Page 1



LA 2014: Embracing Values, Engaging Community

Beyond a DREAM: Students and Immigration Reform Online Learning: Short on Commute, Long on Community

INADVANCE Table of Contents

FEATURES Embracing Values, Engaging Community By Morgan C. Feddes

43 11 The Mosaic of Higher Education By Samuel Rodriguez and Erwin Raphael McManus

17 Beyond a DREAM: Students and Immigration Reform


By Jessica Shumaker

Short on Commute, Long on Community


By Luke Reiter


The news of the CCCU offices

FROM CAPITOL HILL . . . . . . . 9

Pamela K. Jones Vice President for Communications

BESTSEMESTER: REFLECTION . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 By Sari Heidenreich

By Shapri D. LoMaglio

ON THE SHELF . . . . . . . . . . 53


THE LAST WORD. . . . . . . . . 57

By Rose Creasman Welcome

BESTSEMESTER: VOICES. . . 48 By Morgan C. Feddes

DISTRIBUTION CCCU Advance is published each year in the fall and spring and is mailed to members, affiliates and friends of the CCCU. It is also available online at Direct questions and letters to the editor to

PEOPLE William P. Robinson Interim President


THE MISSION OF THE CCCU is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform the lives of students by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth.

ADVERTISING CCCU Advance accepts advertising from organizations that serve the students, faculty or administration of our campuses. For more information and/or to receive a CCCU Media Kit, please email

By Chris Turner

Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fuel Tank


THE COUNCIL FOR CHRISTIAN COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES (CCCU) is an international association of intentionally Christ-centered colleges and universities. Founded in 1976 with 38 members, the Council has grown to 120 members in North America and 55 affiliate institutions in 20 countries. The CCCU is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in the historic Capitol Hill district of Washington, D.C.

What your peers are reading

By Makoto Fujimura

Morgan C. Feddes Staff Writer & Editorial Director Katryn Ferrance Graphic Designer & Production Coordinator Amy Arden Web Manager Kendra Langdon Juskus Copy Editor Heather M. Surls Proofreader

Stay connected with the CCCU on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Vimeo and Issuu. Visit



From the President I SPOKE AT a dinner in March hosted by

the Calvin College Center for Innovation in Business. When I was done, the director of the Center presented me with a T-shirt that said, Calvin College—undefeated in football since 1876—a true statement, but it rather implies they play football, which they don’t. I thought about the T-shirt as I prepared to begin this piece with, “For my final article in Advance . . . ”—a true statement (I hope), but it rather implies I’ve written other articles, which I haven’t. Presumably, this will be my first and last article. It’s hard to know for sure if this column in the next Advance will be written by our new president, but a very strong and energetic search committee, led by a very strong and energetic chair, Andrea Cook of Warner Pacific, is praying God will supply the right person…soon. While I join the search committee in that prayer, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of you and with great colleagues on the CCCU staff. Although I miss my family in Spokane, I have found durable joy knowing God’s hand is on this association and that I am where God wants me. Having said that, I’ve had a few days when I thought I heard God saying something about going right back to those four little grandchildren in Spokane. The CCCU board of directors recognizes that an interim presidency would be wasted if used only to maintain the status quo. And, frankly, our status quo wasn’t all that great. So, I and the CCCU staff have set our minds on making the CCCU be a great place to work, member-centered, efficiently structured, financially sustainable, always responsive and excellent in all things. With these goals forming a lens through which I have seen our work over the past five months, here are a few observations I have offered the board: • The three fundamental tasks of the

CCCU are to advocate for the members, convene the members and provide programs for the members. We should never take lightly the preposition in our name—for. Associations are formed “by,” “for” and “of” the members. If the CCCU starts to become mainly about the CCCU, we will be on the same path as a federal government that has become mainly about the federal government. • Our government advocacy covers some areas where we are the single voice. Many items on our agenda overlap with other independent higher education advocacy groups, but there are certain kinds of religious freedom protections we alone are fighting to preserve and fortify. We have to keep government relations a high priority. • The CCCU would benefit from a clearer membership philosophy. Our policy is clear, but our membership values are less so. For example, if we have a “big tent” philosophy, we will have more heft in our advocacy work. If, on the other hand, we have a more exclusive “seal of approval” philosophy, our membership will have lower expansion potential but greater commonality. As a foundation for this discussion, we will be presenting a revamped membership process for the board to consider at their July meeting. • We have great student programs, but they probably need to be retooled. They should be more affordable to more students. We need to explore ways to partner with members’ programs. I’m not sure why a member institution would launch an overseas program in the backyard of one of our BestSemester programs. It doesn’t seem like good stewardship, but it happens. And when it does, we raise our combined costs and dilute each other’s markets, so we need to figure this out. • Because members judge peer groups as quite valuable, we should explore ways to host more groups, more easily, at lower

William P. Robinson costs. The value of gathering goes beyond the fellowship and empathetic exchange of best practices. For example, online networking communities are used most frequently by the most active peer groups, suggesting participants become each other’s trusted advisers. • Washington, D.C. is not perfect. I’m pretty sure there are more dogs here than people. As a runner, that’s unsettling. Every step runs the risk of hitting an above-ground land mine. I’m not saying the board should see this as a compelling reason to relocate, I’m just saying… • We need to give more thought to technology-based member services. Upgrading our website and social media presence are at the top of our to-do list. I suspect the CCCU’s future holds more “broker” and “clearinghouse” services that will rely on greater technological firepower than we have now. • I believe the CCCU is finding greater clarity in its growing diversity. The subtle orthodoxies I encountered more than 20 years ago are giving way to the breadth of Christ’s church. When we come together with our different theologies, cultures, races, genders and institutional types, what we hold in common becomes clearer— our mission of providing Christ-centered higher education and our one foundation of Jesus Christ our Lord. I love this direction the CCCU is heading. Thank you for allowing me to be your partner in this mission and on this foundation.



From the Editor JOINING AN ORGANIZATION six weeks

before it hosts a major international conference is certainly one definition of “trial by fire.” When I arrived at the Council in January, I knew the amount of work that had yet to be done for the Engaged Community conference in February (not to mention this, my inaugural issue of Advance). And though I had graduated from a CCCU institution (Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash.) and attended a CCCU BestSemester program (Los Angeles Film Studies Center), I knew I had plenty to learn about both the Council and its members in preparation for those challenges. Yet I had not anticipated the levels of genuine eagerness my colleagues had to gather with fellow believers united in a common cause: the advancement of Christ and his kingdom through the world of higher education. Nor had I expected that I would be so soon filled with that same enthusiasm. Just a few months ago, I had never imagined I would be in a hotel ballroom surrounded by hundreds of faculty, administrators and staff being challenged by a fantastic group of speakers and joining together in beautiful hymns of worship. Yet as the conference progressed, there was no other place I wanted to be. Now, weeks later, as I’ve reviewed the conference material we’ve included in this issue, I find myself again challenged and invigorated in our common cause—and, admittedly, also longing for that beautiful California weather in the face of yet another D.C. snowstorm. (A Montana native I may be, but that doesn’t make commuting in the snow and cold—especially in D.C. traffic—any more enjoyable.) That’s why we’re glad to share some of what occurred at the conference in 3


this issue of Advance, including the presentations by Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and Erwin Raphael McManus, founder of MOSAIC church in Los Angeles. Their speeches, which examine ways our institutions can broaden their diversity and foster deeper curiosity and creativity among their students, are just a glimpse of the discussions started during the threeday event. We’re also glad to close out the issue with thoughts on the role of beauty from noted artist, writer and speaker Makoto Fujimura, who was the final keynote speaker at Engaged Community. It’s our hope that those conversations that were started at the conference continue in the months and years ahead. So, too, the CCCU continues to move forward in conversations we’ve started, particularly in our advocacy on Capitol Hill. You’ll see our efforts highlighted in a major feature story on the DREAM Act. The Council has long been involved in efforts for immigration reform, particularly when it comes to the children of undocumented immigrants. As CCCU’s Interim President Bill Robinson so succinctly notes, Christ “relentlessly favored the ‘social refugees’ he found within his own culture.” The Council, therefore, strives to do the same, as do many of our institutions. Though legislation continues to be held up in Congress (at least as of this writing), several of our colleges and universities have instituted programs to better serve those students who want to be a part of their communities but cannot afford it because of their immigration status. As evidenced by the students profiled in the piece, those programs can make all the difference in young people’s ability to attend college and, ultimately, to live out

Morgan C. Feddes their God-given callings after they earn that degree. This issue is filled with other ways our institutions help students achieve their God-given callings, whether that’s through deepening the community experienced in online education; through campus initiatives that cut costs, give students hands-on experience in class and promote environmental stewardship all at once; or through partnering with our BestSemester programs to give students a semester to learn and express their faith in an entirely new context. These first few months of my time at the Council have been a whirlwind, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned so far, it’s that God continues to do wondrous work through all of our institutions. As I’ve come to know our programs and each of our institutions a little more, I’ve constantly been reminded of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 12: “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.” So it is with Christ. I was blessed by the CCCU as a student at one of its institutions when I was searching (and, thankfully, finding) my own calling; I look forward to continuing in this, my new role in the body of Christ, in serving with the Council to be a blessing for all the administrators, faculty, staff and students—past, present and future—who will step foot onto your campuses. May we never lose sight of that higher calling God has given each one of us. Morgan C. Feddes is an alumna of Whitworth University and of BestSemester’s Los Angeles Film Studies Program. She previously worked for Christianity Today.


The News of the CCCU Offices CCCU Opposes Proposed Postsecondary Institutions Rating System ON JAN. 31, 2014, the CCCU submitted

a letter to the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Services opposing their plan to institute a Postsecondary Institutions Rating System. Sent by CCCU Interim President William P. Robinson, the letter stated that the wide variety in American postsecondary institutions would make a single ratings system nearly impossible to construct and would hamper President Obama’s commitment to lower-income students. “Such a system, especially if tied to institutional eligibility for aid, would hurt the most vulnerable students,” Robinson emphasized in the letter. “Colleges would threaten their own well-being by accepting low-income, first-generation students whose lower-than-average graduation rates could harm their rating. We believe this is detrimental for institutions that want to serve those students, and thus is ultimately detrimental for the students themselves.” The proposed system is part of the president’s agenda to make higher education more affordable for low-income and middle-class students. If implemented, it would rate each institution’s performance using factors such as graduation rate, average tuition, student debt and graduate income, and potentially award more federal financial aid to those institutions with higher ratings. The CCCU’s letter stated its support for a statement from the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and echoed sentiments from the American Council on Education. All three organizations emphasized that while some efforts by the Department of Education

“Students of different ages, from different backgrounds, who aspire to different careers are all served by our vast and diverse higher education system. There is no possibility for a single ratings system to capture that complexity.” could help students better identify how to find an institution that best meets their needs, a ratings system would diminish the variety of their education options overall. Instead, Robinson wrote, the government could better help students “by partnering with the higher education community in teaching applicants how to ask the right questions about how to evaluate a college and how to find the college that is best for that respective student.” “Students of different ages, from different backgrounds, who aspire to different careers are all served by our vast and diverse higher education system,” Robinson concluded in the letter. “There is no possibility for a single ratings system to capture that complexity. We strongly encourage the federal government to recognize this and to instead partner with higher education to help students and institutions alike achieve their potential.”

Board of Directors Approves New Member FAULKNER UNIVERSITY

in Montgomery, Ala., has joined the CCCU following approval by the CCCU board of directors. Founded in 1942, Faulkner offers more than 40 undergraduate majors in 12 departments, as well as graduate and online programs.












CCCU Releases Results of Annual Financial Survey IN THE 15TH ANNUAL Financial Aid

Survey of CCCU Institutions, a record 84 schools provided solid data to answer a key question: How has the recession’s effect on college tuition impacted CCCU students and their families in this post-recession financial aid landscape? The results, presented in a webinar on Jan. 23 to 266 viewers from 84 institutions, were largely encouraging: Tuition at CCCU institutions remains lower than other private four-year schools, CCCU students continue to see increases in financial aid despite cuts to government aid, and the amount of loans students are taking out is dropping. Though the average cost of tuition increased an average of 3.8 percent, that percentage was lower for the third straight year; last year’s increase was 4.6 percent. Most students receive gift aid that reduces the tuition sticker price. The survey reveals a sharp drop in net tuition price increases over the past few years. In the five years prior to the 2008 recession, the average annual increase in median net tuition prices at CCCU institutions was 6 percent. Since 2008, however, that increase has averaged only 2.1 percent. In spite of these increases, the average

cost of tuition at CCCU institutions is markedly lower than that of other fouryear private schools. According to research from the College Board, the average tuition and fees of private nonprofit fouryear institutions is currently $30,094. In contrast, the average at CCCU institutions is $24,705. Meanwhile, the median amount of institutional gift aid per enrolled student rose to $9,254, up from last year’s median of $8,478. But federal aid decreased slightly to a median of $1,559 per enrolled student; state aid stayed largely flat at a median of $1,048. The number of Pell Grant recipients at CCCU schools for both traditional and non-traditional students dropped and is expected to continue to drop in the near future as family financial situations improve post-recession. CCCU institutions reported that their students did not need to take out as much in student loan debt as they had in previous years. Though the percentage of traditional undergrad students taking out loans stayed flat, the median amount of those loans per student dropped for the third consecutive year to $6,965, a 2.3 percent drop. This decrease has impacted the amount of debt these students have upon

graduation. Though the median amount increased slightly, the growth has slowed significantly over the past three years: $28,558 for 2013 graduates, a 2 percent growth from the median debt of $27,998 in 2010. In comparison, graduate debt grew 23.3 percent between 2007 and 2010. This year, the survey also analyzed nontraditional undergraduate programs and graduate programs at CCCU institutions. Enrollment in both these areas dropped slightly, and both programs are more reliant on loan revenue than traditional undergraduate programs. On average, non-traditional undergraduate students borrowed $5,988 last year, while graduate students borrowed $6,491. Additionally, the survey revealed that 95 percent of non-traditional undergraduate programs at CCCU institutions charge lower tuition prices than their traditional programs. Most graduate programs also had lower tuition, with a median cost of $535 per semester credit hour. However, that number differed depending on the type of degree: A semester credit hour for a Master of Business Administration had a median cost of $583, while a Master of Divinity semester credit hour had a median cost of $471.

CCCU Default Rates Lowest in U.S. Higher Education ONE FINANCIAL STATISTIC gaining relevance, in part because of its potential inclusion in the Obama administration’s proposed ratings system, is the student loan default rate. Starting this year, the Department of Education will calculate default rates based on three-year averages, instead of the two-year average it previously used. The inclusion of the additional year will provide a more comprehensive picture. Though average default rates continue to rise nationwide, the statistics for the most recent three-year default rate (borrowers who began repayment during the 2010 fiscal year) reveal that CCCU institutions have the lowest default rates in higher education. The CCCU’s average default rate is only 7.2 percent, compared to 14.7 percent for all higher education institutions. 5



All CCCU Private Public For Profit All

10% 7.2%


14.7% 13.0%


5% 0%



CCCU Introduces New Online Faith Integration Course AS PART OF its continuing efforts to

enhance Christian education, the CCCU is pleased to offer a new faith integration course for faculty development. Developed in cooperation with CCCU member Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) in Marion, Ind., the course offers CCCU institutions an interactive way for faculty to better understand how to integrate their faith into their teaching. “This course gives [schools] the opportunity to engage new and tenuretrack faculty in a robust conversation about the dynamics of participating in the intellectual and spiritual engagement of our CCCU students,” says Lorne Oke, executive director of the Center for Learning and Innovation at IWU.

One of the highlights of the course is its flexibility, Oke says. The course, which is available for free to all CCCU schools, can be used by individuals as well as entire groups of faculty. Paul Corts, former president of the CCCU, began developing the course and secured the funding needed for it during his time at the Council, after hearing comments from many schools about the necessity of advancing faith integration in the classroom. “If [an institution is] going to be an authentic Christian college, it’s going to happen in the classroom,” Corts says. “You can have a great chapel program and a wonderful student development program that’s built around Christian values … but it really has to happen in the classroom.”

The new course offers a broad base of faith integration topics divided into four modules: the history and culture of Christian higher education, the academic vocation of the teacher-scholar, the integration of faith and learning, and moral development. Each module includes a mixture of video, session summary readings, audio recordings of the summaries and questions for discussion. There is also a set of blogs faculty can use to facilitate discussion. Six CCCU authors collaborated on the course content, all faculty who are highly regarded in their areas, Oke says. “This is not only promoting highquality thinking,” Oke says, “but also a very collaborative approach that should appeal to all of our sister schools.”

Templeton Awards CCCU $1.6 Million for Science and Religion Seminars THE TEMPLETON RELIGION Trust has

awarded Scholarship & Christianity in Oxford (SCIO), the UK center of the CCCU, a grant for $1.6 million to promote interdisciplinary seminars in science and religion for CCCU campuses. The summer seminars, which are planned for 2015 and 2016, will offer interdisciplinary training for CCCU faculty members from around the world and will support the funding of related research projects on their home campuses throughout the academic year. SCIO has been host to similar seminars in the past, first from 1999-2001 and again from 2003-2005. Those early seminars came at a time when the field of science and religion was just getting its start, says Stanley P. Rosenberg, director of SCIO and project director of the new seminars. “Science and religion as a discipline asks specific questions about ways in which the two ways of knowing investigate the world, overlap, productively criticize each

other and spur growth in understanding and knowledge,” Rosenberg says. “[The earlier seminars] put the CCCU among the front ranks of those who were addressing these questions seriously, and many of the participants have become significant contributors in the field.” Though more than a decade has passed since the first SCIO-hosted seminars, the importance of the dialogue between the two fields has only increased over time, says Alister McGrath, Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford and academic director of the seminars. “This realization that the science and religion dialogue is going to be of longterm importance for Christian colleges and universities was a major consideration in developing this program,” McGrath says. Similar to the past SCIO conferences, the new program will feature research seminars for faculty, hosted in Oxford, that aim to develop interdisciplinary training for CCCU faculty around the

Originally designed to house the Radcliffe Science Library, the Radcliffe Camera now serves as a reading room for Oxford’s main research library, the Bodleian. Photo by Ann Amador.

globe. But while the program builds upon the strengths of the previous seminars, it also expands in new directions, according to McGrath. “One of the most distinctive and exciting CONTINUED > CCCU ADVANCE | SPRING 2014



things about the new seminar program is that it builds in new ways of developing the vision and vocation of young scholars— for example, by using them as research assistants,” he says. It is important for science-faith dialogue and training to include both students and faculty, says Claudia Beversluis, provost

and professor of psychology at Calvin College and one of the members of the program’s advisory board. “Students are interested in these topics, and they want to honor both their faith and their scientific explorations,” she says. “Too many students give up on either science or faith because they have not had

role models who were comfortable in this scholarly territory; too many faculty have not been exposed to the rich resources and conversation partners that are available to help them engage important and fascinating questions.” Application materials will be made available over the summer.

BestSemester Celebrates 10-Year Partnership with Uganda Christian University THE YEAR 2014 marks a significant

milestone for the CCCU and BestSemester’s Uganda Studies Program (USP): a decade of partnering with Uganda Christian University (UCU) in Mukono, Uganda. At a small ceremony during the February Engaged Community conference in Los Angeles, Vice Chancellor John Senyonyi, the chief executive officer of UCU, accepted a plaque from CCCU Interim President William P. Robinson in recognition of 10 years of committed partnership, faithful dedication to Christian higher education and valuable service to USP. “We are proud that the Uganda Studies Program at Uganda Christian University has made ten years,” says Senyonyi. “During these years, we have seen the lives of many students from U.S. colleges and universities blossom and find deeper meaning through their crosscultural experience.” First established in 1913, UCU currently serves more than 11,000 students from 13 countries at five campuses around Uganda; more than 8,000 students attend the main campus in Mukono. “One of the best aspects of the partnership between the CCCU and UCU is the level of friendships that develop between CCCU students and UCU students,” says USP Director Mark Bartels. “Connecting with UCU students helps the CCCU students better understand the Ugandan context because they have so much common ground and can interact as peers. They find that they are asking the same questions about life and their future, and the process of asking them together, 7


L-R: Mark Bartels, Uganda Studies Program director, John Senyonyi, vice chancellor of Uganda Christian University, and William P. Robinson, CCCU interim president, pose after a small ceremony celebrating the 10-year partnership between USP and UCU. Photo by Stan Rosenberg.

from the perspective of different cultures, expands the potential answers to these questions for both Ugandan and North American students.” Nearly 600 students have attended USP during its 10-year partnership with UCU. All USP students take a course on faith and action in the Ugandan context, and choose from a variety of African context courses and UCU electives. In 2009, USP launched a social work practicum under the direction of Lisa Tokpa, USP’s social work coordinator. This emphasis gives junior- and seniorlevel social work majors an opportunity to integrate social work theory and

practice in a cross-cultural setting. Senyonyi says the connections USP students make during their semester-long stay at UCU have created deep, impactful relationships that extend far beyond the students’ short stay on campus there. “Indeed, some have chosen to return to Uganda and serve some more, while others now have ‘family ties’ with Ugandan families, which have given them a sense of Christian love beyond their U.S. context,” he says. “Every end-of-semester send-off is teary and warm. It has been and continues to be such a blessing for us at UCU to touch their lives in a Christian higher education context.”


Documentary Gives Firsthand Look at Experiential Learning NEW DOCUMENTARY featuring in. Or study abroad can be an avenue to watch, says Brock Schroeder, vice president BestSemester’s Australia Studies Centre challenge and push students beyond what for graduate and professional studies and (ASC) highlights the impact an immersive they thought was possible.” enrollment at Mount Vernon Nazarene The film premiered at APU on Feb. University in Mount Vernon, Ohio. semester-long experience can have on 12, and a 15-minute version was shown college students. “It captures the voices of students Though the film, Someone’s Country, is during the CCCU’s Engaged Community as well as the faculty who teach at the focused on student experiences in Australia, conference that same week. Seeing ASC program,” Schroeder says. “Some of it can be useful for programs beyond ASC, instructors encouraging students to engage the elements I thought were interesting the world through other people’s eyes—and relate to the sociological and historical says Kimberly Spragg, ASC director. “It’s a conversation piece about study observing direct results—was powerful to connections—recognizing the voice or abroad,” she says. “It can be a way seeing the world through the eyes of of preparing students before they go a certain person.” [abroad]; it can be a way of talking For Warren Koch, associate about it when they come back.” professor of theater, film and The film follows two ASC television at APU, the film’s students through the course of their emphasis on the importance of semester as they adjust to living with immersive educational experiences host families, learn about Australia’s provided content to discuss with his history and culture, and experience students in future classes. meaningful interactions with “I plan to use the film in my Australia’s people. Throughout the Christianity and Creative Process film, ASC faculty and staff reiterate course, where we spend significant the importance of this type of time on consumer culture, which experiential education for students. is quite different from being the “We’re trying to get the students co-creators God intended us to to think not just with their brains, be,” Koch says. “The film brings up but think with their bodies,” Spragg interesting aspects of ‘being in’ and says in the film. ‘being present with’ a community of The film was directed by Ty Tuin, others. Overall, the film’s point that an Azusa Pacific University (APU) study abroad should be something graduate and ASC alumnus. He more than a ‘consumer abroad shot the footage while working as educational tourism’ should be at a program assistant for ASC during the core of our considerations when the spring of 2013. What initially we design these programs.” began as an opportunity to share Tuin says he hopes those who watch the stories of people ASC interacts the film absorb these same lessons. with turned into something quite “I hope [viewers] can see the different as the project progressed, benefit in leaving one’s home Tuin says. country, in leaving what is familiar “We realized that experience and experiencing a place that is is how we are shaped, so [the vastly different than their own,” film] became more of a defense he says. “Learning to see a world of intentional experiences,” he through another culture’s eyes is a says. “We have a lot of influence really important part of becoming a over students’ lives in those four more rounded person.” months that they’re there. We can All versions of the film are either allow them to have a tourist available to view online at ASC’s experience, where they go and Stills from the film Someone’s Country, which documents a semester at the Australia Studies Centre. simply consume the land that they’re Vimeo channel. A



By Shapri D. LoMaglio, J.D.


Can We Unite but not Unionize?


NIONS HAVE BEEN in the news recently in ways that they have not been in the modern political era. Questions regarding the boundaries of unions have spanned the political spectrum. Conservative governors have challenged public sector unions, and teachers in traditionally progressive cities like Portland and Chicago have engaged in historic strikes. In the last week of March, however, two cases regarding unionization within higher education took center stage. First, on March 26, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decided that the football players at Northwestern University in Chicago are employees of the college rather than students and can therefore unionize. Second, on March 28, the period closed for comments to the NLRB regarding the question of whether adjunct faculty at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) can unionize or not. The regional director of the NLRB’s Chicago office decided that because these athletes spend 60 hours on football and 20 on schoolwork each week during the football season, those who receive scholarships paid on the condition of providing football services to the university are employees “subject to the employer’s control.” This question presented by the Northwestern case—whether its football players are students first and athletes second, or the other way around—could bring a fundamental change to college athletics as well as the relationship that colleges have with all of their students. Though the ratio of sports to studies may be different at many CCCU institutions, particularly at Division III institutions that do not offer athletics scholarships, there are no guarantees to the limits of the application of the NLRB’s decision. The idea 9


of student athletes as employees would be a fundamental change to the relationship between students and the institution of higher education, and could have significant ripple effects in other contexts. A similar question was asked in a case involving Brown University. There, the NLRB ruled that graduate students at private universities could not unionize because they were not employees, as their relationship with the university was primarily an educational one. Northwestern argued that the same was true for their football players, but the NLRB officer rejected that comparison, saying that in the case of these football players—whose time commitment exceeds that of many full-time jobs—their primary role is to be employees; they are students second. While the decision did distinguish the Brown case, there is no guarantee that the Northwestern ruling will not eventually undermine Brown. The PLU case asks whether adjunct faculty at a private college should be allowed to unionize. A 1980 U.S. Supreme Court decision in National Labor Relations Board v. Yeshiva University held that faculty members at private colleges with substantial roles in the management of the institution were ineligible for unionization. The PLU case, however, involves non-tenuretrack, full-time contingent instructors. A regional NLRB director determined that PLU’s full-time contingent faculty do not have enough managerial authority to be precluded from unionizing under Yeshiva, though PLU argued that the full-time contingent faculty members’ full voting rights in the Faculty Assembly and their control over course selection and curriculum are evidence of managerial control. This resistance to unionization does

not stem from lack of care. Seattle University, informed by its Jesuit values, explained this well when its provost posted a statement on SU’s website explaining its reason for discouraging unionization efforts by its adjunct faculty. Specifically, he states that it would be more difficult for the administration to communicate with unionized adjunct faculty members because administrators, including deans and department chairs, would be unable to communicate directly with faculty members about their compensation or working conditions. He also argues that if administrators are unable to respond to the individual needs of faculty members, it could negatively impact their ability to address the enrollment and curricular needs of students. Because PLU is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and is owned by its Region 1 congregants, its case before the NLRB presents issues beyond labor law. Before addressing whether adjunct faculty are eligible to unionize, first the NLRB must determine whether, because of PLU’s religious connection, it can even exert jurisdiction over PLU. The D.C. Circuit Court held in cases involving Carroll College and the University of Great Falls that the NLRB may not assert itself over an educational institution that (1) “holds itself out to the public as providing a religious educational environment,” (2) is a nonprofit and (3) is “affiliated with, or owned, operated, or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a recognized religious organization, or with an entity, membership of which is determined, at least in part, with reference to religion.” In deciding the PLU case, the NLRB regional director ignored this three-part test and instead applied the “substantial


religious character” test that was rejected in Great Falls. Instead of looking at the objective characteristics required by Great Falls, he based his determination largely on the fact that the PLU mission “makes no mention of God, religion, or Lutheranism,” and that “faculty are subject to no religious requirements.” He ignored, however, the numerous documents targeted at potential students that describe PLU’s desire for students to “grow in [their] faith,” and that say, “Our Lutheran roots compel us to search for truth. So bring your faith, your doubt, your conscience and your intellect to PLU.” He also disregarded the fact that PLU is owned by the Lutheran Church. A similar misapplication of the legal precedent in this area has led to similar cases pending before the NLRB involving Catholic institutions Manhattan College, Saint Xavier University and Duquesne University—cases where the CCCU has submitted amicus briefs in support of these institutions’ First Amendment claims. These cases, though all involving the NLRB and higher education institutions, do not have direct or obvious ties to one another. Nor are the legal implications settled, since both will likely go through rounds of appeals over the course of several years. They do, however, point to a couple

of patterns. These cases stem from situations where groups of people with a relationship to the university did not feel like their needs were being adequately addressed. In times of many changes to the structure of higher education and challenges to its fiscal sustainability, is it possible that some groups are bearing a disproportionate amount of the burden—or at least feel like they are? In general, adjunct faculty members teach courses at a lower cost to the institution than their tenured and tenure-track counterparts. While those savings can hold down costs to the students, adjunct faculty members often claim the savings are borne disproportionately by them. At the very least, both cases challenge administrators to figure out how to hear and address the concerns of invested campus constituencies. These concerns are of particular importance during a time when higher education institutions are being viewed with increased skepticism by the public and by lawmakers, as part of the status quo, part of the powerful elite. The PLU case also carries particular implications for faith-based institutions, like CCCU institutions, who want to assert the First Amendment rights that they have under the Constitution, while still affirming workers’ rights. If perception is reality, then the perception in these cases

could confirm the public sentiment that the elite institutions are using their position of power to keep down those with less. This message is obviously not good for higher education or for Christianity. This challenge of messaging is quite obviously not isolated to these stories. So how do CCCU institutions talk about concern for adjunct faculty while still asserting the First Amendment claim that exempts us from NLRB jurisdiction? How do we care for student athletes without acquiescing to their claim of employee status? How do we maintain our religious convictions about controversial social issues without isolating our people or our institutions? Jesus, from a place of ultimate power, lowered himself, and ultimately received glory and honor because of his willingness to do so (Hebrews 2:9). His condescension obviously does not provide an exact template for how to respond in these situations. But it does remind us that approaching these challenging public-perception issues with humility first could possibly create some different perceptions of Christianity—perhaps even ones that will appeal to a culture skeptical of power. Shapri D. LoMaglio is the government relations and executive programs director at the CCCU. A native of Tucson, Ariz., LoMaglio is a graduate of Gordon College and of the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law.

Advertise in Advance! Our nearly 9,000 readers are YOUR key audience For more information and to receive a media kit, please call (202) 546-8713 x311 or email





Embracing Values, Engaging Community At a hotel in downtown Los Angeles, hundreds of people from around the world gathered for three days in February to discuss one goal they all had in common: the furtherance of Christ-centered higher education. By Morgan C. Feddes Photos by Warren Pettit



T WAS A SIGHT common to many

Christian campuses: hundreds gathered in a single room, voices lifted in song as a band of students led worship from a stage front and center. This crowd, however, was not a collection of college students, but rather their leaders—more than 640 presidents, administrators, board members, faculty and staff from around world, gathered together in a Los Angeles hotel for the CCCU’s quadrennial international gathering. This year’s conference, hosted from Feb. 12-14 at Los Angeles’s Westin Bonaventure Hotel, centered on the theme of an engaged community. In his comments during the conference’s opening session, Charles W. Pollard, president of John Brown University and chair of the CCCU Board of Directors, emphasized the common

“I feel conferences like this can be a real catalyst. I especially love being able to bring my senior leadership team together for us to be able to talk with peers at other institutions, but also for us to be able to do things together, because you don’t often get to do that.” D. Michael Lindsay President, Gordon College



cause all the attendees supported: Christcentered higher education. “It’s a great gathering of the community of Christian higher education this week,” Pollard said. “We expect these three days will stimulate your mind, encourage your spirit and renew your commitment to the importance of work in Christian higher education.” Recognizing the challenges facing the CCCU and its members, CCCU Interim President William P. Robinson followed Pollard’s comments by reiterating the importance of uniting behind a clear mission while recognizing the differences in the Council’s network of institutions. “If we don’t value our differences, we will be impoverished in our homogenous thinking,” Robinson said. “If we all think alike, it thwarts growth. … We have to

recognize that we all serve the kingdom of God in different ways, and we have to embrace our equality.” The conference brought together a wide variety of distinguished speakers: Roberta Ahmanson, noted writer and philanthropist; Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Erwin Raphael McManus, founder of MOSAIC church in Los Angeles; Nancy Ortberg, founding partner of Teamworx 2; Gabe Lyons, founder of Q Ideas; David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group; Andrew K. Benton, president and chief executive officer of Pepperdine University; Shapri D. LoMaglio, director of government relations and executive programs for the CCCU; and Makoto Fujimura, noted artist, writer and speaker. The topics covered by each of these speakers were extensive as well: multiculturalism and the impact of the growing Hispanic population on higher education; reimagining Christcentered institutions as the leaders and innovators in all aspects of the liberal arts; factors driving the thinking, faith and spirituality of the millennial generation; current U.S. legislation with the potential to significantly impact higher education; and the role of beauty and its importance to education were just some of the subjects encompassed at the conference. Though there were many speakerdriven sessions, there was also opportunity for attendees to gather together for worship, with performances

THE BUZZ [Regarding Robinson’s Speech] “It’s bringing us back to why we exist and why we need to continue to go forward together. I think if we can figure out a way to do that more intentionally, I’m very optimistic and positive about the future of Christian higher education.” Pete C. Menjares President, Fresno Pacific University

“Samuel Rodriguez’s plenary content was incisive in that it laid out the facts for colleges to be successfully engaged with the ever-growing college-aged Hispanic population.” Shirley Hoogstra Vice President of Student Life, Calvin College

from both Biola University’s and Azusa Pacific University’s chapel bands, as well as the musical group The Brilliance. Additionally, time was set aside for peer groups to meet and discuss issues specific to their fields of work. “It was gratifying to observe how much the membership values meeting with one another,” said Ev Bussema, the CCCU’s director of conference services. “One of my greatest joys in this position is to work with the peer group commissions to plan content that integrates relevant knowledge with a Christian perspective.” Conference attendees were encouraged to participate in interactive question and answer sessions with several of the speakers by texting in their questions. This marked the first time the CCCU had used such a format for questions at an event. The conference’s final morning also brought another first for the CCCU: the hosting of a smaller version of a Q Ideas conference. Lyons opened the session, and nearly a dozen speakers followed him

in a series of timed sessions on a variety of topics, including boundaries in art, student motivation to achieve, the stigma of depression, and an examination of recognizing the importance of what’s new and different, not what’s next. Robinson said the feedback he has received regarding the conference has been positive. “I heard many voices expressing appreciation and optimism,” he said. “They appreciated the opportunity to gather together and be involved in very meaningful sessions. They also seemed to feel encouraged by the direction the CCCU is headed.” Though attendees were only together for a short amount of time, Robinson said he hopes the unity and optimism present at the conference continues. “I hope they continue to take away the strength of e pluribus unum,” Robinson said. “Our diversity makes us stronger when it directs us to our common ground in Christ.”

“One of the great benefits of the conference is the conversation with colleagues from other institutions during the breaks and over a meal. Often our challenges and successes working in Christian higher education are similar, and there is encouragement as we share and discuss this work we are called to: providing a Christian education that has a transformational impact in our students’ lives.” James Krall Vice President of University Advancement, John Brown University

“[Erwin Raphael McManus] left us with the message of openness for student engagement in creative and critical thought—something I believe Christian higher education must wrestle with.” Doretha O’Quinn Vice Provost of Multi-Ethnic and Cross-Cultural Engagement, Biola University

“My favorite session was the Q Ideas hosted by Gabe Lyons. It was relevant and challenging, thought-provoking and practical.” Risa Forrester Vice President for Admissions and Marketing, Oklahoma Christian University CCCU ADVANCE | SPRING 2014



“We expect these three days will stimulate your mind, encourage your spirit and renew your commitment to the importance of work in Christian higher education.” Charles W. Pollard President, John Brown University Chair, CCCU Board of Directors

“[College leaders] can begin the stewardship over those four years to lead [students] into a deeper understanding of … how they can emerge from college focused on their work in the world as a primary place of discipleship.” Nancy Ortberg Founding Partner, Teamworx2



“We have to be equipping the next generation to understand how we can walk into a world that’s messy and muddled and have a vision of what restoration looks like, not only in our relationship with God and one another, but to this world.” Gabe Lyons Founder, Q Ideas

“If we [members] all think alike, it thwarts growth. … We have to recognize that we all serve the kingdom of God in different ways, and we have to embrace our equality.” William P. Robinson Interim President, CCCU

“We have an incredible opportunity—and challenge— when it comes to connecting with this millennial generation.” David Kinnaman President, Barna Group

“The rest of your life is before you. What you envision for that future will shape the reality it will become. You become what you worship. The institutions you serve will become what you, together, worship.” Roberta Ahmanson Noted Writer and Philanthropist

“We must be vigilant about incursions into who we are and what we do.” Andrew K. Benton President and Chief Executive Officer, Pepperdine University

“The future of Christ-centered, Bible-based American Christianity lies in the effective equipping, education and empowering of America’s ethnic minority communities.” Samuel Rodriguez President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

“This to me is what higher education is all about: believing that God is the God of all truth.… That God is the God that if we search everything that has been created, we will find more evidence and more proof of him.” Erwin Raphael McManus Founder, MOSAIC Church (Los Angeles)

“There is a fundamental conflict right now between the [Obama] administration’s goals. On the one hand, they want greater access for low-income and first-generation and minority students, and on the other hand, they want colleges to be cheaper and graduation rates to increase.”

“So perhaps instead of asking students for success, we may want to ask for beauty. Not the superficial kind of beauty that the world desires, but … the kind of willingness and innocence [that is] revealed in the most dramatic of times.”

Shapri D. LoMaglio Director of Government Relations and Executive Programs, CCCU

Makoto Fujimura, Noted Artist, Writer and Speaker CCCU ADVANCE | SPRING 2014


THE MOSAIC OF HIGHER EDUCATION By Samuel Rodriguez and Erwin Raphael McManus


SAMUEL RODRIGUEZ is the president of

the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, also known as the Hispanic Evangelical Association, the nation’s largest Christian Hispanic organization, which represents more than 40,000 Hispanic evangelical churches across the United States. Rodriguez delivered this plenary address at the Engaged Community conference in February during a joint session with Erwin Raphael McManus. I AM OFTEN asked, “What is a Hispanic

born-again Christian? How would you best define your community?” The answer lies embedded in a simple recipe. A Hispanic Christian is what you get when you take Billy Graham and Martin Luther King, Jr., put them in the blender and put salsa sauce on top. That’s my community. So I’m here today as the proud father of three—well, two, technically, and one on the way— CCCU-attending school students: Yvonne and Nathan, at William Jessup University, a wonderful school in Northern California. My youngest, Lauren, whom I will explain in a few minutes, will be attending a very well-known CCCU school here in Southern California. Within the pathetic melees of our nation, the issues our nation currently confronts— melees that include relative moralism, cultural decadence, spiritual apathy and ecclesiastical lukewarmness—an authentic, what I call prophetic, opportunity exists for Christian colleges and universities to effectively engage the multiethnic tapestry of God’s kingdom mosaic. Permit me to respectfully state the obvious: America’s demographical landscape currently experiences unprecedented change. America’s ecclesiastical landscape is likewise changing. It must be told that Christian colleges and universities carry the challenge to address the change in a Christ-honoring and kingdom-building manner. Now, some of the schools here have begun that process. Let me commend you and applaud you for broadening your optics to successfully engage the diversity of America’s spiritual, ecclesiastical and demographical landscape. In other words:

Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, speaks at the Engaged Community conference in Los Angeles, Calif., in February. Photo by Warren Pettit.

Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore. And as America becomes more ethnically and culturally diverse, recruiting and retaining ethnic students, students of color—in my context, I’m going to speak more from the Latino lens—no longer stands as a luxury or as an act of political correctness, or even as a viable, aesthetically driven, market-branding, optics-driven outreach. Rather, diversification represents nothing more and nothing less than the very future and, to a great degree, the very viability of American evangelicalism and American orthodox Christianity in the 21st century. In essence, the future of Christ-centered, Bible-based American Christianity lies in the effective equipping, education and empowering of America’s ethnic minority community. So we must ask ourselves today: What are the implications? The first implication that I have for you, for your prayerful deliberation and consideration: CCCU members must recognize that this is the hour—from the Latino context now—of the Latino Reformation. Sixty million Latinos, Hispanics, of which 20 percent at minimum, according to Luis Lugo at Pew [Research Center], self-identify as bornagain or evangelical. Gastón Espinosa from Claremont McKenna [College] places the figure closer to 16 million.

Latinos represent the fastest-growing demographic within American evangelical Christendom—to such a degree that roughly seven out of 10 individuals on any given day that give their lives, accept Christ, confess Christ as Lord and Savior are of Latino descent. If you ask the Southern Baptists, the Assemblies of God, the Church of God, the Foursquare Church and others, you will find that they identify the Latino increase, the ethnic increase, as the growth factor for their respective denominations and networks. So parenthetically, this is our Latino Reformation. What does that mean? It took 400 years for Martin Luther’s Reformation to really saturate Latin America. We have seen the Latino Reformation taking place in the past 50 years reflecting the beginning [of Luther’s Reformation]. What does it mean for our schools? It means that we have yet to see the fullness of the Latino evangelical growth explosion both in Latin America and here in America. So this will continue to represent the fastest-growing Christian demographic in America for years to come. Second implication: For CCCU schools to effectively recruit and retain Latino students, America’s Christian colleges and universities must, must reconcile Billy Graham’s message with Dr. Martin Luther CCCU ADVANCE | SPRING 2014



“Latino and ethnic students desire to receive a Christian education that will equip them to lead in the marketplace, to defend their faith, to shine the light of Christ from the barrio to the Beverly Hills, from the classroom to the board room, with the quintessential metric of doing one thing: changing the world.” King, Jr.’s march. What does that mean? It means Latino and African-American Christian students desire to receive an education that reconciles the vertical and horizontal planes of the Christian message. The curriculum, the degree programs, the school ethos, the optics and metrics must of course reconcile academic rigor with spiritual formation, but with the commitment to amplify a Christian faith that is both vertical and horizontal. The cross is both vertical and horizontal. Life is both vertical and horizontal. Vertically, we stand connected to God, his kingdom, eternal life, spiritual truth, divine principles and glory. Horizontally, to our left and to our right—wink, wink— we exist surrounded and revealed through community, relationships, family, culture and society. Simply stated, the cross is both vertical and horizontal. It is both redemption and relationship, holiness and humility, covenant and community, kingdom and society, righteousness and justice, salvation and transformation, ethos and pathos, John 3:16 and Matthew 25, orthodoxy and orthopraxy, Billy Graham and Dr. King, faith and public policy, prayer and activism, sanctification and service, imago dei and habitus christus, missions and the marketplace, the new Jerusalem and Los Angeles, California. Latino and ethnic students desire to receive a Christian education that will equip them to lead in 19


the marketplace, to defend their faith, to shine the light of Christ from the barrio to the Beverly Hills, from the classroom to the board room, with the quintessential metric of doing one thing: changing the world. The third implication: To effectively recruit and retain ethnic and Latino students, CCCU schools must incorporate a Hispanic genome within the mitochondria of corresponding institutions—in other words, ethno-cultural contextualization. We need to look at curriculum in our schools. Does that curriculum at all celebrate, validate and affirm ethnic contributions? Not at the cost of sacrificing others, by the way, but in addition to. For example, in missiology, as we look at the missions movement throughout the world, we must make sure we don’t suffer from cultural myopia. We must include African-American, Latino, Asian and other missionaries that have likewise shared the gospel of Christ around the world. When we historically analyze the growth of American evangelicalism in the 20th century, for example, it is important to include the contributions of the Billy Grahams, the G. K. Chestertons, of C. S. Lewis and Harold Ockenga, but we must likewise include the contributions of Hermano Pablo, of Luis Palau, of Juan Lugo, of Yiya Ávila and others. We need to intentionally recruit Hispanic faculty. We need to make sure

that the commitment to outreach is not tokenistic or deemed or perceived as a patronizing sort of exercise. In order to assure that it’s not just the extension of a limited initiative or campaign, the commitment must be institutionalized, so it’s not in the sense of tokenism or in the spirit of affirmative action. But to really assure that, we must recruit trustees to our boards that are either Latino, that understand the culture, or have a strong heart for the community. The marketing tools and branding platforms must engage the heart, the head and the hand of the community. Marc Gobé, in his book Emotional Branding, looked at the Target/Walmart sort of campaign to engage the Latino consumer. What we know from this study is that once a Latino, once a Hispanic embraces a brand, that embrace is multigenerational. So once you have a Latino student going to John Brown University or to Biola, once you have a student going to Northwestern University, it probably will not end with that Latino student. There is a good possibility that that Latino student, when they get married and they have children, they will kind of persuade with a Latino anointing— that’s a very interesting anointing—their children to attend that university—their children, and their children’s children, and their children’s children. There is a multigenerational allegiance that is


specific—not exclusive, but definitely specific—and applicable to the HispanicAmerican, to the Latino Christian community. Fourth implication: Let me be very nuanced here. If you really want to effectively [address] the implications of this diversity, this demographical shift—I’m addressing more of a Latino context—but if you really want to make inroads with the community and diversify and reach out to this community, you must make room for those that are both automatic and charismatic. The vast majority of Hispanic evangelicals self-identify themselves as Pentecostal, charismatic or Spiritempowered—the vast majority. Side note: In America, if you’re Latino, you are probably either a Catholic or an evangelical. If you are a Catholic or an evangelical, you’re probably charismatic. According to Luis Lugo at Pew, 52 percent of all Hispanic Catholics are charismatic. It makes the Latino community a very charismatic, Spiritempowered community. Latinos are people of the Spirit. So, accordingly, if the Christian schools exhibit a de facto or de jure indifference or hostility to this ever-growing segment of American Christendom, it will alienate the prospective Latino student. I’m not suggesting at all that CCCU schools should engage in a hallelujah fest. What I’m proposing is the accommodation of a dynamic thread undeniable in the vast majority of Hispanic evangelicals. The next implication is the relational implication. Let me give you the story now. I have a daughter, Lauren. Now Lauren is a gifted young lady—a very strong cognitive domain, very inclined for mathematics and science. Just a brilliant young lady gifted by God. She came out like her mom. Truth be told, her mom and I were looking at Lauren for Stanford or an Ivy League school. Except that three and a half years ago, a college president, probably in this room right

now, really messed things up for us. Because he’s a friend of mine going back to the Gordon-Conwell [Theological Seminary] days. We met in Sacramento over some coffee. He found out that my freshman daughter at that time was waiting with my wife to pick me up. “So let me meet your daughter.” So he goes outside and meets my daughter Lauren. Shakes her hand, and expresses the following—by the way, not “hopefully” and not “one day”—“Lauren, I’m Barry Corey, and you will attend Biola University.” So Lauren sits down with us a few weeks

You sure you don’t want Pepperdine or Stanford?” Lauren said, “I’m sure of it.” I went, “Lauren, what finally triggered it?” She went, “I remember three and a half years ago”—she forgot his name—“your friend shook my hand and said I’m going to Biola. I’ve been researching Biola ever since. I don’t want to lose my spiritual grounding.” She understands my language. So she says, “Dad, my vertical is my commitment to Christ. My vertical is so important to me. I can likewise enrich my academic life. I can do things. I can change the world by going to Biola.” Just one handshake with this Hispanic American young lady committed to Christ is prompting her to go to Biola. That is the ethos in a nutshell of the Latino community. It’s relationship. It’s el toque. It’s la bendición. That is so la comunidad nuestra. No, I did not speak in tongues right now. I talked about the community right now. So the final implication stems around the area of gatekeeper engagement. For CCCU schools to effectively multiethnically diversify, particularly in the Latino community, [they] must receive la bendición. What does that mean? The pastors and the parents still matter. If you want to reach Latino students in our community, if the pastor from the pulpit— different from non-Latinos—if the pastor from the pulpit blesses the institution, that institution is blessed forevermore. It really is. So you need to engage the pastors, engage the parents. I had this conversation with a denominational leader, a great friend of mine. He said, “Sam, I really want to increase the number of Latino students in our colleges across the country.” I responded back and I said, “Great. Let’s look at your marketing campaign. Let me look at the website of one of your schools right now. Is the website available in both English and Spanish?” The leader said, “Why would it have to be in Spanish? We’re not recruiting

“For CCCU schools to effectively multiethnically diversify, particularly in the Latino community, [they] must receive la bendición. What does that mean? The pastors and the parents still matter.” ago. We were looking at—full disclosure— we had Stanford and Pepperdine. That was our short list. We look at Lauren and say, “Lauren, we’ve been praying for this a number of years now. We really want to hear your heart in the matter. What say ye?” Lauren turns around and says, “Mom, Dad, I’ve made a decision.” I go, “Hopefully that decision has our veto power included in it, right?” Lauren responded and said, “I really feel compelled and moved. I think I know what school I’m going to be attending.” “What school is that, Lauren?” “It’s Biola University.” I went, “Wow, that’s a phenomenal school. Great school.




“Hispanics believe that Christianity stands measured not by the variable or rhetorical eloquence but rather by the constant of loving actions. Reaching out to ethnic students does not mean in any way, form or shape diluting or sacrificing truth. Truth must never be sacrificed on the altar of political or cultural expediency. “ Spanish-speaking students primarily. We’re recruiting Hispanic-American students that demonstrate proficiency in the English vernacular.” But you don’t understand this. It’s the parents who pay the bill. And in the Latino community, if the parents read something in their language, they will bless it. Unless there is that sort of connectivity, be it the conduit of language and the culture, you’re not going to receive the blessing. So it behooves the institution to develop marketing and branding and outreach tools and resources in both the Spanish and the English vernacular. I think we are mature enough to reconcile Geoffrey Chaucer and Cervantes, The Canterbury Tales with Don Quixote. We can do that in the 21st century. So having both an English and a Spanish website, hosting a Hispanic pastors’ luncheon, engaging Hispanic megachurch pastors, obtaining the blessing, facilitating a Hispanic scholarship fund because that one Latino student will attract others—it speaks accolades. That right there may very well serve as the framework for a viable and sustainable strategy for the successful engagement of the Latino, the HispanicAmerican demographic. Let me close with saying the following. 21


These are some of the optics of the community that need to exist in a CCCU school in order to engage this community. Today’s complacency is tomorrow’s captivity. Hispanics believe that Christianity stands measured not by the variable or rhetorical eloquence but rather by the constant of loving actions. Reaching out to ethnic students does not mean in any way, form or shape diluting or sacrificing truth. Truth must never be sacrificed on the altar of political or cultural expediency. It is amplifying truth—may it be the optics of God’s kingdom culture mosaic. I was at a press conference with Senator John McCain in Washington, D.C., in 2006. I arrived from San Francisco to Dulles on a red-eye flight. On that redeye flight—this may not be part of your theological stream or worldview—but for five and a half hours, I had a screaming kid right behind me pushing my seat, so if you don’t believe in demonic manifestation— I’m kidding. But I got off the plane. I obtained my tall nonfat upside-down caramel macchiato. I proceeded to a press conference with Senator McCain. Standing room only in that media gallery. The reporter looks at me—it was about immigration reform—the reporter looks

at me and says, “Reverend Rodriguez” — this is 2006 when all of this immigration reform conversation started—“why do so many people in America fear the Hispanic community and the Hispanic growth?” It was a USA Today reporter, if I’m not mistaken. “Why do so many people in America fear the Hispanic demographic?” I had an epiphany—a download, for lack of a better term. This was my response. I went, “The reason why there is so much fear lies embedded in the very construct of the term ‘Hispanic.’” The reporter looked at me and said, “What in the world did you just say?” I said, “The very prophetic purpose of my community lies embedded in the very construct of the term ‘Hispanic.’” The reporter asked again, “What does that mean?” I went, “Let me break this down for you. Two syllables. First: capital-h his; second: panic.” I said, “We’re not here to teach America salsa, merengue or the cha cha cha. We’re not here to increase anyone’s dividend portfolio that has invested wisely or unwisely in Taco Bell. We’re not here to prompt anyone to press one for English or two for Spanish. We are His-panic. At the end of the day, this community—we are here to bring panic to the kingdom of darkness in the name of Jesus Christ. That’s why we’re here as Hispanics.” I hope you embrace that reality. This community is here to bless our nation, to revitalize the values of our founding fathers. It is a God-fearing, family-loving, hardworking community. If those values, you know, irritate you, then we have issues. They are the very values that make our nation great. So I bless you indeed. I ask God to continue to give you wisdom. I do believe. I want to see CCCU schools full of Latino and African-American and Asian children as expeditiously as possible. Really, there is a sense of urgency. Our nation is confronting so many issues. We need to equip these young people both with great academic rigor and acumen and with spiritual formation where they continue to shine the light of Christ. God bless and God keep you. Thank you very much.



speaker, activist, filmmaker and futurist with an expertise in maximizing creativity, increasing capacity and maintaining personal wholeness. He is the founder of MOSAIC, a spiritual community of faith in Hollywood, Calif., where he has served as the lead pastor for 20 years. McManus delivered this plenary address at the Engaged Community conference in February during a joint session with Samuel Rodriguez. GOOD MORNING. Yeah, this is fun. That

was good. You ever get invited to speak at an event around a subject that you feel absolutely no qualifications or legitimacy to talk about? Yeah, this would be one of those moments for me. When I told my wife and kids I was talking about this, they all looked at me like, really? They invited you to talk about Christian education? I do want to read a verse. Is that all right to do that here? In my Bible, Acts 7:22 says this: “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.” Yesterday, I was on the phone with a couple of Christian leaders from Texas. I was on the phone having a conversation that I used to have six, seven, eight years ago. But about six years ago I made a decision. I dropped out of the broader Christian conversation. I went to my publisher and told them I was done writing Christian books, to my agents and told them I was retiring. I basically shut down our entire social network as a community of faith from Los Angeles MOSAIC [Church] to the world. I sat down with our staff and said we were no longer going to be speaking to the broader Christian community. I sat down with my wife and I told her that I was going to become an artist and begin a new career. I began a company and went into the fashion industry and into the film industry. In my mind, I was never going to be in this kind of space ever again. My wife and I were on a vacation somewhere in Europe. We were in a pool by ourselves, and I was sharing with her my great dilemma with my relationship with Christianity. In her angst, she said, “Are you saying that you do

Erwin Raphael McManus, founder of MOSAIC in Hollywood, Calif., speaks at the Engaged Community conference in Los Angeles, Calif., in February. Photo by Warren Pettit.

not believe in Jesus anymore?” And I said, “This is why I can’t have this conversation with anyone. Of course I believe in Jesus. How can I not believe in Jesus? Jesus changed my life.” But it is a difficult thing to be a follower of Christ who feels a moral and psychological obligation to never stop asking questions. Yesterday, I’m on the phone because I finally said yes to go speak at an event in Texas in about six months. A pastor says, “I don’t think we should have him speak because we have real questions about his soteriology.” And I’m having to go through this rather humiliating process of saying, “Yes, I believe Jesus is God. Yes, I believe God stepped into human history.” In fact, I said, “Before you ask your questions, can I just kind of go through and maybe answer a few of your questions up front? We live under the absolute authority of the Scriptures. I believe that Adam and Eve are real people. I believe that the parting of the Red Sea actually happened. I think fire fell down from heaven when Elijah prayed. I believe that Jesus was born of a virgin and that he was God himself, born sinless and perfect. God among us, crucified, buried and raised from the dead. Any other questions?” “Yeah, a few more. So you believe Jesus is the only way?” “Yes, I believe Jesus is the only way. That Jesus is

the only way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except by him. Any other questions?” As we went through this process, it was just a painful reminder to me that when we talk about higher education, we need to start talking about higher thinking. You cannot have higher education without higher thinking. One of the things that has struck me along the way is a part of the difficulty as an outsider coming in—that has been my journey all my life. I’m an immigrant from El Salvador. Spanish was my first language. I learned English here in the States. I was not a follower of Christ. I became a follower of Christ while I was in college. Knowing what it looks like and feels like to be an outsider trying to find your way inside, many times the space we [insiders] create feels like a suffocating space where we’re not allowed to think. We’re not allowed to create. We’re not allowed to imagine. So I want to say, as a first-generation immigrant Latino who became an American citizen after 9/11—I became an American citizen only after 9/11 because I wanted to be a part of this nation’s social pain, cultural pain and historical pain. But before that, I couldn’t find a reason to become an American citizen. I know every American thought it should be sort of a CCCU ADVANCE | SPRING 2014



“You want to move to the highest level of education? Become the universities that focus on unleashing a human capacity that see uniqueness and creativity in every person, that begin to explore the power of human imagination and inventiveness.” given that anybody who comes here wants to be an American citizen, but I kind of felt like El Salvador needed me more as a citizen than the United States did. Besides, I was really troubled by the fact that I could not become president of the United States because I was a first-generation immigrant. My wife would say, “Why won’t you become an American?” I said, “First of all, I am an American because America is a continent. It’s not a country. You guys try to capture the whole continent as your own, but you’re a United Statesian, not an American. Now, I’m an American completely.” I tried to explain to her, “Why would I want to become a part of a nation that won’t let me lead it? I’d rather just go ahead and take over a small country.” But that mindset from a person who comes from a Latin American country is not readily and easily accepted in our broader Caucasian Anglo-Saxon culture— that a person would expect that their life has intention and meaning and that there are no limitations to what we can accomplish and do in the world. I have to tell you, it has always been an incredible challenge to discover continuously what it means to reinvent yourself as a human being and to conform to a broader community of faith. I love this verse about Moses because it said Moses was educated in the wisdom of the Egyptians. If we’re going to truly have higher education, we have to stop fearing 23


the Egyptians. Not only that, we need to stop despising the wisdom of the Egyptians. It wasn’t that Moses learned the education of the Egyptians or the information of the Egyptians, but he learned the wisdom of the Egyptians. If we’re truly going to move to a higher level of thinking—if we’re going to learn to how to become the environment within which the world learns and grows and develops— if we’re going to become the epicenter of the world leaders of the future, we’re going to learn how to become comfortable finding the wisdom of God in every worldview and every philosophy and every belief system. We should be the ones who are pioneering in biology and in botany. We should be the pioneers in environmentalism and the pioneers in science. We should not be the ones who are seen in conflict with thinking, exploring, researching. A part of what shook up my faith, to be perfectly frank, is I became a part of a community called TED—Technology, Entertainment and Design. I don’t know if you’re familiar with them. I always admired TED. One of my scientist friends actually first turned me on to TED. He worked for JPL [Jet Propulsion Laboratory]. I started trying to get in, and I kept applying, but I couldn’t get in—I didn’t have the right qualifications to get into TED because they have certain criteria. So finally, I had an idea. I took

off everything I’d ever done in my faith journey and applied to TED, and I got in. So I thought that was kind of interesting. I got into TED. I went to Tanzania. I flew to Africa just to be able to dive in with 600 of the best thinkers in the world in every one of their fields. When I finished my first TED after five days, I literally began weeping. I called my wife and I said, “I’m finally home.” Now, I wanted my home to be here. I wanted my home to be our faith, our community. But I felt at home in a place where 99 percent of the people do not believe in God, where 99 percent of the people are probably atheists or agnostics at best. If they have spirituality, it would more Buddhist. But I felt at home because everyone there was on a relentless pursuit of truth. Everyone was willing to ask hard questions, to acknowledge their ignorance and pursue light wherever it would take them. I thought, “This is what our faith is supposed to be like.” This, to me, is what higher education is all about: believing that God is the God of all truth. That God is the God of science and biology. That God is the God of botany and humanity. That God is the God that if we search everything that has been created, we will find more evidence and more proof of him. I don’t know how to tell you how to attract more multiethnic constituency in your universities, but I would like to talk to you about drawing in the best in the world and nurturing and maximizing the best in the world. One of the things I love about being Latin is I always tell people that Latins are the hope for world peace. You know this is true because we Latins will marry anyone. We think everyone is beautiful. It’s true. I know. I have friends, you know, that like—I’m on Hollywood Boulevard. You know what’s scary when I see people dating? They tend to date people that look just like them. I mean, they marry people who look just like them. In fact, one day I was watching The Today Show. Let me fix that. My wife was watching The Today Show. I was near my


wife. I heard this relational expert jump on The Today Show. They said, “Next we’re going to talk about relationships.” I thought I should watch. I mean, I need to learn about relationships. I’m a man. I can always learn something else. My wife is always reminding me of that. So I sit down. There’s this woman. She goes, “Ladies, today I’m going to talk to you about how to attract a man.” I probably should have stopped listening right then, but I had this thought: I wonder how you attract a man. I might need this. I don’t know. So I sat down and listened. She says, “Now, ladies, the way you attract a man is you begin to mimic his characteristics. What you need to do is first subtly mimic his facial characteristics. When he sees his facial characteristics in you, he’ll be more attracted to you. Then as you continue the conversation, begin to mimic his hand mannerisms. As you subtly mimic his hand mannerisms, he’ll be even more attracted to you.” I thought, this can’t be who we are. What she is really saying is every man is really looking for a female version of himself to love. This explains the church. See, we say that we love humanity, but really we don’t even love people. We love ourselves. We love everyone that we see ourselves in. That explains why churches are homogenous. It explains why there’s a lack of diversity. It explains why we have a hard time seeing greatness in other people. Because in the end, we look in the mirror when we look in the face of other people. What do we have to do to begin to see the greatness and beauty and wonder and uniqueness of others? The reason I have a hard time talking about education is I was a straight D student first through 12th grade, and not because I didn’t try. I somehow wasn’t really crafted for that particular structure. I mean, every year I would tell myself, “This year is the year I’m going to make straight A’s.” Then, I would realize that [the other students] had gone on, and I was oblivious to what happened. I would go off and drift off into other places and universes

and live in my imagination. I couldn’t get into college being a pretty much straight D student. My English teacher, on the last day of high school, said to me, “Erwin, have you thought about going to college?” I said, “Yeah, maybe.” She said, “You will never make it.” I said, “Thank you,” because I was polite. I remember in seventh grade I wrote a paper, a short story, and my English teacher gave me an F. I asked her, “There’s nothing of value in this story?” She said, “I don’t know. I can’t read it. Your penmanship is terrible.” This was before computers. I’m 55. It was before technology was born. So she made me write it again. The second time, I got an F again. She felt I was being

right before that verse it says when Moses was born, he was no ordinary child. That when Moses was born, he was a divergent thinker. He was a creative thinker. He was an imaginative thinker. The real challenge in life is not to find unique, original, creative people. The real challenge is to keep unique, original, creative humans that way throughout their entire life. You want to move to the highest level of education? Become the universities that focus on unleashing a human capacity that see uniqueness and creativity in every person, that begin to explore the power of human imagination and inventiveness. We live in an entirely new world. Our entire educational system was built on the power of redundancy. That world will no longer hold up. The future will belong to the universities that unlock human capacity. After six years, I finally found my way back through all of this, mostly through my kids. Don’t you just love your kids? You know, my son called me up from New York. He said, “Hey, Dad, we need to talk.” He said, “You know, if we keep making bags”—because we had a fashion company—“and keep making films, but don’t take Jesus to the world, we’ve accomplished nothing.” I thought, “Wow, who stole my kid’s phone?” Then my daughter came to me and said, “Dad, you know, you need to jump back in. We need you to speak on our behalf to the world.” So we kind of jumped back into life and into ministry. I just watched God begin to work in the most beautiful ways. One of the things that has really struck me is that the church is reflective of our view of God and our view of the Scripture. What we need to do is change our minds about what God has given us. Two weeks ago, I was in New Zealand. A film director asked me, “How can you advocate human creativity when the Bible gives little room for creativity?” Everyone in the room resonated with his question. I realized in the moment that this is the battle we have to fight. This is the battle that we must win.

“This, to me, is what higher education is all about: believing that God is the God of all truth.” defiant and rebellious. It’s because I have no fine motor skills. So the third time, she gave me an F again. What she told me in that moment is that I had nothing to offer. That there was nothing inside of my imagination, inside of my reasoning, inside of my soul that even translated on the Richter scale of value that had any worth at all. I look back and I realize that we have been trained to value echoes rather than voices. We have been trained to teach people to conform to our systems rather than to unleash human creativity. You know, the studies on divergent versus convergent thinking [found] that 95 percent of us, when we’re children, have the incredible capacity to think divergently, to think outside of the lines, to think creatively. By the time we’re 12 years old, that flips around; about 95 percent of us lose our capacity to think creatively, inventively or uniquely. That’s what I love about Moses, because




“We have been trained to value echoes rather than voices. We have been trained to teach people to conform to our systems rather than to unleash human creativity.” You see, I hear this tension almost between being true to the Scriptures and being intellectually honest. There’s no tension. I hear this tension between being grounded in Jesus and allowing our imaginations to soar. But there is no tension there. We need to take the Scriptures back from those who made it a manuscript of conformity and reclaim it again as a manifesto of creativity. We need to take the Scriptures back and take back

the story of God, that he is all about our obedience, and realize that God is all about our freedom. What would happen if our universities became once again the epicenters of true human thought and exploration? What would happen if our universities again believed that every human being was uniquely created by God, and that uniqueness is to be nurtured and valued and cared for and unleashed?

Can you imagine what the future would look like if we didn’t just have a place where our kids wanted to go to school so that they would not lose their beliefs, but that the whole world would beg to get into our schools so that it would not lose its edge? It’s time for us to stop trying to protect our beliefs and traditions and our past, and believe that God is powerful enough to do that, and start creating the future of humanity. And believe that inside of a child right now, inside of someone’s imagination, is the world that God wants to create. For whatever reason, this human species has the uniqueness that no other species has. Being at TED, I would hear people talk about one flower they studied all their life. Or one insect they studied all their life. Or one animal, like the whale. In fact, I remember my first TED. I saw this older woman and I thought, oh, I need to find someone I can talk to because I feel so out of place. I thought, no one is going to talk to her. She’s not cool and hip and

Preparing Scholars and Leaders to Make a Difference Azusa Pacific University’s Ph.D. in Higher Education prepares graduates to make a difference in the world through research and leadership skills that impact student learning and success. Flexible scheduling Students spend two weeks at APU each January and July for three years, with year-round learning opportunities through professional conferences, online technology, and conference calls. Experienced faculty Learn from professionally active scholars who are committed to student success. Cohort model Designed for working professionals in college and university settings. Theory-to-practice model Allows classroom learning to be applied immediately in the work environment. Strengths-oriented approach Unique method of teaching, learning, and research enhances the educational experience. Built-in dissertation Students who remain with their cohort can complete the degree in four and a half years at a guaranteed tuition rate.

Ph.D. in

For more information, visit, call (626) 815-5349, or email

Higher Education Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) 14930

14930_7_75x5.indd 1



7/26/13 9:10 AM

everything else. So I went up to her and said, “Hey, do you have anyone to talk to during lunch?” She goes, “No.” So we got our food and sat down. We started talking for like an hour, and about eight people came and sat down with us. They were just listening so attentively to us. I thought, wow, this is so cool. She knew more about gorillas than anyone I had ever met in my whole life. Finally, after about an hour, I said, “Jane, can I ask you a question?” She said, “Sure.” I said, “Are you Jane Goodall?” She goes, “Yes, I am.” I thought, “That explains the gorilla thing.” After having been a part of like 10 TEDs, I thought, I need a species. Like everybody has a species. I don’t have a species. Then one day, it was as if God just said, “Are you the stupidest human being that I’ve ever created? You have a species. Your species is called humans. You’ve been studying humans all your life. What do you see about them?” Then it hit me. See, bees create hives. Ants create colonies. Beavers create dams. But they just have an instinct to do what every other bee and beaver does. But what humans do is create futures. Only human beings have the capacity to materialize the invisible. We imagine, and then we create. We dream, and then we create. There are no gazelles out there going, “I don’t know. Life just isn’t feeling like it used to.” There are no lions going, “I know I’m king, but I feel like I’m just underachieving.” I’m telling you, there is no antelope that says, “I’m done! I’m out of the system! We run; they hunt. No! Today, we hunt! Are you with me?” It’s not happening. But human beings, they will wake up with this horrible sense of angst— that there is a life they are supposed to live they’re not living. A world they’re supposed to create that they’ve never, ever experienced. We humans have been given the unique capacity by God to materialize the invisible. That, to me, is what Christian education must become—the shaping of the human spirit so that it informs the imagination, giving us the skills and competencies to translate that imagination into a reality that changes the construct of humanity. That, for me, is worth my life. I hope it’s worth yours. God bless.

Vocation is Integral, not Incidental, to the Mission of God.

IVP Press Ad

Vocation is so much more than a job—it is our relationships and responsibilities woven into doing God’s work in the world. Drawing insights from literature, music, current events and his own interactions with people all around the world, Steven Garber uncovers the inspiring truth: as we help the world flourish, we flourish too.

“Steve Garber has a way of making me feel spiritually rich. . . . His exceptional biblical insight and profound humanity increase my hunger for God and the ways of God. I am left seeking God’s calling into a more genuine human life.” —Mark Labberton, president, Fuller Theological Seminary




Beyond a DREAM: Students and Immigration Reform By Jessica Shumaker

Patricia Vazquez, a student at Fresno Pacific University, works in the strawberry fields to offset the costs of attending college.




Courtesy of Patricia Vazquez.


OR PATRICIA VAZQUEZ, laboring in the

strawberry fields of Central California over the last two summers has been some of the hardest, most humbling work she’s done in her life. An undocumented immigrant in the United States, Vazquez says she took on the job because “that’s where you get the most hours.” She wears a bandana during the day to ward off sunburn and comes out of the fields covered in dirt, but the work has a purpose: It’s paying for her living

expenses and books as she works her way through Fresno Pacific University in Fresno, Calif. Vazquez, a 20-year-old junior, is studying political science there with the hopes of going on to law school and working in education law to help other young people like herself find the means to get an education. She is part of a group of young people known as DREAMers—students who, through varying circumstances, unlawfully find themselves in the United States. The group’s name is derived from the DREAM Act,




which stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors. It was first introduced in Congress in 2001 as a bipartisan effort by Senators Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to offer a path to citizenship for children brought to the U.S. illegally but who were raised here and consider it home. The Immigration Policy Center says the law could apply to as many as 65,000 students annually. The most recent stand-alone version of the law, introduced in 2011, sought to allow certain undocumented students to apply for temporary legal status before obtaining permanent legal status and becoming eligible for citizenship by going to college or serving in the military. While there is bipartisan support for the DREAM Act, it has not yet received full congressional approval. Meanwhile, states have acted. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there was a 64 percent increase in laws and resolutions passed in this area at the state level between 2012 and 2013. Currently, undocumented students are eligible for state aid in four states: California, New

The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins.” – Ezekiel 18:20

Mexico, Washington and Texas. Fifteen states allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates. A HISTORY OF CCCU SUPPORT Since the DREAM Act was first introduced in 2001, all four CCCU presidents have supported it. Written testimony by former CCCU President Paul R. Corts to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security in support of the 2011 version of the DREAM Act asserted that the act upholds the biblical concept of withholding punishment from children when it comes to the sins of their parents, as referenced in Ezekiel 18. “Without such legislation, children

that were brought to the United States illegally, through no fault of their own, will continue to be subject to the consequences of federal immigration law with no path to citizenship in the country that, in many instances, they have lived in for most or all of their lives,” Corts wrote in his testimony. The lack of a pathway to citizenship gives undocumented students few options beyond returning to their countries of origin—countries they may have never lived in or where they might even not know the language, explains Shapri D. LoMaglio, director of government relations and executive programs at the CCCU. “As a result, many choose to stay in the country but live in the shadows,” LoMaglio says. “Their ability to work or have productive lives in the U.S. is diminished. Even if undocumented students do manage

LEFT: Evangelical students and pastors pray in front of the U.S. Capitol building on July 24, 2013, as part of the Evangelical Immigration Table’s push for compassionate and just immigration reform consistent with biblical teaching. Photo courtesy of Les Talusan / Evangelical Immigration Table. BELOW: These students participated in Bluefield College’s Inspire Éxito program, which helps Latino high school seniors prepare for college. Photo courtesy of Bluefield College.




to fund their education, they face not being able to work legally in the U.S.” The DREAM Act would instead allow them to contribute to the country as educated citizens who can legally participate in the economy or serve in the armed forces, she says. SUPPORT WITHIN HIGHER EDUCATION The CCCU has also joined with the American Council on Education (ACE) to show support for the law. Last year, the CCCU joined ACE in supporting comprehensive immigration reform and endorsing the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 [see sidebar]. In addition to its DREAM provisions, the higher education advocates also highlighted their support for the increased number of high-skill visas that the bill proposes in order to make it easier for graduates of U.S. institutions to stay in the U.S. and work upon graduation. According to the U.S. Department of State, approximately 140,000 of these visas are made available each year. Daniel Watts, campus mobilization senior specialist for G92, an organization that advocates for immigration reform on college campuses, says the visas are extremely difficult to obtain, and wait times can be five years or more. “There’s no correlation between a student visa and an employment-based visa that I know of, so you’re just hoping that a) you find a company that wants to hire you in a recession; b) they are willing to pay all the extra costs that come with sponsoring an immigrant; [and] c) they can make the process happen quickly enough for you to be able to stay,” he says. He adds that many who are undocumented in the U.S. come to the country on student visas, which they then overstay. “Many have jobs and are productive members of society, but there’s no transition from a student visa to any other type of visa,” he says. “You have to start from scratch, essentially.” While the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration

The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act Passed by the U.S. Senate in June of 2013, this immigration bill creates a Registered Provisional Immigrant program for undocumented immigrants and incorporates versions of the DREAM Act.

their RPI requirements, applicants would have to show that they meet English proficiency requirements (or be pursuing a course of study in English), pass an additional background check and pay additional fees.

Who qualifies, and what are the requirements? The bill will allow undocumented immigrants to apply for Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status if they have been in the U.S. since December 31, 2011, pass a background check and pay their assessed taxes along with application fees and a $1,000 penalty. Spouses and children of RPIs would also be eligible. They are not eligible for federal benefits such as Medicaid and food stamps.

When will RPIs be eligible for naturalization? RPIs who have been become permanent residents will be able to apply for U.S. citizenship after three years—meaning undocumented immigrants who legalize this way will have to wait at least 13 years to become citizens.

How long does RPI status last? Initially, RPI status is good for six years, and it may be renewed if the immigrant has remained regularly employed or can demonstrate income or resources above the poverty level. Exemptions include full-time enrollment, maternity or medical leave, disabilities and extreme hardship. When will RPIs be eligible for Lawful Permanent Residence? RPIs will be able to apply for Lawful Permanent Residence (a “green card”) after having had RPI status for at least 10 years, but they will receive permanent residency only after all other applications submitted before the enactment of the bill have been processed. In addition to

How do DREAMers qualify for RPI status? Is there a different timeline for DREAMers? DREAMers apply for RPI status under the same application process as other undocumented immigrants but can apply for a green card after five years. To qualify, an applicant must have entered the U.S. before he or she turned 16, have earned a highschool diploma or GED, have completed at least two years of college or four years of military service, and have passed an English test and background checks, among other requirements. DREAMers may apply for citizenship as soon as they receive their green card. Information adapted from the Immigration Policy Center’s “A Guide to S.744.” For more complete information, visit the Immigration Policy Center’s website.




We pray for reform this year. Our churches, our communities, and our country urgently await your action.” – From the Evangelical Immigration Table’s USA Today Ad to House GOP Members

Modernization Act of 2013 passed the Senate last June by a vote of 68-32, the House has yet to act on it. Thus, in February, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers authored another letter, signed by CCCU Interim President William P. Robinson, which laid out the economic case for immigration reform and

encouraged Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor to follow the Senate’s lead and act to solve the issue. Projections by the Congressional Budget Office have estimated that passage of the DREAM Act could further reduce the federal deficit by as much as $1.4 billion and increase federal revenues by $2.3 billion over 10 years.

The One Voice Gospel Choir from Cedarville University in Ohio sings with Sandra Van Opstal at a worship service in Washington, D.C., on April 17, 2013. The event was hosted by the Evangelical Immigration Table, an unprecedented coalition of groups mobilizing for broad immigration reform. Photo courtesy of Evangelical Immigration Table.



A SWELL OF EVANGELICAL SUPPORT A broad coalition of evangelical organizations, including the CCCU, has formed to promote the need for comprehensive immigration reform through the Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT). The EIT coalesced around six principles: respecting the dignity of every person, protecting family unity, respecting the rule of law, ensuring fairness to taxpayers, guaranteeing secure national borders and establishing a path towards legal status or citizenship. It has obtained hundreds of signatures of support from evangelical pastors and leaders, including those from more than 15 CCCU institutions. Most recently, the EIT purchased a full-page ad in USA Today as Republican members of the House of Representatives met in Cambridge, Md., for their annual retreat on Jan. 29. The ad featured an open letter to the members, letting them know of the EIT’s prayerful support as

Photo courtesy of Patricia Vazquez.

PATRICIA VAZQUEZ, 20 This Jan. 29 ad, paid for by the Evangelical Immigration Table, featured an open letter to Republicans in the House of Representatives meeting in Cambridge, Md. Photo courtesy of Evangelical Immigration Table.

they considered their legislative priorities regarding immigration. “We’re encouraged by signs that you will soon move forward with reforms that will fix our country’s immigration system,” the ad said. Robinson was one of 11 leaders of Christian organizations included in the ad. Other signatories included the leaders of the National Association of Evangelicals, World Relief, World Vision and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Robinson says the decision to support the EIT’s efforts was an easy one for him. “If we scroll down the list of all the people in history who were born, we find only one person who had any choice in the matter,” he says. “And that person, God incarnate, chose a lowly birth and immediate refugee status. So it is no surprise that Jesus relentlessly favored the ‘social refugees’ he found within his own culture. We should do the same.” A GROWING STUDENT MOVEMENT Students on CCCU campuses have also started a movement seeking solutions for the immigration system. G92, named for the Old Testament’s 92 references to the “ger,” a Hebrew word for immigrant, started in 2011 at Cedarville University, in Cedarville, Ohio.

Junior Political Science Major Fresno Pacific University Fresno, Calif. Country of origin: Mexico PATRICIA VAZQUEZ came to the United States when she was 12 years old. Her parents, who had two other children, sent her to the U.S. with a passport and a visa to study English. Her documents eventually expired and she was unable to renew them, leaving her undocumented and living with two of her cousins. During her senior year of high school, Vazquez applied to several colleges in California, hoping to get into a big-name institution. She was admitted to each university where she applied, but she only received enough financial aid to cover one-third to onehalf of the total tuition bill. “As a DREAMer, none of that was an option,” she says. “Where does the other half, other [twothirds] come from? I started thinking maybe college is not an option in the United States.” Her mentor, a tennis coach, connected her with Fresno Pacific University, which she viewed as her last option. “I just knew this was the last thing I could do,” she says, adding that she placed the situation fully

in God’s hands. Vazquez received the institution’s Samaritan Scholarship, which fully covers tuition but not books or living expenses. She’s worked in California strawberry fields the last two summers to help raise money to cover those costs. She said her going to Fresno Pacific was unexpected, but now, she’s come to see her university as the best place for her. “This is a college that’s the best fit for me,” she says. “I saw my status as a hindrance, and now I see it as a blessing.” Not many people know her full story, beyond a few trusted professors and friends. Vazquez has plugged into G92 on her campus, where she’s currently serving as a fellow for the program. She is passionate about sharing the difficulties fellow DREAMers face in trying to become documented, such as a backlogged, bureaucratic system that produces long waits for those seeking documentation. “It’s not that they want to be here without proper documents; there is no route,” she says. “People that are [seeking documentation] are waiting in a line that’s 20 to 30 years long. That’s not going to happen unless we change our laws, and I feel people are not aware of that.” CCCU ADVANCE | SPRING 2014



G92’s website describes the organization as “a student movement that seeks to understand and respond to the challenges and opportunities of immigration in ways consistent with biblical values of justice, compassion, and hospitality.” The organization has since expanded to partner with 26 other institutions of higher education and with national organizations, such as the Christian Community Development Association and the National Association of Evangelicals, and regularly hosts conferences and events on college campuses. Daniel Watts, who oversees G92 and is himself a graduate of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., says it started out as a one-time conference, but student interest in the subject was so strong that the movement grew. Watts says part of the holistic response to the issue of immigration is changing the language used to talk about immigrants and working to engage in ministry with them. He says G92’s main goal is to encourage Christian students to approach immigration reform as a faith issue. “Most people respond to it as a political or socioeconomic issue,” he says. “Those are all important, but we want to primarily look at it as an issue of our Christian faith.” There are several reasons that immigration reform is a faith issue, he says. He pointed out G92’s name as an example. “It’s just an allusion to the fact that though most Christians haven’t heard [it] from the pulpit, it doesn’t mean the Bible doesn’t have a lot to say [on immigration],” he says. “It has a lot, actually … the Bible is very clear, very explicit about how we’re to treat those who are marginalized.” He points out references to caring for the stranger or foreigner in addition to the poor, the widows and the orphans. He also references the parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25. “[Jesus said,] ‘How you treat the stranger is how you treat me,’” Watts says. NAVIGATING A BROKEN SYSTEM In addition to supporting advocacy initiatives, some college administrators are in the trenches of helping undocumented 33


TOP: Jenny Yang, vice president of advocacy and policy for World Relief, speaks at Cornerstone University at a G92 event on Feb. 12. Photo courtesy of the Cornerstone Herald. BOTTOM: A participant in Bluefield College’s Inspire Éxito program receives a signed book from José Galvez, a Latino Pulitzer-winning photographer. Photo courtesy of Bluefield College.

students gain access to education at their institutions. Some CCCU institutions have worked to bring DREAMers onto their campuses either through formal means, like scholarship programs, or through some creative patching together of financial assistance. John Chopka, vice president for enrollment management at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Penn., says financial aid is where the process can become sticky for these students. Because undocumented students are not eligible for federal student aid, they can’t file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). According to the National Center for Education Statistics, during the 2011-2012 year, students averaged $8,200 annually in federal loans across all institution types.

With that part of a financial aid package off the table, Chopka says the university has found some fixes to ensure DREAMers can still attend. One option is to fill the gaps in funds through grants for international students, which require international student paperwork. Messiah has also joined with a local nonprofit organization to provide some scholarship funds, and it also recently opened a significant multicultural scholarship to undocumented students for the first time, though no DREAMers have taken part in the program yet. Although the DREAM Act has not yet been enacted, Chopka says that the 2012 implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which stalled deportation for DREAMers, has brought


change; specifically, students are more comfortable talking about their status openly. He also says the DREAM Act has spurred Messiah to review its policies and practices, noting that immigration reform is the subject of numerous conversations behind the scenes. So far, he sees much of the burden on what to do with undocumented students falling on institutions. “At this time, there haven’t been any agencies locally that have emerged that have the bandwidth to support the students’ [financial needs]. It doesn’t bridge the gap for many of these students,” Chopka says. A QUESTION OF MISSION Bluefield College in Bluefield, Va., is another CCCU institution that has developed specific scholarship support for DREAM students. According to Bluefield President David Olive, the institution’s emphasis on loving its neighbors has driven it to want to be the presence of Christ to the poor, the neglected and the outcast. “We recognize the financial challenges that many of these students and their families encounter as they consider a college education, and we attempt to remove as many of these financial barriers as possible,” says Olive. In addition, the college has initiated the Inspire Éxito program, an outreach program to Latino high school seniors and their parents to help prepare students for college. Participants in the program spend a weekend receiving practical, straightforward information on both financial aid and the college application process, and they interact with successful Latino leaders and role models. Three competitive $10,000 scholarships to Bluefield are also available for Inspire Éxito participants. Olive notes that these efforts are consistent with Bluefield’s mission. “We want to do all that we can to meet the needs of Latino students and their families, much as the college has in serving the students and families of Central Appalachia for nearly 100 years,” he says.

locating a closer place to live. For a period of time, Cholula was working night shifts where she wouldn’t be able to sleep because she’d be in class all day, then go straight to a 12-hour shift at her factory job. It’s a job she is able to hold under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Photo courtesy of Ismaela Cholula.

ISMAELA CHOLULA, 19 Freshman Nursing Major Eastern University St. Davids, Penn. Country of origin: Mexico ISMAELA CHOLULA came to the U.S. twice as a child. Her father came first to the country seeking opportunities for his family, and he sent for Cholula to join him when she was eight months old. She lived in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. When she was seven, she moved back to Mexico with her sister for two years before returning to the United States. She says family hardship is what necessitated the moves, with her parents struggling to support their children. She came to Eastern University during high school through a dual enrollment program. Though she wasn’t sure if she could afford college, she was offered a full-tuition scholarship. Cholula says initially she faced some difficulties as she worked to support herself financially as well as take classes. Unable to afford living on campus, she lived at home at first. She described waking up at 4 a.m. so her father could drive her the hour from their home to the university and get back in time to go to work. “It was a long day,” she says. Eventually she received help in

According to the Department of Homeland Security, deferred action is “a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion.” While it does not give legal status or provide a path to citizenship, those who qualify for deferred action may receive authorization to work legally in the U.S. on a temporary basis. Deferred action is granted in twoyear periods. Still, Cholula says she doesn’t know what the future holds for her status. “I’m still kind of unsure. There’s still that worrisome [thought that] you will be sent back to your country,” she says. While she says she hasn’t encountered any comments about being undocumented, she knows that some people are opposed to immigration reform. “I would tell them it would be a great opportunity for a lot of young people who have lived here their entire lives,” she says. “I think that since we are a very diverse group, there’s a lot we can offer this country.” Cholula says that at this point, all she can do is hope for the best. “Right now what I’m doing is focusing on school and doing good and hopefully everything will be good,” she says. “There’s not much I can do.”




THE POLITICAL BECOMES PERSONAL In states like California, where undocumented students became eligible for state aid this academic year, institutions like Fresno Pacific University are seeing more undocumented students apply. Dina Gonzalez-Pina, assistant dean of multicultural ministries at the university, says currently there are 15 undocumented students enrolled there. Now, under the state’s version of the DREAM Act, students can apply for Cal Grants, which average around $9,500. The university also offers two full-tuition scholarships annually to undocumented high school graduates. Gonzalez-Pina says the establishment of the scholarships and the shift toward bringing DREAMers on campus has changed the lives of the students and the institution itself. Undocumented students have raised the bar for student achievement, whether in the classroom, on athletic fields or in the arts, she says.

A sign at a Boston immigration rally. iStock.

“It seemed like in every category, they were excelling,” Gonzalez-Pina says. “It was a mutual transformation—we helped transform them, but they helped transform us.” Gonzalez-Pina says the university is located in a heavily agricultural area, and the local economy depends on the labor of undocumented workers. Over the last decade, the university has connected with area churches and Fresno leaders to

bridge the gap between undocumented individuals and the rest of the community. Fresno Pacific University has also worked internally to shift thinking on immigration reform, Gonzalez-Pina says. “Historically, the Central Valley is a very conservative community,” she says. “We’ve been, as an institution, trying to bridge our conservative constituency with the realities of where we live and also look at Scripture for the basis for that.”

Master’s in

Higher Education • Specialized tracks in academic support services; college athletics management; student affairs; TESOL; or an individualized concentration • Engaging, innovative courses taught by accomplished, committed faculty • Program completion in as little as two years • Small classes ensure meaningful interaction. • Graduate assistantship opportunities available • The academic distinction of a nationally ranked Christian college — home to the Ernest L. Boyer Center and championship athletic teams that have won 16 NCAA Division III titles since 2000.

Offering flexible starting points throughout the year


Online | Flexible | Affordable 35


see anew


Gonzalez-Pina says immigrant movements are at the heart of many biblical stories, and she cites passages like Deuteronomy 24:14-15, which says not to take advantage of a hired worker, whether they are an Israelite or a foreigner. “I look at the ‘economic challenges’ of two countries next door to each other. I ask if we can separate ‘labor’ from the ‘laborer’— what does it mean to want people to work under 115-degree sun and pick our food for less than a fair wage?” she says. “What does it mean to ‘welcome the stranger’?” She also cites Matthew 22:35-40, where Jesus says the greatest commandments are to love God and love your neighbor as yourself, and Ephesians 2:12, where Paul writes that at one time, “You were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise,  without hope  and without God in the world.” “How do [we] apply our own grace to those who experience oppression and injustice? Not all laws are just,” she says. “In order to experience God’s shalom, we cannot be silent when we see our brothers in need.” While there are still people who oppose reform on campus and in the broader community, Gonzalez-Pina says when DREAM students have told their stories, opposition has softened. “Now it’s much more of, ‘How do we change the law, how do we make it more fair, how do we respond to it,’ versus the immediate packaging of these remarks [that they’re breaking the law],” she says. “Our students have been able to tell their stories. When you meet someone and they are undocumented [and you hear their story], it changes you. That’s what it takes. I think it takes someone to know someone in this situation to understand fully the depth of that.” Jessica Shumaker is a 2009 graduate of Olivet Nazarene University. She attended BestSemester’s Washington Journalism Center in the spring of 2007. She lives in St. Joseph, Mo., where she is a reporter for the St. Joseph News-Press. 

Photo courtesy of Merced Ramirez-Saldana.

MERCED RAMIREZSALDANA, 18 Freshman International Business Major Messiah College Mechanicsburg, Penn. Country of origin: Mexico MERCED RAMIREZ-SALDANA was four years old when he arrived on U.S. soil. His parents brought him and two of his siblings to the U.S. so they would have better economic opportunity than in Mexico. They had to leave his little sister behind with his grandmother because the journey was too dangerous (though she later joined them). During his journey, he, his siblings and his mother took a bus to the border, met with people who could help them find a path into the U.S., and made their way through the desert. “I can still remember hearing coyotes, cows and dogs, and looking up at the moon,” he says. The family traveled to Pennsylvania, where they reunited with his father, who was already in the U.S. without a visa. In high school, Ramirez-Saldana struggled when he began applying to colleges. That’s when he first came to fully comprehend that his family was not in the country legally. “I remember there was a point my senior year when I was applying for college, I was asking my mom for my Social Security Number and she said, ‘You don’t have one,’” he says. At that point, he’d overcome academic struggles to become a

student in the top 5 percent of his class. He felt angry and frustrated that his hard work seemed to be for nothing. But with some encouragement, he completed college applications and was accepted to a handful of private institutions on his list before ultimately choosing Messiah College. He was drawn to the character of Messiah’s students and had grown up seeing the university engaged in the community. He’s received some scholarships and support from people who’ve heard his story and wanted to help, but he said finding financial aid will continue to be an issue. In the meantime, he works 20 hours on the weekends and seven hours a week at a work-study job. He lives at home and commutes to class. Ramirez-Saldana says he’s pushing forward to attain his dreams of being able to use his multicultural background in the business world. He’s interested in learning Chinese because he sees opportunities in China. He doesn’t talk much about his status to others, but if someone would ask, he’d tell them he’s undocumented. He feels like he can share his story because he has qualified for deferred action under DACA. He says he hasn’t encountered anyone who has spoken negatively of undocumented immigrants, but if he did, he’d recommend that they put themselves in others’ shoes. “If you were young when you came here, you didn’t have a choice,” he says. “I didn’t have a choice. … I didn’t know what was going on.” He also would challenge them to imagine growing up being told America is filled with opportunity but then finding those opportunities closed off to them, he says. “It changes your opinion about a place,” he says. “It’s like, wow, this place is just in your imagination—it’s not real. What you are chasing is not real; it’s not possible.” CCCU ADVANCE | SPRING 2014




SHORT ON COMMUTE, LONG ON COMMUNITY Increased interest in online learning presents unique challenges to building intentional digital communities. By Chris Turner

Photo courtesy of Geneva College.


EDUCATION HAS the unique ability to bring people separated physically by great distances into a single digital “classroom.” For CCCU schools, which are known for their faith-based, community-driven atmospheres, a key challenge arises in this new arena of learning: incorporating that same sense of community into a class where students and faculty may be thousands of miles apart. “We are in a sea of change,” says Tanya Grosz, director of Undergraduate Pathways and assistant professor of English at the University of Northwestern - St. Paul in Minnesota. “The tides of traditional higher education have shifted, and students are expecting and demanding a highly flexible learning experience. We either get on board, or we languish because learners will find someplace that will accommodate them.” One of the elements online learners are looking for, says Grosz, is connectedness to the faith-based community offered by CCCU institutions. Replicating that experience in a virtual environment is the challenge facing administration and faculty at those institutions. “Building community doesn’t rely on IRTUAL

just one thing,” Grosz says. “It’s all about intentionally engaging with learners and inviting them into the online classroom. So, excellent and thoughtful course design, lots of interaction, clear expectations and an instructor’s warm and engaging electronic personality go a long way toward building strong online community.” Maintaining community in online learning first and foremost begins with the instructor, Grosz says. One thing that makes on-campus learning at faith-based institutions so unique is the interaction between instructors and students, often to the point where instructors take on a life mentorship role, teaching students more than just the course’s subject matter. Those relationships take time and follow much interaction. Grosz says the place for instructors to begin building those deep relationships with students, even on the Internet, is by being authentic. “We don’t have to be slices of ourselves online,” Grosz says of online professors. “We can model Christ-centeredness in the way we communicate with the students— through weekly announcements, email replies and grading of their assignments. When a student emails me with a personal CCCU ADVANCE | SPRING 2014



problem, I simply type the prayer I’m praying. I don’t see the medium as being a barrier; we can be just as authentic and prayerful online as we can be face-to-face.” GETTING TO KNOW YOU Heather Samsa, director of information services at Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, Ga., says it is definitely much more difficult to build community in an online environment, but there is much that can be done from the beginning of class to set the stage for community development. “Our professors begin their classes with a video introduction of themselves so the students feel like they are getting to know the professor,” she says. “We also recommend having an activity where students introduce themselves. This sets the stage for the beginning of community.” Most CCCU institutions are smaller in size, and when students arrive on campus there are usually “ice breakers” and other activities to establish and develop relationships. Replicating this virtually is a major step toward reducing the anonymity that can prevail in an online environment. John Gallo, dean of graduate, adult and online programs at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Penn., says the goal at Geneva is to get personal from the start so that people are connected immediately and so

that students are able to grow together as a learning and faith community. “The first thing that a new student does when they enter the program is upload a photo of themselves to use as an avatar image and add a bio that other students can see and read,” Gallo says. “As they engage the classroom environment, their avatar image is what everyone sees in addition to their name. As students interact, they begin putting faces with names, and as such, people stop being an email address.” Gallo says creating some fun also goes a long way toward building community. As he walks around Geneva College’s campus, Gallo says he looks for ideas to add to the online environment. For example, every campus has a place where students socialize and engage in conversations. So, Gallo says, an idea is to create a “student union” in the online environment where students can share prayer requests, engage in offclass topics, share photos and more. “Around Thanksgiving, I put up a Thanksgiving recipe exchange forum in an online class I was teaching where students could share their favorite family recipes,” he says. “In doing so, they got to share more about their history and heritage, and it was one of the liveliest discussions of the course—even though it was completely outside the classroom content.”

Photos courtesy of Geneva College (L) and University of Northwestern - St. Paul (R).



PLUGGING INTO THE SOURCE Catching the big items that make for a successful online experience at a faithbased institution are important, but the little things matter, too. For instance, at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., there is a constant emphasis on making sure the students feel a part of the university. “As a faculty member, I intentionally seek opportunities, even in subtle ways, to remind students that they are connected to Union,” says Stephen Marvin, assistant dean of graduate studies in education. “For instance, I recently emphasized that I look forward to watching each student walk across the stage as they graduate with their Master of Education degree. Additionally, after successfully completing their first online course in our online M.Ed. program, the School of Education mailed each student a Union University t-shirt. We want them to know that we sincerely care about them and that they are truly a part of Union University.” Samsa says Toccoa Falls College recognizes that many online students are geographically displaced in relation to the campus, but that shouldn’t impact the way a college relates to them. “Our online students are invited to attend our campus events and sporting events if they are in the area, and the ones

who are able to take advantage of this have really enjoyed it,” she says. “We do provide all of our online students opportunity to view our chapel services or live streaming sporting events and try to include them in as many ways as possible. We really focus on different services to offer our students, such as counseling, tutoring and more, to make them know that they are valuable to our college.” There are still limitations to replicating the faith-based, community-building elements of institutions online—distance from the brick-and-mortar institution, miscommunication because of online interactions “getting lost in translation,” and the amount of time it takes to build quality content, instructional design and intentionality online. Despite the limitations, Gallo says the type of quality interconnectivity for which CCCU

Photo courtesy of Geneva College.

campuses are known is possible and becoming more common because of larger advances in social media. “It’s important to recognize that many people use social networking for community building in their personal life anyway,” he says. “Many of us are already familiar with the ways in which online interaction can help connect us to people outside our immediate geographic

sphere. Colleges just need to be willing to embrace what already is occurring naturally, and then tie it to the mission and the uniqueness of the institution.” Chris Turner is founder of D. Chris Turner Communications, a public relations firm specializing in social media strategies, writing and crisis communications. A former overseas correspondent with the International Mission Board, Chris has lived in England and Panama and covered stories in 28 countries.

FIVE WAYS TO STRENGTHEN ONLINE LEARNING PROGRAMS Making sure the quality community present at CCCU institutions translates into online environments doesn’t just happen—it takes intentionality. Here are five suggestions to strengthen online learning programs, offered by Tanya Grosz, director of Undergraduate Pathways and assistant professor of English at University of Northwestern - St. Paul in Minnesota. 1. Start a blended learning initiative on campus that trains faculty to utilize online tools to enhance their face-to-face classes. Once they get a taste, they won’t be so skeptical of online learning, and you can continue the discussion. The innovation will spread, and while it does, it will improve student learning and faculty teaching.

Photo courtesy of Geneva College.

2. Mandate that faculty who teach or create online courses go through faculty training. Faculty don’t necessarily find online teaching intuitive; they need to be equipped with best practices and be able to engage with each other about what works and what doesn’t. Training needs to incorporate how faith can be integrated into the online classroom. 3. Create a task force or group that assesses what support online students need. These will be different from face-to-face needs. For instance, do we say that we are committed to providing a flexible learning experience but have help desk or other technology support available only during business hours? Business hours don’t apply to online students. We must have the technology infrastructure in place to support our online learners. 4. Don’t treat online teaching as inferior to face-to-face teaching; consider incorporating online teaching into the faculty contracts. Provide excellence-in-teaching awards for online faculty. Incorporate a faculty mentoring system so that master online teachers may mentor those new to online teaching. 5. Communicate specifically about learners today and how digital natives differ from generations that preceded them. Instruction can always be improved.



Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fuel Tank Biodiesel can help schools cut costs and carbon emissions. By Luke Reiter


f you have a taste for fried foods, you know what a pain a pan full of leftover cooking oil can be: It clogs sinks, stinks up kitchens and kills compost piles. Now, imagine several dozen gallons of used oil collecting in polyethylene drums, week after week. This is the reality for most college dining centers. But where some see a nuisance, others see opportunity. Susan Newton, an assistant professor of chemistry at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark., first thought to draw on the university dining center’s supply of waste oil in 2011 as part of a new biofuels and biomass class she was teaching. Using an automated 41


processor, Newton’s class would convert the samples of waste oil into biodiesel and analyze their results. But the simplicity of the processor—a three-foot tall, stainless steel machine called a BioPro 150—soon emboldened the group to tackle greater quantities. “It was so easy to use, we decided just to use all of the waste vegetable oil,” Newton says. Of course, the increased production meant the class was churning out substantial amounts of biodiesel— typically 80 gallons a month, running the BioPro once every two weeks. The next step for Newton was finding a partner to


actually put the biodiesel to the test; she soon found one in the school’s facilities management department. “They said, ‘Hey, do you want to help us out by using it?’ and we said, ‘Absolutely!’” recalls Steve Brankle, JBU’s director of facilities management. Under the terms of the partnership, the facilities department pays for the chemical catalysts Newton’s students use to process the oil, and in exchange it receives the resulting biodiesel to run its dieselpowered equipment. Brankle describes the arrangement as a win-win: Students get to put their study into practice, and the cost of the chemical catalysts is significantly cheaper for his department than purchasing diesel fuel. “It’s a bonus for me because I save money and I don’t have to get rid of this waste [oil],” Brankle says. According to Newton’s calculations, the university pays $1.50 per gallon of biodiesel; that price factors in the cost


of chemicals and the electricity to power the BioPro. The savings over purchasing diesel fuel from an external provider, for which the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects an average cost of $3.73 per gallon through 2015, will recover the cost of the BioPro in about 95 batches, or two years at the current pace, says Newton. FUEL THAT’S GOING PLACES The use of biodiesel in the United States took off around 1990, when a study by the University of Missouri showed that mono-alkyl esters derived from soy could serve as a direct replacement for diesel fuel distilled from petroleum. Thanks to the widely available market—most diesel-powered vehicles require little or no modification to use biodiesel— manufacturers were producing 500,000 gallons of biodiesel per year by 1999. By 2013, that number boomed to nearly 1.8 billion gallons. Carl Fictorie, professor of chemistry at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, specializes in the study of biomassbased catalysts for biodiesel production. According to Fictorie, biodiesel’s biggest selling points are the fact that it burns cleaner than petro-diesel (creating 80 percent to 90 percent fewer carbon dioxide emissions, depending on the quality) and sells for less. However, biodiesel also presents advantages over ethanol— the more prominent renewable energy source in his home state of Iowa—in its versatility. Ethanol in significant portions necessitates modified engines, and corn production for fuel competes for cropland with feed corn. By contrast, Fictorie explained, biodiesel can be made from waste cooking oil as well as animal fats and oils derived from a large variety of plants, some of which thrive in settings where few other crops would survive. “You don’t have to do a major design change or a major infrastructure change to handle and distribute biodiesel,” Fictorie says.

Susan Newton (L), associate professor of chemistry at John Brown University, and Christin Garrison (R), junior chemistry major at John Brown University, pour the biodiesel refined from used vegetable oil into a container. Photo courtesy of John Brown University.

POWERING MINDS Matt Roberts, a marketing executive for Springboard Biodiesel, the Chico, Calif.based company that makes the BioPro 150 and several other models, believes there’s added value to in-house biodiesel production. Prices are cheaper per gallon than buying from a biodiesel distributor, he says, because users pay only for the raw materials and not for the overhead business costs factored into the price by manufacturers. The environmental impact is also further reduced, because there’s no need to transport the fuel for distribution. “You’re making it right there where you can use it,” Roberts says. “So it’s actually more green and more cost effective.” Springboard sells its machines wherever large numbers are fed—restaurants, resorts, penitentiaries and recently the city of Daphne, Ala., which collects used

cooking oil from residents with the trash and uses it to power municipal vehicles and equipment. Springboard has also worked with about 70 colleges, universities and school districts nationwide, although Roberts says he often wonders why that number isn’t higher. Beyond the fact that schools with dining centers already produce substantial amounts of waste oils, Roberts says, on-campus biodiesel processing holds tremendous educational value in a variety of disciplines, such as chemistry, engineering and agriculture. “Sometimes we scratch our heads and wonder, ‘Why doesn’t every college and university in the United States do this?’” says Roberts. The educational value is what inspired Newton to launch John Brown’s program, and she says it’s also what led her to use an CCCU ADVANCE | SPRING 2014



automated processor instead of a cheaper, manually operated kit converter. “It’s simple enough that I can bring very inexperienced students in and have them be making biodiesel in a couple of hours,” Newton says. For Newton, the ease of bringing students into the process is critical; if the process was too complex or timeconsuming for student involvement, she likely wouldn’t be able to offer a hands-on biodiesel component. As it is, however, the work on the biodiesel conversion has piqued the interest of many students pursuing the school’s renewable energy concentration within the engineering degree. “The students like that—seeing something that’s a waste being turned into something useful,” says Newton. A MATTER OF STEWARDSHIP Setting aside the pragmatic considerations, some believe there is a moral component

to CCCU schools pursuing initiatives like biodiesel. Toney Snyder was working in a middlemanagement position at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif., in 2007, when he was tapped for the newly created position of assistant director of environmental stewardship. At first, Snyder was unsure he would be the right fit. “My response was, ‘I have a degree in theology,’” Snyder says. “‘I don’t have any background in this.’” But Snyder’s enthusiasm and savvy budgeting tactics have allowed him to make a number of changes to the Azusa Pacific campus. Snyder is exploring options for in-house biodiesel production; for now, he says, the most cost-effective option for the school to dispose of its waste cooking oil in an environmentally responsible manner is to contract with an outside company that collects the oil free of charge and provides it to biodiesel

manufacturing plants. For Snyder, the move is part of a vision in which Christian colleges and universities become leaders in the sustainability movement. “It’s pretty clear that God has given us a call from Genesis,” Snyder says. “‘Take care of this place,’ is what he said.” Fictorie holds a similar perspective. He explains that, in his view, the use of biodiesel and other clean fuel sources is an opportunity to better care for the planet and thereby practice one of humankind’s God-given roles. “That’s just a good way to recognize that we’re stewards of a creation,” Fictorie says, “and God will ask us about that someday.” Luke Reiter, a graduate of Bethel University (MN) and an alumnus of the CCCU’s BestSemester Washington Journalism Center, is an editor at a community newspaper covering the suburbs of St. Paul, Minn.

Ben Shondelmyer, senior engineering major with a concentration in renewable energy at John Brown University, poses at the beginning (L) and the end (R) of the biofuel refining process. Photos courtesy of John Brown University.




BestSemester Programs Offer Pilgrimages of Faith and Learning By Rose Creasman Welcome


briefings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Twenty-somethings labor alongside tomato farmers in Costa Rica. Aspiring musicians tour the countryside with Nashville-based industry experts. Social work majors teach abandoned children in a Ugandan orphanage. Back in classrooms with directors and local staff, college students attending each of BestSemester’s 12 off-campus study programs wrestle with questions about power, injustice, faith and vocation within the particular context and culture they’ve chosen as home for one semester. As institutions’ study abroad rates climb steadily throughout the United States, college students are being urged

to spend at least one semester of their undergraduate careers off-campus. And as students prepare for careers in an increasingly globalized economy, the need for both cross-cultural and experiential programs is at an all-time high. BestSemester, the student programs service offered by the CCCU, aims to deliver that vital off-campus experience through the lens of a Christ-centered, academically robust education. “Our faith integration is our distinguishing factor in what we offer to students and campuses,” says Deborah Kim, interim vice president of student programs at the CCCU. “We believe everything that we do—academic, spiritual and vocational—all goes

through the lens of Jesus. It’s what makes us distinct and complements the curricula of our sending institutions.” Kim and CCCU administrators see BestSemester as “the tangible academic arm” of the CCCU, committed to providing offcampus study in a way that complements the different majors or degrees of campuses by providing immersed, advanced study in different areas. “All of our member institutions house deep and provocative explorations of the relationship between faith and learning,” says Bill Robinson, interim president of the CCCU. “The BestSemester programs provide laboratories to see how those explorations play out in worlds beyond the college campus.” CCCU ADVANCE | SPRING 2014



FAITH-INTEGRATED LIVING, AT HOME AND ABROAD BestSemester’s international programs are located in Uganda, China, Oxford (which hosts two programs), Australia, Costa Rica, India and the Middle East. Four domestic programs—each with a particular industry emphasis, such as film, music, public policy and journalism—are based in Los Angeles, Nashville and Washington, D.C., respectively. Though each program has a distinct focus relevant to its location, Kim says one of the common themes uniting all 12 programs is their faith integration in and beyond the classroom. “The theme of meeting Christ within that context is unique,” says Kim. “Each program focuses on its area of study in a way that allows a deeper reflection and growth in both Christ and that field.” But thoughtful, Scripture-based integration of faith and learning in a particular cross-cultural or professional context is impossible without exceptional leadership, Kim says. BestSemester program directors are both academically and experientially qualified amongst their peers and in their industry or location. “Whether in D.C. as a practicing journalist or an anthropologist in the Middle East, our directors are practicing what they teach and are in an ideal position to help students think through their faith journeys,” says Kim. Program directors approach the integration of faith with academics, experiential learning and service differently, depending on their context. At the Australia Studies Centre, which moved campuses in February, that means being intentionally located at the Christian Heritage College in Brisbane, according to director Kimberly Spragg. “When we moved our program, we could have worked with a big state school and said, ‘We’re going to have students do Bible content on our own,’” says Spragg. “But we wanted to partner with someone who was already practicing faith integration in Australia, and doing it well. Heritage integrates faith into all of its classes. They get this.” 45


TOP: Carissa Fish, Australia Studies Centre (spring 2010) and Messiah College alumna, on a bushwalk in Australia’s Blue Mountains. BOTTOM: Australia Studies Center students from the fall 2013 semester practice their musical skills on the Australian didgeridoo. Photos by Kimberly Spragg.

As a cultural studies program, ASC is centered on helping students think through their purpose and practice, Spragg says. She tries to help students think differently about cultural anthropology by examining the telos—the end goal, or human flourishing—that’s implicit in Australian and aboriginal culture, and contrasting that with American values and culture. Biblical reflection exercises prompt students to use Acts 15 as a guide in examining clashes and reconciliation among different cultures. One ocean away, students in the India Studies Program confront what it means to be followers of Jesus in the multicultural, multi-religious setting of Coimbatore, India. “What’s unique about India is that we rub shoulders with all these different faith backgrounds,” says ISP program director Kirk McClelland. “The majority of us like to hang out with people like ourselves; some of the projects in ISP aim to get students interacting with people unlike

ourselves. Our goal is for students to value relationship within differences so that that new person they meet is neither Muslim nor Hindu, but a person they’re talking to.” During the field work component of their semester, ISP students reflect on topics like faith boundaries and vocation in weekly debriefing sessions. “We talk about things like our Christian response to the pluralism and inequalities students are encountering, and what it means to remain faithful to Jesus, as well as the nature of service and our motives,” says McClelland. In BestSemester’s domestic programs, faith content centers on what it means to be a Christian shaping or influencing a particular profession. Washington Journalism Center director Terry Mattingly is deliberate about weaving a foundation for faith throughout his curriculum. “I have never been comfortable with the whole idea of the ‘integration of faith and learning’ if that is understood as praying

at the start of class and that’s pretty much it. I’m more interested in the integration of faith and syllabus,” says Mattingly. “I think the goal is to discuss issues and raise questions—in the classroom content—that are rooted in Christian faith and practice.” At WJC, where students spend a semester in the nation’s capital testing their vocation through internships at mainstream media outlets, students grapple with those questions in class and then confront them head-on in their mainstream newsrooms the next day. “Here at WJC, [faith integration] also means looking at the tense history of Christians trying to relate to changes in the news media through the centuries and in our modern world. It certainly includes talking to our students about the questions [of vocation] that any young Christian would want to think over before entering the mainstream press, or the religious press for that matter,” says Mattingly. Program director Warren Pettit asks his students at the Contemporary Music Center in Nashville, Tenn., to consider careers in the music industry through the lens of the New Testament. The program puts classroom content to the test during student-led music tours around the region. “Jesus says the first will be last and the last will be first,” says Pettit, who emphasizes themes like mediocrity, power and celebrity in class. “We tell students that unless you bring a New Testament view to celebrity, you will be ruined. You have to know what the New Testament says about the character of Christ and how he dealt with people of influence and power.” CONNECTING CONTEXTS For students like Tarah Duarte, a junior at William Jessup University in Rocklin, Calif., who attended ASC last spring, attending a BestSemester program provided a bridge from her American faith-based institution to an entirely different Christian cultural context. “William Jessup passed the baton to ASC,” says Duarte. “My faith was opened first by my campus, and then broadened by ASC. I couldn’t imagine

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: 1. Sean Gowdy, L.A. Film Studies Center (spring 2012) and Cedarville University alumnus, stands at La Jolla Cove in California. Photo courtesy of Sean Gowdy. 2. Zachary Figueroa, American Studies Program (spring 2013) and Biola University alumnus, sits in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of Zachary Figueroa. 3. Hannah Brown, India Studies Program (spring 2012) and John Brown University alumna, pauses by the Taj Mahal in India. Photo courtesy of Hannah Brown. 4. Students from the fall 2013 Middle Eastern Studies Program ride camels in the Wadi Rum, Jordan. Photo courtesy of MESP.




going through this experience without a context of faith. I was forced to bring my faith with me to ASC, where it was nurtured and challenged. In a program without a Christian foundation, it would have been easy to leave my faith at home; but Kimberly challenged us to bring everything with us, including my faith in its American box.” Brock Schroeder is the vice president for graduate and professional studies and enrollment at Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and he has evaluated BestSemester programs as a member of the Student Academic Programs Commission for the CCCU since 2007. According to Schroeder, the partnerships created between home campuses and BestSemester programs are some of the most important resources provided by the CCCU. “BestSemester provides an incredibly high-quality experience that takes students from their classrooms, where they have the best in learning on some of these topics, and places them in the midst of those topics in a very real-world, hands-on, lab-type setting where they can begin to see the integration of faith and learning not from a theoretical classroom experience, but firsthand as actual residents of that area,” Schroeder says. Wendy Lippert, assistant director of international programs for Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Penn., likewise views BestSemester programs as an extension of Messiah’s campus and its mission “to educate men and women toward maturity of intellect, character and Christian faith in preparation for lives of service, leadership and reconciliation in church and society.” “It has been my observation that BestSemester programs support [Messiah’s] mission in a variety of ways, including by partnering with faith-based universities such as Uganda Christian University, by including service components in international programming, and by challenging students to look at issues in light of their Christian faith,” says Lippert. Schroeder says the length of BestSemester programs is key to creating 47


TOP: Students perform onstage at the Contemporary Music Center in Nashville. Photo courtesy of Clayton Thornton, CMC fall 2011 alum and North Greenville University graduate. BOTTOM: Deanna Shaub, Uganda Studies Program alumna and student at Eastern University, works at her rural homestay in Uganda. Photo courtesy of Deanna Shaub.

a meaningful shift in student worldviews. “When you go overseas on a short trip, you’re really more like an educational tourist,” says Schroeder. “You’re not able to actually leave the confines of your worldview. What’s different with our semester-long programs, and what’s wonderful about them, is that you become an educational pilgrim. That kind of integration of faith and learning takes you to a deeper level that you could only experience by becoming a resident—a recipient of that culture’s hospitality.” An alumna of the CCCU’s BestSemester Washington Journalism Center and of Point Loma Nazarene University, Rose Creasman Welcome has worked as a copy editor and managing editor for several print and online newsrooms. She presently serves as program coordinator and assistant instructor for BestSemester’s Washington Journalism Center.

BESTSEMESTER MISSION STATEMENT The mission of student programs is to provide off-campus experiences that bridge campuses and the greater world through opportunities to engage peoples, cultures and contemporary realities in ways that challenge students to be active participants in advancing Christ’s claims on all aspects of life.


Photo courtesy of Joe Miller, LAFSC fall 2012 and Seattle Pacific University alumnus.

Life Beyond the BestSemester For alumni, the impact of LAFSC lasts far beyond a single semester By Morgan C. Feddes AS A HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORE in

Fort Worth, Texas, Windell Middlebrooks knew he wanted to be an actor, so he went to college in the last place anyone expected: Kansas. “People thought I was crazy,” Middlebrooks says. “I want to be an actor—so I’m going to go to Kansas? It did not make sense [to them].” But Middlebrooks knew he wanted more to his college career than just learning how to act, and Sterling College, located in Sterling, Kan., had just what he needed. “What I realized was, if I go to a bigger program that has 5,000 students, am I going to get any one-on-one training? Am I going to have the stage time that you need to hone your craft?” he says. “That’s how I

chose Sterling. I also wanted a place where I’m not only building my craft—I’m building my character.” Though he hadn’t expected it, Middlebrooks says Sterling was able to give him both the education he wanted and the path he needed to work in Hollywood. As a student at a CCCU institution, Middlebrooks was able to attend BestSemester’s Los Angeles Film Studies Center—a semester that set the course of his career. “That semester at LAFSC helped me decide that I needed more training and [that I] wanted to go spend three years finding what works for me as an actor,” he says. That extra training has paid off; during

the course of his career, Middlebrooks has had a number of commercial and television guest roles, including a recurring role on Disney’s Suite Life on Deck. He recently had a regular role on ABC’s Body of Proof, and he has just finished shooting a pilot episode for NBC’s new comedy, Mason Twins (he’ll know in May if the show is picked up to series). Middlebrooks has also co-written a pilot script about the foster care system in Texas—a script that has already earned encouraging conversations with studio and network executives, he says. It’s the latest step in an unexpected career path, Middlebrooks says. “When God is guiding the journey, you will find yourself in positions not only to




ABOVE: LAFSC and Sterling College alumnus Windell Middlebrooks (L) had a recurring role in Disney’s Suite Life on Deck as Kirby Morris. RIGHT: Middlebrooks recently had a regular role as Dr. Curtis Brumfield in ABC’s Body of Proof. Photos courtesy of Windell Middlebrooks.

be successful, but to bring change to the world when you least expect it,” he says. “For me, [that was] first as an actor and now as a writer and executive producer.” MAKING THE TRANSITION Middlebrooks is one of many LAFSC alumni who have moved back to Hollywood to continue their career paths. Though those alumni may have finished their time as BestSemester students, that does not mean their involvement with LAFSC has to end. “It is a gift to be here for alumni who move back to L.A. to work,” says LAFSC program director Rebecca Ver StratenMcSparran. “We spend significant time mentoring alumni on career development or about their spiritual [and] artistic life in Hollywood. We are able to offer many events and services, such as inviting alumni to work on professional productions, 49


[offering] inexpensive equipment rental of LAFSC equipment, or giving small grants each semester. It becomes a wonderfully supportive environment for the transition into a film career.” Much of that transition process takes place during the internships each student works at during the semester, since students are instantly insiders in Hollywood with their internships, Ver Straten-McSparran says. That experience is of tremendous value to LAFSC’s students. “They engage with the industry; they try out what they’ve learned,” she says. “Then they can say, ‘Yes, this is where I really feel I am called to go,’ or they definitely decide, ‘I’ve studied this, and it may be important in my life, but I really want to go back and become a dentist.’ It becomes that real decisive moment.” LAFSC’s supportive, communal atmosphere during the semester is one of its

greatest strengths, says Jeremy Casper, an LAFSC alumnus from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo., who now works as an instructor in the program. “[As a LAFSC student] I was able to go out into Hollywood, have my experiences there and then come back to a community of like-minded people who understood the world I came from,” he says. “They understood some of the conflicts I might be experiencing as a person of faith stepping


out into an industry that is not evil by any stretch of the imagination but is an industry that had the potential of challenging some of the things that I believed.”

the whole process works and decided I was actually quite good at it,” she says. After she graduated from Seattle Pacific, she went back to New Line Cinema as a result of her internship through LAFSC. Today, she works as director of worldwide technical services at Paramount, where she oversees all the processes needed for a film to be distributed in theaters outside the U.S., such as subtitling, dubbing and advertising. “It was a bit of an unintentional journey, deciding to move away from the creative aspects while even in a creative field of study,” Knox says. “But I got exposure to what I’m doing now through those processes.”

journey for a student to go on as it is for a student who comes out here and decides to stay,” he says. “I think it’s great for a student to have this experience and know, ‘Great, I loved it, but it’s not for me.’ That, to me, is a success story.” That is precisely what happened for Bethany Sanderson. A graduate of Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Mich., Sanderson says her time at LAFSC in 2011 was valuable both because it reaffirmed her calling to work in film and because it showed her L.A. was not where she wanted to go. Today she works at RBC Ministries in Grand Rapids, Mich., as a media technician. “The experience of being able to be out there and working with people who are in that industry was huge,” she says. “Personally, I was pretty scared to do it— it was so far away from home. But in the end, going out and doing it and knowing I was able to do it because of the resources I had there was valuable to me.” That proved just as true for Frieda Nossaman, a graduate of Biola University in La Mirada, Calif., who attended LAFSC in the fall of 1991 and now lives in Colorado with her family. She says that though she has made a career working in various aspects of Christian publishing, she is still very interested in the film industry because of her time at LAFSC. “Even for people who don’t end up in the industry, [LAFSC] is a great way to see if it’s something your heart’s in,” she says. “I really think it’s a great way for a college student to see if they do really want a career in Hollywood, not to mention all the support that’s there and all the great nurturing.”

FULFILLING THE HOLLYWOOD DREAM For Michelle Steffes, an LAFSC alumna who graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Ind., the support LAFSC gives its alumni made her dream of living and working in Hollywood feasible. Steffes won the competitive LAFSC FilmWorks grant to make her short film, The Interview, which then went on to win the grand prize at the USA Film Festival, an Oscar-qualifying festival. In 2012, she was invited to join the Academy of LAFSC BEYOND HOLLYWOOD Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for her Casper says that the LAFSC staff works to work. This career path began during her make the program just as valuable for those first post-graduation job at Larger than students who for one reason or another Life Productions—a company she was decide not to return to Los Angeles. able to learn more about from LAFSC “We consider that just as important a while she was applying. “Knowing you could call and ask for advice—it felt like you had people who cared about you and had your back,” she says. “It was this very safe, supportive transition so that it felt doable and it felt possible to move to Hollywood and try to be a director.” Ver Straten-McSparran says that about a third of LAFSC’s alumni come back to live and work in the Los Angeles area, giving the program a strong connection with its alumni. Melanie Knox is one of them. When she came to LAFSC in 1998, she had plenty of creative experience from staging productions as a theater major at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Wash., which gave her the idea that she wanted to go into something similarly creative and technical in the film industry. That led to her internship placement working in post-production at New Line Cinema. LAFSC and Taylor University alumna Michelle Steffes, who was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2012, attended “I wasn’t in an editing suite, the Oscars on March 2, 2014, with her husband, Joey Aucoin. Photo as I thought perhaps I might be, courtesy of Michelle Steffes. but I got a great overview of how

Morgan C. Feddes is an alumna of Whitworth University and of BestSemester’s Los Angeles Film Studies Program. She previously worked for Christianity Today.




Heidenreich and students from MESP stand on the Mount of Temptation overlooking Jericho in spring 2014. Photos courtesy of Sari Heidenreich, MESP program assistant.

Exploring Every Opportunity, One Unknown Step at a Time By Sari Heidenreich MY JEANS ARE SOAKED with rainwater;

my rain boots are caked in mud. It’s raining in Jerusalem in March, and I’ve just come back from a service at St. James’ Armenian church in the Old City. As I ducked into the nearly pitch-black chapel a few hours ago, my eyes took several minutes to adjust to the light of just a few candle lamps. The singing of young seminarians reverberated through the chapel, captivating my wandering mind. The whole service was in Armenian. The only words I understood were the few “amens” sung at the end. As a junior in college, I spent a few months in Jerusalem in 2011 as a student 51


in the Middle East Studies Program. When I was given the opportunity to come back, I simply couldn’t say no. In August 2013, I moved to Jerusalem to work as the program assistant for MESP. And, though the past months have been some of the most tiring of my life, this has been the easiest and most life-giving job I’ve held. As a student, I came to MESP with what I thought was a pretty big worldview. “I’ve traveled. I’ve seen things,” I thought. But never before had I learned things like this. Never before had I so completely opened myself up to another people—to be affected by what affects them, to be

influenced by what they believe, to listen and set aside my desire to be right. Just a year earlier, as a student at BestSemester’s Washington Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., I started this journey of learning how to learn. There, under director Terry Mattingly, I learned what it meant to be a journalist and a Christian. As storytellers, he taught us, we must step into the shoes of another, to present their story as they would—not as our biases would dictate.  I was a scared sophomore interning in the big city. These concepts were giant; they made me realize how much I still had to learn.


ABOVE: Heidenreich (center) and fellow MESP students visit the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, in spring 2011.

But I had to jump in. After all, I was responsible for producing the articles I was assigned to write. I quivered when I had to approach a congressman with a question. I was covering economic news—things like currency manipulation, export rates and credit union lending caps—and felt like I was in a constant state of trying not to look extremely confused. At the end of the semester, Terry told me he noticed that about halfway through the semester, the quality of my work faltered. Examining my journals, blog posts and articles, he had tried to figure out why, he told me. I think you lost confidence, Terry said, and, when that happened, your work went downhill. I didn’t realize it until he pointed it out, but Terry was 100 percent right. And I took his insight to heart, completely floored that he would care so much about one of his students to earnestly seek lifechanging insights for her life. As a student in MESP a year later, I drew from these lessons. I’d questioned congressmen; why couldn’t I go over there and start a conversation with that Palestinian college student? I’d learned

ABOVE: Heidenreich (second from left) and students from MESP pose in one of Jerusalem’s largest ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in fall 2013. LEFT: Heidenreich (left) with her friends Jumana and Nour (right) in spring 2011.

my lack of confidence was just a silly thing keeping me from living fully. So I went over and spoke to that college student. Her name is Nour. We spent time together when I was a student, and when I moved back here last year she welcomed me into her home as family. Since that time I’ve spent days—and nights—with her, having heart-to-hearts about religion, culture and the struggles of marriage and motherhood. Her growing English vocabulary, my significantly smaller Arabic one and Google Translate are helpful. We’ve gone shoe shopping together, and I’ve helped her daughter, Daniella, fall asleep at night. Our worlds—hers as a Palestinian and mine as an American—have become intertwined. The impact of her life on mine will never leave me. And that’s why this job, though at times all-consuming, is the most life-giving: I completely believe in the way MESP educates its students. Get out, go meet people, ask them questions—we tell them this nearly every day. But it’s not just a message I’m preaching to them; it’s one I’m preaching

to myself. It’s the reason why I went out in the pouring rain tonight to attend a church service I only understood one word of. It’s the reason I have a full weekend of activities planned, despite the fact that I’m exhausted from a long week. As my contract with MESP comes to an end, it’s hard to know precisely how these experiences from MESP and WJC are going to affect the rest of my career. But it’s easy to see how they’re going to affect the thing that, arguably, matters more than anything else—my character. It’s in honor of these two great programs that I commit to these things: to treat each person I meet with dignity and respect; to step into others’ worlds and see things from their perspective; to not be silent when I encounter injustice, bigotry or ignorance; to shove my insecurities back where they belong and take advantage of every opportunity life throws at me.  Those are my next steps. Sari Heidenreich participated in two BestSemester programs (Washington Journalism Center and Middle East Studies Program) during her undergraduate studies at Messiah College before graduating in 2012 with a degree in journalism. She will finish her time as program assistant for the Middle East Studies Program in April.




What Your Peers Are Reading GRATITUDE: AN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY By Peter J. Leithart Review by Forrest E. Baird Professor of Philosophy Whitworth University

“Jesus was an ingrate.” So says Peter J. Leithart in his sweeping history of gratitude. And given the Greco-Roman system of gift and patronage that permeated first-century Judea, he is right. “By announcing the reign of God, Jesus aimed to detach giving and gratitude from the honor system in which it was embedded in Roman society and in Jewish life.” Prior to this, a gift from a donor was given with the expectation of “gratitude” in the form of a future reciprocal gift. This circular pattern of giving and gratitude provided a cultural glue that bound a society together. But Jesus and his followers disrupted this pattern by giving “without imposing any debts of gratitude on their beneficiaries.” Instead, Christians focused their gratitude on God as the giver of every good gift. So Paul thanks God for the gifts he is given by the Philippians—not the Philippians themselves. As Leithart explains, “In the community of Jesus, the only debt is the debt of love. Thanks is owed, but it is owed for rather than to benefactors.” The circle of gift and gratitude is not broken—rather, it is now extended to the infinite to include God. “Christians differed … because they followed Jesus in looking to their heavenly Father for the return gift.” As the Roman Empire began to crumble, the church began to take on the role of benefactor in a version of the older giftgratitude circle. With priests, bishops and patron saints as God’s brokers, gifts were given with expectation of more immediate return. Thus the Reformation brought a second great disruption to the gift-gratitude pattern. The eschatological nature of Christian reciprocity was emphasized, and, in some cases, even that reward was minimized. So William Tyndale warned to give gifts to others and “neither look for reward in the earth, nor yet in heaven.” With the Enlightenment came the third great disruption to the circle. Hobbes and Locke removed gratitude from the political realm entirely and restricted it to the private sphere of the family. In time, gratitude came to be considered a passion or sentiment. Gratitude had been effectively removed from society—not to be replaced with a Christian sense of gratitude to God for everything, but to leave space for the individual. 53


So where does this leave us today? Leithart follows his survey of these three disruptions with an extensive overview of more recent thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Derrida. His final chapter includes a delightful summary of what thinkers throughout history would suggest to show gratitude for an ugly and useless soup tureen given by your grandmother. (Sample: “Locke would say you should thank her and show esteem for her, so long as her gift was not an attempt to influence your decision to vote Democrat.”) In the end, Leithart calls for a return to the infinite circle of gift and gratitude that was established by that ingrate, Jesus. Leithart has done a masterful job of carefully explicating the history of gratitude. In fact, there is more detail here than many non-historians will want (with more than a hundred pages of notes, bibliography and indexes). But an overabundance of material is hardly a major drawback, and the overall argument of the book is clear. This is a monumental work on a subject that has received scant attention, and the Christian community owes a debt of gratitude to Leithart for his work.

THE IDEA OF A CHRISTIAN COLLEGE By Todd C. Ream and Perry L. Glanzer Review by Kina S. Mallard Executive Vice President and Provost Carson-Newman University

In 1975, noted Wheaton philosopher Arthur Holmes wrote The Idea of a Christian College, a short classic that shaped much of our thinking as Christian educators. Todd C. Ream and Perry L. Glanzer tackle the courageous task of re-examining Holmes’s work by focusing on three particular contributions and changes in Christian higher education over the last 40 years. These include the increasing importance placed upon the role of worship and the church; the rise of scholarly attention to the central question, “What does it mean to be fully human?”; and the transformation of many Christian colleges into Christian universities. The authors believe Christian education must begin with an ordering of all our loves according to the primary loves—our love of God and our love of neighbor. These two loves need nurturing through worship and the church. As we worship together, we


strengthen the foundation necessary for the love of learning. The book challenges us to think in fresh ways about the purpose of chapel and spiritual formation on our campuses for students, faculty and staff. As our campuses work to help students understand the value of their education, the authors encourage us to appreciate that our colleges provide a holistic education by helping students succeed in their professional lives and their personal lives. The foundational curricula of our colleges, the liberal arts, explore the human condition and what it means to be fully human and created in the image of God. Through this exploration, students learn to use their gifts and passions to serve God and others. The authors discuss the institution’s place in the Christian story by reminding us that one of our roles is exploring meaning and bringing unity to our lives. A transformative education goes beyond transforming thoughts to embracing the place of the Christian church in one’s narrative as a Christian, appreciating communal and individual identities, and understanding the role of redemption, not only of self, but of the whole world. Chapter four, “The Creation and Redemption of Learners and Learning,” is perhaps the most provocative chapter for faculty. Discussions surrounding one of Christian colleges’ hallmarks, “integration of faith and learning,” have occurred on our campuses for decades. The authors challenge this phrase and offer a new one: “creation and redemption of learners and learning.” This phrase may be more robust, but it calls for more explanation for the new student and his or her parents and will likely spark fresh discussions on our campuses. Idea’s re-examination contributes important new topics to the conversation, including student life, co-curricular learning, diversity and global education. In the chapter titled “The End of Academic Freedom,” the authors argue that previous definitions of academic freedom have expressed what academics are free from, and as such, are incomplete. The authors contend that Christian institutions experience greater freedom because we also focus on what we are free for: for the search of all truth, including God’s truth. Holmes argued in 1975 that Christian higher education’s task is far more constructive than defensive. Ream and Glanzer explain that the purpose of their re-examination text is to construct the outlines of a future vision for the Christian university. I believe they have achieved this goal and given the academy a new work to fuel faculty and student discussions as Christian higher education moves forward and becomes stronger.

COLLEGE (UN)BOUND By Jeffrey J. Selingo Review by Ed Ericson III Vice President for Academic Affairs John Brown University

Probably no other book on higher education has garnered as much attention in the last year as Jeffrey J. Selingo’s College (Un)bound. There are good reasons for that. As contributing editor for The Chronicle for Higher Education, Selingo has had a front-row seat for many of the changes and challenges confronting contemporary higher education, and he writes effectively about these topics. He summarizes these challenges particularly well in his chapter on “The Five Disruptive Forces That Will Change Higher Education Forever.” At my own institution, we have used this chapter for numerous campus conversations, particularly in relation to strategic planning. The sea of red ink, the disappearing state in public higher education, the increasingly dry well of fullpaying students, the improving nature of unbundled alternatives (such as Kahn Academy) and the growing value gap (or at least the perception of a diminished return on investment for a college education) are all fundamental shifts in the higher education landscape for which there are no easy answers. As a consequence of these disruptive forces, Selingo asks the logical question: “Will we see mass consolidation, downsizing and closures in the higher education industry in the coming years as we have in the music, newspaper and publishing industries?” Despite the potential doom and gloom of much of his analysis, Selingo is still relatively upbeat, likening colleges and universities to cities that, over their long histories, have typically shown themselves able to adapt and adjust. Nevertheless, “with no end in sight to rising prices, higher education cannot hold off the forces of technological and economic change much longer.” If holding fast to traditional paradigms seems feasible only for the wealthiest 500 or so of our 4,000-plus institutions, then what options are left for the rest of us? Selingo notes the potential in more personalized education, in the online revolution, in “unbundled” alternatives for certain segments of students, in more fluid timelines (instead of the traditional fouryear, residential model) and in student loan models connected to potential earnings. He even offers 19 case studies of institutions providing students with “desperately needed real-world experience that will help them connect the concepts they learn in class to the everyday problems encountered in any occupation.” While finding Selingo balanced and insightful, I would have been even more convinced by some of his prescriptions if his arguments were more consistently made, well evidenced and less rushed. There were numerous instances where our little reading CCCU ADVANCE | SPRING 2014



group would check details that he had asserted, without citation, only to find some exaggerations and flaws in his presentation, such as his statement that the 10 jobs most in demand in 2010 did not even exist in 2004. Despite these minor errors, I have come back to this book more than any other in the last year, and it has sparked more on-campus discussion than any other. For anyone interested in higher education, therefore, this book is well worth your time.

SPIRITUAL FORMATION IN EMERGING ADULTHOOD: A PRACTICAL THEOLOGY FOR COLLEGE AND YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY By David P. Setran and Chris A. Kiesling Review by Rob Rhea Chaplain and Director of Student Ministry Trinity Western University

In Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood, David Setran and Chris Kiesling’s stated goal is to provide “guidance for Christian thinking about emerging adulthood and for walking alongside emerging adults in their faith journeys.” The book provides a thorough exploration of developmental, cultural and spiritual issues that shape the process of spiritual formation in emerging adults. The book provides a rich collection of insights as well as current research in the field of emerging adult ministry. Both authors are scholars and practitioners in this field. Setran is associate professor of Christian formation and ministry at Wheaton College and Kiesling is professor of human development and Christian discipleship at Asbury Theological Seminary. Following Jeffrey Arnett, the authors see emerging adulthood as extending from ages 18 to 29. The first two chapters, “Faith” and “Spiritual Formation,” address the commonly observed slump in church attendance and participation among emerging adults by exploring salient developmental as well as cultural influences. Chapter 3 takes an extended look at developmental dimensions of emerging adulthood. As adulthood is increasingly seen as a self-directed process, the role of ever-expanding choice and fewer defined social roles are shown to have real effects on maturity and faith. Chapter 4 looks at the problematic situation of emerging adults’ view of and engagement with the church. Chapter 5 explores vocation as an essential aspect of establishing a vision for meaning and adulthood, both in career and in the kingdom of God. In this chapter, the authors begin to draw together content from the previous chapters regarding the vision for God’s work in the world and an emerging adult’s own sense of agency. 55


Chapters 6 and 7 are “Morality” and “Sexuality.” Chapter 6 looks at some of the ways Western culture has created a moral landscape that has profoundly shaped the outlook of emerging adults. The chapter concludes with a suggested virtue-centered approach to morality that transcends legalism and self-interest. Chapter 7 deals with the pervasive sexualization of Western culture as seen in the delay of marriage and the privatization of morality. In Chapter 8, the focus is on relationships. Here the authors begin by looking at a recent history of marriage and how broader cultural influences are framing marriage as a “capstone event” versus a “cornerstone event.” The final chapter, “Mentoring,” draws on many, if not all, of the previous chapters in creating a vision and strategy for mentoring emerging adults. The authors suggest using a remembering (looking back), attending (looking around) and envisioning (looking ahead) paradigm for a mentoring strategy. Overall, I see this book as a tremendous addition to the library of anyone who works with emerging adults within the church or within the academy. Most chapters struck the right balance between theoretical-descriptive content and prescriptivepractical content. Each chapter challenged the reader to explore and understand the philosophical and cultural underpinnings and assumptions that weigh in on the lives of emerging adults. The authors have done a tremendous service by collecting up-todate resources and references and integrating them into a cogent and applicable whole. Many will enjoy and benefit from this important addition.

RECONSIDERING COLLEGE: CHRISTIAN HIGHER EDUCATION FOR WORKING ADULTS By Rick Ostrander Review by Ralph N. Phillips Assistant Dean for Adult and Continuing Education Geneva College

In his new book, Reconsidering College: Christian Higher Education for Working Adults, Rick Ostrander provides a short but refreshing focus on the topic. Ostrander is well-equipped to write on the subject, both as the provost and chief academic officer at Cornerstone University, which offers nontraditional adult programs, and as someone who was once a nontraditional student himself. Ostrander’s opening chapter focuses on the nature of work for a Christian. His point is that “work for the Christian is both a way to glorify our Creator by doing what we were designed to do and a way to help bring healing and order to a fallen world.” While one might wonder why the opening chapter of a small text on adult higher education should be devoted to this, Ostrander


clearly indicates that since education is largely connected to career, “we cannot adequately understand the value of education unless we have a proper Christian understanding of work as more than simply a way to earn a living.” With a passing criticism of the “dangers in an obsessive drive for greater achievement and more consumption that often characterizes capitalist societies,” Ostrander ties the need for education to the kinds of work so often characteristic of our complex society— tasks that require sophisticated thinking and quantitative skills typically learned in formal higher educational settings. Thus, his second chapter makes a key distinction between the instrumental value of an education (a way to earn money and find employment) and its intrinsic value (its value for its own sake). The chapter can be summed up with these words: “Because Christians begin the educational task with the understanding that the entire universe is Christ’s creation, learning new subjects is never simply about acquiring more information. It’s a way to know Christ better and more deeply love him.” While not contradicting the previous chapter, the third chapter could be interpreted as placing the intrinsic value of education below its instrumental value. In reading these chapters together, that is clearly not Ostrander’s intention, but statements in the third chapter’s opening paragraph could create this perception. This

apparent bifurcation is unfortunate in an otherwise excellent work. Toward the end of chapter three, however, Ostrander attempts to merge the intrinsic and instrumental together again. He argues that because of the doctrine of creation, learning is intrinsically good, but that doesn’t mean it cannot also be instrumentally good. In chapter four, Ostrander reviews the basics of a Christian worldview, incorporating numerous examples of how a Christian worldview makes a difference in the way one thinks about a variety of situations, from scientific facts to sports to business dealings. The final chapter is an excellent, albeit brief, discussion of how one can go about the business of relating one’s Christian worldview to an academic discipline. With numerous illustrations of the integration of faith and learning, some taken from two professors at Cornerstone, Ostrander gives insight into how this integration can be carried out. The book is easily worth reading just for the insights found in these final two chapters. The primary intended audience of Ostrander’s book is working adults who are considering entering college. But this little gem is also a valuable resource for both traditional and nontraditional faculty who are interested in reflecting anew on integrating faith and learning. In fact, the book sells itself a bit short with its subtitle; a far broader audience will appreciate this book.

CCCUCAREER CENTER The online source for Christian Higher Education jobs More than just a job-finding service, the CCCU Career Center links passionate people with meaningful careers in Christ-centered higher education.

To get started, visit



Photo by Bjorn Amundsen.


Bringing Beauty Into Our Lives MAKOTO FUJIMURA IS a noted artist, writer and speaker, but he is also a prominent international advocate for the arts. A presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts from 20032009, Fujimura founded the International Arts Movement, a New York City-based nonprofit with a mission to gather artists “to wrestle with the deep questions of art, faith and humanity in order to inspire the creative community to grapple with our present reality, faithfully steward our talents and create ‘rehumanizing’ work indicative of the world that ‘ought to be.’” Fujimura was the keynote speaker at the closing banquet of the Engaged Community conference in Los Angeles, where he spoke on the value of beauty and its importance to Christian higher education. The following essay, which was made available to conference attendees, is an excerpt from his forthcoming book, “On Becoming Generative: An Introduction to Culture Care.” An abbreviated version of the book is available on Amazon. AS A NEWLYWED COUPLE, my wife and I began our journey with very little. After Judy and I got married in the summer of 1983, after college, we moved to Connecticut for Judy to pursue her master’s degree in marriage counseling. I taught at a special education school and painted at home. We had a tight budget and often had to ration our food (lots of tuna cans!) just to get through the week. One evening, I sat alone, waiting for Judy to come home to our small apartment, worried about how we were going to afford the rent, to pay for necessities over the weekend. Our refrigerator was empty and I had no cash left. Then Judy walked in with a bouquet of flowers. I got really upset. 57


“We need to feed our souls, too.”

Makoto Fujimura, 2011, Matthew - Consider the Lilies Mineral pigments, gold, platinum and sumi on Kumohada 48 x 60 inches (The Four Gospels, © Makoto Fujimura)

“How could you think of buying flowers if we can’t even eat!” I remember saying, frustrated. Judy’s reply has been etched in my heart for over thirty years now. “We need to feed our souls, too.” The irony is that I am an artist. I am the one, supposedly, feeding people’s souls. But in worrying for tomorrow, in the stoic responsibility I felt to make ends meet, to survive, I failed to be the artist. Judy was the artist that day: she brought home a bouquet. I do not remember what we ended up eating that day, or that month (probably tuna fish). But I do remember that particular bouquet of flowers. I painted them. “We need to feed our souls, too.” Those words still resonate with me today. Is Judy still right? Do we, as human beings, need more than food and a shelter? Do we need beauty in our lives?

Given our limited resources, how do we cultivate and care for our souls? And how do these questions apply to the larger culture? My life as an artist, and as a founder of International Arts Movement, has been in pursuit of questions like these—not just internally or for my own sake but with a growing global network of people. What began as an admission of my own failure to be an artist has now given birth to many principles that govern my life as an artist, father, husband, and leader. I call them “generative principles.” What started out as Judy’s care for our own souls has blossomed into an effort to extend that care into our home and our churches, and into a vision for culture at large. What I call Culture Care is a generative approach to culture that brings bouquets of f lowers into a culture bereft of beauty. Makoto Fujimura is an artist, writer and speaker recognized worldwide as a cultural shaper. Fujimura’s work is exhibited at galleries around the world, including in New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Vienna. In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, Crossway Publishing commissioned and published “The Four Holy Gospels,” featuring Fujimura’s illuminations of the sacred texts (one of which is pictured above). A popular speaker at numerous conferences, universities and museums, Fujimura is a recipient of Doctor of Arts honorary degrees from Belhaven University in 2011 and Biola University in 2012.

Where will you be in 34 months? Start your Ed.D. in Educational Leadership now. Finish in less than 3 years.

Now you can earn your doctorate, without uprooting your personal and professional life! Designed for the working professional, the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership at Dallas Baptist University allows you to complete your degree in just 34 months. Students attend class three weeks per year and online for this 60-hour accelerated doctoral program. Concentrations are available in Higher Education Leadership, Educational Ministry Leadership, and General Leadership.

Our Faculty The experienced faculty at the Gary Cook School of Leadership incorporates your particular interests and life experience to guide you to the next level of excellence in your chosen field. Get started on your degree today! Contact Dr. Ozzie Ingram at or 214.333.5484. Visit for more information.

Christian Scholars â&#x20AC;˘ Servant Leaders â&#x20AC;˘ Global Thinkers


PAID 321 Eighth Street, NE | Washington, DC 20002


Address Service Requested

challenging students to interact with, serve, and better this world by living out the story of Christ

• 12 Programs in 8 countries • Rigorous academic study • Unique Internship opportunities • Global and Community Engagement

CCCU Advance Spring 2014  

CCCU Advance Magazine

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you