IVY LEAGUE THE
Volume VII • Issue II • Spring 2008
Veritas Forum at Columbia Addresses Tough Questions Page 5
Sex Week and Spirituality at Yale Page 16
Harvard Law School Center Attacks Cyber-Bullying Page 21
Dartmouth Students Host 24/7 Prayer Initiative Page 41
Calling People to Pray at Penn Page 42
Cornell Navigators Attend Rigorous, Refreshing Retreat
Adoniram Judson, Brown 1807 First American Missionary Page 12
Brown • Columbia • Cornell • Dartmouth Harvard • Penn • Princeton • Yale
Princeton Lectures Look at Evangelical Voters Page 14
Advancing the Kingdom of Jesus Christ in the Ivy League The Ivy League Christian Observer is published by the Christian Union, an independent Christian ministry.
World Journalism Institute Conferences and Courses New York Journalism Course Backpack Journalism in a Digital Age May 11-30, 2008 New York City
Conference for Minority Journalists of Faith featuring Juan Williams in conjunction with UNITY 08 national convention
July 22, 2008 Chicago
Conference for Christian Student Editors and Advisers in conjunction with the CMA/ACP national convention
October 29, 2008 Kansas City
Pan-African Journalism Workshop for Christian Journalists January 17-23, 2009 Entebbe, Uganda
For more information or to apply: www.worldji.com. World Journalism Institute Empire State Building 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1500 New York, NY 10118 800-769-7870
Mark Your Calendar... May 29 – June 1 Princeton Faith and Action’s
THURSDAY, May 29 Noon – 1 p.m. and 8 – 9 p.m. – “Prayer for Princeton” East Room, Murray-Dodge
FRIDAY, May 30 Noon – 1 p.m. and 8 – 9 p.m. – “Prayer for Princeton” East Room, Murray-Dodge
SATURDAY, May 31 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. – “Prayer for Princeton” Wilson House 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Brunch and Open House, Wilson House Celebrating Christian Life at Princeton. 4 – 5 p.m. (after the P-Rade) – “Prayer for Princeton” East Room, Murray-Dodge
SUNDAY, June 1 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. – Worship Service, Nassau Christian Center Rev. Kenneth Jasko ’78 (Senior Pastor, Monmouth Worship Center), preaching 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Worship Service, Nassau Christian Center Featuring testimonies from Major Class Reunions, including Dr.Archie Fletcher ’38 (Medical Missions, retired) and Roland Warren ’83 (President, National Fatherhood Institute). For more information contact Christine.Johnson@Christian-Union.org or visit www.Christian-Union.org/reunions
240 NASSAU STREET PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY 08542
IN TELLECTU AL EN GAGEM E N T
Please help us get this magazine into the hands of those who want it. E-mail or write us in order to: • pass along the names of fellow Christian alumni, parents, staff, faculty, or friends who would enjoy this quarterly update from the Ivy League universities. • update us on any address change you have. • be removed from the mailing list. Editor-in-Chief Matt Bennett, Cornell ’88, *89 Managing Editor Tom Campisi, College of New Jersey, ’88 Senior Writer Eileen Scott, Mount St. Mary, ’87 Field Reporters Grace Chen, Cornell ’10 Biblia Kim, Cornell ’09 Ishmael Osekre, Columbia ’09 Joshua Unseth, Brown ’09 Jin Wang, Columbia ’10 Photo Editor Pam Traeger Letters to the Editor Please send us your feedback regarding events and topics described in this magazine at the e-mail or regular mail address listed above. Cover image courtesy of Judson University, Elgin, Illinois
Veritas Forum Addresses the Tough Questions Events Draw Capacity Crowds at Columbia University By Jin Wang, Columbia ’10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Believers In Business Spirituality in the Workplace Is Discussed at Conference By Melanie Eaton, Contributing Writer . . . . . . . . . . 6 Zero Tolerance Letter to Editor Reflects Bias towards Student’s Religious Views By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Open Response Draws Open Criticism Not all Evangelical Leaders Agree with Published Letter to Muslim Community By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 ABOU T MIN ISTRY Retreats Offer Relaxation, Renewal Princeton Ministries Trek to New England for Ski Trips By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 A Rigorous But Refreshing Retreat Navigators’ Event Draws Students from Northeast Region By Biblia Kim, Cornell ‘09 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Adoniram Judson: Man on a Mission Ministry Center Namesake was Brown Graduate, First American Missionary By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 ON CAMPU S
By God’s power and the help of other ministries, the mission of Christian Union is to change the world by bringing sweeping spiritual transformation to the Ivy League universities, thereby developing and mobilizing godly Christian leadership for all sectors of society. Matt Bennett (Cornell BS ’88, MBA ’89) founded the ministry with friends in 2002 in Princeton, New Jersey. To learn more about the ministry, please visit www.Christian-Union.org. The purpose of The Ivy League Christian Observer (this free quarterly magazine) is to inform Christian alumni, students, parents, staff, faculty, and friends of the Ivy League universities about the spiritual activity on the campuses. Our desire is that you would be encouraged to pray for these universities, give financially to Christian initiatives on the campuses, and use your influence for the cause of Christ.
Election Sparks Discussions of Faith and Politics Young Christians Vote Their Faith More than Their Party By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 ‘A Formidale Force’ Princeton Lectures Address Evangelicalism and Politics By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Confession was an Act of Faith Student Admits Cheating Despite Possible Suspension By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 The Ivy League Christian Observer
Sex Week And Spirituality Christian Speakers Present Alternative View to Yale Students By Nkem Okafor, Yale Graduate School . . . . . . . . . 16 Poker 101? Harvard Law Professor Uses Card Game to Teach Strategy By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Navigating Dartmouth’s Christian Roots Ministry Leader Uncovers Stunning Information By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Brown Community Shocked By Possible Bias Attack Students and Staff Rally Support for Jewish Colleagues By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Cyberspace Is New Playground for Bullies Harvard Law School Center Seeks to Make Internet Safer By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 R E A C HING OUT Spring Break Missionaries Ivy Students Get Involved Across the Country By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 A Voice for The Voiceless Brown Students Seek to Help Ugandan Children By Joshua Unseth, Brown ‘09 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Newman Catholic Center Hosts Road Trip Students Minister to Developmentally Disabled Boys By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 ‘We Run on Passion’ Shelter Provides More Than Just Refuge for the Homeless By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 A Microcosm of God’s Kingdom Diverse Group of Ivy Alumni Share Passion for Urban Churches By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Calling People to Pray at Penn Junior Has a Passion to Intercede for the Church By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Unity in Numbers, Strength in Prayer Student-led Ministry Seeks to Unite Efforts for Christ on Cornell Campus By Grace Chen, Cornell ‘10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
IN PERSON New Wilson House Director Made 180-Degree Turn Former Troubled Teen Is on Fast Track to Ministry By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Penn Grad Serves New York City, Christian Union Lolita Jackson is Liaison for Mayor Bloomberg, Community Groups By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Getting to the Heart of the Matter Brown, Yale Alumna Speaks of Faith on Public Radio Show By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Laughing With Evangelicals Columbia Grad Satirizes the Ones He Loves By Douglas LeBlanc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Columbia Journalism Grad Named Cardinal Foley Honored for Combining Communications and Faith By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 The Billionaire Who Wasn’t Cornell Alumnus Secretly Gave Away a Fortune By Martin Morse Wooster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Wharton Alumnus Switches Sectors Rupert Hayles Is COO of New Jersey Megachurch By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
P R AY E R P O WE R
News-in-Brief . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
‘Ask, Seek, Knock’ Dartmouth Students Participate in Round-the-Clock Prayer Event By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
The Mission and Vision of Christian Union . . 54
Ivy League Prayer Needs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
INTELLECTUAL • ENGAGEMENT
VERITAS FORUM ADDRESSES THE TOUGH QUESTIONS Events Draw Capacity Crowds at Columbia University What are the tensions of exclusive religion in a pluralistic society? Is there reason for belief in COLUMBIA God in an age of skepticism? How is Jesus Christ relevant to life? The Veritas Forum (www.veritas.org) at Columbia University has sought to examine these and other of life’s hardest questions and engage faculty and students in meaningful discussion on campus. The Veritas Forum, which began at Harvard and has spread to campuses across the country and the United Kingdom, is in its fourth year at Columbia University.
willingness to listen to each other are required. Delbanco depicted this as “the need for vigorous dialogic exchange in the public sphere.”
tain a healthy society, willingness for conversation and a
By Jin Wang, Columbia ’10
Joel Yu ‘09, president of Columbia’s Veritas Forum, affirmed that there was a great turnout. “The night provided us with a clear vision of what open, honest dialogue should look like amongst people who may not necessarily believe the same things,” said Yu.
Hundreds of people also came to the following event on February 19, with the venue filling to maximum capacity. The On February 6, hundreds of people filled Columbia’s main second event featured Keller, who discussed his newly pubauditorium for the first event of the year. Pastor Tim Keller of lished book The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of SkeptiNew York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church joined Columbia cism in an interview with ABC’s Nightline co-anchor and professors Andrew Delbanco and Mark Lilla and moderator 20/20 correspondent Martin Bashir. With intense questioning Dale Hanson Bourke to by Bashir, Keller discussed discuss the topic of the the idea of Christianity as night: Exclusive Religion the one way to God, its rain a Pluralistic Society. tionality, and the difficulty for the religion to manifest The presenters began by itself in a functional form, defining the term pluralwhile also revealing his ism. Lilla, a professor of own personal journey as a Humanities and Religion Christian. The interview and author of The Stillborn was followed with a more God, describes himself as At the Veritas informal question and anbeing “once found and Forum, Tim Keller discussed his swer session facilitated by now lost.” He stated that new book, The David Eisenbach, a profespluralism is not “diversity,” Reason for God: Martin Bashir, of Nightline and 20/20, sor of history at Columbia. “multiculturalism,” or even Belief in the Age interviews Rev. Tim Keller during the of Skepticism. recent Veritas Forum at Columbia. Addressing questions suba “whole and integrated” mitted by the audience, society but, rather, a sociKeller touched upon such subjects as the reason for suffering ety with different “levels and spheres…without having to recand Christianity’s view of homosexuality. oncile them in one coherent picture.” Delbanco, director of American Studies, described America as “an experiment in Sybren Hoekstra, a member of the Veritas Content Compluralism.” Keller remarked that the “big crisis” in pluralistic mittee, felt the event was “particularly effective.” “Neither societies today is how to “get exclusive religion and secular of the interviewers threw Keller any softballs,” he said, “but people all working together.” Keller was able to respond with humility and insight. His years of dealing with New York City cynics have given him From this introduction, they delved into topics including: a certain calm confidence that is too often absent in Christhe current presidential election, public policy, conversion, tian apologetics.” and religious tolerance. All three concluded that to main-
INTELLECTUAL • ENGAGEMENT
BELIEVERS IN BUSINESS Spirituality in the Workplace Is Discussed at Conference In the wake of an ever-changing business world, it seems not only probable but inevitable that YALE strategies and tactics would likewise require modifications. On February 15 and 16, Yale University held its third annual “Believers in Business” conference to address such alterations.
The event was co-sponsored by the Yale School of Management’s Christian Fellowship Club and the Yale Divinity School’s Center for Faith and Culture. At the basic level, the impetus for the conference was not only to promote camaraderie among believers, but also to explore connections between Christian principles and the workplace. Jeffrey Metzner, Cornell ’03, a Yale graduate student and one of the conference’s key coordinators and organizers, explained that the event was designed to “provide a place for business school students from across the country to gather and be challenged by both speakers and peers. The conference began as a way for business school students to hear from seasoned executives who have spent decades wrestling with questions of how to integrate their faith and business.”
One area of focus was developing frameworks for living ethically and faithfully in the workplace. It stands to reason that if those in power are making morally correct decisions based on their own faith, those decisions will impact and benefit those that are addressed and affected. Several speakers also spoke about juggling family and career and seeking to live out their faith in each.
Business leaders and graduate students gathered at Yale University for the third annual “Believers in Business” conference to explore Christian in the workplace.
As most businesses today operate under various strategic auspices, the concept of faith in the workplace seems an unlikely topic to some, but a welcome discussion for believers. According to the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, “business ethics is often studied from a purely secular perspective. However, such a method ignores the fact that most businesspeople, like most people in general, are people of faith and often approach ethical issues from a faith-based perspective.” The conference was attended primarily by students with the rest of the audience being comprised of recent graduates and other interested businessmen and women. There were representatives and speakers from ten business schools including UCLA, Indiana University, Harvard, and Wharton.
Speakers were asked to discuss their own walks with the Lord, with particular attention to struggles, challenges, and joys that have been instrumental in bringing them into their current position and profession. Metzner explains that “this year we challenged our presenters to describe how their faith informs their actions regarding such tough topics as the environment, animal rights, bribery, profit maximization, layoffs, and wealth creation.”
A portion of the conference was set up in a question-and-answer format between students and speakers. During this time, the speakers were extremely candid and genuine in discussing their integration of faith into work. Based on previous years’ conferences, this session was suggested to be the most valuable to students and the period in which they learned the most.
The conference confirmed that spirituality in the workplace is on the rise and is positively affecting businesses and decision-makers every day. Because of this growing trend, Christian businessmen and women are able to incorporate their spiritual lives and habits into their daily work routines and, not surprisingly, find success. The topic of faith-based business is not one that exists strictly within the Ivy walls. The Center for Faith and Culture also hosts the Greenwich Leadership Forum on the state level and, at the national level, Leaders Offline. Both forums provide business leaders with the opportunity to discuss faith-related business issues. By Melanie Eaton, Contributing Writer
The Ivy League Christian Observer
INTELLECTUAL • ENGAGEMENT
ZERO TOLERANCE Letter to Editor Reflects Bias towards Student’s Religious Views When discussing the differences between Creation accounts of a Native American tribe and DARTMOUTH Genesis, one might expect Christian interpretations of the Biblical account to be addressed. However, in a recent English class at Dartmouth where this discussion took place, one student found the views of a Christian classmate so offensive that she penned her frustrations in a column in The Dartmouth entitled “See You in Hell” (February 8).
While the headline was more sensational than the content of the opinion piece, it re-engaged the on-going discussion of the place of faith in education. In her column, Stonehill called out junior Nathan Empsall, although not by name, for “using obscure religious reasoning and citing isolated, irrelevant examples to give the illusion that textual evidence supported his points” and for “regurgitat[ing] the memorized snippets of Sunday School ‘fact’ that leave no room for alternate interpretations of God’s benevolence.”
Empsall, who discussed the Christian interpretations of the book to put it in context and to share that “not all Christians view the book in the same way,” apparently violated Stonehill’s pre-established view of religion and education. “Such feeble attempts to defend the sacred book were blatant acts of religious apology — in other words, denial,” Stonehill writes. “More importantly, however, they solidified an already existing belief of mine— namely, that expressing religious zeal is antithetical to academic learning.” “The undue ‘tolerance’ we have for the imposition of religion upon any secular educational institutions—let alone those with Dartmouth’s outstanding academic reputation—is a troubling phenomenon that can only inhibit learning,” she continued. However, Empsall points out that when discussing a topic like creation beliefs “what people believe is relevant to a discussion about what people believe. You don’t have to have a religious background to understand that.”
Empsall submitted a response to Stone“The blindness of this particular classhill’s column for The Dartmouth, but the Dartmouth junior Nathan mate,” she wrote, “was an unfortunate reEmpsall was the subject of a paper refused to run it, citing space conminder that the expression of religious scathing editorial by a classmate straints and that they already had pubzeal within the context of academic disfor voicing his Christian lished several responses. They also noted interpretation of Creation. cipline is a severe problem…Blinded by that the campus dialogue on the issue had his faith, this young man had refused to “run its course.” consider the work from a critical, literary standpoint.” Empsall disagreed that the discussion had run its course However, she did not give examples of Empsall’s “religious when they refused him, “the attacked party,” the opportuzeal” or his Sunday school “argument.” nity to respond. From her letter, Stonehill states that the assignment was to In his submitted response Empsall wrote, “She [Stonehill] address Genesis from a literary standpoint and that it would argues that personal ‘creeds’ should be checked at the classbe expected for subsequent discussion to “revolve around room door. This suggests that faith is like a winter astute comments addressing the tone, rhetorical character, coat–something that can be worn when appropriate, but and recurring themes of the Biblical text.” shed when things get a little too warm. I beg to differ. My Apparently, she also expected Christians in the class to disfaith is not a lens through which I view the world, but the regard their beliefs and ignore the fact that the very book actual eyes behind that lens, irrevocably attached to the they were examining happens to be the first book in the head. I can no more set aside my belief in God than I can set Bible. aside my belief that the earth revolves around the sun.”
INTELLECTUAL • ENGAGEMENT “Stonehill’s main argument, that religious zealotry has no place in the classroom, is well taken. Unfortunately, in implying that all religion is religious zealotry and focusing the majority of her column on our discussion, she distorts her otherwise valid point…We all have different individual perspectives that shape who we are and how we contribute. This diversity can enrich both academic and cultural discussions.” Others who have responded in The Dartmouth to Stonehill’s column agree that her religious zealotry analysis is off the mark and, in fact, contend that she may be guilty of her own zealous closed-mindedness. “Stonehill’s transparent agenda leaves no room for alternatives…Herein lies the core problem of her argument: while
demanding that religious individuals lay aside their assumptions, she not only brings her own to the academic table but suggests that tolerating a contrary belief ‘inhibits learning,’” wrote Christopher Blankenship ’09. “We should recognize that full objectivity is impossible,” wrote Dartmouth alumnus Ryan Bouton ’01. “Stonehill proclaims that the blindness of her classmate ‘was an unfortunate reminder that the expression of religious zeal within the context of academic discipline is a severe problem.’ I humbly suggest that this statement be amended, for surely ‘irreligious zeal’ can be an equal problem in our academic pursuit.” By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer
OPEN RESPONSE DRAWS OPEN CRITICISM Not all Evangelical Leaders Agree with Letter to Muslim Community Yale Divinity School scholars from the Center for Faith and Culture have received opposition YALE from Evangelical leaders for a letter they drafted which appeared in the New York Times. The message was written in response to an open invitation by Muslim leaders for open dialogue.
in the past (e.g. in the Crusades) and in the present (e.g. in excesses of the “war on terror”) many Christians have been guilty of sinning against our Muslim neighbors. Before we ‘shake your hand’ in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world.” On his radio program R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said, “I am not going to apologize for the Crusades because I am very thankful that the Muslim effort to reach a conquest of Europe was unsuccessful. Otherwise, we would be speaking Arabic on this program right now; and we would be talking about the Muslim continent of Europe and potentially even of North America.”
The letter, Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to ‘A Common Word Between Us and You,’ was signed by 300 Christian leaders from the U.S. and abroad. It has come under fire for, among other things, its broad apology to Muslims for the Christian Crusades and the current war on terrorism; and for its appeal for forgiveness from the “All Merciful One.” “Muslims and Christians have not always shaken hands in friendship,” the letter states. “Their relations have sometimes been tense, even characterized by outright hostility. Since Jesus Christ says, ‘First take the log out your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye’ (Matthew 7:5), we want to begin by acknowledging that
photo courtesy of Kimberly Manz
Yale Professor Miroslav Volf is one of four Yale Divinity School Scholars who penned an open letter to Muslims that has sparked debate within the Christian community.
What Mohler and other Christians are more concerned about is the theology of the letter. Specifically, that in the effort to embrace God with interfaith solidarity, Jesus Christ (the center of Christianity) is unmentioned. “We understand God to be the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…We understand
The Ivy League Christian Observer
INTELLECTUAL • ENGAGEMENT God to be a Trinity of three co-eternal persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And we understand that Islam’s first statement about God is that He is one and that He has no Son. You can’t talk about the same god if you believe that one has revealed Himself supremely in Jesus Christ, who is His Son, and then the other who believes that God has no Son. The disagreement over Jesus Christ is no small thing. For Christianity, it’s the central thing…I think that kind of confusion is deadly when it comes to the Gospel,” said Mohler. In a separate letter written in January to the 300 Christians who signed the document, Yale Divinity School Professor and co-writer of Loving God and Neighbor, Miroslav Volf, said, “My colleagues at the Reconciliation Program of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, Joseph Cumming and Andrew Saperstein, and I are committed to interpreting the objections of Christian critics of Loving God and Neighbor charitably and responding to them truthfully and respectfully (just as we are committed to do the same in relation to Muslims, whether friends or detractors of the Common Word). These issues are too important for us to allow heated and tendentious quarrels to sidetrack us from clear and constructive arguments.” Volf, who participated in a press conference in Abu Dhabi that was held in conjunction with the publication of the Arabic translation of the letter, also wrote about the tremendous support the letter has received from the Muslim community.
“What I have consistently heard from Muslims is how deeply they appreciated the generous spirit with which our text was written as it both embraced the hand of friendship offered by them and unmistakably affirmed the substance of the Christian faith (including where it differs profoundly from Islam!),” he wrote. None of the opposing Christians deny the need for open dialogue and movements toward peace with Muslims. The problem is with the pursuit of peace at the exclusion of the Gospel. “Every opportunity for conversation is an opportunity for Gospel witness,” Mohler said. “But when Christians enter a conversation, we have to show up as Christians. I think when you address a letter to Muslims and refer to God in their terminology then there is a big problem.” Among the signatories of the letter were members of the Princeton Theological Seminary and Harvard Divinity School. Other notables include: Leith Anderson, president, National Association of Evangelicals; Robert E. Cooley, president emeritus, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; Bill Hybels, founder and senior pastor, Willow Creek Community; David Neff, editor-in-chief, Christianity Today; Rick Warren, pastor and author. By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer
A B O U T • M I N I S T RY
RETREATS OFFER RELAXATION, RENEWAL Princeton Ministries Trek to New England for Ski Trips Fifty-five students trekked with Princeton Faith and Action over winter intercession for a funPRINCETON and faith-filled getaway to the pristine ski slopes of Vermont.
“We felt like it was a really powerful time of God moving among us,” said Lorri Bentch, a ministry fellow with Christian Union. This year’s attendance doubled from the previous year and included two students who prayed to receive Christ as savior during the trip, which was held Jan. 27 to Feb. 1 at a Christian retreat near Killington. About a quarter of the par-
ticipants were visitors to Princeton Faith and Action, the Christian Union’s undergraduate ministry. Besides the students who prayed to accept Christ, “quite a few of the others experienced significant things during the week in their walk with God,” Bentch said. Also during intersession, nearly 100 members and guests of Manna Christian Fellowship and Princeton Evangelical Fellowship ventured to Spofford, N.H., for five days of skiing, other winter activities and fellowship. “The feedback was generally very positive,” said Blake Altman, Manna’s interim director.
A B O U T • M I N I S T RY As for Princeton Faith and Action, President Justin Woyak said he and the other students “left the lodge with closer friendships, with spiritual and physical refreshment, and with commitments for fasting and prayer to seek new life from God for our fellow Princetonians and for ourselves. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
are starting an accountability group,” Maiorella said.
Pastor and author Ray Ortlund Jr., accompanied by wife Jani, served as the keynote speaker and delivered nightly sermons on the Beatitudes. “We went through the Beatitudes in detail and showed how the way of Christ is very countercultural,” Bentch said. “After the input each evening, the students broke into small groups of eight students each for discussion.”
The students paid $195 each for the trip, which included lodging at Ottauquechee Farm, meals and transportation. Activities included movies, snow football and a tour of the famed Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory in Waterbury.
As for the day-to-day aspects of the trip, a practical challenge centered on providing meals for the students, five Christian Union staffers and the Ortlund family. “We provided home-cooked meals every day for everyone,” Bentch said. “That was a challenge in and of itself.”
Indeed, Woyak, a junior, described the message on the Beatitudes as “inMore than 50 Princeton students participated in a winter ski retreat credibly impacting.” hosted by Christian Union’s Princeton Faith and Action ministry. The Beatitudes “offer exciting promises for everyone.” back and telling their friends.” On the final evening, “we had a time of sharing, one and ahalf hours. It was very, very powerful,” Bentch said. “There was lots of weeping and crying.” Many of the students decided to pursue deeper relationships with Christ and dedicate more time to prayer, Bible study – and even fasting. “A lot of people shared different ways they were feeling convicted or inspired to become involved.” Among them, Rosa Marie Maiorella, a junior, said the trip helped her to “realize new things about God” and “focus on my relationship with Him and work on some things that He is trying to teach me.” As well, “as a result of some of the relationships built of the trip, as well as what God revealed to us about our need for continued fellowship and support, some friends and I
The leadership with Princeton Faith and Action already is thinking ahead to plans for 2009. “We trust and have faith and hope that it’s going to be even bigger next year,” Bentch said. “The buzz coming off it was very good. People are going to be coming
Indeed, this year’s participants are enthusiastic about plans for 2009. “I just skied one day this year because I wanted to soak up all the fun people and activities – food, games, sledding and sleep – at the lodge,” Woyak said. “Nothing all year is anticipated more than the ski trip except for maybe summer break. And, even that’s questionable.” Members of Manna and Princeton Evangelical Fellowship also were touched by their winter retreat, which was held at Camp Spofford. “It’s a great time to get together and think about Christ, to be unencumbered by the anxieties of the academic year,” Altman said. “It’s a prime time for a retreat.” By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer
The Ivy League Christian Observer
A B O U T • M I N I S T RY
A RIGOROUS BUT REFRESHING RETREAT Navigators’ Event Draws Students from Northeast Region The third weekend of February was a special one for Navigators (www.navigators.org) CORNELL throughout the Northeast, as many gathered for their annual regional retreat February 15-17. Cornell participants drove several hours to New Hampshire to join their brothers and sisters from other schools, including: Boston University, New York University, Dartmouth, University of Maine, University of Vermont, and the University of New Hampshire, just to name a few.
The Navigators, whose official motto is “to know Christ and make Him known,” were founded in the 1930s. The ministry seeks to disciple Christians so that they, in turn, can teach others, actively living out their faith. An interdenominational, nonprofit organization commemorating God’s work for the 75th year in 2008, the Navigators strive “to know Christ and make Him known” everywhere, both locally and internationally, in more than 100 countries, in colleges, the military, and the like.
ship-sleep-breakfast-final worship-speaker. As rigorous as it may sound, the time spent focusing on God, the absence of school, and communion with other Christians proved to be refreshing. With regards to being in the presence of Christians from other colleges, Thomason said, “It’s really cool to see Navs working in other places and just to have a picture of what fellowship looks like there.” The winter retreat is only a glimpse into the Cornell Navigators. Some of these ministry-minded students are preparing to serve on mission trips with the international arm of Navs, while others are considering serving with EDGE Corp on campus for next year. Being in EDGE Corp with Navs is like making a one to two-year commitment as a Navigators intern, or, in Thomason’s words, “like being a junior staffer on a campus, where we’re trained by a Nav staff and try and make relationships with students in the existing Nav fellowship and also with nonbelievers.”
The main speaker of this winter reNot only was it a time to get a rest treat was Mike Chen, a Dartmouth Students from throughout the Northeast from Ithaca, but the Navs retreat proNavigator alumnus (2001) who joined those from Cornell for the recent vided the time and space for worNavigators winter retreat. served on staff at NYU and is curship, prayer, hot chocolate and ice rently working on his M. Div. at cream, and even some sledding and broom-balling. CornelPrinceton. Chen expounded on Nahum throughout the dulians were blessed by the opportunity to fellowship in Christ ration of the weekend to address the retreat’s theme, “Bewith students from other colleges, whether it meant catchhold your God.” ing up with old friends or forming new relationships, and For senior Leah Thomason, the retreat was her fourth durusing the time to mutually encourage each other. As Thomaing her time at Cornell. She said the six-hour car ride proson remarked, “The set up of the conference really does fulvided a chance to get to know people and see how others fill its purpose. I always feel restored when I come back to were doing. Once Thomason arrived, it was time to get into campus.” the mode of worship-sleep-breakfast-worship-speakerworkshop-lunch-free time-workshop-dinner-speaker-wor-
By Biblia Kim, Cornell ‘09
A B O U T • M I N I S T RY
ADONIRAM JUDSON: MAN ON A MISSION Ministry Center Namesake was Brown Graduate, First American Missionary Adoniram Judson, class of 1807 at Brown, is known for his missionary service and contribuBROWN tions to the Baptist church. As the first Protestant missionary from North America, Judson helped spread the Gospel in Burma for nearly forty years and translated the Bible into Burmese.
His mission work led to the formation of the first Baptist association in America and inspired many to join the missionary efforts. It also led to the establishment of several Baptist churches in Burma. In all, Judson was a man of outreach and generosity of faith. Despite personal hardship and precarious travels, he was committed to bringing the Gospel to Asia, a place he called the most important missionary field in the world because of “its idolatrous myriads,” according to his biography, The Man Who Gave the Bible to the Burmese by Richard V. Pierard.
and forums but does little to provide spaces for spiritual development.” “The reason we have the center [at Brown] is to provide space for ministries to do their ministry well,” Bennett said. The 3,500-square foot house allows room for staff members to meet one-on-one with students for counseling and encouragement. The first floor has an open area with a kitchen so ministry activities can happen during meals. The building also has living quarters in the upper portion of the house which are currently rented by ministry leaders from Athletes In Action. Although Christian Union owns the house, Bennett points out that it is available for all Christian ministries to use.
“Part of our conviction as a ministry is that we care about what happens on the campuses as a whole. We want to see the campuses strengthIt would seem fitting, ened in Christ. That then, that a house dedmeans helping peer icated to reaching out Christian Union’s Judson House, located ministries,” he said. to Brown students and Courtesy of Judson University, at Brown, offers students meeting and Elgin, Illinois. “If you look at the hospitality space. The building is named encouraging their faith Adoniram Judson, Adoniram Judson, a Baptist in honor of early Church in a would bear his name. Brown Class of 1807. missionary and Brown graduate (1807). given city, you might The Judson House, a have seen several Christian Union ministry center, has been a place for beapostles there; and they had a cooperative perspective believers at Brown to gather, worship, and even live for the cause they were all in it together.” past several years. Christian Union also has ministry centers at Cornell and Princeton. In the last quarter alone, more than 600 students and staff have used the Judson House for various events from Christmas parties and ministry meetings to baking study breaks and other events—events that otherwise might have been difficult to hold in the University environment. “It can be difficult to get space on campus,” said Christian Union Founder and President Matt Bennett, Cornell ’88, *89. “The University builds buildings for classes, faculty,
And it was that spirit of the apostles that Adoniram Judson personified and Christian Union honors through the Judson House. It seemed only fitting to name the ministry center after a man who spent so many years ministering to others far from his American home. “It’s quite an honor for Brown to have [graduated] the first missionary taking the Gospel around the world,” said Bennett. “We wanted to recognize him and his devotion to Christ.” By Eileen Scott, Senior Staff Writer
The Ivy League Christian Observer
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ELECTION SPARKS DISCUSSIONS OF FAITH AND POLITICS Young Christians Vote Their Faith More Than Their Party Faith in the public square has long been debated on Ivy campuses. Now, with the 2008 presidenALL IVY tial election only seven months away, talk turns to action as students discern the views of the candidates and search their hearts about the contenders, the issues, and the role faith plays on the political stage.
“As Christians we are required to be politically active in the nation, especially when there are things like abortion and injustices occurring,” Unseth said.
“Politics is definitely a topic of discussion for members of Navigators here at Dartmouth (www.dartmouth.edu/ ~navs/),” said Joshua Drake’08. “We are a pretty diverse group, so it’s easy for discussion and debate to come up. Almost any issue is open for discussion, from value issues like abortion and marriage to the economy and terrorism. Most people have specific issues close to their hearts.”
“I do not see voting as a moral issue at all,” he stated. “If it has a compelling obligation, it would come from my status as a Christian who is free to practice my beliefs and a desire to see that freedom from political persecution continue.”
Drake also sees a connection with voter responsibility and his Christian values, but stops short of calling it a moral obligation.
Yet, despite a Christian’s call to be socially responsible, there seems to be some ambiguity as to what today’s young Christians call themselves and how they are identified within the public square. Terms like religious right, conservative, and evangelical are used in an attempt to label those whose faith influences how they pull the lever come November.
And it’s those heart-felt issues that appear to drive young voters on campus and not party loyalty, according to Dean Lacy, professor of government at Dartmouth. “They care more about the environment, AIDS, and reducing poverty outside U.S. borders,” he said. Furthermore, social justice issues that once might have been ascribed to Democrats have crossed party lines and are also being considered by Republicans.
Young Christian voters in the Ivy League weigh social issues and faith heavily when choosing candidates.
“Young Christians simply don’t seem to feel a connection to the traditional religious right. Many differ strongly on domestic policy issues, namely issues that affect the poor, and are dissatisfied with America’s foreign policy and war,” stated Cameron Strang, founder and publisher of Relevant, an edgy Christian magazine. Relevant recently surveyed 18- to 34-year-old individuals and concluded, “Christians are breaking with traditional evangelical voting trends to seek a more nuanced political approach.” “You can be Republican and Democratic and be led by your Christian views,” said Joshua Unseth, Brown ‘09. What’s important, he contends, is to be involved especially when it comes to exercising one’s right to vote.
photo – iStock
Evan Baehr, a Yale Divinity School student and executive director of the Yale Forum on Faith and Politics, said, “Although some students are sensitive to the baggage that comes with being a self-described evangelical, the prominence of liberal Christians adopting the term has made more people comfortable with using it to describe themselves.” “I think the Christian community is shying away from politics at the moment because of abuse and exploitation that took place in ‘04 by both parties,” said Drake. “I have not become more reluctant to identify myself as an evangelical Christian, but I have become quick to make it clear that parties and politicians do not define my personal beliefs or the impact the Bible should have on values and politics.” “My faith and life of following Jesus Christ have a strong influence on my vote,” he said. “A candidate’s faith is one of the most important issues for me. Where they get their values and opinions is huge in shaping how they should approach politics and issues of wisdom and debate. For other young Christians, I know faith is also a very influential factor.”
ON • CAMPUS And how the faith factor ultimately influences the election of the nation’s next president will, seemingly, remain the topic for conversations among political pundits
and those within the Ivy League long after the fall election. By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer
‘A FORMIDALE FORCE’ Princeton Lectures Address Evangelicalism and Politics While some pundits want to speculate on the demise of the Religious Right, evangelicals rePRINCETON main a formidable force on the American political landscape. That was one of the messages from three lectures at Princeton University that probed “Evangelicalism and Politics in America.”
And while evangelicals remain a force, they are also “broadening their agenda,” said Melani McAlister, associate professor of American Studies and International Affairs at George Washington University. She was one of three guest speakers during a roundtable discussion that examined the role of evangelicalism in the 2008 primary races. The Center for the Study of Religion sponsored the free events, including the kickoff session on February 8 in East Pyne Hall. Academicians are observing a generation split that is prompting younger believers to focus on global issues and social justices. Evangelicals also are divided on the U.S. agenda in Iraq. However, interest among youthful evangelicals in social issues is not new. Topics such as racial tension and social concern highlighted some of the “Urbana” conventions of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
And, while white evangelicals typically align with Republicans, McAlister has noted a surge of interest among believers for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, a Democrat from Illinois. Some of McAlister’s latest research will appear in a new book tentatively titled, Our God in the World: The Global Visions of American Evangelicals. Also offering commentary during the discussion of evangelicals and the primaries were Michael Hout, a professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, and Robin H. Rogers-Dillon, an associate professor of sociology at Queens College, City University of New York.
Author D. Michael Lindsay, Princeton *06, was a speaker at “Evangelicalism and Politics in America,” a lecture series at Princeton University.
“This is not the first time that evangelicals have raised these issues. The last time, it was young folks, too,” said McAlister, referringto InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA’s triennial North American Student Mission Conventions.
Today, “young evangelicals are more liberal on all issues,” said McAlister, who also noted the U.S. involvement in Iraq has been especially divisive. While they remain influential in politics, the shifting com-
position of evangelicals means “no evangelical vote” in the November elections. “There are only evangelicals who are voting,” said McAlister.
Not surprisingly, religion in America remains a subject of research interest for Princeton. “You really cannot look at religion in America without touching upon evangelicals at some point,” said David A. Michelson, acting associate director for Princeton’s Center for the Study of Religion.
“There’s really a high level of interest both in the scholarly community and public in understanding evangelicals,” Michelson said. As well, evangelicals are “still a sizable part of the population,” and they hold positions of “social influence,” he noted. Along those lines, Tim Niblock, a graduate student in international relations, said he was “struck by the consistent theme of internationalization of Christian activism from each of the speakers.” “When Jesus told us to love our neighbors, He didn’t apply any national, cultural, or religious boundaries to that com-
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ON • CAMPUS mandment. I am encouraged to see and hear about Christians speaking up on behalf of the suffering and oppressed in the far corners of the world.”
inet officials, corporate leaders, Hollywood producers and the like for his book, which examines the movement of evangelicals into elite powerhouses.
The Center for the Study of Religion and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs co-sponsored the final two installments of the evangelicalism and politics sessions.
Evangelicals have “succeeded in politics because they are able to build bridges with other groups,” Lindsay said. “They’ve done this around issues of human trafficking and international freedoms.”
Among them, D. Michael Lindsay, a sociologist who earned his doctoral degree from Princeton in 2006, lectured on his recent book, Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite. He spoke on March 4 in Robertson Hall.
They have “built bridges in the corporate workplace by allowing religious expression to be acceptable in the lunchrooms and boardrooms of American corporations… They’re serving a wider call.”
“The talk helped me to see just how much interest there is in evangelicals. Evangelicals are the most discussed, but least understood group in American politics,” Lindsay said. “There are a lot of pundits who do not understand evangelicals. Their knowledge of the movement comes from stereotypes and sound bites.” While a student at Princeton, Lindsay interviewed more than 350 people, including two former U.S. presidents, Cab-
Lindsay is a former member of Christian Union’s Princeton Community Advisory Board. As for the session on February 26, Frank Schaeffer discussed his book Crazy for God, which chronicles his heritage in the Religious Right, eventual crisis of faith and exodus from the evangelical fundamentalist movement. He is the son of evangelical icons Francis and Edith Schaeffer. By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer
CONFESSION WAS AN ACT OF FAITH Student Admits Cheating Despite Possible Suspension As a freshman at Princeton, Julia Neufeld felt the pressures of the Ivy League. Academics PRINCETON were particularly hard—so hard, in fact, that one night she did something she never thought she would. She cheated.
mediate confession. She knew the penalty for cheating was a possible one-year suspension. Therefore, she tried convincing herself she didn’t really need to confess publicly and that the fact that she had confessed it to Jesus would be enough. But that wasn’t enough. “I knew it was wrong because I kept feeling convicted,” she said.
“Immediately, I knew it was wrong,” she said about copying answers from her roommate’s computer. Yet she put the incident behind her, and no one ever knew.
But knowledge and action were two different things. “I didn’t want to confess,” Neufeld said. “I was dragged into it, pretty much.”
However, months later, after Neufeld accepted Christ and began preparing for baptism, the incident resurfaced. “As the date approached for my baptism, I began to remember, in vivid detail, this thing I had done,” Neufeld said. “I felt like I somehow had to correct it and that I needed to confess it and just face the consequences of my actions.” That’s not to say this realization led to an im-
Princeton sophomore Julia Neufeld chose the harder right this fall as she confessed to violating the University’s honor code.
Neufeld knew the first person she would have to tell was Margaret Byron ’10, the roommate from whom she had cheated. After that, it would be the dean. “I was just so scared,” she said. Then, she remembered a talk given by Christian Union ministry fellow Lorri Bentch during a Princeton Faith and Action (www.pfanda.com) meet-
ON • CAMPUS ing. The topic was acts of faith: how there are just some things people must do while trusting God to be with them. “So,” she said, “I was thinking about that a lot.” Yet Neufeld was so worried Byron would be mad that she confessed in a letter.
Dean’s Disposition to determine the consequences. After several weeks of procedures and waiting for the “verdict,” Neufeld’s angst was over. She was not suspended. Instead, she received two years’ probation. But for Neufeld that was not her greatest victory.
“She left me a note to read one morning and didn’t return to the room for a few days; or [she] returned when I was sleeping and was gone when I woke up,” Byron explained. “I really wanted to talk to her about it and tell her that I loved her and completely forgave her.”
“If I hadn’t started to develop my relationship with God last year, I really feel like I would not be the same person I am now. That would still be inside me,” she said.
“I felt incredibly proud of her for confessing; that’s such a difficult thing to do. If anything, I was sorry that she felt she had to copy [answers] rather than ask for help. To some degree it was a failure on my part not to have realized that she was having such trouble in the course,” Byron said.
“I feel like God has been a huge influence in this matter and I want to communicate that to other people,” Neufeld said. “I really hope I can use this outcome to the greatest benefit, which is why I do want to be really open about it.”
Neufeld said being forgiven by her roommate was “so relieving.” Although she knew she had to tell university officials and others in her life, she did so with peace and joy that some could not understand. The views of her friends and her parents seemed to coincide with their faith in Jesus. Those who were Christians understood her decision to go forward; those who were not could not understand why she would want to “punish” herself. One non-Christian friend thought Neufeld might have a psychological reason for turning herself in. Perhaps she subconsciously wanted to be suspended. With or without the support of others, Neufeld knew she had to tell the university. While the deans appreciated her honesty in coming forward, she still had to go through a
And now that it’s over, she is sharing her journey of faith and obedience with others.
According to Byron, there is great benefit from Neufeld’s testimony. “For Christians, it sets an example to do the right thing when the consequences might mean the loss of everything you love, everything you know,” she said. “Jesus calls us to abandon everything and follow him, and I think that Julia truly did follow that command.” Dan Knapke, director of undergraduate ministry for Christian Union, agreed. “It is a powerful testimony of someone who has experienced significant change for the better,” Knapke said. “This isn’t about someone being compulsive about guilt. This was a living, breathing interaction with her God and Savior.” By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer
SEX WEEK AND SPIRITUALITY Christian Speakers Present an Alternative View to Yale Students Though voicing a minority opinion, Dawn Eden stood her ground during Yale’s Sex Week while YALE seated on a discussion panel with a sex therapist, an ethical hedonist, and a sex actor. A Christian author with a message of chastity and purity, Eden created a stir with her renunciation of pornography and support of chastity during Sex Week’s spirituality component.
Students representing a number of academic disciplines composed the audience for a panel discussion that proposed
to tackle sex in a spiritual context. Despite the small turnout, the heated conversation indicated that the campus environment has a long way to go before God and sex can be discussed in a healthy manner. “It’s very hard to do this kind of event,” said Eden, author of The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On. “Every panelist there except [me] was taking a pagan view of sexuality. I was the only one taking a Judeo-Christian view. I am happy about the wit-
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ON • CAMPUS ness that I gave; [and] I hope that people take with them the positive messages.” Amidst the talk about sexual positions and self-gratification, Eden described the purpose of marriage, the power of love between a husband and wife, and God’s love shown for us with Jesus’ sacrifice. “She provided a really important religious perspective,” says Jadwiga Biskupska, a graduate student in Arts and Sciences. “[Eden’s] views on human sexuality are enhanced by her religious beliefs.” “I was able to remind everyone of God’s unique love for us,” says Eden. “He uses that to show how we should love one another.” Despite this being the third year of Sex Week on Yale’s campus, some students were adamantly opposed to the week’s observance.
Presenting the other side of the debate, porn actor and director Ron Jeremy and porn star Monique Alexander argued in favor of the industry’s financial viability and society’s interest in pornography.
Columnist and author Dawn Eden offered a Christian perspective on the topics addressed during Yale’s Sex Week events.
“The week is an excuse for gross indecency,” says Kate Maltby ’10. She characterized the week’s events as exploiting women, promoting pornography, and presenting graphic displays of sex. “Sex Week spreads the idea that if you are interested in chastity, you are anti-sex,” says Maltby. “Sex Week entrenches the orthodox of the promiscuous sexual culture,” says April Lawson ’11. “It sends out the message that sex is something without consequences.” With events such as the workshop on how to pick up women, a porn film screening, and the infamous Skull and Boned party, it is no surprise that several students were concerned by the lack of different perspectives presented by Sex Week. Topics such as marriage and those hurt from sexual relationships were omitted from the focal areas of discussion. “The sad thing is that students have been subjected to a week of this,” says Eden. “Not once during Sex Week has there been any mention of marriage. [Marriage] is the biggest and most obvious context of sex. Without thinking about sex in the context of marriage, it is a problem.” A Sex Week event airing on ABC News’ Nightline, “The Porn Debate,” attracted over 400 students to discuss the
pros and cons of pornography. “[Pornography] is always presented as some fantasy and great life,” said Craig Gross, pastor of XXXChurch.com, an online anti-porn community. “[But] you will find that the realities don’t really match up with that.”
“[Porn] has a right to exist,” said Jeremy. “Anyone can be addicted. I am not saying it’s not a problem, but you don’t blame an entire industry on a few people who have problems.” Even though some disagreed with the message and activities surrounding Sex Week, most agreed that it was better to talk about something, than to not.
“Sex is an important issue that merits discussion,” says Greg Hendrickson, the Yale Christian Fellowship campus minister who invited Eden to the event. “[But] the whole tenor of the week seems to clearly promote promiscuity in a way that is damaging. [However], a Christian understanding of sex is a viewpoint that needs to be heard and considered.” “As long as Yale is going to have Sex Week,” says Biskupska, “those people who are opposed to its current message have a lot more to gain from trying to change and expand it than trying to stop or silence it…Christians and other religious people have an understanding of human sexuality enhanced by the richness of their religious traditions. That is clearly something they have to share with their peers.” Despite all of the chaos surrounding the lack of spirituality and religion in Sex Week, the events stand to introduce a multitude of questions and cues to action. “You couldn’t have imagined a week like this at Yale thirty years ago,” says John O’Conner ’11. “[Sex Week truly] changes the image of Yale.” By Nkem Okafor, Yale Graduate School
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POKER 101? Harvard Law Professor Uses Card Game to Teach Strategy Despite the disagreements some Christians may have about its morality, poker continues to be a HARVARD common pastime on college campuses. From the Internet to social groups, students are playing their hands and calling bluffs throughout the Ivy League. However, campus Christians seem to be more concerned with what poker can lead to than the game itself.
According to Nisson, members of the GPSTS do not play for money as part of the society competitions. However, while Nisson lauds the benefits of poker for law students, researchers affiliated with Harvard Medical School are continuing to study addictions which include “pathological gambling and related disorders.” “Our mission is to alleviate the individual, social, medical and economic burdens caused by pathological gambling through support of rigorous scientific research,” the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders web site states.
“It’s fiercely popular among students,” said Charles Nisson, a Harvard Law School professor and founder of the Berkman Center. In a rather unorthodox move, Nisson has recently attempted to take poker from the game table to the classroom by staking claim to its strategic educational value. Last fall, Nisson, a 1960 Harvard Law School graduate, founded the Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society to expose law students to the key strategic thinking skills that he believes can help them in courtrooms and corporate boardrooms.
Harvard Law School professor Charles Nisson teaches legal strategy through poker.
“It’s central to law that you understand [the truth] in rhetorical terms [in that] there are stories and they compete,” Nisson said.
Poker, he explained, works in the realm of recognizing elements of position, “looking at someone, knowing they’re telling you one story, knowing there is another story underneath, and not being blown away by that… [It’s] quintessentially a game [where] your move depends on your assessment of your opponent’s move.” Ultimately, Nisson said, it’s about reading one’s opponent; and that, he contends, is similar to the strategy attorneys employ. Stanford Law School professor and fellow Ivy League alumnus Lawrence Lessig is an advisor to the Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society (GPSTS). Lessig is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (1983) and Yale Law School (1989). Nisson is not concerned about the possible addictive component of poker because he views it more of a game of skill, not chance. He finds it difficult to comprehend that someone would get addicted to a game they continually lose. Therefore, he doesn’t spend much time on that issue with the students, but said he addresses it in so far as having the students “think about it.” Page 18
Yet despite the unorthodox nature of poker as education and the morality and addiction components, the GPSTS and poker in general seem to raise few, if any, eyebrows on campus.
“There are a number of different views on it within the Christian world,” said Brian Ellis, director for Campus Crusade for Christ. “As far as I’ve seen, in New England there hasn’t been a lot of voice by Christians saying gambling is bad or that using poker to teach something is bad.” “Everybody knows about it,” said one student from the Harvard Law School Christian Fellowship regarding the GPSTS. “Nobody seems to have any problem with it.” In fact, she said, poker has become a form of social networking. “I know of people in the ‘high-powered’ category; and that’s where they make their connections,” she said. As a Christian, she said poker comes “under the ‘don’t tempt your brother to stumble,’” message of the Gospel. She doesn’t have a problem with it, she said; but if she were with someone who did, she wouldn’t talk about it. Other Christians see the gambling in a different light, however. An article overview by Focus on the Family states, “Gambling is driven by and subsists on greed. For this reason, the activity is morally bankrupt from its very foundation. Gambling is also an activity which exploits the vulnerable—the young, the old, and those susceptible to addictive behaviors.”
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ON • CAMPUS According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, approximately 2 million adults in the U.S. have a problem with gambling and meet the criteria for pathological gambling in a given year. An additional 4 to 8 million would be considered problem gamblers, meaning those who are not considered pathological but still experience problems due to their gambling behavior. However, a 2007 national survey entitled “The Prevalence of Problem Gambling among U.S. Adolescents and Young Adults” concludes that the prevalence of problem gambling
among youth in this country is less than previous studies have indicated. Of the 2,274 young people aged 14-21 surveyed in the study, the prevalence of problem gambling was 2.1%. As for the Christians on campus, however, the issue of gambling is by and large a non-issue. It’s not talked about in ministry meetings; and it seems to be agreed upon by most that it’s what poker and gambling lead to that becomes more of a danger than the game itself. By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer
NAVIGATING DARTMOUTH’S CHRISTIAN ROOTS Ministry Leader Uncovers Stunning Information When Craig Parker came to Dartmouth as a Navigators’ ministry leader, he was prepared to DARTMOUTH help students uncover biblical truths. What he didn’t count on was uncovering historical roots of the university that would launch an ongoing passion to share Dartmouth’s Christian heritage.
Parker became interested in Dartmouth’s Christian history in 1993 while helping his friend, John Murray ’95, with his master’s thesis on exploring the Christian roots of the early American eastern colleges. The thesis became a documentary script entitled The Cross in The Ivy, which has yet to be produced.
ered aspects about Dartmouth’s heritage that Parker believes are not known or understood by the Dartmouth community. “The more John discovered, the more we became stunned by what a story it was,” Parker said. “I feel like Dartmouth is so sanitized and has misrepresented its past,” said Parker. “There are those who think Eleazer Wheelock [the founder of Dartmouth] was no more than a creepy fellow who brought nothing more to the Indians than rum and smallpox,” said Parker, who is now regional director for Navigators and gives presentations on Dartmouth’s Christian history.
According to Parker, many Murray chose the subject for believe that Wheelock’s efforts to educate the Indians his thesis based on his experobbed them of their culriences at the center of the tural traditions and heritage. religion and academics deNavigators Regional Director Craig Parker has a passion to bate. Before coming to On the contrary, Parker share Dartmouth’s Christian heritage through presentations Dartmouth, Murray taught contends, Wheelock was a and on-line communication. at a private school in Atlanta hero. that succumbed to the internal and external pressure to comAt 53 years old, Wheelock relocated his children and large promise its Christian standards. Murray wanted to research household to the New Hampshire wilderness in order to the similar decline within the Ivy League. bring the Gospel to the Native Americans of the region. He While researching the project, Parker and Murray discovSpring 2008
wasn’t without flaws, Parker admits, but in the end, he said, Page 19
ON • CAMPUS Wheelock was successful in creating the nation’s first missionary school, one that was founded upon Christian principles and virtues. In 1769, New Hampshire governor and Harvard graduate John Wentworth, class of 1755, granted the charter of Dartmouth College. In 1773, the Dartmouth Board of Trustees agreed upon the official seal, which included the words “vox clamantis in deserto,” which means, “A voice crying in the wilderness.” During the decade of Wheelock’s leadership, Native American attendance at the College and Charity School rose to approximately 40. Additionally, the number of white young men at the College was 120, with many more attending the Charity School. It was a time when students freely expressed their faith in God. For example, in Daniel Webster’s senior oration, he boldly exclaimed, “These terms express all that can know or believe of Him; His omnipresence is included in the Idea of infinite power; His omniscience in that of infinite wisdom, and His justice, Mercy, Holiness and Truth in that Love.” During the Awakening of 1858 to 1859, Dartmouth reportedly realized a “deep and pervading interest, accompanied by quiet, good order and serious deportment” in the Christian Gospel. However, not long after, at the end of the Civil War, things began to change. According to Murray, the scientific, industrial, and cultural movements of the time combined to form a “perfect storm” that hit the university at its Christian roots.
At the front of that “storm” was Darwin’s Origin of the Species, followed by Andrew Dickson White’s A History of the Warfare of Science With Theology in Christendom. These writings, coupled with the Land Grant Act of 1862 (which called on colleges to reform curriculum), and the era of modernism, helped lead to the gradual, yet consistent erosion of the university’s Christian foundation. Murray also cites the selection of William Tucker as a pivotal event leading to the disengagement of the university from Christianity. Tucker referred to the school as “The New Dartmouth,” whereby he introduced the modernist approach to education. In the absence of Christian study at the university, Murray said the rise of the YMCA helped fan the Christian flames that still smoldered there. However, in time, that institution, too, veered from its Christian founding. Today, Murray sees the original work of the “Y” and the university’s founders being carried out by campus Christian ministries like Navigators, Campus Crusade, and Christian Union. The way to keep Christ alive in the Ivy League, he believes, is to prepare students before they enter the Ivy gates to engage their professors and peers and to encourage them to affiliate with one of the campus Christian ministries. It’s ironic, Murray observes, that these universities were founded to develop missionaries to go out into the world for Christ; Now, he said, we must prepare the students to be the missionaries to bring the Gospel to the university. By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer
BROWN COMMUNITY SHOCKED BY POSSIBLE BIAS ATTACK Students and Staff Rally Support for Jewish Colleagues The early morning quiet at Brown University was shattered on March 15 when two Molotov BROWN cocktails were thrown through the apartment window of a Hillel House employee and Israeli emissary, Josef “Yossi” Knafo.
No one was hurt in the incident that left the campus on alert and asking why. While it has not been confirmed that the attack was racially fueled, an armed officer was stationed at the building which houses Hillel, and an open forum took place for the incident to be discussed by the campus community.
“While the motivation for this incident is unclear at this time, I am concerned about any acts of violence affecting members of our community,” said Brown University President Ruth Simmons, in a statement released by her office. “There is nothing more unsettling on a campus than to have acts that might seek to spread fear, intimidate, or harm individuals. Swift action to condemn such behavior and strongly restate our values of openness and mutual respect is an essential step at such moments. I ask each member of the community to join me in doing that.” The Ivy League Christian Observer
ON • CAMPUS Additionally, Christians on campus were equally appalled by the incident. “I’m really deeply sad about it,” said Faye Jaffee ’02, a senior staff member with Campus Crusade for Christ (collegehillforchrist.com) and a Brown alumna. “It feels personal in that I grieve to see the Jewish students hurting.” “What saddens my heart is that many of the Jewish students feel it was antiIsraeli in intent or anti-Semitic. It saddens me that that is their assumption and that there is a lot of history to back that up.”
port to express camaraderie with the Hillel staff, and that students were planning to send a card expressing their care and concern. She pointed out that a number of faith communities on campus have also expressed their support and concern. “Other people of faith on campus are concerned for the Jewish students and how they are feeling in light of this event,” she said. “It’s been phenomenal,” said Megan Nesbit, assistant director of Brown Hillel, of the response they have received. “Brown is a wonderful place. The community of students, faculty, and staff is just phenomenal.”
Only days after this incident, three teenagers were charged with throwing Molotov cocktails into a photo by permission of Brown University former synagogue in the The Brown Christian community responded with compassion same area. However, auWhile Jaffee believes the and concern for the campus Jewish community after an incendiary device was thrown through the apartment window of thorities do not believe it Jewish community “is a Brown Hillel House staffer. was related to the attack feeling very cared for” by on Knafo’s apartment, acthe Brown community, cording to the local NBC news affiliate. she did point out that there is a dual climate on the campus regarding the incident. She explained that people either beDuring the fall semester, two racially-charged incidents lieve it was a hate crime, or they are not yet sure. The incitook place at Columbia University, whereby a noose was dent is under investigation by the FBI. placed over the door of an African-American professor and a swastika was painted over the door of a professor who is Jewish. Although subsequent findings have cast suspicion on the validity of one of the incidents, the initial response from Columbia’s InterVarsity (www.columbia.edu/cu/ivcf) was to reach out to the offended faculty.
Despite the reason behind the violence, Jaffee has hope for its outcome.
In a similar way, Campus Crusade is working on extending their hands to the Jewish community at Brown. Jaffee attended a discussion of the incident that was held at Hillel and has been in communication with the staff there.
“The hope is that it would bring the faith community together,” she said. “I would hope that the Christian community would show as much care and concern for these Jewish students or for Yossi as they would for another Christian who was attacked. I think it would deeply honor the Lord for the students here to be seeking ways to care for people who are frightened and hurting.”
Jaffee said Campus Crusade was working on a letter of sup-
By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer
ON • CAMPUS
CYBERSPACE IS NEW PLAYGROUND FOR BULLIES Harvard Law School Center Seeks to Make Internet Safer
It’s hard to overstate the impact the Internet has had on society. At the same time, it’s hard to overlook the tragic consequences of this cyber progress.
From the teenage girl who killed herself when she was “dumped” by a fictional cyber boyfriend allegedly created by another girl’s mom, to college students who are being slandered on the gratuitous networking site called Juicy Campus, cyber bullying has emerged as the latest pothole on the digital highway. In response to safety concerns, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School recently announced it will head a newly formed task force to create a safe environment on the Internet. The Internet Safety Technical Task Force will help establish parameters of what is considered safe and unsafe and examine cyber behaviors that pose danger, including cyber bullying. While traditional bullying is often identified with children and teens, college students—including those at Princeton and Yale—are experiencing a new kind of humiliation and personal defamation.
“The University has a responsibility to maintain and protect the well being of the student body at Princeton and a web site that encourages gossip damages this well being,” wrote Ben Chen ‘09 in a Daily Princetonian column in which he argues that the JuicyCampus URL should be blocked. However, according to Simun blocking these types of sites is not a long-term solution to the problem. “Blocks are easy to get around,” she said. It’s much better to educate students about these sites and their consequences.
“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.”
Matthew Boulos, a member of the Harvard Law Christian Fellowship, agrees. He said he doesn’t think the site should be blocked and sees the character of students ultimately impacting what transpires on the web. Yet, he admits it’s unlikely that gossip Proverbs 11:13 NIV can be curtailed.
“In a lot of ways [cyber bullying] is the same as regular bullying,” said Miriam Simun, research coordinator for the Digital Native Program at the Berkman Center. Simun also noted that digital information is easy to forward and copy, making the slander even farther reaching. For example, Juicy Campus allows students to post gossip, smut, and slander about fellow students and remain anonymous. Posting talk about the “slutty girls at Princeton,” racists at Harvard, and who the best guy in bed is are all open dialogue. Despite the fact that today’s young people are living much of their lives online, Simun says that many are not concerned with privacy and the consequences of data that is put on the Internet. While most young people are aware of the dangers associated with communicating with strangers online, they are significantly less are aware that photos and data posted on various blogs and sites like Juicy Campus are stored on servers and can be accessed by future employers, explained Simun. While some students may drink up the salacious chatter on Juicy Campus, others find the juicy trash a bit too sour and Page 22
are calling for universities to block the site. Interestingly, even at universities where the banner of free speech is upheld for such events as “Sex on a Saturday Night” (Princeton) and “Sex Week at Yale,” students are seeking intervention to protect their reputations, if not their morality.
“It is frustrating to see gossip spread without check or reflection, but to imagine student life without the ever-churning rumor mill is a peculiar exercise in fantasy. Students love to talk and learn about their schools and classmates. I would rather, though, that integrity played a greater part in that conversation,” he explained. The New Jersey Attorney General recently launched an investigation into whether Juicy Campus violated state consumer fraud laws. According to a report by The Chronicle of Higher Education, investigators are looking into the site’s business practices including, “how it enforces its policy of requiring users under 18 to submit a parental release form” and “how the college affiliation of users is verified.” Thus, while the dialogue about cyber bullying continues, some express concern about its long-term consequences. “Juicy Campus currently targets college students, but I can see such forums becoming available to middle- and high school-aged students as well,” wrote a blogger on the Berkman Center’s Digital Native web site. “Call me pessimistic, but I really don’t see anything good coming out of such a site.” By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer The Ivy League Christian Observer
NEW WILSON HOUSE DIRECTOR MADE 180-DEGREE TURN Former Troubled Teen Is on Fast Track to Ministry As one who grew up as a troubled teen in Queens, New York, Hector Garcia is well familiar with some of the darker challenges facing today’s youth. Garcia, 20, is the new director of Wilson House, Christian Union’s ministry center at Princeton University. He hopes to draw from his background to eventually minister on a full-time basis to teens caught in the ugly web of gang activity, violence, and substance abuse. For now, Garcia’s position at Christian Union is providing a source of spiritual training for future service, and it is allowing him to play a practical role in the campus ministry’s quest to reach the Ivy League. “I am developing the skills I have for ministry,” said Garcia, who joined Christian Union on a temporary basis in October and became a permanent employee in January. “My concern is for younger kids, so they don’t have to go through what I went through.”
Garcia’s conversion also meant making a new set of friends. His former associates said he became “boring” and just interested in “preaching” to them. As a result of his need for a new environment, Garcia followed his mother and stepfather when they moved to North Brunswick, NJ in 2005 to help pastor a church. “I needed to get away from it all,” said Garcia. “I made new friends with a similar heart. Their concerns are the same as mine.” At Christian Union, Garcia’s responsibilities center on overseeing the bookstore and coffeehouse at Wilson House. As well, he helps plan luncheons, concerts, and events, and he assists with administrative and maintenance duties.
Through God’s grace, new Wilson House Director Hector Garcia has gone from troubled teen to vibrant Christian.
In March 2005, Garcia accepted Christ as his Savior after a crisis in his personal life left him in despair. “It took something really hard for me to get back to God,” he said.
In the midst of that crisis, Garcia finally submitted to his mother’s repeated pleas to attend church. “That was the night God really changed me,” said Garcia. “My mother prayed hard, on her knees. Everyone thought I’d end up in jail.” The decision to become a Christian meant turning away from a lifestyle that included drug dealing, weapon sales, fighting, smoking, and drinking—activities that started for him around age 13. “There was a lot of violence,” said Garcia, who was once arrested after an altercation with a police officer. “Every weekend was a drinking thing. I would go to parties, and they would have a bottle just for me. I smoked marijuana almost every day.”
But after becoming a believer, alcohol and illegal substances became “nasty to me. Never again did I want them,” Garcia said.
But Garcia’s passion remains working with troubled teens. “My thing is getting teenagers away from the stuff I went through,” Garcia said. “They don’t have to go through difficult things to experience God. There are other ways.”
At the Salvation Army in New Brunswick, Garcia leads the teen group on Friday evenings, and he plays bass guitar with the church’s local and division bands. As well, in 2006 and 2007, Garcia worked with youths in the summer program. “You can always count on Hector,” said Capt. Domingo Urban, pastor of the New Brunswick ministry. “He’s always there.” Pending financial considerations, Garcia said he hopes to study biblical theology and Christian counseling at Somerset Christian College in Zarepheth, N.J., in the fall. “I’m just trying to listen to God’s voice and His timing for everything,” Garcia said. Garcia’s mother, Ilda Ruiz, said she is thrilled with the “180-degree” transformation in her son’s life and his desire
IN PERSON to minister. “His attitude completely changed,” Ruiz said. “The Hector that is in front of the church in the pulpit ministering is the same Hector at home.”
As for Garcia, he remains committed to reaching youth. “My message is, ‘Stop thinking about being cool and think about the Kingdom,’” he said.
Ruiz said she is especially pleased that Garcia hopes to become a pastor because she dedicated him for Christian service during a long struggle with infertility. “I am very pleased and happy that the promise I made to God can happen,” said Ruiz, who assists with the women’s ministry at the Salvation Army.
Urban said Garcia already is making a difference with teens. “Hector has been through a lot in his short years. I thank God because he’s hung in there,” Urban said. “You can see his passion for God’s work.” By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer
PENN GRAD SERVES NYC, CHRISTIAN UNION Lolita Jackson Is Liaison for Mayor Bloomberg, Community Groups For Lolita K. Jackson, life is a great adventure. Her robust enthusiasm is not hard to understand given her bevy of high-profile accomplishments, impressive credentials, A-list connections, and tales of narrow escapes. Now, the Manhattanite and 1989 Penn graduate is putting her experience, reputation, and zealous faith to work for the Christian Union by serving as a new member on the board of trustees. “I have a purpose to be here,” said Jackson of her service to Christian Union and its goal of reaching students at Ivy League universities.
“My vision of what the New York City Christian Union should look like is reaching forward, reaching back, and reaching across,” Jackson said of her desire for alumni to network as well as mentor students. In addition, Jackson wants to share the plan of salvation with the hundreds of thousands of Ivy League alumni living around New York City. “This is a mission field,” she said. As for Jackson’s professional life, she serves as the chief liaison to Manhattan community groups and officials for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a position she has held since January 2006.
Jackson, Manhattan director of Tim Keller, best-selling author and New York City’s Community Afsenior pastor of Redeemer Presbyfairs Unit, said she learned of the terian Church in Manhattan, said he ministry from an article in May is impressed by Jackson’s ability to 2005 about Christian Union Lolita Jackson, Penn ’89, seeks to build the represent Christ in the highest echFounder and President Matt BenKingdom of God in New York City through elons of New York City. “Lolita is nett in The New York Times. When her work in city government and with very forthright, but completely winJackson mentioned the piece to a Christian Union. some, when speaking up about her follow parishioner, he responded Christian commitment,” Keller said. “She’s a great witwith a surprising connection. He was a friend of Bennett ness.” and offered to introduce the pair. As result, Jackson helped developed City Christian Union, the ministry’s networking arm, and in 2006 became president of the New York City chapter, an association of Christian Ivy League alumni.
Earlier, Jackson coordinated Bloomberg’s 2005 campaign in Manhattan. Additionally, she has served as president of the Metropolitan Republican Club and as an alternative delegate to the Republican National Convention. She was a fre-
The Ivy League Christian Observer
IN PERSON quent political commentator during the 2004 elections. Jackson is quick to point out that she came from humble beginnings in Somerset, New Jersey, where she grew up on food stamps and was raised by her maternal grandmother and later by an aunt. Nonetheless, Jackson excelled in school, and she was accepted to the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, and Columbia University. Ultimately, Jackson majored in applied science at Penn where she concentrated in chemical engineering and marketing and studied on a full financial-aid package. Upon graduation in 1989, she was lured by investment and research opportunities on Wall Street. After a series of promotions, she became vice president and product specialist at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. During her tenure with Morgan Stanley, Jackson also had two life-altering experiences that would become part of her story. Jackson survived both the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and the cataclysmic attacks on the buildings in 2001. During 9/11, Jackson was attending a meeting and looking through a window from the south tower when American Airlines 11 struck the north tower at 8:45 a.m. “We all just looked at each other,” she said. “Everybody got up and started walking.”
Later, when a co-worker darted into an empty office to call his wife, she heard the Holy Spirit say, “Don’t go with him.” The decision saved her life. “Even in that moment, the peace was overwhelming,” she said. After descending to the 44th floor, the Holy Spirit also directed her away from taking a crowded stairwell to an empty one, where 50 or so people followed. “The momentum carried you,” she said. The south tower, which was struck at 9:03 a.m. by United Airlines Flight 175, was “like a towering inferno,” Jackson said. “I got out so fast that I was with no one I knew.” Thankfully, Jackson caught one of the final subway trains home just before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority shut down the system. “I was underground when they [the towers] fell,” she said. “I didn’t see them fall. I didn’t have to walk home. It was so amazing.” For months questions tormented her mind such as, “Why am I alive? Why didn’t I have to run from the dust?” Jackson does not have all of the answers to her questions, but she knows the Lord has a plan for her life. “God is using me to get things done,” said Jackson. Even on the most challenging of days, Jackson still feels she has “such a great life… God has put me here for reasons.” By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer
GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER Brown, Yale Alumna Speaks of Faith on Public Radio Show Ivy alumna and radio host Krista Tippett recently visited Princeton University to share PRINCETON highlights from her new memoir, Speaking of Faith. The book reflects her spiritual journey and enrichment from the multitude of diverse religious voices that air on her weekly public radio program of the same title.
Tippett, who graduated from Brown University in 1983 and earned a master of divinity from Yale University in 1994, said her faith and training allow her to ask probing questions as she intellectually explores current religious topics. But, in tackling those interfaith subjects, Tippett speaks of a variety of voices of faith but does not expressly speak from her faith.
“There’s an incredibly vital dialogue,” said Tippett, a journalist and former diplomat who hosts her weekly show for American Public Media. “If it’s a ministry, it’s a ministry–not of preaching–but of listening.” In February, Tippett elaborated on her program and the 2007 release of her book during a roundtable discussion with academics from Princeton’s religion and anthropology departments. After several earlier formats, Speaking of Faith became a national, weekly broadcast on public radio stations in 2003. The events of 9/11 sparked striking interest in an earlier series, and the aftermath continues to generate a plethora of intriguing topics.
IN PERSON Far from shedding interest, Americans seem fascinated by religion; and Tippett aims her air time at capturing much of their spiritual energy, curiosity, and devotion. “Traditional journalism exposes vice, and I’m trying to expose virtue,” she said. As for her days at Brown, Tippett described them as the “least religious time” of her life. “When I was studying at Brown, it was more from a scholarly perspective. I was reassessing everything,” she said. “Now, college students don’t feel the need to leave religion behind.”
“My own starting point and perspectives are grounded in Christianity,” she noted in Speaking of Faith. Also in her book, Tippett explains how she incorporates a wide range of religious voices into her broadcasts, which also reflect her infatuation with language, literature, and intellectualism. “I bring one voice at a time onto the air. Everyone speaks out of his or her own life, knowledge, and truth–and never for all Christians, Muslims or Buddhists, for God, Qur’an, or the Bible,” she wrote. “I’m indebted to them all, and they have all formed my vocabulary and imagination and approach.”
Along the same lines, Tippett said she is noting a “generational shift” in evangelicalism. “You cannot generalize about young evangelicals,” she said. While older evangelicals embraced the political march of the Moral Majority, youthful believers are moved by global warming, poverty, human rights, and AIDS. “Younger evangelicals have on their radar global climate and poverty, working on issues of common importance,” she said.
As well, guests also help Tippett articulate a new awareness and integration of religion in spheres including law, medicine, science, and politics. “Religion is a part of life,” said Tippett, also a mother of two. “Let’s understand it. Let’s talk about it.” Nationally syndicated radio host and Yale Divinity School graduate Krista Tippett, Brown ’83, spoke to the Princeton community about her new memoir, Speaking of Faith.
And, while Tippett describes herself as unapologetically Christian, she engages perspectives on a variety of interfaith topics. In what she terms a “first-person approach,” Tippett asks “conversation partners” to share their experiences behind their beliefs rather than recite doctrine.
Tippett, who also characterizes herself as a “person of faith,” does not approach topics from an evangelical perspective but does address subjects of interest to believers. Guests have included Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, and Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals. As a child growing up in Oklahoma, Tippett’s faith was shaped by her grandfather, a Southern Baptist preacher. “The rock-solid, certain aspects of my grandfather’s faith bequeathed me a spiritual inheritance. They are the foundation upon which my questions and ideas now are planted,” she wrote.
After working as a journalist in the twilight of the Cold War, Tippett returned to the United States and felt compelled to explore her own spiritual yearnings. In her memoir, Tippett describes the evolution of her faith, rather than an overt conversion. “I returned to America from Europe in the early 1990s as my generation and others were rediscovering a hunger for spiritual depth, for religious moorings,” she wrote. “I studied theology to learn whether I could reconcile religious faith with my intelligence and the breadth of my experience in the world, whether faith could illuminate life in all its complexity and passion frailty. “I decided that it can. I have found a vast and vivid landscape of others who shared this discovery…” Ultimately, Tippett said Speaking of Faith is “at once an endeavor of the heart and the mind.” By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer
The Ivy League Christian Observer
LAUGHING WITH EVANGELICALS Columbia Grad Satirizes the Ones He Loves
Editor’s note: this article originally appeared in Christianity Today. Reprinted with permission.
Joel Kilpatrick, a 1995 graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, is not as readily recognized as other alumni such as Patrick J. Buchanan, Howard Fineman, or Steve Kroft. But his satirical LarkNews.com has a devoted fan base that includes evangelical and mainline pastors, an editor for the satirical newspaper The Onion, and musical satirist and filmmaker Steve Taylor.
Poarch discovered LarkNews in 2005, and a couple of months later he was diagnosed with cancer in his abdomen. Poarch says a member of his church kept his spirits up by passing along the latest LarkNews jokes. Kilpatrick mentions Steve Taylor, famous for his satirelaced songs such as “I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good” and “Since I Gave Up Hope I Feel a Lot Better,” as a longtime influence. Taylor, in turn, admires the shtick at LarkNews. “Most other efforts I’ve come across feel pretty dated— jokes about flannelgraphs and potlucks—and just make me wince,” Taylor told Christianity Today. “At the other extreme are movies like Saved that made me wince for different reasons, but ultimately seemed equally out of touch and strangely paranoid. Lark keeps surprising me.”
What keeps fans coming back for each month’s fresh material is a wit so sharp that, as with The Onion, people sometimes mistake its satirical stories for real news. In February 2003, for example, Kilpatrick made up an item that Zondervan would publish a gay-friendly version of its Columbia Journalism New International Version of the Bible. Like school graduate Joel many gay advocates within churches, the theKilpatrick *95 keeps evangelicals laughing oretical gNIV assumed that Jonathan and with his satirical David were lovers. Enough people sent in horChristian news site, rified e-mails that Zondervan issued a stateLarkNews.com. ment calling the report “a sick joke.” Meanwhile, homeschooling bloggers fell for “Harvard forcing homeschoolers to ‘Fit In,’ ” which played off of stereotypes that such students need more social skills. And Christian radio stations were duped by “Wal-Mart rejects ‘racy’ worship cd”: “The latest Vineyard Music worship cd, ‘Intimacy, vol. 2,’ has raced to the top of the Christian sales charts, but Wal-Mart is refusing to stock the album without slapping on a parental warning sticker. The groundbreaking—some say risqué—album includes edgy worship songs such as ‘My Lover, My God.’ ” Ron Poarch, pastor of Grace Reformation Church in Woodland, California, admits that he too was tricked when he discovered LarkNews, and he quickly became a fan. Poarch says he and about eight church members visit the site together at the end of Bible studies because of the truths behind the punch lines. “It has fueled some conversations about what’s behind this, and it correlates with our evangelical culture,” Poarch told Christianity Today. “Joel has a real insight into the faddishness of the church.” Spring 2008
“I’m a pretty tough critic,” Taylor added. “When I got a link to the first few editions, I thought some of the headlines were amusing, but the stories weren’t quite cutting it. And there were the obvious similarities to The Onion, which is the current gold standard. But the Lark site kept getting better—the photos improved, the stories got funnier, and the satire got sharper. It’s now the best thing going since the glory days of The Wittenburg Door.”
The Door, founded in 1971 by Mike Yaconelli and now published by the Trinity Foundation, calls itself “the world’s pretty much only magazine of religious satire.” Bob Darden, who edits The Door, sees LarkNews less as competition than as a similar voice in a different medium. “They shoot a little differently than we do,” he says. “One of the great things about the Lark is that they’re just funny. I think our calling is different, to be the boy who stands at the side of the road and calls out, ‘Yo, the emperor’s buck nekkid, people.’ ” John Krewson of The Onion praised LarkNews on the back cover of Kilpatrick’s compilation of Lark humor, A Field Guide to Evangelicals & Their Habitat (HarperOne, 2006). “I have often known that Christians have a sense of humor, even about themselves,” Krewson wrote. “Remember what C. S. Lewis said: ‘… [T]he devil cannot abide to be mocked.’ ” Page 27
IN PERSON Kilpatrick hopes to expand LarkNews’s reach this year by launching The Ministry, a TV series modeled on NBC’s 30 Rock and set in “an almost megachurch.” Ideally, Kilpatrick says, he and a friend with good industry connections can land the idea with a network. Kilpatrick’s Plan B is to stream portions over the Web and sell the series on DVD. Kilpatrick says, “I kind of think of it as Lark 3-D.”
three days and “found there was not much divinity there.”
“The Lark,” as Kilpatrick calls it, doesn’t indulge in sneering at other religion-humor sites, but there’s enough of an edge to leave nonbelievers laughing at Christians and Christians laughing at themselves. “The number one question I get,” Kilpatrick says, “is, ‘Are you for us or against us?’ ”
To Joel, his eldest son, Bob Kilpatrick is a hero of comedic and musical hipness. “He’s virtually like a singer-comedian, though he wouldn’t bill himself that way,” Joel says. “My dad’s comic timing is inspiring to me. It’s impeccable.”
“I don’t think you can write good satire without loving the thing you’re satirizing,” Kilpatrick says. “It doesn’t work when it’s mean-spirited or venting of personal opinions.” But overly cautious satire fails as well. “If your humor gets safe and flabby and sentimental, then your faith gets safe and flabby and sentimental,” he says. “Humor becomes a pinch of satire and a heaping helping of warm affirmation.”
The Lark’s humor is rooted in a philosophy Kilpatrick learned from his parents, Bob and Cindy: You live for God and everything else is up for grabs. Bob Kilpatrick, an ordained Assemblies of God minister, describes himself as a B player in the contemporary Christian music scene of the late 1970s, though he composed the popular song “Lord, Be Glorified.”
Joel and his father did not suffer through the generationgap hazard of clashing tastes in music. He remembers his father bringing home U2’s October and The Police’s Zenyatta Mondatta. “He introduced me to [the folk-punk band] The Violent Femmes and later wished he hadn’t done that,” Kilpatrick says.
“If your humor gets safe and flabby and sentimental, then your faith gets safe and flabby and sentimental.”
Kilpatrick says the Lark is named in honor of birds, especially of crows. He admires their smartness and innovation. The Lark’s icon looks like a cross between a flamingo and the Drinking Bird knickknack sold for years at novelty shops. When Kilpatrick launched the site in 2003, he thought it might cost him some writing clients among evangelical leaders. Instead, he continues a freelance writing and editing career. Advertising on the Lark not only covers the website’s annual expenses, but also pays for some part-time assistants.
Kilpatrick says the site attracts 1,000 unique visitors a day, from as far away as Australia, the United Kingdom, and Iran. (“All I can think is that [there] must be a missionary perched over there,” he says.) Before heading to Columbia, which offers one of the top graduate journalism programs in the country, Kilpatrick had already studied journalism and politics as an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis. When deciding on his graduate studies, Kilpatrick also had applied to the University of Chicago and Harvard Divinity School. He says that applying to divinity school was a statement of wanting to do something selfless with his life. But he visited Harvard for
“My dad was always the coolest guy. He was way ahead of my friends.”
Bob remembers Joel as being a precocious child and showing signs of humor early on. Joel broke up his mother during a summer camp when he was just over age three, his father recalls, by mispronouncing the word hoax for humorous effect, delivering it as “What am I, a ho-ax?” “We had to start guarding him immediately,” his father says, recalling that Joel showed an early taste for voracious reading and a talent for writing. Both Joel and Bob agree that the Lark’s humor grows from years of Joel spending time on gigs with his father. “The best jokes were told backstage or at dinner with the pastor,” Joel says. “One thing I like about the Lark and the book is that there’s not that wink and a nod. With some Christians, their humor is so lame that they would be booed off the stage in the clubs. It’s like a guy who tells you a joke and keeps nudging you in the ribs, saying, Get it? Get it?” Bob says. “Joel just writes the joke and knows that it made him laugh.” Bob Kilpatrick is among those who pitch ideas for the Lark. He’s especially pleased by one concept that Joel turned into a Lark article: “Animatronic band takes guesswork out of worship.” By Douglas LeBlanc
The Ivy League Christian Observer
COLUMBIA JOURNALISM GRAD NAMED CARDINAL Foley Honored for Combining Communications and Faith
John Patrick Foley, Columbia University *66, is one of nearly two dozen cardinals recently installed by Pope Benedict XVI.
Foley was one of only two Americans in the group of 23 new cardinals. The former journalist was active in communications under Pope John Paul II. “I am grateful to our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for the great honor he has conferred on me,” Foley told The Catholic Standard and Times. “It seemed ‘real’ only when he placed the red biretta on my head.”
St. Joseph College in Philadelphia. A year later, he received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in nearby Wynnewood, according to a Vatican Web site. During the 1960s, he served as assistant editor of The Catholic Standard and Times and also worked as a news reporter in Rome. His beat included covering the Second Vatican Council from 1963 to 1965, the Catholic News Service reported. While on assignment in Rome, Foley received a “licentiate” degree in philosophy in 1964 and a doctorate in philosophy in 1965 from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. In 1966, Foley earned a master of science in journalism from Columbia University.
For more than 35 years, Foley’s duties focused on communications, including a stint as the editor of The Catholic Standard and Times, the Philadelphia archdiocesan newspaper.
In 1967, he was again named assistant editor of The Catholic Standard and Times and also professor of philosophy at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. In addition, Foley was active in a variety of radio and television productions.
Indeed 2007 was a major year for Foley, 72. In June, the pope also named the archbishop to serve as progrand master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, an organization that supports Catholic institutions in Jerusalem and responds to the needs of parishioners in the Holy Land. But Foley is best known for the 23 years he spent combining his love of communications and faith.
Columbia Journalism School graduate and Catholic priest John Patrick Foley *66 has been installed as a Cardinal within the Catholic Church by Pope Benedict XVI.
“In my work as a priest and as an archbishop, I am able to do two things I love very much: to be active in communications and to tell people about Jesus,” he said during a commencement address in Oregon in 2007.
A native of suburban Philadelphia, Foley was ordained as a priest at age 26. However, Foley’s media experience dates back to the seventh grade when he created radio plays on the lives of saints. At 14, he became an announcer for Sunday morning programming on the former WJMJ, a Philadelphia radio station according to Catholic News Service. In 1957, Foley earned a bachelor’s degree in history from
In 1970, he was appointed editor of The Catholic Standard and Times, a position he held until Pope John Paul II named him an archbishop and appointed him head of the Vatican’s social communications council in 1984.
While at the helm of papal communications, Foley helped media gain access to Vatican events, and he provided commentary for broadcasts of major ceremonies, the Catholic News Service reported. In that role, Foley strongly encouraged increased transparency and heightened communications. During Foley’s tenure, the council produced papers on the ethical aspects of advertising, pornography, the Internet, and other topics, according to Columbia University. In reflecting on his communications roles, Foley told Catholic News Service that he hoped he had accomplished several major goals. Among them, he wants the “Church to recognize the importance of the media for communicating
IN PERSON the Good News of Jesus Christ.” Also, he hopes church leaders understand that “communications media are not threats, but opportunities.” The archbishop said he tried to take “a positive approach toward the means of communication and toward the people who run them,” the Catholic News Service reported. As a voice for the Catholic Church, Foley was known for his “media-friendly style” and “quick sense of humor.” When describing the joys of serving the Church, Foley would tell audiences that the remuneration was not great, but the benefits were “out of this world,” according to the Catholic News Service. Indeed, friends and associates are thrilled by Foley’s appointment.
In an article for The Catholic Spirit, Associate Publisher Bob Zyskowski described Foley as the “kind of boss who, were he in our archdiocese today, would be a hands-down winner of The Catholic Spirit’s Leading With Faith Award. Demanding yet fair, one who went the extra mile for his staff, he set the bar high and drew out until-then-unknown gifts in people.” Zyskowski, president of the Catholic Press Association, noted Foley’s sense of humor when he recalled one of his quotes at a press conference following his installation in November; Foley had quipped, “It is nice to be canonized without the inconvenience of dying!” By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer
THE BILLIONAIRE WHO WASN’T Cornell Alumnus Secretly Gave Away a Fortune This article—a review of The Billionaire Who Wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney Made and Secretly CORNELL Gave Away a Fortune—is reprinted with permission of The Weekly Standard, where it first appeared on February 11, 2008. For more information visit www. weeklystandard.com. Feeney, Cornell ’56, has donated $700 million to his alma mater. The book reveals that he was raised as a Catholic and did not appear to have any religious affiliation later in life.
Anyone who works in the nonprofit world swiftly learns that there is a legion of development officers and fundraisers whose daily task is to persuade donors to give—or to increase their checks next time.
live. It is the gift that is important, not the praise we receive for our donations. This is why the story of Chuck Feeney is an inspiring one. Feeney made over a billion dollars through duty-free stores. He created a foundation that would be one of America’s 10 largest if it were headquartered in the United States. This foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies, has given away over $4 billion since its creation. Yet Feeney managed to keep his wealth and his foundation secret for nearly 20 years, until forced to divulge the information in a 1997 court case. No one else in foundation history has managed to stay anonymous for as long as Feeney did.
Conor O’Clery was, for years, a reporter for the Irish Times. He’s a good writer and storyteller, and anyone who likes reading business books where heroes engage in savage Chuck Feeny, Cornell ’56, battles about whether they should receive has donated $700 million to figures of 10 for chasing out their companies his alma mater. will find The Billionaire Who Wasn’t enjoyBut all these prizes and flattery miss the point of charity. We should give our time and labor to help able. But Feeney’s biography—and the reasons why he the less fortunate not because of the adulation, but because chose to be an anonymous funder—provides valuable leshelping others is the right thing to do and the best way to sons for every donor. If you’re a donor who can give seven-figure grants, there’s an army of mendicants and courtiers ready to caress you with plaques, trophies, lavish tribute dinners, 50-yard line seats, and meals at five-star restaurants.
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IN PERSON Charles Feeney was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, in 1931. Although he has always been an American, he has also become a dual citizen of Ireland. After serving as a radio operator in Japan during the Korean War, Feeney graduated from Cornell in 1956 with a degree in hotel management. He then went to Europe with not much money and a desire for adventure. He found that there was plenty of opportunity for people interested in the import-export business. When Feeney started his career, American law allowed any tourist to bring back five bottles (totalling one gallon) of liquor dutyfree. Moreover, back then, tourists didn’t actually have to lug the booze through customs; they could simply declare it and have a third party ship the spirits to a customer’s home. Feeney discovered a second loophole: American servicemen could bring back cars without paying any tariffs, giving GIs Renaults and BMWs at a substantial discount. For nearly a decade, Feeney and his partners vigorously used these loopholes to make money selling cars and liquor to thrifty Americans. But in the mid-1960s Lyndon Johnson cut the liquor exemption from five bottles to one, and the Navy decided to sell cars to sailors rather than passing the profits to outsiders. Feeney and his partners had to find another line of work. They found it in the duty-free store business. In 1962 Feeney and his three partners spent $78,000 to acquire a five-year duty-free concession at the Honolulu airport. At the time, airlines were converting cramped DC-8s into roomier Boeing 707s, and the duty-free shop made money. But Feeney’s wealth was made in Japan. For the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the Japanese government eased draconian travel restrictions and allowed many Japanese to travel abroad for the first time. Japan has a long tradition of elaborate gift-giving, and that Honolulu duty-free shop had the luxury goods Japanese tourists wanted at low prices. Feeney’s partnership, at first called Duty Free Shoppers, and later DFS, thrived as Japanese travelers became wealthier. Because top-tier producers of luxury goods at first refused to deal with DFS, the company made lucrative distribution deals with Camus cognac and Nina Ricci perfume that provided DFS with a second income stream. As O’Clery shows, DFS became a multi-billion-dollar company not just through its own expertise, but also by ruthlessly crushing any and all rivals.
By the late 1980s, Feeney and his partners were ready to sell what was now a giant multinational. They began a seven-year dance with Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, or LVMH, the French luxury goods producer. After eight years of negotiations, in December 1996, LVMH bought out Feeney and one of his partners and assumed control of DFS. For his ownership of 38.7 percent of DFS, Feeney received a check for $1.67 billion—an amount so big that a New Jersey bank stayed open all night to clear it because tens of thousands of dollars would have been lost if clearing had been delayed. Negotiations between DFS and LVMH took eight years, in part, because two of Feeney’s partners didn’t want to sell (one eventually did sell and the other became a minority investor in LVMH). The extensive court record showed that Feeney didn’t actually own his share of DFS, but had transferred it to Atlantic Philanthropies, a mysterious Bermuda-based charity. Feeney was a very secretive entrepreneur: DFS, a privately owned partnership, was successful, in part, because its rivals had no idea how large the firm was and couldn’t guess how much the company could spend on bids for airport concession contracts. So Feeney decided to apply the same privacy to his philanthropy. His philanthropic adviser, New York University law professor Harvey Dale, gave his client a thick packet of materials about the importance of giving anonymously. He noted that the world’s major religions all taught that the best way to give was privately. As St. Matthew tells us, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught, “When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what may be in secret, may reward you.” Maimonides, the great medieval rabbi, agreed with Jesus, believing that there were 12 levels of tzedakah (giving), and that while the highest level was teaching other Jews to become self-reliant, the second highest was anonymous charity. Finally, Feeney was persuaded by the timeless advice of Andrew Carnegie. In his 1889 essay “The Gospel of Wealth,” Carnegie wrote that donors ought to use their fortunes on universities, libraries, and other organizations that provided “the ladders upon which the aspiring can rise.” Carnegie also believed that donors, after providing for themselves and their families, should strive for “modest, Page 31
IN PERSON unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance.” This advice suited the thrifty Feeney, who delights in inexpensive clothes, cheap watches, and flying coach. But as O’Clery shows, anonymous giving is hard work. Feeney decided to base his charity in Bermuda to avoid American disclosure laws. He lived in Bermuda for a year to establish residency prior to the creation of his charity in 1982, and his lawyers successfully lobbied the Bermuda legislature to pass a law allowing him to run his charity in secret. In addition, all of Atlantic Philanthropies’ grant recipients had to sign nondisclosure agreements saying they couldn’t reveal where their money came from. Finally, public relations consultants offered advice about what should happen if anyone found out about what Feeney was doing. In hindsight, Feeney could have achieved many of his goals in the United States if he had created a donor-advised fund rather than a foundation. If he had decided to create a private operating foundation, which has a severely limited list of grantees, he could have avoided the truckload of grant requests every medium-sized or large foundation must plow through. And given how poorly the American press covers philanthropy, simply not publicizing his foundation’s activities would have given him a substantial amount of anonymity. But the structure and nature of Atlantic Philanthropies has allowed Feeney to be a very hands-on donor. In O’Clery’s account, Feeney’s giving has often been impulsively based on articles he happened to be reading. In 1997, he picked up a copy of the San Francisco Examiner in the airport and read about the East Meets West Foundation, which helps improve health care for the poor in Vietnam. That led Atlantic Philanthropies to spend a great deal of money on hospitals in Vietnam.
Feeney has also been a generous supporter of research at universities in Ireland and Australia. In 2001, Feeney declared that Atlantic Philanthropies would spend itself out of existence by 2016. By doing this, Feeney’s charity can give far more than other organizations with very large endowments and relatively limited giving. “The dollar you give today can be doing good tomorrow,” Feeney said in an interview. “Giving five percent of it doesn’t do as much good.” It should be noted that Chuck Feeney is a leftist who vigorously opposes the Iraq war and has given small amounts to the Democratic party and larger ones to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. But Feeney should have the right to spend his wealth for causes he prefers. Conservative and libertarian donors, by contrast, often have their fortunes subverted by left-wing staff, particularly if they create foundations that aren’t term limited. Moreover, hands-on donors can—and do—make major mistakes. For three years in the mid-1990s, Feeney personally donated $20,000 a month to Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican Army’s political arm, for what Feeney said was a way of advancing the peace process in Northern Ireland. Although the Atlantic Philanthropies was technically not involved, the foundation’s reputation was sullied for years by its founder’s gifts to Sinn Fein. What can donors learn from Chuck Feeney’s experience? First, give to causes you believe in: People who make fortunes are smart enough to know how they should be used. Second, the most effective donors are those who avoid the limelight. What matters, in the long run, is not how many prizes a donor wins, but whether or not he gives wisely. By Martin Morse Wooster, Senior Fellow, Capital Research Center
WHARTON ALUMNUS SWITCHES SECTORS Hayles Is COO of New Jersey Megachurch Rupert Hayles didn’t quite feel like he belonged when he attended the Wharton School PENN of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He wasn’t from an affluent family—both of his parents worked in maintenance, and his father raised the family’s five children on $25,000 a year. Still, Hayles ’94 felt driven
to complete the business program and become a corporate senior executive. Hayles achieved the world’s standard of success and held executive positions with industry leaders such as Prudential, Cytec, and Merck. Then, after a flight from Amsterdam to the United States, Hayles began to feel less driven and
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IN PERSON more convicted. He heard God say, “Rupert, I’ve done this for you. What are you going to do for me?” The words resonated within Hayles. His pastor had asked him to come to work at his church, but Hayles couldn’t imagine doing it.
It’s a particularly challenging job where Hayles is charged with taking Pastor David Ireland’s vision and developing strategies to take that vision to fruition. “There’s a danger there,” he joked. “The pastor has a new idea every day.”
“Church? Me? You’re kidding” was Hayles’ response to the pastor’s offer. “I’ve got places to go and people to see.”
Hayles says that perhaps one of the greatest visions he helped develop came to Ireland in a dream.
But what he began to see was the path the Lord was placing before him. Business success became less important. “None of that matters if the life you’re leading doesn’t have something important to do for God,” he said.
“He saw President Bush sitting in front of the congregation, and he was ministering,” Hayles explained. “The Holy Spirit impressed upon him to speak as if the president is in the congregation. If you impact him, every decision he makes will impact the world.” Ireland told Hayles, “We need to make sure as a church that we impact the world.”
Just two months after accepting a position with Merck, Hayles knew he was called to the church position. So, after fulfilling his obligations to Merck, Hayles went from managing emerging technology to managing a bourgeoning church as the Chief Operating Officer of Christ Church in Montclair, N.J.
Wharton Business School graduate Rupert Hayles ’94 left corporate life to become Chief Operating Officer for Christ Church in Montclair, N.J.
His colleagues at Merck couldn’t understand his decision to leave his job for ministry work. Hayles’ response: “It’s not a head issue. It’s a heart issue. Heart trumps head any day.” Throughout the transition, Hayles kept thinking, “God, you have something for me and I’m going to do it. It’s not about me.” It was humbling to know that God had a mission for him, Hayles said. “Rupert, this is something significant, something God has given you. Make sure you do it right. It’s not something to take lightly,” he thought. And so he went into his new position with all the drive and determination he had used at Wharton and in business. And it’s some of the hardest work he’s ever done. Hayles quickly learned that the tools employed in the corporate world are transferable to ministry. Christ Church has 5,000 members, 80 employees, a school, a community development corporation, radio and television capabilities, and a publishing component. And he uses all his business and management skills to keep it all running smoothly. “I learned nothing goes to waste for God,” he said, “I’m using all those skills.”
Thus, they began developing ideas for making that impact by engaging the various sectors of society. From that came the Five Sector Alliance, a think-tank organization focusing on the business/economic, family, education, religion, and political sectors. This alliance engages leaders in all five sectors and holds summits that tackle key societal issues. In bringing together sector leaders, each can explore the issues from their unique perspective, Hayles said. The alliance recently addressed the economic and social effect of absentee fathers. “It’s a major problem in the U.S. and in other parts of the world,” Hayles said. In the United States, he said, youth violence goes up as a result of absentee fathers. In Japan, however, when the parents aren’t there, the young people commit suicide. The Five Sector Alliance is currently developing a pilot program that will look to reduce the number of absentee fathers and reach out to the fatherless in a local city. If you can change one city, Hayles explains, you can change another city and eventually the state. And that impacts society and the world. So, even though Pastor Ireland only preached to President Bush in his dream, with Hayles’ help, his vision to impact the world is coming to fruition, one sector of society at a time. By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer
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SPRING BREAK MISSIONARIES Ivy Students Get Involved Across the Country Dozens of Christian students from Ivy League campuses traded a week of frolicking on sunALL IVY drenched beaches over spring break for handson mission activities in impoverished communities.
The missions provide students with the “opportunity to live for what they were really made for, to live out God’s heart in a more tangible way,” said Faye Jaffee ’02, a senior staff member of Campus Crusade for Christ at Brown University and an alumna. “College life is often a time of selffocus and self-centeredness. This is an opportunity to serve. They come alive in a different way when they give of themselves.” Indeed, students and staffers from ministries across the Ivies said they were blessed by their time of labor, ministry, and interaction. Christian Union provided grants for five of the trips. Here are snapshots of some of the far-flung activities of Ivy League believers. Some ten students plus two staffers from Brown University’s College Hill for Christ (collegehillforchrist.com) and Athletes in Action (aiaatbrown.com) joined a long-term Campus Crusade for Christ team in Mexico City for a week
of sharing and building relationships with Mexican college students. “There are so many unreached campuses where there’s no evangelical ministry,” said Michelle Freeman, who helps husband Geoff lead the Crusade fellowship at Brown. “Having the short-term teams come in gives some momentum.” Brown students were connected to campuses and visited orphanages, children’s homes, and other programs in needy neighborhoods. Also at Brown, twenty or so students from a variety of campus religious organizations, including College Hill, trekked to New Orleans to assist in ongoing restoration efforts and “talk about social justice,” said Jaffee of Crusade. The students worked with Phoenix of New Orleans, a nonprofit organization that recruits volunteers to help provide food, hygiene, housing repair, landscaping, tutoring, and legal and other services. “It’s pretty much entirely a student-led trip,” Jaffee said. “There’s a real openness to talking about spiritual truth. I’m hoping to articulate the difference of the Gospel.”
Students across the Ivy League opted for community service over vacations as they helped the disadvantaged within the U.S. and abroad.
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REACHING • OUT Likewise, a mixture of Christian and non-Christian students from Brown University and Wellesley College spent a week assisting with Katrina Relief Urban Plunge, an outreach of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (ivcf.org). The fifty-plus students worked with local ministries to rebuild homes in St. Bernard Parish, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Participants also spent time discussing issues of faith, service, and justice and holding Bible studies. “I’ve felt blessed by the whole experience,” said Lorenna Ellis, a Brown student and member of Campus Crusade. On a separate trip, more than 150 students from ten institutions across New England, including three from InterVarsity’s Yale Christian Fellowship (yale.edu/ycf/), also participated in Katrina Relief Urban Plunge. The group challenged non-Christian participants to follow Jesus or join a Bible study on campus. As well, the group explored Christ’s teachings on poverty, faith, and service. “It renewed my commitment to living justly and living for justice,” said Andrew Uzzell, a Yale senior. “It challenged me to think harder about how I could bring about justice, both where I am and in the world as a whole.” In addition, seven students plus one staffer from Dartmouth College’s Christian Impact (Dartmouth.edu/~ccc/) traveled to New Orleans as part of restoration efforts organized by Crusade. Since 2005, more than 15,000 students have joined in Crusade’s mission to assist Gulf Coast communities. “It was a great time, just a chance to do something tangible,” said Chris West, director of Crusade’s Christian Impact. “A lot of the ministry sort of happens laterally. It’s a
very different dynamic when you’ve been on a trip together.” As well, Navigators at Cornell University (curw.cornell. edu/navs/) also ventured to the Deep South. More than twenty-two students and staffers helped Rescue Atlanta feed and serve the homeless. They also repainted the inner-city ministry’s facility and helped clear paths for a camp. “It was good as far as prompting people outside their comfort zones,” said Doug Weber, director. “A couple of students came away and said they want to do mission trips this summer. There was a spurring on of their hearts by the Lord.” Also over break, about fifteen students from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Cornell University (http://cornellfca.blogspot.com) jetted to Texas, where they assisted at Hill Country Chapel in Pipe Creek. The church provides a resting spot for missionaries to Mexico, holds weekend retreats, and operates a summer camp for 200-plus youths. Cornell students assisted with painting, setting up seating at the camp volleyball court, trimming trees, mowing, weeding, and handling other projects. As well, the students participated in the church’s youth ministry. Closer to home, five students affiliated with the Reformed University Fellowship of Yale University (http://yalestation.org/ref/) spent their break working with members of the underprivileged Hill community. The group worked with New Haven Reads Book Bank, Christian Community Action, and Habitat for Humanity. By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer
A VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS Brown Students Seek to Help Ugandan Children Back in 2006, Alana Rabe ’08 and some friends at Brown University volunteered at a booth for BROWN ChildVoice International, an organization dedicated to assisting child victims of war around the world.
Rabe then “caught the vision” and wanted to see it in action. At the prompting of ChildVoice International’s Executive Director Conrad Mandsager, Rabe and her friends organized a one-year, three-part project in Uganda that will involve Brown University students.
“For twenty-two years, the Lord’s Resistance Army has been trying to overthrow the Ugandan government,” Rabe explained. “They build their forces by abducting children and handing them weapons. Sometimes the children escape. The question is how to integrate these young ones back into society.” A big part of what ChildVoice International hopes to do is develop long-term solutions to the reintegration of these children. And because most Americans and non-Ugandan interPage 35
REACHING • OUT national students have no concept of what is happening in Africa, the first part of the project involves learning about the conflict in Uganda. The group will read books, watch the news, and do research in order to better prepare themselves for what lies ahead. In addition to learning about the conflict, the group is being asked to develop a project proposal in order to apply for funding from the University.
someone who would be willing to go during the week we’re at the university.” The group will stay in the North doing some sort of community project for four to five weeks, after which point they will head back to Southern Uganda and process everything that happened. The final part of the plan takes place stateside. The project-goers will talk about how the project changed their outlook on things and how their experiences can be synthesized into their life outlook.
The second part of the project is the actual sixweek trip, which is scheduled for this summer. The One of the projects’ bigproject will take students gest accomplishments has Students at Brown are spending the semester in preparation for first to Southern Uganda missions’ work in Uganda. been involving Christians where they will stay at a and non-Christians alike. university in order to become acclimated to the culture. “Usually there is a separation between Christians and nonThen the real adventure begins as the group will make its Christians with things like this,” said Rabe. “I think we can way to the Northern Ugandan village of Lukodi where share our faith by sharing our lives with one another, and I ChildVoice International’s headquarters are located. hope that has an impact on both the Christian and non“Southern Uganda and Northern Uganda are really different. Christian students.” A lot of Ugandan University students wonder what it’s like up there,” Rabe said. “We may bring one with us if we can find
By Joshua Unseth, Brown ‘09
NEWMAN CATHOLIC CENTER HOSTS ROAD TRIP Students Minister to Developmentally Disabled Boys Students within the Ivy League have a tradition of community service and care. On February 2, PENN students from the University of Pennsylvania’s Newman Catholic Center (www.newman.upenn.edu) continued that tradition by spending a day with students from the Don Guanella School in nearby Delaware County.
The Don Guanella School—affiliated with Catholic Social Services, the Cardinal Kroll Center, and Divine Providence Village—was established in 1960 as a residential facility for young men and boys with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. For the past 15 years, students from the Newman Center have hosted the Don Guanella students twice a year for football and basketball games.
The February visit included sharing a meal prepared by the Newman students and sharing in worship of the Lord as the students attended mass at St. Agatha-St. James Catholic Church. The centerpiece of the activities was attending the Penn vs. Dartmouth game at the Palestra. While at the game, the boys were also greeted by the Penn Quaker mascot and the Palestra provided them with posters and T-shirts. But the get-togethers go beyond sports and score a place in the hearts of students from both schools. “I think that Penn Newman’s association with Don Guanella is a truly profound way to live the Gospel message,” said Eric Banecker ’11, one of the students who participated in the program. The Ivy League Christian Observer
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photo by Pam Traeger
Students from Penn’s Newman Catholic Center recently hosted students from the nearby Don Guanella School.
The Don Guanella School was founded upon the work of Father Luigi Guanella, who established the Servants of Charity mission, which is dedicated to ministering to people with developmental disabilities. He saw the work of charity as one of compassion and one to be fulfilled by sharing love and compassion with others. Father Guanella once told his priests that “all our experience of faith and service has charity as its center, a charity which is lived in filial surrender to God and in evangelical compassion to the poor. In addition to its love of the Providential Father and service to the poor, this charity is a charity which is to be lived in a familial spirit pointing to the Holy Family of Nazareth as the model of family life with this life being characterized by simplicity and trust and complete availability to the Father’s will.” And it was with that quality of simplicity that the Newman Center students welcomed the Don Guanella students into
their Christian family. “Eating with them, going to mass with them, enjoying a game with them brings huge smiles to their faces,” said Banecker. “They love it,” said Robert Neely, activities director for Don Guanella, of the student’s response to the event. He said he sees God’s work “through the humor and the light, loving, caring friendships.” It is, he continued, an opportunity to bring people from different spectrums of life together. And the friendships made are not only for one day. He also said that there are Penn students who have already graduated from the University who still come back to visit with the students on a regular basis. “This is Penn Newman’s opportunity to give back to the community that we are in. The fact that so many people are interested in this community service event tells me that the Newman Center is doing something right,” said Banecker. By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer
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‘WE RUN ON PASSION’ Shelter Provides More Than Just Refuge for the Homeless As the sun sets on Boston and temperatures begin plummeting below the freezing mark, HARVARD more than 6,000 people search for shelter on a typical winter night. Twenty four of them make their way to the basement of University Lutheran Church (ULC) where they are met by Harvard students offering warm food, hot showers, and comfortable beds.
While there, these “guests” are treated with respect and have an opportunity to play a game of Scrabble or have a latenight conversation with student volunteers who stay at the shelter throughout the night. And although the shelter is not a faith-based organization, guests and volunteers still have the opportunity to encounter Christ’s love through compassion and charity. For more than twenty five years, the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter has offered simple luxuries to the Boston homeless who bear the cold New England days but seek refuge for the frigid winter nights.
“There’s something about Harvard students and sacrifice— I can’t put my finger on it. We run on passion,” she said. According to Hellman, though, the guests are not the only ones who benefit from the shelter. “It’s a wonderful dose of reality,” she said. “They [the students] walk in there and forget everything else…It’s a great way to break from the Ivy League bubble.”
Despite the busy demands of Harvard life, Mallory Hellman ’08 has volunteered at the shelter since her freshman year, and now serves as a student director.
“Harvard Square is a location where privilege and the lack of housing intersect in a pretty powerful way,” said Don Larson, pastor of University Lutheran Church. As a result, more than twenty five years ago the church worked with students from Harvard Divinity School to determine how to address the issue.
The shelter began with the church opening its doors and offering a place for people to stay. It grew from there, Larson explained. And as it grew the students took more and more of the responsibility for running it. Today, the shelter is the nation’s only student-run homeless shelter; and it is directed by young men and women from Phillips Brooks House Association, a student-run public service organization. Mallory Hellman ’08 is one of the student directors and has volunteered at the shelter since her freshman year. “Upon coming to Harvard I saw the homeless people in the Square and was encouraged by friends to give [the shelter] a shot,” she said. “There was no turning back; I love it.” Page 38
It might seem paradoxical that the nation’s least fortunate are served each night by those who are considered by many to be its most gifted. However, according to Hellman, there is a natural outpouring of service among the students who pass the homeless each day as they cross Harvard Square.
However, life outside that bubble can have a deep impact on the students. Recently, students and University Lutheran Church members participated in a homeless census in Boston. Afterward, they returned to the church for reflection about the event.
“The conversation had to do with the students’ sense of despair about ever seeing a way beyond homelessness for so many people,” Larson said. The students were “really struggling” after having had conversations with homeless people under bridges in Boson. He said it gave them a “fresh awareness of their own deep privilege.” “I heard in the anguish of [one] student a real awareness of the web of brokenness that both they the students and the homeless folks were trapped in.” Still for students like Hellman, the shelter has left an indelible mark. “I don’t go a day without thinking about the shelter,” she said. Service, she explains, will continue to be a component of her life. Currently, Hellman’s post-graduation plans involve moving to New York and working in publishing. Already, she is looking for way to help in the shelters. The Ivy League Christian Observer
REACHING • OUT To help volunteers process their experiences in the shelter, a Harvard Divinity School student serves at the church as a field worker and runs reflection sessions on a weekly basis. It’s a time for the students to reflect upon how the shelter impacts their lives and on issues that arise from their work there.
said. “When asked about what motivates us, we can be very clear about the nature of the Spirit’s motivation to walk about in those good works which have been prepared beforehand to be our way of life.”
Despite the fact that the shelter is not a specifically Christian Although it’s located at the evangelizing organization, acchurch, the shelter it is not afcording to Larson, the work of filiated with any religious dethe Lord is being done: “Stunomination. Students come The Harvard Square Homeless Shelter is located in dents will come with all kinds from all faith backgrounds and the basement of Boston’s University Lutheran Church. of motivation and perspecfrom none at all. However, tives, and yet when they come Larson still sees it as an opportunity to minister to the stuto serve someone who is broken, and they treat that person dents. as a welcome guest, they have welcomed Christ.” “As students took over more and more, it became clear this was a really cool way for doing campus ministry,” Larson By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer
A MICROCOSM OF GOD’S KINGDOM Diverse Group of Ivy Alumni Share Passion for Urban Churches One might expect to find Ivy League graduates working in high-rise corporate offices throughALL IVY out Boston. Perhaps less likely, however, is to find a cluster of Ivy alumni working not for profit, but for urban Boston ministries.
Emmanuel Gospel Center (EGC), located in Boston’s South End, is an urban ministry that strives to “nurture the vitality of urban churches” as well as the Greater Boston communities they serve. At its helm is a cadre of Ivy alumni and graduates from MIT and other universities who bring their education and experiences to the ministry that has served Boston for seventy years. From waste management engineering to teaching in Asia, these ministry staffers each traveled a different path to vocational ministry, yet each adds to the diverse mosaic that is EGC. It’s a staff as rich and diverse as the city around it. And that’s the way EGC’s Executive Director Jeff Bass, Princeton ’81, thinks it should be. Spring 2008
“The church is supposed to be diverse,” said Bass. “We are all headed toward a diverse reality in heaven. But there aren’t that many diverse realities on earth right now. So we want to really model the kingdom of God in a microcosm.” Within this diverse environment, Bass said he and the other staff members have learned to identify their subconscious preconceived notions and prejudices and to more effectively interact with people of many ethnic, educational, and economic backgrounds. In return, they take what they learn to the streets through their work with the local churches, thereby impacting the overall urban communities. A suburban New Jersey and Ohio native, Bass didn’t originally plan on ministry work, but a seed was planted when he was a student at Princeton. Bass had gone to an Urbana conference while at Princeton and was touched by the words of one of the speakers, Michael Haynes Sr. “He [said], ‘Some of you will be called to urban ministry,’” Bass explained. “I felt like he was talkPage 39
REACHING • OUT ing to me. I didn’t know why, but I felt like an arrow went into my heart.” However, that arrow lay dormant while Bass worked in the hazardous waste management field as a consultant with a prominent Boston management consulting firm; When he decided the frequent travel wasn’t conducive to a growing family, he sought other options. That’s when he rediscovered his calling to ministry and became the business manager for Ruggles Baptist Church in Boston. “It was weird for a Princeton grad, I think, to become an administrator of a small city church. It was almost embarrassing,” Bass admits, “but that was the path God had me on.” His parents weren’t pleased with his decision to leave his career and help run a church. A good friend told him he shouldn’t go into ministry because he didn’t have the people skills; his colleagues at Arthur D. Little simply thought he was crazy. “But I felt I had to get off this road I was on and I had to find this calling to ministry,” Bass said. “I felt like there was something there.”
does, Bass explained. It serves as a compass, guiding the mission of the center which is “to understand and nurture the vitality of urban churches in the context of their broader urban communities.” For example, Mitchell’s research led to the discovery of the “quiet revival” happening in Boston for the past forty years. No one realized the revival was taking place, Mitchell explained, because it was occurring in the smaller, non-traditional denominations. Many congregations shared the same building, so some went unnoticed. They might have continued being overlooked until Mitchell began compiling a citywide church directory, counting all the churches, and finding the upward trends. Therefore, when considering that Emmanuel Gospel Center has grown from a 14-member staff and a $400,000 budget to a 40-member staff with a $2 million annual budget, the need for business-oriented staff members makes sense, especially to Michelle Mitsumori, Yale ’90, the ministry’s operations manager.
“Being in ministry gives you the opportunity to talk about the things that matter to the world,” said In 1990, Bass became a Boston’s Emmanuel Gospel Center builds bridges to the urban Mitsumori, who was a community by working to increase the vitality of local churches. director for EGC. Today teacher affiliated with the he works with the presiYMCA in Hong Kong before joining the staff. “Of course dent, Doug Hall, to develop the infrastructure necessary to you have to stay in the black, because without the money achieve Hall’s vision for the ministry. you don’t have ministry.” For the center’s senior researcher, Rudy Mitchell (Cornell ’71), coming to EGC was a more fluid transition. A graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a former InterVarsity staff member, Mitchell was offered a research position at Emmanuel Gospel Center at the same time that his wife was hired to manage its bookstore.
Ultimately, EGC is not only a microcosm of the Kingdom, but of the community it serves and of the business world for which its staffers were trained. And like the research it uncovers, Emmanuel Gospel Center and its members are full of surprises as they reveal God’s work.
The research component essentially drives what the center
By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer
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P R AY E R • P O W E R
‘ASK, SEEK, KNOCK’ Dartmouth Students Participate in Round-the-Clock Prayer Event “Pray without ceasing.” That’s what Paul instructed the Thessalonians to do. And that’s DARTMOUTH what students at Dartmouth did recently during a 24/7 Prayer Initiative that provided opportunities for students to connect with God through prayer, song, and words.
According to Laura Andreae ’10, one of the initiative coordinators, approximately 75 students entered the prayer room set up in the basement of Robinson Hall. Students signed up for time slots to pray during the week-long event that was held January 18 through 25. Andreae said people were praying in the room 95 percent of the time. This is the second 24/7 prayer initiative at Dartmouth in recent years. The last one was held in the fall of 2006. Andreae said she was inspired to organize the prayer initiative while driving back from “an amazing sunrise hike.”
“Dartmouth, like many other places, desperately needs a reminder of how we can call on God’s love and power to fill our weakness,” she said. “Having a room of 24/7 prayer is raw,” she said. “It allows students to take God out of any boxes that we might put Him in…A designated and different environment set aside solely for prayer, hopefully, feels welcoming to anyone regardless of his or her relationship with God.” Therefore, the room was designed to create a solemn and serene environment for students to pray, yet included creative elements like guitars and art supplies for those who preferred to worship the Lord through their artistic talents.
“Communication with God expands beyond sitting with your head bowed and hands folded in prayer,” Andreae explained. The Students at Dartmouth used Bibles, music, guitars, iPods, journals, and art and art to worship Jesus Christ continually supplies allowed students to pray She knew about 24/7 prayer from during a recent weeklong 24/7-prayer initiative. in manners that were personal for reading Pete Grieg’s book, Red them. “We wanted a large aspect Moon Rising before she entered of the room to be for praise since that is God’s first comDartmouth. “Once I began to talk with other Dartmouth stumandment. Music and art are such beautiful expressions of dents about a week of 24/7 prayer, I found that God had prayer,” she said. placed similar calls on other students’ hearts to have united constant prayer on the campus,” she said. The artwork created by the students was placed on the walls Ongoing prayer is encouraged throughout scripture. Isaiah 62:6-7 implores, “You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” In 1727, the Moravian Community of Herrnhut in Saxony commenced a round-the-clock “prayer watch” that continued nonstop for over a hundred years. By 1791, 65 years after commencement of that prayer vigil, the small Moravian community had sent 300 missionaries to the ends of the earth, according to the Christianity Today library. Andreae describes the overarching purpose of the initiative as “asking for, desiring, and receiving the Kingdom of God.”
of the room as a sign of praise and as an inspiration to others. The prayer room also contained a prayer request board which allowed students to share their “burdens and intercede for one another,” according to Andreae. “Seeing the variety of requests on the wall is so encouraging because it reminds us as individuals that we are not alone in our struggles.” A world map was also hung on the wall of the room, which Andreae said served as a visual representation of The Great Commission: “As students pray for different parts of the world, they can put stars on the map to show where they have prayed for.”
P R AY E R • P O W E R But the initiative wasn’t only about personal moments of prayer; it was also an opportunity for students to connect with each other in prayerful and powerful ways. “Prayer is a thing that people always do, but you never see it happen,” Emily Eros ’09, told The Dartmouth. “I mean, people aren’t just out on the Green praying together. It’s nice to have a place where you can really connect with others.” That connection was particularly important for one group of students who came together during tragedy. When the friend of members of a campus ministry lost a loved one during the prayer week, the Christian girls brought their
floor mates to the prayer room and prayed with them, Andreae said. It was that type of authentic prayer that inspired others to share their prayer room experiences with others, and to reiterate Paul’s call for unending prayer. “Do go to the prayer room, even if you don’t want to pray or have no idea what to pray about,” wrote a freshman in an e-mail to other students. “There is an immense presence of God’s spirit in that room; that by just going there, there are things that are delivered into our spirit. Bonds of evil are broken, burdens are removed, and joy is restored.” By Eileen Scott, Senior Writer
CALLING PEOPLE TO PRAY AT PENN Junior Has a Passion to Intercede for the Church In a culture where spirituality and faith are often pursued as a means to personal fulfillment and PENN happiness, praying for the Church at large is not a priority for many people. But Penn junior Amanda Dyson is not one of them. She is passionate about rallying believers to intercede for the Church in America.
A little more than a year ago, Dyson heard a sermon about the state of the Church in the United States. She was struck by the reported “bad feelings” among church members and the number of children who leave the Church upon maturity, in addition to other startling statistics. “It was heart wrenching,” Dyson said. But this was more than a moment of awareness for Dyson—it was a call to action. She knew that despite the size of the Church and the enormity of the problems, she could do something. So she began to pray.
Once again, Dyson began thinking and praying about the Church and how she could expand her vision for consistent prayer. As a result, Dyson decided to reach out to others who also felt strongly about praying for the Church. Christians at Penn are following a call to pray for the Church in America and to pray for God to move on their campus.
Dyson began praying for the Church every morning and started to envision a 24-hour day of prayer for the Church in America. She saw this starting as a local effort and then expanding to a national one. Her ultimate goal was to raise up prayer warriors who had a similar passion.
However, as time went by, school responsibilities began to vie for Dyson’s attention and her goal “got pushed into the background.” Then last fall, Penn’s Grace Covenant Church, where Dyson is a member, held a conference. One topic, Dyson remembered, was about “being lazy as a Christian and how much effort we should put on action when God tells us to.” When the speaker asked how many people there had not responded to God, she felt convicted.
During Christmas break, Dyson sent out emails to fellow ministry members. She also talked with her pastor who put her in touch with Michael Hu, the Penn director for Campus Renewal Ministries (CampusRenewal. org) and PennforJesus (PennForJesus.com).
“This is crazy. It’s amazing,” Hu told Dyson. “I’ve been thinking about the same thing.” According to Dyson, Hu had heard recent presentations by speakers like Ugandan revivalist John Mulinde that took
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P R AY E R • P O W E R place at Penn and was aware of the need for prayer. As a result, Hu helped Dyson with her e-mail efforts. “The response was overwhelming,” she said. “A lot of people wanted to do the same thing, and it was amazing to see how many people God was convicting.” In early January, a group of prayer warriors met for the first time. They prayed for revival and for the Spirit to move on campus. They prayed for boldness in witnessing and for the hearts of the students. And they prayed that UPenn students would realize their need for God and turn to Him. While their efforts were sincere, Dyson admits the group “got a little off track.” “We started focusing on specific methods for revival…we were losing the initial vision and conviction,” she said.
from people she trusted. She also prayed. Then she realized that the movement of the Holy Spirit was at God’s will, not their own. “We can’t make revival happen,” she said. “God uses us…Our job is to respond to the conviction and respond to what he wants.” The group returned to what Dyson believed God convicted them to do, which was to pray. Ultimately, they decided that “instead of wasting prayer time talking” they would just pray and trust God to make the next steps clear. Today, a small core group meets on Sunday nights, with others committing to one hour of prayer during the week. And Dyson continues encouraging others to pray for the Church.
Her strong desire to strengthen the Church began to trouble her. “I was starting to get a little stressed about how to move forward,” Dyson said.
“I would hope people would realize how important an issue this is and commit to it as part of their regular prayer schedule,” she said. “I think that is something everyone can do at least once a week during their prayer time.”
But she would not give up. Instead, she sought out advice
By Eileen Scott, Senior Staff Writer
UNITY IN NUMBERS, STRENGTH IN PRAYER Student-led Ministry Seeks to Unite Efforts for Christ at Cornell In 2003, a group of Cornell students began gathering for weekly prayer meetings. The students CORNELL prayed for a spirit of agreement among the existing campus ministries to help them focus on their bond in Christ, not their denominational differences. These prayer meetings eventually led to the formation of Campus on a Hill (COAH), a Christian organization “dedicated to uniting all Christians on campus to worship our God as one.”
Today, COAH (www. campusonahill.org) continues to press on toward its goal of uniting the Christian family at Cornell. From its beginning, COAH has been a place where students from different ministries and backSpring 2008
grounds came together to pray for each other, for the campus, and for the world, said Ray Li ’09, a member of the group’s Core Team: “COAH is founded on the belief that family and missions come hand in hand.” This year is proving to be a crucial, transformative year for COAH. It is the first year since the ministry’s founding that COAH organizer Alex Lee ’07 is not involved in the leadership. Lee was just a freshman in 2003 when he saw the need to bring the students together to form the ministry.
Cornell’s Campus on a Hill works to unite campus Christians in worship and service.
Yet the vision remains unchanged, carried on by the members of COAH’s leadership component, known as the Core Team. Other members of the Core Team include Page 43
P R AY E R • P O W E R Joshua Lequieu ’10, Henry Wen ’09, and graduate student Behzad Varamini.
to understand how it can best serve Cornell’s Christian community.
COAH has Monday weekly meetings where the core team and any other interested individuals pray for God’s vision for the ministry. In addition, COAH has implemented monthly leader forums where representatives of different campus ministries have an opportunity to discuss the struggles and successes of their respective ministries and pray for each other.
“It is certain that God wants to do a lot of things and He is doing a lot of things on this campus,” said Varamini. “How can we help further His mission and help make Him be cherished and known at Cornell? This is where we are right now.”
The ministry typically organizes several outreach events each year such as its plea to members of all ministries to evangelize on Saturdays. In the days preceding Easter, COAH also organizes a series of evangelistic events, including the set-up of a prayer tent on the main quad of the Cornell campus.
“More than anything,” Lequieu says, “we want Christ to be glorified.”
Additionally, COAH hosts a night of prayer called Student Volunteer Movement 2, or “SVM2.” The purpose of the event is “to get people passionate about global missions,” says Lequieu. Earlier in the fall semester, the Core Team also organized service projects to foster a desire for furthering God’s mission and sense of community among all the Christians at Cornell. Through it all, the goal of COAH has been to expand the foundational vision of “mobilizing and uniting the body of Christ at Cornell” and to understand what implementing such a vision would involve, said Lee. Since COAH is a relatively new organization, the Core Team is still seeking
And so the Core Team’s main priority has been spending time in prayer to discern God’s will for the direction of the organization.
While ideally an organization such as COAH should not have to exist, the ministry has helped initiate a dialogue that provides members of all ministries an opportunity to come together. COAH was one result of a realization that God could work even more through the Christian family at Cornell if all the groups had an opportunity to interact with each other, said Li. What the founding and current members of COAH strongly emphasize is that Campus on a Hill is not meant to be an additional Christian ministry. “Though we are from different fellowships and different backgrounds, etc., we believe our identity should first and most firmly be rooted in Christ, as His adopted family, as brothers and sisters,” states Varamini. For more information about Campus on a Hill, email the Core Team at email@example.com. By Grace Chen, Cornell ’10
“Through it all, the goal of COAH has been to expand the foundational vision of “mobilizing and uniting the body of Christ at Cornell” and to understand what implementing such a vision would involve.”
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The Institute of
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For more information call 800-321-1538, ext. 2008
Date: July 13-19, 2008 Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
NEWS-IN-BRIEF ALL IVY
Study Shows that College Students Grow ‘Spiritually,’ Not in Christianity
Ethics Counter Ethics in Genetics Debate Two Ivy League professors recently published books on the ethics of genetic engineering, yet each takes a decidedly different stance. In his book, Babies by Design: The Ethics of Genetic photo - iStock Choice, Ronald M. Two recent books by Ivy League professors take Green, director of different ethical views of Dartmouth’s Ethics Ingenetic engineering. stitute discusses altering infant genetics and “undertaking the direction of our own evolution.” Conversely, Michael J. Sandel, professor of government at Harvard, looks at genetic “opportunities” with less robustness and promotes its debate in the theological, spiritual, and scientific realms.
photo by Pam Traeger
A recent UCLA study concluded that students grow spiritually during college, but may not believe in God.
College students experience spiritual growth during their college years, concluded a recent UCLA study called “Spirituality in Higher Education: Students’ Search for Meaning and Purpose.” However, while students were found to have grown “spiritually” from freshman to junior year, this is not necessarily “Good News.”
The three-year study determined that students grew in areas such as: “integrating spirituality into their life” and “becoming a more loving person.” However, it also found a “slight decline in students who believe in God or engage in traditional religious activities,” and that “prayer also decreased slightly from their freshman to junior years.”
BROWN Rise in Teen Birth Rate May Signal Decrease in Teen Abortions For the first time since 1991, the teen birth rate and unmarried childbearing rate rose in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. While these numbers “attest to the sad state of affairs among the teenagers in our society,” The teen birth rate according to James Goldrose for the first schmidt of Harvard’s True time since 1991, but Love Revolution, he also points Harvard’s James Goldschmidt ’09 to an upside. “Abortions are on reports that a downward trend,” he said. abortions are on a “Therefore, it may be just as downward trend. likely that more teens are now deciding to carry their babies to term, resulting in an increased number of live births and a decrease in the abortion rate, for which we can all be thankful.” Page 46
Governor Plans to Continue Fight to Protect Life Rhode Island governor and Brown alumnus Donald Carcieri ‘65 and his wife, Sue, recently led a pro-life rally in the State House rotunda, according to LifeSiteNews.com. “The most important thing that we as a nation can protect is life,” the governor reportedly said. Mrs. Carcieri told those in attendance that the couple plans to “continue speaking out against abortion even after they leave office.” “Life is a fundamental right, as fundamental as the rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” she said.
Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri, Brown, ’65, advocates the right to life by leading a prolife rally in the State House rotunda.
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NEWS-IN-BRIEF Episcopal Bishop Offers ‘Non-Literal’ View of the Bible at Brown Seminar In a presentation about “The Christian Church and the Sexuality Debate,” retired Episcopal Bishop Rev. John Shelby Spong condoned a non-literal interpretation of the Bible.
Retired Episcopal Bishop Rev. John Shelby Spong defamed orthodox Christian theology when he presented a “reframed” Christian viewpoint at Brown. Rev. Spong addressed homosexuality, abortion, sexism, and racism as he offered an analysis that “emphasized a non-literal interpretation of the Bible,” according to an article in the Brown Daily Herald. The author of Jesus for the Non-Religious, Spong spoke about “The Christian church and the sexuality debate” and discussed “Christianity’s role in shaping sexism, racism, and homophobia.” He also remarked that “many Christians have quoted the Bible to justify these prejudices.” Chuck Norris Upset With Brown Author Over New Book Brown undergraduate Ian Spector ‘09 is toe-totoe with martial artist, actor, and Christian speaker Chuck Norris over the student’s new book, The Truth About Chuck Norris. The problem, Norris contends, is that the book is not about the truth at all. A recent CNN.com report states that the book “depicts him as callous and unlawful” and that it includes times racist and lewd.”
Boston Christian Union Holds First Gathering, Fundraiser The Downtown Harvard Club was the site of the inaugural gathering of the Boston Christian Union on January 31. Approximately thirty people attended the event that also served as a benefit for Christian Union hosted its inaugural Boston City Christian Union. Speakers Christian Union event on included Christian Union January 31 at the Founder and President Downtown Harvard Club. Matt Bennett, who spoke about the vision of the ministry, and Jeff Woolbert (Princeton ’95), managing director at Bain Capital, who addressed the importance of campus ministry within the Ivy League. Alex Fuller, Princeton ’08, provided a student’s perspective on campus ministry and spoke about his experiences with Princeton Faith and Action, Christian Union’s campus ministry. Attendance Increases for Church Service Attendance is steadily increasing for Nassau Christian Center’s campus Sunday service, which is co-directed by Christian Union. So far this academic year, attendance has climbed to about 150, and ministry officials have baptized two students.
Brown junior Ian Spector raises controversy with a book about Chuck Norris.
“false ‘facts’ that are some-
While perhaps best known as his action TV character, Walker, Texas Ranger, Norris is known within the evangelical community from his appearances with T.D. Jakes Ministry, Trinity Broadcasting, and Bill Glass Crusade.
Attendance is up at Nassau Christian Center’s campus Sunday service, which is co-directed by Christian Union.
In the service’s inaugural year (2005-2006), about seventy people attended each week. During the 2006-2007 academic year, attendance rose to 100 or so; and service leaders baptized two students and two community leaders, according to the Reverend Win Green, campus pastor of the Princeton-based church. The 9:45 a.m. service features a contemporary format combined with traditional elements and a free catered lunch that attracts students from nearby Princeton University. Page 47
NEWS-IN-BRIEF Christian Union Holds Winter Staff Training Christian Union held its winter staff training January 14-16 at Wilson House in Princeton. The training included praise and Christian Union staff met for worship, Bible study, its quarterly training this January at the ministry’s strategic planning, and Princeton headquarters. messages from Pastor Training included, worship, Richard Linderman of Bible study and strategic planning. Nassau Christian Center in Princeton and Pastor Matt Ristuccia of Westerly Road Church in Princeton. Additionally, the staff studied and discussed revival and reformation in society by watching documentaries on Evan Roberts (“A Diary of a Revival”) and William Wilberforce (“The Better Hour).” Roberts was a key catalyst for the Welsh Revival of 1904; Wilberforce’s lifelong dedication to the abolition movement helped end slavery in Great Britain two hundred years ago.
COLUMBIA Wilberforce Documentary Commemorates Abolishment of Slave Trade
photo courtesy of The Better Hour
Chuck Stetson, Yale ’67 and Columbia *72, brings light to the contributions of William Wilberforce in his book Creating the Better Hour: Lessons From William Wilberforce, which was recently aired as a PBS documentary.
The video, Creating the Better Hour: The Legacy of William Wilberforce, was recently released in conjunction with Black History Month. The documentary is based on the book, Creating the Better Hour: Lessons from William Wilberforce, which was edited by Chuck Stetson, Yale ’67 and Columbia *72. The film aired as a PBS documentary in February. The Better Hour: The Legacy of William Wilberforce was produced to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the abolishment of the British slave
trade. Wilberforce, a British Parliamentarian, used his position to launch 69 organizations for the betterment of society and end the trans-Atlantic slave trade—a business that was key to the country’s economic strength. ‘Veritas Hour’ Provides Avenue for Ongoing Discussion This September, Columbia ministry leaders created the Veritas Hour in response to the popularity and effectiveness Due to the popularity of the of Veritas Forum events Veritas Forum, Columbia ministry leaders created the held on their campus. Veritas Hour, a weekly The Veritas Hour condiscussion group to further sists of weekly discusthe dialogue from the Forum. sion groups between students in dormitories. The goal is to begin fruitful discussion that would continue between students on a regular basis. “In contrast to the first day, when people rolled their eyes at questions of truth, morality, and absolute reality, the students’ interest in thinking about the world around them has grown substantially,” reflected Kyle Jurado, a Columbia College junior and Veritas Hour facilitator. Currently, there are three discussion groups. EPIC Conference Challenges Students to Get Involved in God’s Work Columbia Students for Christ (Columbia.edu/ cu/ccc/) participated in the EPIC Winter Conference held February 1-3 in Herndon, Virginia. Columbia Students for Christ is the Columbia Students for Christ EPIC ministry of Cam(CSFC) participated in the pus Crusade for Christ EPIC winter conference, in New York City. which is geared toward sharing God’s redemptive EPIC works to share work worldwide with Asian the Gospel with AsianAmerican students. American students through ways that are culturally relevant. The Ivy League Christian Observer
NEWS-IN-BRIEF The conference urged participants to reflect on the concept that “God is surveying the land and calling Asian American college students to partake in His redemptive work around the world.” One student who attended the conference said she “met God that day for the first time in a while.”
logical Seminary. The event was a starting point for those interested in missions for the summer, but also encouraged others to learn more, allow God to show them His plans for the nations, and to send their brothers and sisters. Koinonia Collaborative Raises Funds for Venezuela Mission Trip
CORNELL Boston Pastor Takes Message of Freedom to Cornell Community Rev. Dr. Stephen Um, senior pastor at City Life Church in Boston, spoke to the Cornell community about the “Freedom to Live.” Um discussed why the current societal laws of fitness, career, relationships, and parenting cannot offer the Rev. Dr. Stephen liberation that comes from folUm, of City Life lowing God’s law. The presenChurch in Boston, tation was held February 8 in spoke to Cornell students about the Kennedy Hall as part of the an“Freedom to Live” nual Chesterton House Institute through God’s Law. of Biblical Studies. Chesterton House is a Christian Studies Center that ministers to the Cornell community. ‘CU Straight Ahead’ Missions Event Held at Cornell Cornell held its fourth annual missions mobilization event, CU Straight Ahead, on Saturday, March 1. The event was initially started to encourage and spur on brothers Students interested in and sisters from Cornell to pursuing missions work follow Christ into the misthis summer met for the fourth annual Straight sion field. This year’s Ahead event in March. speakers included: Rev. Kyung Soon Kim from Chodae Community Church in New Jersey; Rev. Eunhyey Park, who serves with OMF (formerly Overseas Missionary Fellowship) and REAH International; and Sarah Chang, a Cornell alumnus,’06, at Gordon-Conwell TheoSpring 2008
Koinonia Collaborative, formerly known as Mission Team Venezuela, held its benefit dinner on Cornell’s Koinonia Collaborative held a Sunday, March 2, to benefit dinner to raise fundraise for their 10-day funds to support Project spring break mission trip. Schoolbridge in Venezuela. By providing a dinner donated by local vendors, they offered Christians a chance to support Project Schoolbridge, an education initiative seeking to support Venezuelan schools in the Maracaibo area long-term. The team gave attendees the opportunity to aid the trip through itemized pledges (“I will provide money to buy 2 boxes of crayons for the classroom,” or “I bought the team’s supply of cheese for lunch for a week!” etc.). The spring break trip will be the fifth trip of its kind since the summer of 2005. The program was also funded by a grant from Christian Union.
DARTMOUTH Christian A Cappella Group Hosts Annual ‘Winter Whingding’ X.ado, a Christian a cappella group at Dartmouth College, hosted the institution’s annual Winter Whingding on February 8 in Spaulding Auditorium. The group and others, including the Dartmouth Gospel Choir, performed in Dartmouth’s largest venue and before about 500 guests.
Dartmouth’s Christian a cappella group X.ado hosted a Winter Whingding, which provided musical inspiration for more than 500 guests.
NEWS-IN-BRIEF Winter Whingding is part of Dartmouth’s Winter Carnival, the oldest collegiate festival in the United States. About half of X.ado’s fifteen members are involved with Christian Impact, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. Dartmouth Students Impacted by Winter Adventure Nearly twenty students from Dartmouth’s Christian Impact (Dartmouth.edu/~ ccc/) participated in its eleventh annual Winter Adventure, which was held January 25 to 27 near Errol, NH.“It was an awesome weekend of fellowship in a unique North Woods setting,” said Chris West, director of Christian Impact.
Nature provided a peaceful and inspiring backdrop for Dartmouth’s Christian Impact’ Winter Adventure held near Errol, N.H.
“We took advantage of the atmosphere and ethos of the place and had a great time.” The students, who stayed in cabins owned by the Dartmouth Outing Club, enjoyed cross-country skiing and hiking, and spent time singing and listening to a recorded message by the Reverend Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. Bush Aide Resigns After Admitting Plagiarism An aide to President George Bush, Yale ’68, resigned recently after admitting he plagiarized work from former Dartmouth professor Jeffrey Hart. Tim Goeglein, who served as special assistant for outreach to conservative and Christian groups, lifted work for a column in the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel from an essay by Hart that was published in The Dartmouth Review. “There are no excuses. I am entirely at fault, and you have my sincerest apology. I pray you will forgive me,” wrote Goeglein in an e-mail to Hart that was released by the White House press office and reported in The Washington Post. Timothy Goeglein, aid to George W. Bush, Yale ’68, resigned after admitting to plagiarizing work from former Dartmouth Professor Jeffrey Hart.
HARVARD Harvard Law Grad Receives National First Freedom Award John Witte Jr., Harvard Law School *85, was selected as the 2008 recipient of the National First Freedom Award. Witte, who is also a graduate of Calvin College, is currently the Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University.
Harvard Law School graduate John Witte, Jr. *85 received the National First Freedom Award for contributing to “advancing religious liberty in the United States.”
According to a statement by the University, Witte was selected to receive the award due to his “contributions to advancing religious liberty in the United States.” Witte specializes in legal history, marriage, and religious liberty. True Love Revolution Promotes Abstinence Message over Valentine’s Day Harvard’s abstinence advocacy group True Love Revolution sponsored a Valentine’s Day mailing to all Harvard freshman reminding them of the dignity of abstinence.
In an effort to keep love at the heart of Valentine’s Day and relationships, Harvard’s pro-abstinence group True Love Revolution coordinated a freshman mailing with a clear message. The organization mailed 1,680 Valentine cards to freshmen that said: “Celebrate Love, Celebrate Life, Celebrate You…Why wait? Because you’re worth it.” A chocolate heart was included with each card. According to the organization, a similar mailing was sent last year to all female members of the freshman class and “succeeded in raising awareness of the message of abstinence on the Harvard campus.” The effort was partially funded by a Christian Union grant.
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NEWS-IN-BRIEF Harvard Grants Muslim Students’ Request for Women-Only Gym Hours
photo - iStock
Harvard’s Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center has established women-only hours at the request of six Muslim women.
The Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center at Harvard recently added women-only hours for religious purposes, according to Robert Mitchell, communications director of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
The change is the result of a request by the Harvard College Women’s Center after it was approached about the issue by six Muslim women. Ola Aljawhary, a member of the Harvard Islamic Society, said that the hours are “necessary because there is a segment of the Harvard female population that is not found in gyms…because for them, working out in a coed gym is uncomfortable, awkward, or problematic in some way.” The change is being met with some disagreement by both male and female Harvard students.
Darwin’s Bicentennial Birthday Celebrations Already Beginning
Students from Penn’s Campus Crusade for Christ, InterVarsity, and Impact ministries met for their traditional “Love Time Meeting” to encourage camaraderie among the ministries.
More than 100 students from Campus Crusade for Christ (www.upennccc.org), InterVarsity (www.pennivcf.org), and Impact ministries at Penn came together on February 14 for their traditional “Love Time Meeting.” Originally created as an opportunity for students to discuss issues regarding personal relationships, in recent years the event has focused on building inter-ministry relationships and bringing the students from the different organizations together for worship and camaraderie.
Penn Ministries Prepare Together for Jesus Week
The upcoming anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth is spawning a renewed focus on and even “celebrations” in honor of the evolutionist.
On February 10, the museum hosted talks by professors from various fields of study, children’s activities, and a preview of the spring exhibition “Surviving: The Body of Evidence.” An Ivy graduate who is probably not celebrating Darwin’s birthday is writer/entertainer/intelligent design advocate Ben Stein, Columbia ’66 and Yale Law School ’70. Stein recently
Penn’s Christian Ministries Gather for Corporate Fellowship
“It was really great to meet new people and get out of my Campus Crusade shell,” said Mary Beth Fender ‘09. “It’s great to see that there are a lot more of us [Christians] than we realize.”
As the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth approaches, one can expect a variety of Darwin “celebrations” and “tributes” in 2009. Among the early celebrants is the Penn Museum at the University of Pennsylvania.
released the documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Required,” which chronicles the unfair treatment within the academy of those who believe in Creation.
Penn’s Campus Crusade for Christ (upennccc.org) and InterVarsity (pennivcf.org) ministries recently held a joint retreat. On March 28-30, the students traveled to Camp Haycock in Kintnersville, Pennsylvania to spend significant time in prayer, Bible study, and mutual encouragement. The students prepared mentally and spiritually for Jesus Week, which was to take place on campus the following week. The rePenn’s Campus Crusade treat also served to deepen for Christ and InterVarsity the existing relationships ministries held an unprecedented joint between the two minretreat to ready the istries. Christian Union students for the helped provide funding for University’s Jesus Week activities. the event.
Spiritual Themes Highlight Summer Seminar Series
Princeton Pro Lifers March for Society’s ‘Most Vulnerable’ Princeton Pro Life students and members once again participated in the Students from Princeton Pro Life participated in the 2008 annual March for March for Life in Washington, Life in Washington, D.C. D.C. in January. The group traveled roundtrip by bus in a single day to participate in the event. Partial funding for the trip was provided by a Christian Union grant. In addition to providing students with the opportunity to “exercise their civic duty to protest injustice against the most vulnerable in society,” PPL viewed the experience as an opportunity to foster a culture of life at Princeton and to allow students to be witnesses for life. Winterlude Raises Funds for Children of Uganda More than fifty people attended Manna Christian Fellowship’s annual Winterlude concert, which was held on January 10 to benefit World Vision. FifManna Christian Fellowship’s teen students preannual Winterlude concert raised money to benefit World Vision’s sented vocal and outreach to suffering children in musical selections Northern Uganda. from a variety of genres in the performance in the Firestone Common Room at Princeton University’s Rockefeller College. The event raised $200 for World Vision’s outreach to suffering children in Northern Uganda. Zorba’s Brother, Panera Bread, and Olive’s Deli & Bakery were among the local eateries providing refreshments for the two-hour event, according to Rich Lopez ‘09, a student leader. Page 52
photo by Pam Traeger
The Witherspoon Institute at Princeton will hold seminars on a variety of moral and ethical topics as part of the Schreyer Summer Seminars.
The Witherspoon Institute at Princeton University—an organization that seeks to enhance public understanding of the political, moral, and philosophical principles of free and democratic societies—will hold six seminars this summer for advanced high school students, undergraduate, graduate, and professional students as part of the Schreyer Summer Seminars.
The seminars will run at various times from June through August and will include topics such as Moral and Political Philosophy in the Natural Law Tradition; Elizabeth Anscombe: Ethics, Value and Practice; Gender, the Family and the Social Sciences; God, Politics and the Jewish Tradition; Moral Foundations of Law; and, Moral Life and the Classical Tradition. Seminars will run from three days to two weeks, depending upon the topic.
YALE Yale Students Explore Deeper Implications of Gospel Message Students at Yale explored the Gospel during a five-week seminar offered by the Rivendell Institute entitled What is the Gospel?
Yale students participated in the “What is in the Gospel” seminar recently offered by the Rivendell Institute at Yale.
According to the Institute, “Often the Gospel is thought to consist only of a message to be proclaimed. While it is certainly that, it is much more. Our aim is to help students think clearly and faithfully about all of the implications of the Gospel for their lives and mission in the world.” Seminar topics included The Gospel of Freedom: Nothing Left to Lose and The Gospel as a Vision for Human Flourishing, among others. The Ivy League Christian Observer
NEWS-IN-BRIEF President Sees Prayer as Essential to Nation’s Strength
William F. Buckley ’50 Leaves Behind Wealth of Conservative Writings
President George W. Bush, Yale ’68 and Harvard Business School ‘75, presided over the last National Prayer Breakfast of his presidency this February.
President George W. Bush, Yale ’68, presided over the last National Prayer Breakfast of his presidency and talked to attendees about the power of prayer.
Bush told attendees, “We’re all equally precious; we’re all equally dependent on His grace. It’s fitting that we gather each year to approach our Creator in fellowship— and to thank Him for the many blessings He has bestowed upon our families and our nation. It is fitting that we gather in prayer, because we recognize a prayerful nation is a stronger nation.”
Yale alumnus and renowned conservative William F. Buckley ’50 died February 28 in his study. He was 82. Buckley was known for his conservative writings and was the founder of the National Review. He first gained attention with his book God and Man at Yale, in which he criticized the University for extinguishing students’ religious beliefs with liberal ideology. The prolific writer chronicled his Christian journey in his autobiography, Nearer My God.
Renowned conservative and prolific writer William F. Buckley, Yale ’50, was widely remembered after his death this past February.
The President said he believes in the power of prayer because it strengthened him during times of personal and professional challenges.
Ivy League Congress on Faith and Action Christian Union hosted the Ivy League Congress on Faith and Action April 11-13 at the Omni Hotel at Yale University. Approximately 450 Ivy League students and alumni attended. The Summer issue of The Ivy League Christian Observer will feature complete coverage of the event.
photos by Anne Ulrich
THE MISSION AND VISION OF THE CHRISTIAN UNION Christian Union Founder Matthew W. Bennett Shares the Vision and Purpose of the Ministry Following is the mission and vision of the Christian Union, which is printed in each issue of the Ivy League Christian Observer to keep new readers informed of the ministry's purpose and passion.
most 50 percent of Americans are in church, however, adding up the involvement of all students every week in all the para-church, and local churches combined it would amount to less than 10 percent of the student body.
The mission of the Christian Union, by God’s power and with the help of other ministries, is to change the world by bringing sweeping spiritual transformation to the Ivy League universities, thereby developing and mobilizing godly leadership for all sectors of society. It’s an ambitious vision, but it’s what God has called us to give our lives to. We have a deep passion to see Jesus Christ honored and exalted at the eight Ivy League universities (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale). As you may know, these universities were established many years ago to bring praise and honor to Jesus Christ, but have drifted far from their moorings. For example, Yale was founded in 1701 by the colonists of Connecticut, and in 1726, Yale College laws, reflecting the students’ and university’s devotion to Jesus Christ, ordained that: “Every student shall consider the main end of his study to know God in Jesus Christ and answerably to lead a godly, sober life.”
You may ask, what can be done to bring these universities spiritually in-step with the rest of the country? The most important means to improve the spiritual dimension is to supply enough long-term, capable, godly campus Christian workers. The spiritual vibrancy of the campuses is most directly related to this reality. Yes, we also need effective strategies, and, of course, we need the Holy Spirit’s presence and power; however, the Spirit works through people, and without campus Christian workers leading the charge, there is little spiritual life. Take Cornell, for example. It has 20,000 students, served by 3,000 faculty and 7,000 staff. That makes a total of 30,000 university people who need to be presented with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and taught the Scriptures. If you were to count all the full-time Christian workers on campus, it would amount to less than five people. Even with the Herculean efforts of volunteers and the local churches, Christian Union Founder and President, there is no way for the university Matthew W. Bennett, Cornell ’88, *89 to be significantly impacted.
The contrast with today could hardly be more startling. The former assistant dean of Religious Life at Princeton stated of all the faculty on campus that he ministered to, evangelical Protestants were the most fearful of disclosing their religious beliefs to others out of fear of discrimination and ridicule. At Dartmouth, the administration tried to ban the distribution of the book Mere Christianity a few years ago until media attention forced them to back down. In spite of all the rhetoric on campus about the “free exchange of ideas,” there is in many quarters, an intense hostility to Jesus Christ. Reflect on the fact that on every Sunday, alPage 54
Moreover, the few campus Christian workers present are usually not there long enough to become excellent in what they do, nor are they able to establish an institutional memory for the ministry as they transition out. Every few years, most ministries start from scratch all over again through the work of ambitious recent college graduates. After a few years, these dedicated workers usually move and the cycle starts again. The workers move because they see the position as a stepping stone toward other ministry positions, such as the pastorate. What we need are people who see university ministry as a calling in and of itself and not as a stepThe Ivy League Christian Observer
CHRISTIAN UNION ping stone to other ministries. An even bigger reason that people move on is that they get married and have children, and are no longer able to raise the needed support. Living close to campus in these university towns is expensive, and it is difficult to raise the money that’s needed. To provide enough godly, capable, long-term Christian workers and to meet other challenges, the Christian Union was formed in 2002 to trust God for dramatic change on these campuses. A unique aspect of the ministry is our commitment to both help other Christian ministries on campus through fund raising and other means as well as implementing our own direct ministry programs. Our passion is to see these campuses changed, whether or not it happens through one of our particular programs. We only direct our ministry programs to the Ivy League schools because they are among the most hostile to the Gospel, but also among the most infleuntial in our nation. Many of our country’s future leaders will graduate from these schools, and as the leaders go, so goes the country. Thousands of future leaders in business, media, law, government, journalism, medicine, ministry, academia, and the arts are currently enrolled at the Ivy League schools. And when they graduate, they will make an indelible mark on society. Ivy League alumni include the founder of Federal Express, the founder of Amazon.com, the CEO of eBay, Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Martha Stewart, Warren Buffet,
eight of the nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, the head of the FBI, the head of the CIA, the head of the SEC, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, the National Intelligence Director, Donald Rumsfeld, the head of the World Bank, Madeline Albright, Janet Reno, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Howard Dean, Joe Lieberman, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and countless others. The names of those who serve in government are more recognizable than other names, but there is similar Ivy League representation in media, academia, journalism, medicine, and other fields. For the sake of the individual students, staff, and faculty on the campuses who need forgiveness and peace through Jesus Christ and for the sake of the future of our country because of the leadership these people will give, we must do whatever it takes to see these campuses transformed. I want to urge you to pray fervently for these campuses, to give generously to supply more campus Christian workers, and to use your influence in whatever capacity you have to make an impact. By God’s grace and by all of us working together, we can see significant spiritual transformation.
Yours sincerely in Christ, Matt Bennett Founder and President of the Christian Union
Advancing the Kingdom of Jesus Christ in the Ivy League
P R AY E R R E Q U E S T S B R O WN
• Pray that each Christian faculty and staff member will
• Pray that through the continued work of The Leadership
boldly stand firm in their faith, taking every opportunity to share Jesus Christ with colleagues and students who cross their paths.
Connection, a ministry to faculty members, many lives will be touched. Pray that believers will be strengthened and others will come to know Christ.
• As Athletes In Action, Campus Crusade for Christ, and
• Pray that God will create a culture of gifted and skilled
College Hill for Christ prepare for mission trips to Mexico and Uganda, pray that planning will go smoothly, necessary finances will be secured, and hearts will be ready to give as well as receive.
evangelists within Campus Crusade for Christ. Pray that the group would excel at striking up conversations and communicating the gospel through personal testimonies.
PENN C O L U MB IA • Pray with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship as they
continue to hold Veritas discussions groups in dorm houses. Pray that relationships will be formed and that these groups will interject Truth into the lives of many students. • Pray for the Christian students as they renew their vision
to advance the Kingdom of God at Columbia. Pray that the whole campus will be transformed as Jesus Christ changes lives.
• Pray that relationships that were formed and questions
that were answered during Jesus Week in April will continue to bear much fruit. Pray that PennForJesus will continue to reach out on the campus. • At 8 a.m. every Wednesday, members of Penn’s New-
man Center meet together for Bible Study. Pray for attending faculty, staff, and students—that they would grow significantly as they study the Word of God.
PRI NCETON CORNELL • Pray for the large number of Cornell students who at-
tended the Ivy League Congress on Faith and Action in April. Pray that the momentum from the conference would be instrumental in helping to spark revival. • Chi Alpha hosted a coffee house on campus on April 5
where students heard a variety of artists and were exposed to the Good News. Pray that any seekers who attended would come to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
• Pray for unity among the on the various campus min-
istries at Princeton University. Pray that their unity would speak volumes to the campus community. • A group from Princeton Faith and Action recently re-
turned from a Spring Break mission trip to Panama City, Florida. The team shared the gospel with many students and several accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Pray with PFA that these new Christians will continue to grow in their faith.
DA RT MO U T H
• Pray for the leaders of Navigators Christian Fellowship as
• Pray for a spirit of unity among the campus ministries at
they guide the students to spiritual maturity in Christ through worship, prayer, personal witness, and Bible Study. Also pray that the student leaders will be faithful servants.
Yale. Pray that they will be consumed with a desire to fervently pray for spiritual transformation on their campus and across the Ivy League.
• Pray for Provision, a small, student-led campus ministry
• The Yale School of Management Christian Fellowship
that serves the African-American community at Dartmouth. Pray that group members will support and encouraging each other during weekly Bible Studies and times of fellowship.
recently hosted the Believers in Business Conference. Pray that these business students will learn how to integrate their faith with a career in the business world and be a witness to many co-workers.
The Ivy League Christian Observer
From the bottom of our hearts, “Thank You!” Through your generous giving, students’ lives are being changed across the Ivy League.
Goodman (right). on (left) and Betsy rts be Ro lly Ca th ter) wi ores Victoria (cen Princeton sophom
r, Princeton ‘10 Victoria Foxgrove Hometown: Atlanta g lpha Theta, Tutorin Major: English A pa ap K , on ni U Christian ow Campus Activities: deeply challenged to gr t no as w I er ev w ho . tian household; eshmen year of college fr y m on I gr ew up in a Chris ni U an ti is t involved with Chr Christ's w ords to ng yi pl ap of in m y faith until I go er w po e minourse has shown me th e on in m y faith. The m My w omen’s Bible C ur sp n ca ho w s nd me close frie m y lif e and has gi ven away fr om home. ily m fa y m e m co be s rely on istr y’s staf f ha easy to concentrate pu is it s, al du vi di in ht ed with any brig ith God. Being involv At a school with so m w ip sh on ti la re y m or e to focus on e Lord and to gr ow m th on academics and forget es ey y m p ee k enabled me to Christian Union has im ever y day. deeply in love with H
Published on Apr 30, 2010
The Ivy League Christian Observer is a quarterly publication of the Christian Union to inform Christian alumni, staff, faculty, students, pa...