EASTERN | Spring 2022

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ultiplies romises. Dear Alumni and Friends, “Look up at the sky and count the stars,” God prompts a discouraged Abraham, desperate for a son. “As many stars as there are in the night sky, so shall your offspring be.” When Abraham reveals his doubt in God’s promise, God directs him to the night sky and says, “See! You don’t understand my ways, but I always fulfill my promises and provide, just like I fill the night sky – abundantly and overwhelmingly.” What a picture of generous promises! Abraham had faith, and in God’s timing, God provided Sarah and Abraham with a son, Isaac. Now imagine yourself among the hungry crowd sitting under Jesus’ teaching. Your stomach rumbles, you didn’t bring lunch, and there are no local food carts. With the famished state of the crowd evident, a small boy, ushered forward by disciples, approaches Jesus and extends his hands to offer his five loaves of bread and two small fish. “How can a handful of fish and bread satisfy a crowd like this?” you wonder. Jesus smiles, accepting the humble offering. In another amazing miracle of multiplication, he holds them up, thanks God for this selfless act, and performs one of his most widely recounted miracles: multiplying the loaves and fish to feed the thousands. What an incredible God we serve – a God who takes our hesitancies, doubts, and limited offerings and multiplies them into blessings and provisions beyond comprehension! As you continue reading, my prayer is that your faith would increase like Abraham and Sarah and this unnamed, bread-bearing boy. Let’s join them in giving what we have to Jesus, who takes our offerings, thanks his Father for them, and multiplies their impact for the good of more people than we can imagine now and into the future. With you on the journey,

Ronald A. Matthews, President


C O N T E N T S

O4 STUDENT CORNER To reflect on our theme of "Multiply," we surveyed our current student body to hear the ways they’ve observed multiplication in their own lives this semester.

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COMMUNITY 6

F E AT U R E 14

ACA D E M I C S 18

AT H L E T I C S 20

SPOTLIGHTS 24

ALUMNI

18 ATHLETICS Men’s Basketball sets a program record with 21 wins and becomes MAC Commonwealth regular-season co-champions. Coaches are hired for the new Football program and a beautiful new turf field is ready for Football, Cheer, and Dance.

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C O N T E N T S


14 ACADEMICS A Dean’s reflection encourages us to posture our hearts to embrace multiplication in a healthy way. Palmer Seminary hosts its first annual Science and Religion Symposium.

06 FEATURE: MULTIPLY Healthy organizations multiply, and Eastern is multiplying in every direction! As you read through these articles, we invite you to join us in celebrating Eastern's lasting legacy and bright future. publisher / KELLY GODDARD Editor & Producer / ALLY (HOLMES) ROSARIO ’14, MEd ’21 Creative Director & Lead Designer / DANIEL PEIRCE Photographer & Cover Photography / ELYSE GARNER ’13 Designer / ALAINA MOSSO ADDITIONAL PHOTO & ILLUSTRATION CREDITS / GREG BENSON PHOTOGRAPHY (6-7) BRIANNA LYNN (22-23) JASON JAMES (32)

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Please send comments or article suggestions to:

SPOTLIGHTS

Palmer Seminary alumni news should be sent to:

Read inspiring stories of Eastern and Palmer alumni who share about God’s provision in and through their lives.

media@eastern.edu Alumni news should be sent to: alumni@eastern.edu palmeralum@eastern.edu PUBLISHED BY Marketing and Communications at Eastern University ONLINE AT eastern.edu/MAGAZINE

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C O M M U N I T Y

STUDENT CORNER S T U D E N T M U S I N G S O N M U LT I P L I CAT I O N Throughout Scripture, we see God’s provision and promises multiply for His people. As a faith community, we firmly know and believe that the same process happens today in our Eastern community.

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S A M E C EO CMTMI O U N I N T Y

To reflect on and celebrate this theme, we surveyed our current student body to hear the ways that they’ve observed multiplication in their own lives this semester.


What's something in your life that you would love to see multiplied? “I’ve enjoyed seeing my creative side come out in the past couple of years, but now I would like to refine it and expand upon it, so that I can make practical use of my skill. While I do enjoy writing simply for the sheer

What has been a way that you have seen God’s provision this semester?

joy of it, I would like to use my gift to bless others in whatever way possible.”

“Senior year has been tough trying to think

– Justin Higgins ’21, MA ’24, Counseling

about the future. It's easy for me to get

Psychology

overwhelmed and want to figure everything out on my own. But God has shown me time

What are some of your favorite things that you can see “growing” on campus right now?

“I would love to see my ‘list of gratitude’

and time again that He will provide for me–

multiply. I am working on being thankful,

financially, with work, and with strength. He

and showing gratitude for things present in

brought me to Eastern when I felt like I had

my life. As Scripture says, ‘In all things giving

no idea what to do after high school, and I

thanks, for this is the will of God.’ I would

know He will lead me somewhere right for

“I can see a lot of friendships growing

like to be more present, so that I am able to

me again after I graduate from college.”

between unlikely people, or people you

actively align myself to the many blessings

– Kari Miller ’22, Social Work

think would be so different from each other being close friends.”

that God blesses me with each day.” – Tammy Johnson ’22, PK-4 Post Baccalaureate

“At the beginning of the year, I felt like I was

– Ashley Eatmon ’22, Health Science

stuck in a desert. One of my most important goals was to get into grad school – I had

“The tulips that are beginning to peek

previously been working for 20 years and

through the soil! It is such a subtle and

professionally had come up against a wall.

beautiful sign of flourishing in the world.

But I live by God's words every day, and

We are coming out of a long winter, but the

without the guidance I find in Him and His

world is growing and blooming, and so are

wisdom, I would have been consumed by the

the students at Eastern. I'm so happy with

darkness of this world. Eastern, a Christian

who I have met this year, and the blossoming

university, has been a beacon of light I’ve

that the people around me are going

found in this dark period. I am grateful for

through.”

Eastern’s MBA & MS in Data Science.”

– Eden Locke ’22, Social Work

– Anh-tu Hoang MBA/MS ’24, Organizational Management and Data Science

“Our community. Eastern is growing in our community through the inclusion we have around campus. This is seen through the many conversations about hard topics that are being had within the many departments of Eastern.” – Kambrie Tresko ’24, Psychology and Criminal Justice

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F E A T U R E

The Joy of MULTIPLICATION

Healthy organizations multiply, and Eastern is multiplying in every direction! The last few years have brought significant growth, a variety of innovative programs, exciting new athletic offerings, and thoughtful updates to our vision, mission, and core values statements. All of this multiplication is cause for celebration! As you read through the next several articles, we invite you to join us in thanking God for Eastern's lasting legacy and bright future.

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Identity & Impact

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Vision Clarified

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Mission Renewed

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Core Values

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Enrollment Growth

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F E A T U R E

Together as a community, Eastern updated and clarified our Vision, Mission, and Values this year B y P r e s i d e n t R o n a l d A . M at t h e w s , D M A IN 1925 , EASTERN’S FOUNDERS came

These statements articulate our identity as a

together with the dream of a seminary that

Christian institution and keep us accountable on

would meet the unique needs of its day. My

our mission to imitate Christ.

guess is that these six ministers never imagined how their seminary vision would blossom into a full-fledged university with over 160 programs and 4,815 students around the world. Much has changed in the last 97 years; and yet, much has stayed the same. We are still unashamedly committed to our Christian faith. We still passionately value community and delight in rich academic scholarship. We still find our deepest fulfillment in serving the world around us.

between a vision statement, mission statement, and core values?” A vision, or vision statement, is the end result of our efforts – it focuses on our dream for Eastern’s future. A mission, or mission statement, is how we plan to reach that end result and what we do in the present to achieve it. Our core values are fundamental truths that guide us, anchor us, and shape us along the journey to achieve this dream for

And so, when it came time to review and update our Mission, Vision, and Core Values, we committed to both honoring the past and joyfully looking forward to the future. I am excited to share that after a long collaborative process of prayer, reflection, and discussion, we as a community are ready to share our updated statements with you.

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You may be wondering, “What’s the difference

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Eastern University. I pray that these new statements inspire you, strengthen you, encourage you, and remind you of the great importance of the legacy of Eastern University. Each of you is the living embodiment of these statements – an ever-expanding legacy of a community that seeks to bring God’s kingdom here to earth.

F E A T U R E


VISION

LISTEN

LOVE

We will be a university that champions

We will be an institution inspired and

active listening, affirming the dignity of

motivated by the undeserving love of

every individual.

Jesus.

LEARN

LEAD

As a community of scholars, we will

As advocates and difference-makers,

commit to lifelong learning and growth

we will lead with integrity, boldness,

of the heart, mind, and soul.

and faith.

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F E A T U R E

MISSION

Eastern University is a diverse, Christ-centered community preparing graduates to impact the world through faith, reason, and justice.

With Christ as the inspiration for our vision and the cornerstone of our mission, we make every effort to create a wonderfully diverse community that prepares our graduates to humbly, boldly, courageously, and confidently impact every sphere of their influence with the deep-rooted call to a life of faith, reason, and justice.

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A T IU O R N E N A M E SF E C


CORE VALUES

Excellence

We strive to achieve the highest standards in serving our community through distinctive academic experiences, student services, and community life.

Authenticity

We live with integrity and honesty, upholding the highest ethical standards as we seek to honor God with our lives, relationships, and work.

stewardship

We treat our resources as gifts God has entrusted to us, including our earth, environment, facilities, and finances.

thoughtfulness

Inspired by our commitment to truth, we think deeply, holistically, and critically about the world God has given us, benefiting from the insights offered by each individual in our rich learning community.

enthusiasm

Anchored by our hope and joy in Christ, we approach each situation with optimism, working toward favorable outcomes, and celebrating our successes.

relationships

With an attitude of humility and kindness, we honor and respect the dignity of each individual, promoting community, working to bring reconciliation to broken relationships, and championing diversity, equity, and belonging.

innovation

Promoting accessibility and affordability, we seek new and more effective approaches to education, exercising creativity to chart inventive paths forward into the future.

LEARN MORE: TO READ THE PRESIDENT'S MONTHLY EMAIL SERIES ABOUT THE CORE VALUES, VISIT eastern.edu/core-values.

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F E A T U R E

4,815

STUDENTS

3,174

STUDENTS

MULTIPLYING EASTERN The story behind Eastern's 52% enrollment growth over the last 2 years b y k e l ly g o d d a r d IT’S NO SECRET that enrollment in higher

So, what’s the secret? While many programs at Eastern have

education has dropped across the country.

experienced growth over the last several years, the biggest

Initiated by changes in the economy and

increase has come from Eastern’s innovative new LifeFlex™

accelerated by a disruptive pandemic,

graduate programs, which feature fully online, flexibly-paced

colleges nationwide have been experiencing

modalities with radically inexpensive price tags. For example,

disappointing declines.

Eastern’s new MBA and MS in Data Science cost only $9,900 and can be completed in as little as 10 months.

This makes it all the more shocking that Eastern University has experienced a 52% increase in total enrollment over

I sat down with Provost Kent Sparks to reflect on the

the last two years. From Spring 2020 to Spring 2022, we’ve

staggering growth of the last few years and what he sees

grown as a university from 3,174 to 4,815 students.

ahead in Eastern’s future.

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F E A T U R E


Q& A INTERVIEW WITH: Provost Kent Sparks Where did the idea for the LifeFlex™ programs come from? KS: I’m one of those life-long learners, and I was personally interested in a new graduate program. I started looking around, and it really got me thinking about how

the Lifeflex model allows students to achieve their dreams in an affordable, manageable way.

someone already launched in life just isn’t looking to spend $40K on another degree. I started wondering, What if we could design a program that people could conceive of paying for out of pocket? I was trying to find the true win-win by focusing on what students need.

How does the LifeFlex™ approach align with Eastern’s mission and values?

One of Eastern’s new core values is “innovation.” Why do you think innovation is so important? KS: In the 80’s I worked for IBM during the peak of its success. At that time, personal computers were on the rise, but IBM just couldn’t bring themselves to believe

KS: Eastern has always been intentional about

that people were going to switch so dramatically from

incorporating our Christian faith into the content of

large computer systems to personal computers. As is well

our courses. But we really started thinking about what

known, the company and its employees suffered because

it would look like to also incorporate our faith-based

they were unable to quickly innovate. We serve a creative

values into the delivery and the price. We wanted to be

God who has placed creativity in each of us. I think that

as smart as possible with our students’ money, so we

innovation is simply about coming up with new solutions

started dreaming about what it would take to offer people

for the needs of new generations. When we do this, we

a graduate program that they wouldn’t have to go into

serve people well.

debt for. The LifeFlex™ model allows adult students to work at their own pace, around their busy schedules. It allows them to achieve their dreams in an affordable,

What’s next on the horizon in terms of innovative programming for Eastern?

manageable way. KS: We’re hoping to launch a new series of adult

Were you surprised by the programs’ success?

undergraduate LifeFlex™ programs in order to reach students who want an associate or bachelor’s degree in a flexible format for an affordable price. While many

KS: I always felt confident that the LifeFlex™ model

undergraduate students will continue to choose our

would be popular, but I had no idea how fast it would

traditional on-campus experience, there is a large

grow. In the first term we offered the MS in Data Science,

population of working adults for whom adaptable, flexible

we had 92 students enroll, quickly followed by 100 more

learning will open up a world of possibilities. It’s an

students at our next start term seven weeks later. Since

exciting time to be at Eastern, and I can’t say thank you

then, the numbers have continued to climb. Over 2,000

enough to all of the faculty and staff members who have

students have enrolled in our LifeFlex™ programs so far.

worked together to make this exciting growth possible.

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A C A D E M I C S

When Negativity Multiplies How to Complain Constructively by dean susan edgar-smith, Phd

WHILE MULTIPLICATION IS often a

While it seems counterintuitive, exploring both the

positive thing, I sometimes need reminding to

value and hindrances of expressing complaint is a

not multiply that which is harmful. This kind of

good place to start. For this practice, I can think of

negativity is the direct opposite of what God

no better place to start than the Psalms.

intends for us. The Psalms as a Guide As Dean of the College of Education, I’ve seen how difficult the last two pandemic years have been in general, and specifically for educators and families. Balancing “home” schooling, mask mandates for little ones, and student mental health without an end in sight has created a plethora of opportunities to feel discouraged and seek solace in negativity as a coping mechanism. Recently, I listened to NPR’s much-beloved Dan Gotlieb describe new research on how to combat “the blues,” or negativity, by focusing on productive joy rather than detrimental negativity. The research-based data got me thinking about my own tendency toward complaining and its eradication of joy in my own life.

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S E A CC A TD I EOMNI CNSA M E

For many, the Psalms function as a pathway to healing and connection to our God through prayer and recognition of God’s sustaining love. But the Psalms also show clear expressions of pain, wounds, and tribulations, laid out with pleas to alleviate them. Woven throughout these laments is a steadfast faith that God is a healer and a counselor who likewise shares our burden. I believe that the healthy sharing of our burdens with God and others can certainly mend our wounds, and eventually lead to thoughtful solutions to problems and an end to harmful practices. Internalizing and ignoring suffering and injustice is dangerous, but we must ask: Are we abusing such practices?


Undue complaining quickly becomes a handy,

reflect our hope that is anchored in Christ.

overused crutch. While it may feel momentarily

Amplifying hope is our target for multiplication.

satisfying, it does little to resolve the suffering and injustice at a deeper level.

As in the Psalms, it appears that localizing our complaints and purposefully sharing them with God and a trusted group of individuals might be the best way to contain that negativity and keep it from multiplying. In the professions of education, counseling, ministering, and psychology (to name a few), we need to be careful about becoming a receptacle of these woes for too many people. Instead, we must

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Pay attention to the injustices and inequalities around you - they are real!

As Christians who dwell in Christ’s light, we can reflect that light into the lives of others

Purposeful Sharing

Here is my encouragement to you:

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Share your thoughts with those you trust.

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Practice moving forward into grace, joy,

and ultimately find strength, encouragement, and joy in that process. If complaining remains at our core, it will eat away at our joy. In Paul’s

and reconciliation through Christ.

letter to the Philippians, he urges his followers to combat this tendency by rejoicing and

I pray you will continue to bring the light

dwelling on things that are good.

of Christ into your community, family life, workplace, and friendships. Here’s to multiplying

“Rejoice in the Lord always! Whatever is true, right, pure, lovely, and admirable—think about such things.” (Philippians 4, paraphrased.)

the good and curbing the unhelpful!

Susan Edgar-Smith, PhD is Dean of the College of Education.

“Rejoice in the Lord always! Whatever is true, right, pure, lovely, and admirable—think about such things.” (Philippians 4, paraphrased.)

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P A L M E R

E A S T E R N

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P A L M E R


The Psalmist writes, 'The heavens declare the glory of God,' and I believe that is on full display...”

THIS SPRING, millions of Christians around the

the Advancement of Science (AAAS) through their

world received ashes on their foreheads and were

Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER)

told, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you

program, in partnership with the Association of

shall return.” It’s a somber reminder of our tempo-

Theological Schools (ATS).

rary place in the universe meant to inspire humility and contrition on the first day of Lent.

Through this grant, in September 2021 we were able to hold a two-day event in which panels of

This year, as I was preparing ashes, I rewatched

local experts and keynote speakers explored the

the recordings of Palmer Seminary’s first Science

relationships between faith, ministry, astronomy,

and Religion Symposium, and I began to see the

medicine, environmentalism, and life as we know it.

entire ritual in a new light. The “dust” of our being becoming part of the building blocks of all living

Palmer Seminary’s well-known motto is "The

creation echoes the brief and beautiful moment

whole gospel, for the whole world, through whole

in which dust has an opportunity to know itself

persons.” We believe that in the 21st century, this

and its creator.

means equipping faith leaders with the ability to navigate matters of science and faith. Through the

The Psalmist writes, “The heavens declare the

blessing of this grant program, we have integrated

glory of God,” and I believe that is on full display

science into several core classes, created the

as we study the natural sciences. God, the Creator,

symposium, and are planning an array of additional

created a creation that is so creative that it can’t

opportunities for the coming years.

help but to continue to create! Every act of stellar annihilation is also an act of creative multiplication,

If you are interested in exploring faith and science

and we have the honor to see God’s works on

alongside our community, all of the recordings from

display everywhere we look.

the symposium are available at palmerseminary. com/science. We also invite you to join us at the

It was with this open spirit of wonder and curiosity

2nd annual symposium this September! We are so

that we set out to create The Palmer Seminary

grateful to all who have made this work possible,

Science and Religion Symposium. The symposium

and we look forward to all the ways that God will

comes as part of Palmer’s selection to participate

bless our efforts.

in the Science for Seminaries project, which is made possible by the American Association for

Rev. Zack Jackson ’13 is Director of the Palmer Seminary Science & Religion Symposium.

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A T H L E T I C S

spring By dan mouw

MEN'S BASKETBALL Overcoming all odds, the 2021-22 Eastern University Men’s

four times during the year, and seven different players

Basketball team set a program record with 21 wins, finished

finished with team-high honors. The balanced scoring and

as MAC Commonwealth regular-season co-champions,

pressure defense helped the Eagles to 21 wins.

hosted a Conference Championship game, and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

With a 14-2 mark in the MAC Commonwealth regular season, the Eagles finished tied with Hood College atop

Coming off a difficult 2021 COVID-shortened season, this

the league. Eastern beat the Blazers twice during the

year’s squad established an identity early. The Eagles won

regular season to earn the top seed, but Hood earned a

12 consecutive games before dropping a game at Messiah

75-71 win in front of a packed house at The Nest in the

in late January.

Championship game.

The Eagles established their identity on defense but

Even with the loss, the team’s resume was strong enough to

featured five players averaging in double-figure scoring.

secure the program’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament where

Each of the five starters led the team in scoring at least

they gained valuable experience and a hunger to return.

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A T H L E T I C S


goeasterneagles.com

FOOTBALL, CHEER, AND DANCE In preparation for the launch of Football in Fall 2022,

By dan mouw

Eastern was pleased to hire Head Coach Billy Crocker, as well as an offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, and special teams coordinator. A beautiful new turf field was also completed this year at Valley Forge Military Academy, where the Eagles will compete. Eastern’s Cheer and Dance teams have been performing at Basketball games throughout the 2021-22 season and are excited to add Football to their schedules this fall.

Dan Mouw is Director of Athletic communications at Eastern.

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S P O T L I G H T S

A PATH PAVED with Provision By Devon Blackmun

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S P O T L I G H T S


An Eastern Love Story about God’s Providence and the Multiplication that Followed I’M GOING TO TELL YOU ABOUT HOW A LONG-LOST, original

a difference. In Philadelphia, she could begin her new life, helping and

Mozart Manuscript changed my life. Or rather, began it.

empowering others as a social worker. God was calling her.

If you’ve stumbled across the history page on Eastern University’s

Josh had been at Eastern a whole year before Corinne, but they met her

website, or even heard a few wild stories, you may have heard of the

fifth day on campus. I won’t say the rest was history because frankly, it was

time an accountant found an original Mozart Manuscript in the

way more exciting than that. The two became inseparable. Their passions

Palmer Seminary Library.

complimented one another, and they began to plan their lives together.

It was 1990, and this piece of history had gone unseen for years. It sold for

My parents got married right here on campus in Eastern’s chapel. And

almost $2 million. God was multiplying. The truth is, I wasn’t born yet, but

that’s how I, baby Devon, spent the first year of my life on campus. When

I would grow up hearing about this story of God’s provision.

I was three years old, we discovered Main Line Christian Fellowship, a

That money would be used to start Eastern’s music program. Fitting, right? It’s almost as if God intended for this lost and precious thing to be found at just the right moment in time. Across the country, in California, a young man named Josh would soon pack up his grandfather’s pickup truck to make a very long journey. Josh knew he wanted to devote his life to worshiping God; maybe he’d even become a worship pastor someday. And now, this little Christian liberal

church that eventually met on Eastern’s campus for many years. Many of my childhood memories include exploring Walton Hall, climbing trees outside McInnis, and feeding the ducks with my sister. My parents began to break generational chains together. You see, this was the beginning of a new narrative they would write for their future. My dad became a worship leader, my mom a social worker, and both have been pastoring for the past ten years.

arts college in Pennsylvania had exactly what he needed. God was

Not only did God provide their way there, but He multiplied the outcome

calling him.

and their influence. The first ever graduate of Eastern’s music program

Meanwhile, a young woman named Corinne planned a graceful exit from her small town in Pennsylvania. She was on fire with a mission to make

was my Dad. And here I am today, on staff at Eastern, a place that will always feel like home.

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S P O T L I G H T S

B y K e n d a l S wa r t z e n t r u b e r , P h D ( c )

E A S T E R N

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WITH THE BUZZ OF ANTICIPATION all around her, Kathrine Craig, PhD(c) ’24 stepped onto Eastern’s campus to begin her PhD in Organizational Leadership in 2017. She was excited for her first residency, but quickly became distracted by a sense of overwhelming ambient noise interference in her lectures that created challenges for her learning. Kathy had always known she had some auditory deficit, yet being confronted with the profundity of her deafness in residency was a surprise that took the joy out of learning. The inability to hear was quickly becoming an insurmountable hurdle; however, Kathy was determined to search for options. After multiple attempts to modify instructional content proved unsuccessful, Kathy reached out to several disability service providers, where she ultimately discovered her need for additional academic accommodations and the possibility of qualifying for cochlear implants. This discovery would transform her life forever.

Kathy's vulnerability

In a 2017 email correspondence with a fellow cohort member, Kathy wrote, “I’ve just been approved for accommodations – in fact, this procedure

amidst the rigor of higher education is a reminder that hope, imagination, and self-advocacy are important in...life-long learning.”

set off a chain reaction with the possibility of qualifying for cochlear implants…They believe that they can restore 80% of my hearing – I am very excited at this prospect!” Through God’s grace, Kathy qualified for cochlear implants which helped restore 95%-100% of her hearing. This life-altering intervention has influenced the way she lives and leads. Hope now cascades out of discussions with Kathy. Her experience of engaging the unknown is a prime example of how faith in uncanny moments yields unforeseen possibilities. Kathy, now a Ph.D candidate, sits laughing over a Zoom call reflecting on how the events since that first residency have helped shape her call in life. Now an entrepreneur steeped in a plethora of opportunities, she is visibly excited by the growth of her collaborative business and mentorship model that elevates local vendors by highlighting their handmade craft. She also enthusiastically shares about her role as adjunct professor at Judson University emphasizing critical thinking and praxis. What was once an insurmountable hurdle has become her victory cry. Kathy's vulnerability amidst the rigor of higher education is a reminder that hope, imagination, and self-advocacy are important factors in deeper, lifelong learning. Her determination plants the seeds of an inclusive future where all persons are given the opportunities to not only multiply their capabilities and supports, but influence the world for the better.

Learn More about the PhD in Organizational Leadership at eastern.edu/phd

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2022

Distinguished Young Alumna of the Year

Maggie madimbo, phd ’13

Leading with Integrity by autumn croy ’25 WHILE THE PATH WASN’ T ALWAYS

and mentors students while fostering a desire

Through her time at Eastern, Maggie was shown

EASY, the journey that brought Maggie

for growth and learning.

what good and honorable leadership looks like.

Madimbo, PhD ’13 to Eastern University has

She was reminded daily that her purpose is to

yielded a legacy of integrity and transformation

“Young people are the best,” Maggie believes.

live for Christ. “When doing my everyday work, I

for the youth in her country in Malawi, Africa.

“They are eager to learn, be influenced, and

remember that first and foremost I am called to

will use the positive influence they have to

serve as a Christian leader, so I do my work fully

Born and raised in Lilongwe, Malawi, Maggie’s

serve others.” Maggie’s mission is to influence

aware of the need for good leadership and my

passion for youth stems from a vision to

young adults to lead their country and change

need for Christ,” she says.

promote change in her country. As one of the

the stigma of dishonesty and corruption.

world’s poorest countries, Maggie describes

Maggie cares for her students and wants to

Maggie’s vision for raising up leaders with

the patterns of corruption and fraud that

see them succeed. Maggie’s heart for service

integrity is unfolding before her eyes. “I have

desperate people often fall into. “My passion

stems from her desire to serve the Lord in

seen it in the way the students serve others.

has always been to equip young people who

whatever way possible.

Even beyond graduation, I see this growth

will lead with a difference and transform their communities with integrity,” says Maggie.

continue to be reflected in our graduates as “I always encourage others to lead with

they shine for Christ whether in the public

integrity. I lead in Malawi, Africa, where one of

or private sector,” Maggie states. Maggie’s

And transform communities, she does. In

the main challenges of society is corruption.

students are making a difference in their

2013, Maggie journeyed overseas to attend

Being a leader of a Christian university that

communities by living for Christ with the

Eastern University and graduated with a

trains leaders who end up in influential

decisions they make.

Doctorate in Organizational Leadership. Upon

positions, it is important to emphasize the need

arriving back home, Maggie was installed as

for integrity.” Maggie’s goal is to influence

“I have learned that people are good when given

the first Malawian and first female Malawian

young people to lead with honor and sincerity.

a chance. Learning to empower those under

Vice-Chancellor of African Bible College in

As a Christian, she believes it is her duty to

your leadership helps others maximize their

December of 2013. In this role, Maggie leads

multiply leaders that reflect Christ’s character.

potential and multiply their influence across our communities and beyond.”

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A L U M N I


Wild Generosity b y a l i i a m at t h e w s ’ 2 0 "RUTH HAS COMMIT TED HER LIFE

Eastern as well). In time, both began sensing

throughout her childhood, and is a legacy she

to God's call of wild generosity," reads the

a new calling on their lives. Obeying the call,

hopes to leave behind as well.

nomination of Ruth Fox ’78, MA ’84 for Eastern

the Fox family uprooted their lives in 1999 and

University’s 2022 Alumna of the Year. After

moved overseas to serve as Global Servants

While serving the Akha community, a new

learning her story and observing the legacy she

in Northern Thailand through International

need presented itself regarding her children’s

leaves behind her, it is clear that this generosity

Ministries, ABC/USA.

education. Ruth helped begin a homeschool

more than qualifies her for this honorable award.

co-op with four families that has since multiplied Serving in Chiang Rai with the Akha Churches

into 200 students from 15 countries. In 2011,

Growing up in both Myanmar and India as a

of Thailand, Ruth's joy was to equip the Akha

this Chiang Rai International Christian School

child, the international community has always

women to monetize their beautiful embroidery

was officially approved and recognized as an

held a special place in Ruth’s heart. Ruth found

work to bring income to their homes and

educational institution that continues to serve

her way to Eastern and graduated with a degree

villages, also supporting their children’s

the larger international community, especially

in Elementary Education in ’78, followed by

education – a passion of Ruth’s fostered during

missionary families, in Northern Thailand.

an MA in Religion in ’84 from Eastern Baptist

her time at Eastern. By welcoming these women

Theological Seminary now Palmer Seminary.

into her home and developing the Akha Craft

Currently, Ruth serves as Global Coordinator of

Soon after, Ruth and her husband Chuck Fox,

program, Ruth empowered the women to

Education for International Ministries, ABC/USA

MDiv ’83, settled into pastoring and parenthood

impact approximately 200 families within 15

where she develops educational partnerships in

and began raising their three children (two

neighboring villages. This generous hospitality

countries around the world, helping to establish

of whom would eventually graduate from

is something that was modeled to Ruth

resources and support the educational needs of others. “God's church and Gospel are being multiplied, even as we speak,” Ruth shares.

2022

Alumna of the Year ruth fox ’78, MA ’84

It is encouraging to see how God has used every past experience to bring Ruth to this role where she can inspire others to follow the call that she answered so long ago.

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A L U M N I

A Lingering Imprint by g. Peter schreck, professor emeritus i n t e r v i e w b y s a n o v i a g a r r e t t, m a ’ 1 8

HER IMPRINT LINGERS on the lives and

Two years later, the Registrar position opened.

ministries of Palmer Theological Seminary’s

While Ruth desired to apply, others objected

international community and on all of those for

to the idea of a woman filling that role. Not

which she made a way.

deterred and backed by student and Board Chairman support, Ruth became the first female

2022

Alumna Waymaker in Service and Ministry

administrator at EBTS. Over the next 35 years, Ruth served the administration well. “I stirred up a lot of things. It took time, and we learned from each other,” she says. She also served the students of EBTS well, living life alongside them

ruth mcfarland, Mats ’00

on campus. Ruth maintained her role as the International Student Advisor

Ruth was born on a dairy farm in New South

through it all. She made a way for her students:

Wales, Australia, before moving to Sydney

securing visas and shopping lists, soothing

at age 11. Though she would describe her

cultural adjustments, and extending care to

childhood as “ordinary,” her life would prove to

hearts hurting from family separation. She

be anything but that.

understood and advocated for them, as she was herself an “International from Down Under.”

Near her 21st birthday, Ruth’s father died. In his will, he left Ruth travel provision to Europe,

Since retiring in 2005, Ruth has devoted herself to

where she would later secure an Australian

caring for the Seminary’s alumni community. She

Embassy position. This position afforded

continues to “keep up with” the many decades

excitement—a trip to New York’s UN General

of seminarians she has helped nurture. Ruth’s

Assembly—where she would soon accept a

persistent care and relationship tending has

5-year assignment. During a trip to the former

made a way for Palmer’s current alumni chaplains

Yugoslavia, she met Dr. Carl Henry, an Eastern

to continue in the same spirit of waymaking.

Baptist Theological Seminary (EBTS) visiting

E A S T E R N

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A L U M N I

professor. He encouraged Ruth to apply for

“I have been stretched and enriched by this

an EBTS position as Advisor to International

community – I count the many lives touched

Students. Ruth began her ministry on Lancaster

not as a multitude, but as blessings, recognizing

Avenue in 1970.

God’s goodness in it all.”


2022

Lamplight Society Inductee Meggin capers

The Ministry of Hospitality by efram harkins ’16 “HOSPITALIT Y IS OUR MINISTRY.”

willing to listen, show empathy, fix problems

“Meggin Capers offers a level of hospitality,

These four words are embodied in Eastern

before moving on to something else, steward

warmth, and care for every person who steps

University’s 2022 Lamplight Society Award

what has been entrusted to her, and help others

into her office that is unmatched,” shares

Winner Meggin Capers, Executive Director of

grow and develop. From preparing campus for a

Eastern alum Ian Jennings. “I worked with

Conferences, Special Events, and University

small lecture to managing the minute details of

Meggin for several years when I was in college,

Logistics.

the Presidential Inauguration, she is the one you

and she treated me like I was part of her family

want in your corner and on your team.”

from day one. Now, every time I come to visit

The Lamplight Society honors a member of our

her at her office, she tells me with enthusiasm

alumni, faculty, staff, or administration who has

Echoing Natissa’s sentiment, Chaplain Joseph

and passion about all the projects she is working

left a legacy of light on the Eastern University

Modica shares, “If someone looked up the word

on. The Eastern University community is lucky to

community. You would be hard pressed to find

'dedicated' in the Eastern University lexicon, it

have a supporter so passionate about where they

a colleague or student that this light has not

would read ‘Meggin Capers.’”

are and where they’re going—and someone who

shone brightly on during Meggin’s near 20 years of service.

is eager to contribute in any way she can.” This dedication to Eastern’s mission has always manifested itself in her commitment to her first

These are just a few of the plethora of personal

Natissa Kultan-Pfautz, Associate Vice President

priority, the students. Even amidst planning

experiences that could have made it to print.

for Advancement, describes her time working

Commencements, managing COVID-19

Personally, Meggin has both guided me as a

for and with Meggin: “Meggin Capers– what's

protocols, organizing board meetings, and

student, a young man starting his career, and as a

not to love? Megg is one of my truest friends

welcoming our summer guests, it is EU students

dear friend. I am honored to work alongside such

and colleagues. She, in every way, embodies the

that are at the forefront of Meggin’s mind.

a bright and shining light of our community.

characteristics of a servant leader. She is always

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A L U M N I

Alumni Class Notes

E A S T E R N

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S EL C A U M T I NOI N

N A M E


Eastern and Palmer Alumni Class Notes

1940 S Norman Gottwald, BATHB ’49 recently moved to Berkeley, CA and has enjoyed 50+ years of life in ministry including serving as the President of the Society of Biblical Literature, receiving the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Sheffield, England, and has several publications including a new one projected for 2023 on the importance of biblical prophecy for today.

1950 S John Bartol, BD ’55 feels his time at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary seems to be more meaningful to him now than ever, and he thanks God for his time here. After reflecting on decades of ministry in the church with fellow pastors, all agreed that the most important aspect of ministry is the relationships you build with people. John lives in Nova Scotia, Canada; he is still active even in retirement, and he writes a weekly column for a local newspaper.

1960 S

Robert Ayars, MDiv ’69 remarried to Judith Hoffman in 2011 after wife Nancy's passing in 2009. Together, Judith and Robert have six adult children, 13 grandchildren, and four great granddaughters. He “retired” in 2004, but has only been unemployed since November 2020 after two retirement interims and a part-time

1970 S Richard A. Kauffman, MDiv ’71 retired from the Christian Century Magazine as senior editor/book review editor in 2016. Since then, Richard has served in two interim pastorates. He is currently an interim member of the

Cyril Johnston ’65, MDiv ’69 serves as interim

pastorate for 12.5 years. In 2006, his retirement

pastor to regional churches and is a certified

included a summer campground experience for

professional life coach. Cyril ministers to

family, adding an in-ground pool and a garden.

pastors and other leaders and continues his

Judith and Robert are in good health for being

In April 2020, Charles Schwarz ’71 moved from

music ministry, writing, and performing.

in their upper 70s, and they praise the Lord

Philadelphia, PA, to Alexandria, VA.

J. Elliott Stabler, BD ’66 turned 80 on May 1, 2021. Elliott and his wife, Elaine, celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary May 13, 2021.

for His wonderful grace for salvation and His keeping power daily! They extend a great big “thank you” to the Palmer (EBTS) family!

pastoral team at Berkey Ave Mennonite Fellowship in Goshen, IN.

Marcia Patton, MAR ’73, MDiv ’84 just published with Judson Press, Sacred Decisions: Consensus in Faith Communities, a practical book about

They have one daughter, Elizabeth. She and her

what consensus is and how to use it. Marcia

husband have three children, and Elliott and

wrote with co-author, Quaker Nora Percival.

Elaine have a great granddaughter!

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A L U M N I 1980 S Joseph DiPaolo, MDiv ’88 is lead Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Lancaster City. First UMC has partnered with Anchor Lancaster to open a warming room at First UMC for those who don’t have a warm place to go.

1990 S Sherman Morrison's ’90 debut novel When Willows Weep was just published. Themes in this middle-grade novel include the intersections of compassion and combat, faith and fantasy, rejection and redemption, free will

E A S T E R N U N I V E R S I T Y A N D PA L M E R S E M I N A R Y IN MEMORY BY CLASS YEAR:

and fate, and ecology and education. Daniel Pascoe Aguilar, MDiv ’94 was announced as Founding Director of the Center for Social Justice and Chief Diversity Officer at Excelsior College, Albany, NY. James Moore, MDiv ’95 and Banu Moore, MDiv ’96 celebrated the 25th anniversary of

1940s

1990s

Georgette Wrobbel, BRE ’46 / November 19, 2021

Frank Rupp BA ’96 Jeffrey Martin BA ’99 / September 17, 2021

1950s Walter Carvin, BD ’53 / December 12, 2020

2000s

Terry Burch, BD ’56 / August 5, 2021

Barbara Frohock, MDiv ’04 / December 12, 2021

John Irwin, BD ’56 / October 27, 2021

Theresa Quirk BA ’04 / May 11, 2021

Philip Brown BA ’56, BD ’59, THM ’70 / June 18, 2021

their ordinations in Presbyterian Church U.S.A.

Albert Darlington BA ’57 / October 22, 2021

They reside in Auburn, NY.

Paul Green BA ’57, DMin ’85 / January 2, 2022 Hays Wiltshire, BD ’58 / July 2021

Dr. Randolph Walters, MA ’95, MTS ’96 was

Douglas Yancy, Sr., MDiv ’14 / February 4, 2022 Robert Bonner BS ’16 / April 30, 2021 Kimberly Shatzer, PhD ’17 / January 25, 2022

recognized by the Global Forum for Education

1960s

and Learning for excellence in teaching.

Paul Jackson, MDiv ’60 / October 7, 2021

Paul Prochazka, MDiv ’97 was installed as

2010s

William Waterston, BD ’62, MDiv ’73 / September 2021 Faith Walsh, MRE ’63 / November 3, 2020

Catherine Delp, MS ’19 / August 25, 2021

S TA F F / B O A R D M E M B E R S / T R U S T E E S

Pastor at Lakeview Baptist Church, Battle

Catherine Wrisley BA ’63 / September 12, 2021

Priscilla Kelso / September 15, 2021

Creek, MI.

William Scarle, Jr., THM ’64 / January 2021

Dr. Roy Kim / February 2, 2022

David Brown, BD ’64 / December 27, 2021

Dr. John Stapleford / August 25, 2021

Clarence Wilson, BD ’64 / April 9, 2017

Eric Zee / July 2, 2021

2000 S

James Williamson, BA ’67 / October 21, 2021 James Biggs, MDiv ’68 / May 30, 2019

Neeka Stanley ’01 was awarded the RI-NASW Clinical Social Worker of the Year, 2021. Neeka is living with her wife and their two daughters in Rhode Island.

Peter Harris, MDiv ’73 / September 22, 2021 Paul Schultz, MDiv ’74 / August 13, 2021 Joseph Sastic, DMin ’76 / March 8, 2020

Andre Price BA ’07, MDiv ’10 was named as Bishop Thomas Hoyt Fellow for the Fall of 2022

E A S T E R N

1970s

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A L U M N I


at the Collegeville Institute, MN. Andre is a PhD

Mary McCloy, DMin ’18 recently published her

candidate, specializing in constructive theology

first book: Reforged: A Journey of Brokenness

and Christian ethics at Villanova University, and

and Healing. It is currently available in

serves as the senior pastor of the Mount Olivet

paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon.com

Tabernacle Baptist Church, Philadelphia, PA.

2020 S Jovan Moore, MDiv ’20 was ordained as Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist

David Smith, MDiv ’18 was installed as Senior

Episcopal Church. Jovan serves at Union AME

1MISSION released a short film called Dreams,

Pastor for the Church of the Redeemer Baptist,

Church in Philadelphia, PA and is the Principal

which Tim Hoiland, MA ’09 wrote, directed,

Philadelphia, PA.

of Girard Academic Music Program in the

and edited. It was filmed on location in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico.

2010 S

Laura Hart, MA ’19 is now a BCBA and working

School District of Philadelphia.

as a program supervisor at an ABA therapy center for children with autism.

Fred Marz, MDiv ’12 retired from full-time ministry at United Methodist Church pastorate in July 2021. He and his wife, Peggy, look forward to their next adventure – not retirement, but a continuous vacation. The couple intends to enjoy time with their grandchildren, raise chickens and bees, tend to the garden, read the books in Fred’s “good reads” stack, and contemplate God’s grace more deeply. Danielle L. Brown, DMin ’13 was elected the tenth Senior Pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Plainfield, New Jersey. She is the first woman to hold this position since the church’s founding in 1908. Wakaki Thompson, MDiv ’14 was installed as Pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church, Newtown, PA. Bryan Stafford, MDiv ’15 and Jamilla Butler Stafford, MTS ’15 began the "Faith in the Family Podcast,” helping Christian families handle issues related to faith, mental health, and relationships. Joan Davis, MDiv ’18 made AME history in December of 2021. Joan was ordained as both Itinerant Deacon and Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church on the same day. She currently serves as an Associate Minister at Mt. Zion AME Church in Norristown, PA and recently celebrated the publication of her first book in September 2021.

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