto give. Not enoughto matter. Not enoughto make an impact. Not enoughto be noticed. Not enoughto be special or significant. Not enoughto justify her existence.

And yet… Jesus draws our attention to this unlikely heroine of faith.

Jesus sees her. He notices her. He finds her example so moving that he draws the attention of the disciples to her, this unimpressive embodiment of scarcity who only had a few measly coins to give.

Yes. Christianity doesn’t make a whole lot of sense according to the ways of this world. And that, my friends, gives me great hope and consolation.

I am not that different from this poor middle-eastern widow who lived thousands of years ago. I constantly find myself caught between two equally undesirable places: feeling like too much(I’m a burden, carrying on myself too much guilt, too much shame, too many mistakes, too many flaws) while also feeling like not enough at the same time (not enough faith, not enough discipline, not enough commitment, not enough accomplishments… my list could go on and on). Let me tell you: feeling like too much and not enough all at once is a maddening way to exist.

Too much bad stuff and not enough good stuff. That’s how I often feel about myself when my spiritual gaze drifts off of Jesus, which it often tends to do.

And I’ll say one more time: AND YET!

And yet Jesus sees me. Jesus tells me that I don’t have to have an abundance of anything the world deems worthy in order to please him, in order to be noticed, in order to matter, in order to make a difference, in order to be loved. Jesus tells me that he took upon Himself on the cross both my abundance of bad stuff as well as my scarcity of good stuff.  Jesus tells me that in Him I am made anew. Jesus tells me that whatever little, unimpressive things I have to offer (ultimately myself) matters greatly to Him!

The truth is this: Whenever I give Jesus my two little coins from a place of trust and love, I put a smile on His face. And He looks at me and reminds me yet again: “Son, it’s not your two coins that I am after. It’s you that I want, scarcity and all.”

Christianity does not make a whole lot of sense.

And that’s good news.