CURRENT Founded as Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary in 1927, The Master’s College provides a non-denominational liberal arts education fully integrated with the Christian faith. Dr. John MacArthur, pastor, author, and world-wide Bible teacher, has served as President since 1985. The mission of The Master’s College is to empower students for a life of enduring commitment to Christ, biblical fidelity, moral integrity, intellectual growth, and lasting contribution to the kingdom of God.
Sharon Staats Managing Editor
© Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. The Master’s Current Vol. 19, No. 1 4QSJOH4VNNFSt Published by The Master’s College 21726 Placerita Canyon Road Santa Clarita, California 91321 Subscriptions are free of charge to addresses in the United States. Call (800) 568-6248 or (661) 259-3540 and ask for The Master’s Current subscription office, or write to the address below. TO REACH US BY E-MAIL: The Master’s Current Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org Enrollment Office: email@example.com Web site: www.masters.edu SEND ADDRESS CHANGE TO: The Master’s College Editorial Office 21726 Placerita Canyon Road Santa Clarita, California 91321 Fax: 661-362-2723 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ACCREDITATION AND MEMBERSHIPS
The Master’s College is accredited to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
John MacArthur, President Sharon Staats, Managing Editor Mishaela Parker, Editorial Assistant Allison Pari, Editorial Assistant Chuck Haas Designs, Creative
Association of Christian Schools International
“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
An athlete who does not take a race seriously is going to lose that race. You cannot run a marathon unless ever fiber of your being is involved. The physical strength to keep going, the mental discipline to push past the pain, the wisdom to pace yourself, it all has to be there if you hope to finish well. Likewise, the Christian faith is not a stroll, nor is it to be taken lightly. Christ exhorts his followers to “count the cost” and to “deny himself, and take up his cross.” Paul tells the Thessalonian church to “not grow weary of doing good.” Why do you think Paul is concerned that we not grow weary? Because the Christian life is one lived in the face of constant opposition. It is a race run uphill, sometimes on rough terrain, sometimes in wind and storm. Every force in this world is against us and the God we serve. Satan tries to thwart the will of God, and the flesh clings to us with vestiges of the old man, telling us to live for ourselves and our own pleasures. And all the while we are mocked and spit upon by secular society. So, we have to run with endurance, but we do not have to run alone. The Lord is our only hope to keep going, to stand firm in what is true, to live more than a passive existence based on esoteric doctrine that we only say we believe. God will not abandon what He has begun in us. Paul was “confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). In this issue of The Current, we will explore how this attitude of endurance affects life at The Master’s College and makes us unique, how our Christcentered approach to every area of life creates a distinctive environment for higher education. We’ll hear testimonies from students and faculty about what it means to live and work at a school devoted to God’s Word, one that is committed to finishing the race.
Soli Deo Gloria,
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omeone has rightly said that Christianity is a shoe-leather faith, that it affects our daily life. It’s a walking, working, living faith, unlike the other religions of the world. While it is true that any system of belief should effect a change in the way one lives, it is also true that no false religion can transform a person. No matter how high its ethical standards might be, a false religion cannot transform a person, so they cannot really be attained. Only in Christianity is there the power of God to transform the life so that what we believe can literally become the way we live. We have a shoe-leather faith. What we believe touches the earth. This should be obvious. What kind of Christianity would it be that didn’t impact the way we live? Christianity has always been eminently practical. It shows up in the simplest attitudes and the most mundane acts of life, as well as the profoundest of thoughts and deeds. First Thessalonians 4:9-12 says, “Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.” It’s a very straightforward injunction, not ephemeral, esoteric or ethereal, something off in space. Paul is saying that this whole matter of sanctification touches the very basics of our lifestyle. Christianity, of course, has always been a doctrine that affects duty and a creed that impacts
conduct. That’s the way it must be. In fact, Christianity that doesn’t change the way you live is not the real thing. I once read a very interesting chapter in George Barna’s book The Frog in the Kettle. It was titled “Religious Beliefs and Involvements.” What is the relationship between what people believe and their involvement, or how they behave, how they act? The opening statement of the chapter said, “Although Americans generally possess orthodox beliefs about God, Christ and Satan, the momentum is against integrating spiritual belief with daily behavior.” That must mean that this momentum is going in the opposite direction of true Christianity. Further Barna says, “There is an interesting contradiction between what most of us say we believe and what we do or don’t do in response to those beliefs. The vast majority of Americans have orthodox Christian beliefs. They acknowledge the virgin birth, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the power of prayer, the reality of miracles by God, the importance of the church, the reality of Satan and hell and the life of the Holy Spirit in the believer. More than nine out of ten adults own a Bible and a majority of them even believe it is God’s written 3
by Dr. John MacArthur Word totally accurate in its teaching. About three out of five claim they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ. But the research data says our actions indicate that our beliefs are not held to be significant. Less than half of all adults attend church. Loyalty to the church is dropping. Attendance in Sunday School is diminishing. Membership in churches is waning. And willingness to assume a leadership role declining. Studies show we have become a nation of biblical illiterates, lacking knowledge of what is in the Bible, and showing limited commitment to applying its truth to our daily behavior.” Then he goes on to say, “If we can help the world to recognize that our faith is not a one-dimensional experience but it is a multi-faceted way of life which permeates every thought, action and experience, then Christianity would not only assume greater importance in the minds of people but would challenge nonbelievers to explore this faith in a new way.” If you say you believe it, then you ought to live it. That’s Christianity. It is unthinkable that anyone would assume Christianity to be anything other than a way of life. It is not just a theological belief system. It touches the earth with daily behavior, right down to the most mundane, routine (Shoe Leather Faith continued on page 4)
(Shoe Leather Faith continued from page 3)
things. Our faith touches the world; it walks the streets; it is a shoe-leather faith. This is on Paul’s inspired mind as he is calling the people to sanctification. There are four basic exhortations in these verses (1 Thessalonians 4:9-12): love each other more, lead a quiet life, mind your own business and work with your hands. You might say, “Wait a minute. He has to write a letter to the Thessalonians to tell them that? Wouldn’t you have imagined that he has already told them that?” Earlier in verse one he said, “As you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.” When he was with them he must have told them about the great commission, when Jesus said, “Teach them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). So when he evangelized them along with Timothy and Silas, he certainly told them about lifestyle Christianity, a Christianity that shows up in the way you live. But they were a little thick, like some of us. They needed to be told again. So he writes here and reminds them of these very basic things which he already once told them. He knows human nature, that they hadn’t arrived, that they weren’t perfect. A little while later he wrote them another letter, 2 Thessalonians. Second Thessalonians 3:10-12 says, “For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if
anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.” These people had been such a commendable group. Back in 1 Thessalonians 1:3 he says, “(I am) constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you.” Then all of a sudden he seems to treat them like blockheads. Over and over he tells them, work with your hands, be quiet, don’t be a busybody. Why? There was a compelling reason, simply understood by carefully following the flow of the text. The next subject that he begins in verse 13 is the rapture of the church, followed in chapter 5 by a discussion of the return of Christ and the Day of the Lord. He spends a great portion of time discussing those events. In 2 Thessalonians 2, again he spends an entire chapter talking about the return of Christ. The Thessalonian Christians had been given the gospel, and they believed and received Jesus Christ. Their salvation was real and genuine. As the elect, they were dynamic, aggressive and excited, enthusiastic about sharing the gospel so that the
Word spread from them through Macedonia and all Achaia. It was a good church. But 1 Thessalonians 1:10 gives us a hint: they were “waiting for His Son from heaven.” Paul had taught them about the return of Christ, and they were literally, actually waiting for Christ to come. What had Paul told them? He must have told them they had reason to expect its possibility. Did Paul believe it could possibly happen in his life time? I can’t imagine any other reason why he would tell them to wait, since even Jesus didn’t know the hour of His coming. The Thessalonians were so enthusiastically waiting that they thought they might have turned the wrong direction and missed it. Paul has to write a lot of material to straighten out their understanding, because they were disturbed. Second Thessalonians 2:1-2 says, “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.” Then in verse 3 he says, “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless…” and he continues in a long discussion. In other words, they were in an anticipation of Jesus Christ to such a fever pitch that they actually feared they might have missed it. And in the zeal for the coming of Christ,
they began to allow the mundane responsibilities of life to lose importance. The idea was “Jesus is coming, why mess with these worldly issues? Get our pajamas on and get up on the rooftop and wait. He’ll be here soon.” As it often has been said, they were so heavenly minded they were
our evangelism is the credibility of our living? We live in an agitated, upset, disoriented, messed-up world, so why would agitated, upset, disoriented Christians have anything to offer it? The Christians who are characterized by love, who live peaceful, tranquil lives, who mind their own business
of no earthly good. They had focused totally on the coming of Christ and lost all sense of responsibility. They were anticipating Him, and that was right. Their realization had become so strong and so powerful that they were neglecting the normal duties of life. This is an interesting thing to think about because we might expect Paul to say the Lord is coming very soon, so here are the five essential things you need to do: evangelize the corners of the world, preach every waking moment on the street corners the gospel of Jesus Christ, pass out literature to every breathing human being, buy the billboards across town, paint it on the walls. But Paul doesn’t say that. Jesus is coming, so what should we do? Love each other more, lead a quiet life, mind your own business and work with your hands. God is never in a state of panic, and God’s people who reflect God’s character shouldn’t be in a state of panic either. Have we forgotten that the underlying foundation of all of
with great care and who faithfully discharge their duties are going to show a lifestyle to the world that may make Christianity attractive. They were saying, “Why worry about relationships? Why bother about loving anybody? When we get to heaven it will all be perfect anyway, let’s not worry about each other.” When they’re talking about love, they’re not talking about a feeling, they’re talking about a duty, a responsibility to serve someone in need. Why bother with a human need? We’re about to leave. Why be concerned to take care of my job and my responsibility and my house and the business at hand? We’re going to heaven. They were so anticipating the coming of Christ that they were ignoring their normal life duties. I wish we had some of that excitement. Sometimes I think we have the opposite problem. It’s not that the church today is so anxious for the coming of Christ that we’re ignoring our worldly responsibility. The church is so indifferent to the coming of Christ that it is consumed with its 5
worldly activity. It’s absolutely the reverse. Both are wrong. Having a zealous anticipation for the coming of Christ isn’t wrong. Not at all. Even John said in Revelation 22:20, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” First Corinthians 1:7 said that the Corinthians were “awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” James had to tell his readers in James 5:7-8 to be patient. But, anticipation of the Lord’s return was no excuse for irresponsible living. All the future analysts say the church is in trouble because it isn’t relevant. It’s got to be relevant. How does the church become relevant? By using contemporary music? By using contemporary theater or drama? By using a contemporary Madison Avenue marketing technique? By giving people what they want? No. The most relevant thing the church can do is live the life of a Christian in every dimension of daily life, so that we close any existing gap between our faith and our feet.
This article is edited from a sermon delivered by Dr. MacArthur at Grace Community Church on September 9, 1990.
Let Us Run with En
â€œThis is no time for ease and comfort. It is ti W
hen Winston Churchill said this, his country, all of Europe was in the middle of the worst war the western world had ever seen. Indeed, WWII has gone down in infamy as a time when evil was most rampant and a godless nation came close to conquering the civilized world. For most 21st Century Americans, WWII is becoming a distant memory. Very few people who fought in that war are still alive. The generation who grew up in the era of Rosie the Riveter, war bonds and victory gardens is slowly fading away. Even still, Churchillâ€™s exhortation is incredibly relevant, especially for the Christian in the modern world, when our most dearly held beliefs are under attack and tolerance of every intellectual whim and deviant lifestyle is the guiding virtue of society. The believer must endure, stand apart and accept the fact that they will be considered different. What does it mean to be different, to be distinct? We live in a society preoccupied with individuality. Innovative art is praised not based on its quality, but simply because no one has ever done it before. New ideas about spirituality allow a person to explore a â€œgodâ€? who is solely their own. New interpretations of Scripture tickle the ears of an unsuspecting church. In fact, everyone is so concerned with being different and changing with the times, that the ones who try to remain the same become distinct. The universities Harvard, Princeton and Yale are a classic example of what modernization can do. Members of the Ivy League, on the cutting edge of modern education, there are hardly any schools in this country more respected, or more liberal. These three schools were started by Puritans and Presbyterians, on a strong biblical basis. If so, what happened to them? Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Alex Granados explained how easy it is for an institution to fall away if they
take their foundation for granted. â€œPeople think they know it,â€? he said, and they â€œget comfortable relying on (their) own mind.â€? Presumption, complacency, and an attitude of satisfaction with the status quo are dangerous. Secular practices and ideas inspired by the devilâ€™s influence can gain credence because there is no struggle for or against truth, just a quiet, imperceptible slipping away. Knowing this, it is difficult to keep the question from nagging at the back of oneâ€™s mind: â€œWhen will the same thing happen to The Masterâ€™s College?â€? If the pattern is for Christian institutions to eventually lose their Christian principles, are we just biding our time, holding our breath until TMCâ€™s biblical foundation begins to deteriorate? As the Apostle Paul said so often, â€œMay it never be!â€? But if not, then what is the difference, what makes us distinct from universities like Harvard, Princeton and Yale? We do not take for granted what we believe. That which we hold to today, we have believed since 1927, and will continue to believe. The administration has attempted to summarize this foundation in several different categories, not as a form of legalism, but simply as a way for students and faculty to put what we believe into words, to continue to rehearse the truths they live by. These are The Masterâ€™s College Distinctives:
reigns as the authoritative head of the church. As the mediator of the New Covenant, His comprehensive rule is the powerful authority by which a distinctive Christian life is experienced and directed. t4VÄ‹DJFOU8PSE Scripture is the Word of God to man and is sufficient to address everything pertaining to life and godliness without error or equal. It stands as the authoritative standard by which truth and error are both revealed and understood. Scripture alone is the authoritative revelation by which a distinctive Christian life is guided. t4VCNJTTJWF %FQFOEFODZ Development of the whole student in community is a supernatural experience in the human condition. The Christian life is exclusively dependent upon the empowering grace of God to realize the submissive obedience required by divine authority.
Divine Authority: Every expression and pursuit of the Christian life (renewing of the mind, prayer, worship, sanctification, evangelism, etc.) is empowered and experienced from Him, to Him, and through Him. We view student development under the direct oversight of Divine authority. t4PWFSFJHO-PSETIJQ Christ is sovereign Lord over all creation and 6
A superficial change in external behavior is not the authenticating mark of a distinctive Christian life. The Masterâ€™s College desires to see genuine change in the studentâ€™s life that is sustainably rooted in the transformation of
ime to dare and endure.â€? his or her intellect, affections, and resolve. By focusing on what the Bible describes as the heart, we can confidently exhort and encourage a studentâ€™s comprehensive development without reverting to legalistic methodologies. t-JGFTUZMFPG8PSTIJQ Our priorities and actions flow out of a heart of worship. Within the fellowship of believers, spiritual development is realized as the hearts of the people unite in worshiping the true God over counterfeit ones. This commitment
by Allison Pari views everything in life as an opportunity to glorify the Lord and find satisfaction in Him. t1PTUVSFPG3FQFOUBODF Though our hearts are transformed at the moment of regeneration, the believer continues to grow in godliness through the process of progressive sanctification. The sanctification process includes a posture of repentanceâ€” turning away from sinful desires and actions and refocusing our affections on the one true God. The fruit of sanctification is seen in visible acts of obedience that flow from a heart that loves the Lord. t$POUJOVVNPG-PWF There is a direct connection between a heart of love and the distinctive Christian life. Love is the greatest commandment and the foundational heart motivation by which believers can comprehend and experience all that is revealed in Scripture.
4BODUJGZJOH3FMBUJPOTIJQT Relationships are the context by which a studentâ€™s distinctive Christian life is cultivated and experienced. We reject hyper 7
(Endurance continued on page 8)
(Endurance continued from page 7)
individualism and promote a sanctified pursuit of friendships that are committed to mortifying sin while seeking personal holiness in everyday life. t#FMPOHJOH5PHFUIFS A distinctive Christian life is not lived in independent isolation. The people of God are characterized by their relational interconnectedness in spirit and life. Comprehensive student development that is distinctively biblical occurs within the context of relationships committed to experiencing the realities of the Christian life to the glory of God. t*OUFSQFSTPOBM%JTDJQMFTIJQ The purpose of relationships in a believing community is to encourage one another towards Christ-likeness by the grace of God and according to His Word. This process of mutual sanctification occurs by interpersonal pursuit of one another to advance the knowledge of Christ into everyday life. t$POGSPOUBUJPO3FTUPSBUJPO Relationships focused on progressing in Christ-likeness includes the exhortation to mortify sinful dispositions and actions. The journey of confrontation of sin, repentance, and restoration cannot be excluded from the process of spiritual development in a believing community.
t4FSWBOUIPPE A distinctive Christian life moves sanctifying relationships beyond a right understanding of the gospel to good works of righteousness. A life committed to servanthood gives witness to the world the implications of the gospel in action. t-PDBM$IVSDI The church stands as the institution that the Lord has assigned to advance and give witness to the glories of the Gospel. The local church is the regional manifestation of the people of God and is to be cultivated and protected. t(MPCBM.JTTJPO The Masterâ€™s College promotes a comprehensive biblical worldview development in a believing community to advance the greater global community of faith as an exemplary light of redemption by which Christ would call sinful man to repentance. The mission of God is to call individuals from every tribe, tongue, and nation and we desire to promote that plan. In the words of Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Mark Tatlock, it is important for us to â€œunderstand that these distinctives touch everythingâ€Ś Every generation of leadership has to be on its guard, has to be very vigilant, very aware and discerningâ€Ś Itâ€™s one thing for me to sit here and say weâ€™re going to preserve
(PTQFM8JUOFTT A distinctive Christian life has the primary purpose of reflecting and magnifying the redemptive work of Christ to the world. It is the responsibility of every believer to steward the truth of the Gospel in both word and deed. This commitment postures every student to proclaim the Truth to their generation within the context of Godâ€™s unfolding plan of redemption. 8
our Christian integrity, but I needâ€Ś our whole administrationâ€Ś Everyone needs to get it, becauseâ€Ś Iâ€™m not on the front lines. Iâ€™m like a general back here telling the troops what to do. If we view it as a battle, if thereâ€™s confusion on the front lines about what youâ€™re supposed to do, thatâ€™s where the enemy can make some inroads.â€? This is exactly the point. Saying all the right things, publishing them on our website, preaching them in chapel are only a start. They must actively influence everything we do at the college. And it is not something that the leadership has arbitrarily decided. TMC desires to be an expression of the Christian life; the distinctives are just an extension of that. It is similar to the way in which Paul called the Ephesian church to â€œwalk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in allâ€? (Ephesians 4:1-6). â€œThatâ€™s the end game in all of this,â€? Tatlock said. â€œIf we donâ€™t have integrity as being distinctively Christian, letâ€™s pack it up and go home, because people are going to reject the gospel. Is it important? Itâ€™s extremely important. The distinctives are not just a marketing strategy. Itâ€™s life and death for who we are.â€? A matter of life and death? This is an academic institution, not a church. Shouldnâ€™t our focus be on scholarship, on giving our students the best education, informed by modern discoveries and intellectual
developments so that they will graduate with a range of skills marketable in the 21st Century? Yes, but can that be the be-all and end-all of the Christian life? Granados said that “There are a lot of brilliant pagans who graduate every day. We want to graduate students gifted by the Lord.” And though TMC is not a church, it is a community of believers whose lives should reflect that. Again we return to the Ephesian church and Christ’s words to them in Revelation. Holding fast to our calling is nothing to be taken lightly. “You have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary,” He says. “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent” (Revelation 2:3-5). They were doing what Paul had asked of them, walking in a manner worthy of their calling, but they seemed to have forgotten why they were doing so. It is like the math student who is taught a new equation and then given a calculator. What was once a theory they understood becomes muscle memory. Given enough time, they will no longer be able to explain why they do what they do. This is why simple legalism doesn’t work. It isn’t enough that students on The Master’s College campus aren’t allowed to smoke and drink alcohol or that their use of the internet is monitored as a way of making them “live out” the Distinctives. The Distinctives are not rules, they are a lifestyle, and we adhere to them because of who we are in Christ. Dean of Student Life Joe Keller framed it this way: “We have to take that same worldview and apply it to, what are you watching on Netflix and who do you hang out with on Thursday night, how do
you express that on an intramural court, and what internships should you take, what local church ministry should you be a part of, and how do I honor my parents? Should I go to Africa this summer? Should I stay in Africa? …The Word of God and a worldview by which God has allowed us to see the world rightly, applies to every academic discipline and every detail of life.” It’s not just about the here and now. The administration wants to prepare for the time when people such as Tatlock, Granados, Keller and MacArthur are no longer in leadership. “That’s how the distinctives came to be,” Keller said. “We weren’t solving a problem. We weren’t trying to make something up, we weren’t trying to be popularly relevant. We just want to make sure in our stewardship to really communicate to every generation what we believe to be true in God’s Word and how that applies to every detail of life and every academic discipline, to make sure we’re clarifying that with every generation.” We are not alone in this. The mentality is not to grit our teeth and weather the storm. The One who calls us to walk in a manner worthy of our calling is the same One who gives us the ability to carry out
that calling. He died, rose from the dead and now stands as an Intercessor before the Father to make that possible for us: “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2) Because our Christian life is a race, the idea is to never go backwards, but to always move forwards, not with any novel ideas, but grounded in the foundation of God’s Word. Keller put it best: “Does The Master’s College change? We’re always changing, we’re always developing, but there are some things that we never change on. In some ways we’re different, but in all ways we’re the same. That’s a great balance. The reason why we can explore new horizons is because we have a compass.”
Not in Name O
ver the last several years I have had the enormous privilege of traveling to many countries. Most recently I was blessed to serve on a TMC trip to India. I did not fit India’s mold. Tall, very white, and blue eyed, I stuck out like the Jolly Green Giant. Before going there I was nervous about how open I could be about my faith. However, upon arrival I was surprised to find that nearly everyone I met automatically assumed, “Oh yes, yes, you are American, so you are Christian.” At first I felt freed by this generalization, but I slowly came to realize their associations with the name of Christ were not pleasant ones (to our shame). If everyone from the west is “Christian,” that means Hollywood and the mixed bag of tourists are “Christian,” too. I began to realize it wasn’t enough for them to know I claimed Christianity – I had to show them what that really meant. In India the name “Christian” is nothing more than a label for people from the west. Since returning to the USA, I’ve realized in many ways the same is true here. Many claim the title “Christian,” but only a percentage of them assign any significance to that title. Fewer still strive to emulate Christ with their lives. In a country rampant with nominal Christianity, it is necessary that faith be demonstrated not only in word but in deed. I love the name “The Master’s College.” To me it embodies everything our college stands for. The title “Master” connotes servants, and that is what we are – servants of the King, slaves of the Master. TMC’s emblem is stamped on everything from our signage around campus to our envelopes. It is a constant reminder to us that this institution is meant for an audience of One. However, much like the name Christian has lost its meaning in India, so too could our institution be The Master’s College in name only. But “thus far the Lord has helped us,” (1 Sam. 7:12) and by His grace the college has maintained a single-minded purpose: to equip and educate for the greater glory of our Master. This view is not one merely expressed in the President’s Office, but one that permeates every facet of the school.
In many ways I had the ideal Christian upbringing. As a second generation missionary kid, I grew up surrounded by the truths of Scripture with mentors and teachers who took a great interest in my personal walk with the Lord. I didn’t expect to find that in a place like Master’s. I reasoned that there was no way such a climate could be maintained with a student body of more than 1,000 people. What I found instead was a culture that far exceeded my expectations – stretching me and building upon the solid foundation my parents, mentors and teachers had laid before. But not every student here fits that cookie cutter standard of the conservative Christian young adult with strong evangelical roots, and even if a student does come from such a privileged background, this does not guarantee a zeal and passion for Christ. While they claim Christ, the college is well aware that there are students in attendance here who do not have a saving faith. While Master’s is designed for those who are true followers of Christ, I can’t help but feel that the unbelievers who do find themselves here are in a good place. As long as they are here I know they will be confronted with the truth. A friend of mine recently commented that he thought it would be impossible to come through The Master’s College without having a thorough knowledge of the Gospel by the time you left. I agree with him. In the spring of 2012, our India team met each other for the first time. Because we would be working closely together over the next several months, we decided it would be appropriate to share our testimonies. Some of us fit the aforementioned cookie cutter mold very well, while others of us did not. Most of us were willing to admit, cookie cutter life story or not, that our zeal for Christ was a work in progress. Part of the application process for TMC summer trips is a fairly extensive essay section describing your personal testimony and your rationale for participating in the school’s GO! program. These applications had been submitted and approved the previous semester, so I was somewhat surprised when one of our 10
teammates nonchalantly stated he had only been saved a couple of months. His life story did fit the cookie cutter mold. Born and raised in a Christian home, in his own words, he was an excellent Pharisee. The Bible was his “most glorious textbook,” and from it he learned to see the futility of the world around him. Failing to recognize his own shortcomings, he grew increasingly cynical. He didn’t love God and he certainly didn’t love people because he saw no reason to. Then he came to Master’s. One of the unique things about Master’s is that you are never really alone. This means that the opportunities to love others are only multiplied, making his lack of love all the more obvious. People would often ask my teammate how he knew he was saved, and he would always answer that he knew and proclaimed the gospel or point to his works as proof of salvation. His answer was never Christ. It was through a Bible study led by his RA that my friend realized he wasn’t saved, that somehow in the mix of religiosity and pride, he had missed Christ. He understood for the first time that his works were meaningless, that Christ had paid for his sins more than 2,000 years ago and that was the only reason he could be saved. Having originally come to Master’s for completely prideful reasons, my friend decided to stay post-conversion because he believed the biblical education found at Master’s to be unequalled. I asked him once over coffee what he felt the purpose of his life was. With a moment’s
e Only byMishaela Parker
thought he said simply, “I would like to make the most noise the loudest for Christ with my life with whatever opportunities He gives me.” In other words, to proclaim Christ with his every word and deed in such a way that the Savior would be evident to all whom he encounters. Christ changed my friend’s life through this college. His story is merely one of many. I have multiple friends who have come to Christ while attending the college – all of them credit their salvation in part to what they found here at Master’s. One of my roommates once commented that though she had grown up going to Christian schools most of her life, she did not know what it meant to truly live as a Christ-follower until she came to TMC. For the first time she was surrounded by people who lived like they really believed. The truth was inescapable. This is not to say that God could not use other institutions or places to teach the same lesson to someone else, but it is a powerful indicator of the work the Lord is doing in and through this school. For years people have been trying to pin down what exactly it is about The Master’s College that captures people’s attention. In an interview, Joe Keller, our VP of Student Life, claimed that every faculty member and the majority of the student body, when asked about the purpose of their lives would answer with some version of what the College has outlined as the ‘Distinctives’. The Distictives can be summarized as Divine Authority, Heart Transformation, Sanctifying Relationships, and Gospel Witness. Immediately I was intrigued. So I took it upon myself to figure out if he was right. Over the last month I’ve been in and out of a lot of faculty offices asking a lot of questions without revealing the purpose of my inquires. All of the offices looked different. Some were neat and tidy, others looked like exploded libraries with books and articles cluttering every visible surface – including the floor. Some professors spoke cheerfully, peppering
…show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
their comments with humorous side notes, and others addressed my questions with seriousness. All of them said essentially the same thing. To quote Dr. Taylor Jones of the science department, “One of the things that makes The Master’s College such a special place is … it doesn’t make a difference whether you’re talking to Dr. Halstead in Bible, Dr. Greer in History, Professor Chua in English or Dr. Mackey in (Business)… all of these people are on the same page theologically.” Perhaps the most striking thing students see upon arrival at the college is the faculty. In Ephesians 4:1 and 3, Paul says, “I … implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called… being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” The Master’s College has taken this command very seriously. Because of the close relationships maintained among the faculty and staff, the school has a unique ability to ascertain the true theological and moral stance of their members. Being hired as faculty here involves much more than casually signing a doctrinal statement. The people who work and teach here are individuals whose lives and actions give evidence to their faith. When you find a place where the body of Christ functions in unity of thought and purpose, as the TMC faculty and staff do, it’s like a small foretaste of Heaven. They are a representation of a greater whole that will one day join in perfect unity for the rest of eternity, far surpassing anything we’ve ever seen or heard of on earth. In one of my faculty interviews, English professor Grant Horner remarked, “From the president to the junior adjunct faculty, the ultimate text is Scripture and we use this to interpret and understand everything – to decide on how we act on things. All knowledge is subsumed under (Scripture) and eventually points back to God.” The faculty of TMC universally expressed that they would have their students remember essentially one thing, a right understanding of 11
James 2:18 their place and responsibility as representatives of Christ in the world. As a senior at TMC looking back on the education I’ve received here, I feel that as much as it depended on my professors, their goal has been accomplished. In reminiscing with fellow seniors, I found that we had all been touched in some way or another by the faculty and staff’s genuine care for the students. The professors’ personal dedication to the veracity of Scripture in all areas of life spoke to us even louder than the specified academic disciplines. Though the Master’s College does strive for academic excellence, this pursuit is one driven by a desire to grow in Christlikeness. Dr. Jones put it this way, “I think learning is part of being conformed to the image of Christ … Christ knows everything about everything and so when we learn we become more like that image. Learning then is a lifelong obligation because it’s part of your sanctification… I see what I do in the classroom as part of my student’s spiritual development.” As students having sat under this kind of purposeful instruction we felt well-trained both intellectually and practically, but our cumulative impression was an assurance that the Word of God does indeed transcend the bounds of knowledge and wisdom. It was a life altering realization for most of us. I feel I could go on and on. I suppose my problem is the same as everyone else’s – I find it nearly impossible to describe to you what The Master’s College is like. I started out remarking that in many ways the title ‘Christian’ has grown stale, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve seen the poignancy of so many lives that passionately pursue Christ at the college. I’m greatly encouraged that after years of studying here, countless conversations with faculty, staff and students, and classes from nearly every department on campus I found the College to be a place that truly does seek to walk in the ways of The Master. However, as much as I’ve attempted to, there’s really no way that I can convey the uniqueness of this place. You just have to be here.
disposition Flemish harpsichord, built after a late 17th century Ruckers model, was professionally built in 2003. Already featured in three concerts, the instrument is a welcome addition to the music program at The Master’s College.
August 18-24, Student leaders and student life staff welcomed 340 incoming freshman and transfer students to The Master’s College for a week of orientation and a chance to get to know their new school.
October 10-13. About 500 students took a break from their studies to minister to local churches throughout California.
Theatre: Meet Me in St. Louis
October 19-20, 26-27. TMC’s Theatre Arts Department entertained audiences with Christopher Sergel’s hilarious adaptation of Sally Benson’s book.
Make a Difference Day
October 27. The Master’s College sent 70 students to participate in a valley-wide community service day.
November 2. Decked in costumes reminiscent of faraway places, students gathered at Travel Town in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park for an evening of train rides and tastes from around the world.
An international tour for The Master’s Chorale under the direction of Dr. Paul Plew will take the choir and friends to Israel and Switzerland. One of the highlights of the tour will be two concerts given for the Russian population in Gadera and Tel Aviv on May 26 and 27. The choir will perform songs in Russian as well as in Hebrew and English. They will also be singing at the Shavuot Conference held on the IBEX campus and will participate in a Music Festival in Abu Ghosh. Missionaries Mr. and Mrs. John Glass whose daughter Kimberly is in the Chorale, will host the choir’s visit to Geneva, Switzerland. Concerts are scheduled in several cities for the end of May and beginning of June. For more information please email: email@example.com Composer Eugene Anderson has written two pieces dedicated to Prof. Claire Blackwell and the TMC Handbell Ensemble: “Christ Is Risen Fanfare” and “Fortress Fantasia” based on “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” Anderson and his wife came to the on-campus handbell concert this May to hear the premiere of “Christ is Risen Fanfare.” The Music Department is pleased to announce the purchase of a new harpsichord to be housed in the Music Center. The upgrade was inspired by an increase in student intrest. The single manual 2x8 12
The Women’s Chamber Choir, under the direction of Dr. Carolyn Simons, completed a ministry tour in California, Nevada and Utah during Spring Break (March 9-17) that exceeded all expectations. They we given the opportunity to encourage believers, reach out to the lost and recruit potential students. During this time the women in the choir grew spiritually, socially, and in their understanding of ministry. While in Utah the women were able to visit the Mormon Temple Square in Salt Lake City and share their faith with the women who served as their guides. They were given permission to perform “Jesu Priceless Treasure” by J.S. Bach in the temple for their guides and a handful of tourists. Later the women sang at several Christian schools, where they were given more opportunites to share testimonies and introduce students to The Master’s College. One of the highlights of the tour was singing at a joint meeting of the New Hope Fellowship and the Wasatch Cowboy Church in Utah. Their passion for the Lord was evidenced in their response to the music with a mixture of “Amens” and “Yee-has.”
Day of Prayer
November 6. Daniel Hendersen returned to lead the TMC campus in our annual Day of Prayer to worship through prayer and praise to the Lord.
We are appreciative of the answered prayers and the Lord’s great blessing on our tour. On March 23, TMC voice professors Sarah Dixon and Dr. Kimberlyn Jones had five voice students participate in the Collegiate Auditions for the National Association of Teachers of Singing held at Biola University. The voice categories ranged from Freshman to Graduate for both men and women. Dr. Jones adjudicated Sophomore Men, which along with Junior Women was the largest category, 19 students singing in each. There were three judges for each category, and the singers received their comments before they left that day. The Music Department presented scenes from three operas during their annual Opera Scenes this January. The last act of Verdi’s major opera Rigoletto was presented, along with the first scene of Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella) and the entire first act of Johann Strauss’s masterpiece Die Fledermaus (The Bat), which includes spoken dialogue. The Opera Workshop is a training ground for students at all levels, from beginners to the very experienced. There are also wonderful students and community members who step in and give direction to all the backstage work involved in presenting a production, including costuming, make-up, hair styling, props, stage hands and stage builders, lighting, sound, ushers and house managers.
Two evaluations from the National Association of Schools of Music visited TMC in February as part the Music Department’s five-year review. All were pleased with the visit and the evaluators were complimentary. March 21-23 brought the first musical to TMC Theatre Arts. Stuart Ross’s Forever Plaid delighted audiences. Forever Plaid tells the story of a close harmony, guy group “The Plaids,” similar to those popular in the 1950s. Starring Jared Richardson, Sam Hebert, Ryan Bennett, Ben Emberley, Sergio Arechiga, Beth Crichton, and 30 other talented students on the Crew, “The Plaids” took the audience on a nostalgic journey. Produced and directed by Tricia Hulet and Kellie Cunningham, assisted by TMC Alum James Phillipps, this show included songs such as “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “16 Tons,” “Chain Gang,” a revue of the “Ed Sullivan Show” and “Love is a Many Splendored Thing.” TMC’s commitment to Christ and His Word above all else was displayed through a gift of entertainment to the audience. TMC Theatre is committed to the process as much as the product, so our students were able to grow in their knowledge of Christ and learn how to be a humble and sacrificial part of a group working together for the something bigger than themselves. They reflected the body of Christ on and off stage. This is drastically different than most performing arts programs and is possible only by the grace of our Lord at work here at The Master’s College. 13
Global Mobilization Week
November 7-9. This week inaugurated the launching of 10 student-led missions teams who will minister through local missionaries and churches around the world this summer.
Come Christmas Sing
November 30. Changing venues for the first time in 29 years, the TMC Music Department invited guests and students to the College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center for an evening of traditional and contemporary Christmas music.
Truth and Life Conference
January 16-18. The Master’s College hosted returning students, alumni and visitors for this annual conference. Dr. Mark Dever and Dr. Sinclair Ferguson joined Dr. MacArthur to speak about the scope and importance of “The Word of God.”
(All Around Campus continued on page 14)
(All Around Campus continued from page 13)
S Opera Scenes
January 25-27. The Music Department, along with students and members of the community presented scenes from three operas: Guiseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus.
February 18-23. After a week of Disney-themed activities centered around Pixar’s “Monster’s Inc,” students gathered for a Saturday of fun and fellowship at Disneyland.
Creation Science Symposium
February 23. Students and members of the community gathered in the Music Recital Hall to hear Pastor Doug Wilson debate a panel of atheists and discuss “A Christian Response to Atheism.”
Theatre: Forever Plaid
March 21-23. TMC presented its first musical theatre production this semester. Stuart Ross’s tale of the 1950’s style men’s quartet delighted audiences and gave the college another opportunity to reach out to the community.
tudents, alumni and members of the Santa Clarita community gathered January 16-18 for the annual Truth and Life Conference. This year the focus was on “The Word of God,” and the audience heard Mark Dever, Sinclair Ferguson and John MacArthur speak about the broad scope of the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit’s inspiring work. Truth Remains displayed a portion of their collection of historical Bibles in the Legacy Room, a collection that included a first edition Gutenberg Bible, a King James Bible, several pocket-sized editions, and Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Conference attendees were given the rare privilege of handling some of the oldest Bibles in the English language. Faculty and staff taught the seminar sessions that covered everything from the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer to the mission work of Bible translation. Students left the conference refreshed to begin the new semester.
Cafeteria Gra T
he Master’s College recently celebrated the completion of its newly remodeled John R. Dunkin Student Center and the grand opening of its dining terrace. The project, which broke ground in Spring 2012, adds a 1,000-square-foot covered outdoor patio off of the second-floor cafeteria. The patio creates seating for an additional 108 students, a 30 percent increase that became necessary following several years of expanding undergraduate enrollment. “The significance of this facility is not only the new functionality to accommodate our growth,” said TMC Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Mark Tatlock. “This is about our college’s mission, which is discipleship. Every table represents conversations between students, between upperclassmen and lowerclassmen, between faculty and students. Those conversations represent the Lord at work in our students’ lives.” In addition to the new patio, the remodeled student center also includes renovated bathrooms, an elevator to the second floor and several fireplaces, along with an aesthetic facelift. The building, which faces Placerita Canyon Road, now reflects the “California Craftsman” style of the college’s Legacy Room and Welcome Center buildings, both of which were completed in 2011. With the completion of the student center, sights have been set on the Bross Gymnasium. Currently plans are underway to re-face the entrance and lobby, update the restrooms to ADA standards, and install central air and heating. This latest project falls under Phase 2 of TMC’s four-part Master Growth Plan, which includes new signage and a new campus entrance, new dormitories and classroom facilities, a library expansion and a student chapel. “We are grateful for growth we are seeing,” Tatlock said. “People are responding to the biblically based liberal arts education we provide. It shows in the number of students applying to come here. The refurbished student center and the new dining terrace reflect that response.” 14
Creation Science s y m p o s i u m
astor Doug Wilson and atheists, David Leisure and Richard Wade, from the community came to The Master’s College on February 23 for a debate and discussion. It was part of the Creation Science Symposium, “A Christian Response to Atheism,” attended by an estimated 600 students and guests. The discussion focused on opposing viewpoints and understanding belief systems. The main session had been preceded by a technical workshop on the “Problem of Natural Evil.” Dr. Gordon Wilson of New Saint Andrews College discussed “Predation and Evil Design.” TMC’s own Dr. Joseph Francis explained the existence of toxic microbes. The theme “A Christian Response to Atheism” was chosen as a result of last year’s Symposium. Atheists who attended in 2012 were intrigued and wanted to interact further with the college’s faculty. On the whole, the attitude of the Symposium, and particularly the main session, was amiable.
and Opening By Bob Dickson
March 22. TMC closed off their view weekend with this highly anticipated talent show. This year’s Spring Sing featured several videos, music, and poetry all performed by Master’s students.
Forest Lawn Concert
April 12. This year’s Forest Lawn Concert series, God and Country, was held in the beautiful Hall of Liberty, featuring songs centered on faith and patriotism.
April 19. Held at the Petersen Automotive Museum, students enjoyed a semi-formal evening of fellowship, live music, and fancy cars.
May 10. This year TMC graduated 355 traditional undergraduate students and 27 MABC students. In addition, 36 CPS students completed their degrees. Ceremonies were held at College of the Canyons where friends and family were invited to join the college in congratulating the class of 2013.
(All Around Campus continued on page 16)
(All Around Campus continued from page 15)
Faculty Retiring in May Dr. John Hotchkiss by Courtney Leadham
Backpacker, construction worker, editor, motorcycle owner, writer, grandfather, teacher and now retiree: The Master’s College lost one of its most intelligent and multi-talented professors in May. He has been a large part of the school for decades and has been a part of its community longer than almost anyone. This is just scratching the surface of Dr. John G. Hotchkiss. The English professor has been affiliated with the school since the early sixties when he was a young English major at Los Angeles Baptist College. He returned as a teacher in 1969 without even having his master’s degree completed until 1970. Most students saw Hotchkiss as a gentle and lovable English professor with a soft-spoken and patient demeanor. No one would have guessed that he rode motorcycles in his free time, or that he used to work at Magic Mountain. “He can do anything,” TMC English professor Jo Suzuki said of his colleague and friend. During his time at LABC he was involved in chorale all four years, was elected ASB president his junior year, and even played baseball for a year at the college. His eclectic collections of hobbies and experiences have made him the professor and mentor he is now. Hotchkiss has been vital to the growth of The Master’s College, most specifically the English department. Up until two years ago Hotchkiss has been the English Chairman since 1974. In this position he was able to approve any changes that were made to the department over the years. He was instrumental in hiring the English professors that are on campus today, and allowing them the freedom to offer different courses that most undergraduate colleges would not offer. “Horner and I just kept inventing classes that undergrad colleges would not have … our grad students are more advanced because he (Hotchkiss) allowed us to offer these different courses,” Suzuki said. Hotchkiss has had a fulfilling experience during his years of teaching at TMC. Teaching can be discouraging if you are not
directly seeing the benefits and results of the hard work. This is not true in Hotchkiss’ case. He has seen the impact that he and the college have had over the years. “We have had many students that make us believe in what we’re doing because we see God work in their lives,” Hotchkiss said. After 43 years of service to TMC, Hotchkiss decided that it was time to retire. His career at the college has been busy and fulfilling, but he recognizes that it is time to do something different. Now he is looking for a change of pace, although his heart is still focused on serving others. “I would like to spend more time with family, which all retirees say,” he said. “I’m helping to raise my grandson so we’re experiencing parenting all over again. We just had a parent teacher conference yesterday. He’s doing well…We’re going to keep being 21st century grandparents raising their grandkids.” He also looks forward to renewing, and perhaps increasing his involvement with his church Grace Baptist Church of Saugus. He and Sharron, his wife of 45 years, would like to become more involved with missions. Hotchkiss has not ruled out part-time teaching, either. He knows what he will not be doing, though. “No fishing, no golfing, no RV-ing. We’re not going to be the typical American retirees and do any of those,” he said. “Neither of us is anxious to see the rest of the country mainly because we have family here and we’re needed every day with my grandson. That keeps us close.” Hotchkiss has accepted his retirement and is optimistic about the future, especially the future of the college and English department. “I’m tied to the history of the school but not the future of this school. The future of this school is in the hands of the next generation with a different vision and new energy and I’m hoping they can find a new replacement professor that will be like I was, committed to the long haul and that he or she will fit in with the other faculty.” Including his time as a student when TMC was LABC, Hotchkiss has been an integral part of the school for close to 50 years. His presence and character will be missed. Suzuki describes his friend Hotchkiss as an admirable man who has always put others before himself. “He is a true gentleman.” 16
Dr. Joann Adams
After twenty five years at The Master’s College, Dr. Joann Adams has announced her retirement from the Teacher Education Department. Dr. Adams began her ministry in Teacher Education in 1988, after serving in student life and faculty at Christian Heritage College (now San Diego Christian). From the very beginning, she assumed the responsibility of supplying the documentation required for TMC to offer a California-approved teacher credential program. It was her vision to invest her life in men and women who would have the best preparation possible to teach in whatever venue God placed them: home, mission field, private school, or public school. Due to her latest efforts, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing once again approved the accreditation for TMC to offer multiple and single subject teacher preparation. While she was often employed in writing documents, she maintained a full teaching load with her ever present smile and hearty laughter, delighting in students and delighting in the classroom. Her warmth, insights, wisdom and counsel, and her astute perceptions for those learning to teach have all contributed to developing a generation of teachers who love the LORD Jesus Christ and who want to utilize their gifts and abilities to teach children. Though she leaves the classroom at TMC physically, she has left an indelible mark on her students and colleagues. She never sought the limelight or position of prominence; she has preferred to devote herself to the teacher preparation classroom, where she believes God has called her. She leaves The Master’s College this spring, but her love for children, her love for teaching, and her love for those who teach children remains. She has remained steadfastly faithful, and those of us who have worked closely with her will miss her laughter, companionship, and love. She is truly a gift from the LORD.
eam LA will serve with TMC alumni in a church plant in South-Central Los Angeles through children’s ministry, teaching English, and community outreach Team Slovenia will be serving with Josiah Venture alongside TMC Alumni Chris and Ashley Wick. The team will partner with the local church to reach out to youth, families and orphans impacted by disability. Team Slovakia will serve with TMC alumna Heather Eccles and participate in youth outreach through English and sports camps. The people groups represented will include orphans and Gypsies. The Women’s Basketball team will be serving alongside TMC graduates Rogerio and Susan Soares and Brazil’s Athletes in Action. The team will be serving the church through community outreach using sports and Bible instruction. Team Indonesia will be working with Saltwater Tours, an entrepreneurial endeavor which builds bridges to communities through cultural and educational programs. Team Ireland will be serving with Michael and Amy Walsh in Roscommon, Republic of Ireland. The team will help the church renovate their new building and reach out to Brazilian immigrants in their community. After visiting TMC/TMS alumni who serve with the Lincoln Center in Albania, Team Kosovo will serve alongside ABWE’s Good Neighbor Foundation at the Kosovo Leadership Academy. Team France will be serving two churches in Paris and Toulouse by participating in evangelism among university students. The team will also spend two weeks serving an international school in North Africa. The TMC women’s soccer team will be participating in a community development in Northern Haiti. Team Philippines will learn and serve in Rivera Medical Center. The team will shadow medical practitioners through rotations in the hospital and associated clinics and will provide ministry among the patients on the wards.
Team Slovakia Team Brazil
One of the greatest privileges of overseeing TMC’s Alumni Relations efforts is the opportunity I have to constantly be interacting with our graduates. I’m consistently refreshed and encouraged by the countless alumni I get to meet and talk with. For this issue of The Current, we decided to interview a handful of our alums about their personal experiences with TMC’s “distinctives” – the core commitments the college holds to in our training of young people. We asked our graduates what their memories of the distinctives were from when they were students, and if they had seen any of these distinctives especially emphasized in their lives since graduation. Here’s what they had to say: Director of Alumni Relations, Steve Crawford (class of ‘08)
R B Class of ‘00
A Bible Exposition Major, Ryan is now serving as the Senior Pastor of Green Pond Bible Chapel in northern New Jersey. He and his wife Lindsay (née Harrison, class of 2001) have three children and one more on the way. “I remember being a freshman and listening to Mark Spansel (TMC’s Dean of Men at the time) working through the disctinctives with us. The distinctive that was most impactful to me was ‘Biblical Confrontation-Restoration.’ Being able to be a part of that on both the giving and receiving end was transformational for me. In fact, the guys who cared about me enough to speak the hard truth to me when I needed to hear it are the men I’m closest with today. “In the same vein, being able to go to a brother struggling with sin and lovingly
speak the truth to him, then watching as God changed him was a huge blessing – to see the Spirit work in him and restore him was a real joy. “Since leaving TMC, the distinctive that has stood out to me most is ‘Divine Authority,’ mostly because that’s what I’ve been involved in proclaiming nearly every single day since I left the college. What I do as a pastor is solely based on the sufficiency of God’s Word. I believe that what sets a ministry apart more than anything else is how faithful that ministry is to the authority of God’s Word. I loved my time at TMC because it instilled in me a commitment to the sufficiency of God’s Word, and that has affected how I minister as a pastor in the local church. As I proclaim God’s Word, I call others to join me in submitting to Christ’s sovereign Lordship over our lives.” 18
S Z Class of ‘05
Scott is a Theology major and a former ASB President. Having served in India for 18 months as a short-term missionary with his wife, Angela, Scott is currently back in the Dallas, Texas region before he and Angela (along with their two children) will head back to India for longterm missionary work alongside Peter & Heather Malakar (TMC alumna ‘00). “One of the disctinctives that was driven home during my time at TMC was that of ‘sanctifying relationships.’ I had grown up in a good church, but before coming to TMC, no one had really communicated to me how we as Christians are truly interdependent upon one another. At TMC, I realized that belonging to one another is part of what the Bible describes as true Christianity. I saw this chiefly in terms of ‘Confrontation-Restoration’: not only do we grow together spiritually through study and prayer together, but we also need others to confront us and to point out our sin because our hearts can
be deceitful… We need other believers to help us in our process of fighting sin and growing more into the image of Christ. TMC taught me that there are no lone rangers in the Christian faith. As believers, the Lord has made us to live in unity with one another and serve according to the gifts given to us… as we offer ourselves to Christ as a spiritual act of worship (Rom. 12:1-2), we are then called to serve our fellow Christians within the context of the local church (Rom. 12:3-8). “TMC also helped shape my understanding of both the local Church and Global Missions, and how these two distinctives interact with one another. While at TMC, I was able to spend two summers in Uganda, Africa with TMC alumni Shannon & Danielle Hurley and was impacted by their lifestyle of Gospel witness in the context of Global missions. Through those experiences, I was impressed with the idea that all of us as Christians need to evaluate whether or not we have a calling to go overseas as missionaries. I believe that for me and my family this is an expression of our local church’s ministry, because as believers we are all called to participate in God’s plan for missions. My time at TMC has helped me understand that. It all goes back to the nature of the Gospel – the same Gospel that will save someone across the street will save someone on the other side of the world.”
K S Class of ‘07
Katie Slusher is an accounting major who worked for a time at KPMG, one of the “big four” accounting firms in America. Katie is now serving at Compass Bible Church in Aliso Viejo, California as the Assistant to the High School and College Pastor, Bobby Blakey (TMC alumnus ‘02). “When I think back on my time at TMC, all the distinctives were emphasized, but in particular, ‘Divine Authority’ stands out. TMC helped me understand that Christ is not only our Savior but He is also our Lord and we are to be obedient to what He calls us to
do. I see this same principle emphasized in my local church - we are to obey our Lord any time, any place, and in anything. “Also during my time at TMC, I came to really appreciate the distinctive of ‘Gospel Witness.’ TMC stressed our need to be involved in the local church, so I attended Grace Community Church and got plugged into a local Bible study – this proved to be a great blessing. Now, after TMC, this same commitment has influenced my heavy involvement at Compass Bible Church.”
R E D Class of ‘07 & ‘01
me. The first was ‘Dynamics of Spiritual Life’ with Mark Spansel, which taught me about the importance and joy found in practicing key spiritual disciplines. The other was Elyse Fitzpatrick’s MABC course called ‘Gospel-Centered Counseling,’ which showed me how Christ’s life and work can directly be applied to any counseling situation. While at TMC I experienced true biblical community and am so thankful for relationships built there that continue to this day.” Rick & Esther: “Since being at TMC, we’ve come to realize the uniqueness of the college, specifically the blessing of being surrounded by like-minded believers who valued Christ, the Scriptures and ministry. We are very thankful that TMC taught us to take a high view of Scripture and demonstrated the importance and value of biblical community.”
M S Class of ‘96
Rick & Esther Dennis live in Orange County, California, where Rick (a former Business Management major) works as a Claims Adjuster for Farmers’ Insurance and Esther (a former doublemajor in Violin Performance and Constitutional Law) serves part-time as administrative assistant at their local church. They have recently been blessed with a baby boy, Henry.
Mark Severance, a Business Administration major, currently resides in Simi Valley, California with his wife Jodi (née Brown, TMC class of ’96) and their five children. Mark works at a technology consulting firm in Simi Valley. He and his family attend Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship. “The Lord used my 4 years at TMC to grow and mature me as a believer and as a man. What I learned at TMC helped to lay a foundation for adulthood, marriage, family, and church leadership. All of the distinctives were driven home
Rick: “The distinctive that stands out to me the most from my time at TMC is that of ‘Sanctifying Relationships.’ At TMC I learned about how Biblical Confrontation-Restoration can be carried out gracefully and constructively in love, rather than just ignoring and avoiding conflict.” Esther: “We loved all of our classes but two were particularly impactful to 19
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for me during my college years, but what I specifically remember was the college’s emphasis on the sufficiency of Scripture. The concept that the Bible is everything we need for life and godliness was strongly reinforced during my time at TMC… this was not only taught from a lectern or a podium; it was modeled by professors, Student Life staff, and older students—I saw this not only in my Bible classes and in chapel but also in my business classes. As I look back, Dr. Mackey (TMC’s Business Department chair) was to me not only a brilliant business mind but also an elder in his church who modeled what a godly life looks like. Since Dr. Mackey was both my academic adviser and one of my main professors, I had the privilege of learning from him both in the classroom and as a mentor in a one-on-one situation. “Also at the college, I really appreciated the strong emphasis on being a part of the local church. I have greatly benefitted from that foundation in my time since leaving TMC. The local church is God’s vehicle to drive forward His kingdom work. Within this context, we need to have good, godly relationships. We as Christians are missing out when we don’t pursue godly friendships within the local church, because God uses these as blessings to grow and change us. “I also appreciated TMC’s strong emphasis on Global Missions. Since leaving TMC, I’ve been able to go overseas as well as provide missions leadership at our local church. My family and I have been able to encourage missionary friends and bless them. It’s exciting to know what God is doing around the world to build His kingdom and to be part of His work to reach the nations.”
hen TMC alumnae Tamara Reimer (’96) served with her husband Justin almost twenty years ago on a TMC Global Outreach team, they could not have foreseen how the Lord would be using them today. Following their wedding, the couple moved to Alaska to pursue plans to return to Russia as missionaries. When their first son, Eli, was born with Down Syndrome, those plans were transformed. As Justin said, “By God’s grace, we knew right away that our call now was to reach out to this new community that we had just become a part of.” In March of this year, Tamara stood beaming in the Bradley terminal of Los Angeles International Airport as Justin and their 15-year-old son Elisha walked toward her and the cheering crowd of family, friends, and TV camera crews. The crowd chanted, “Eli! Eli! Eli!” Eli had just become the first American with Down Syndrome to reach Everest Base Camp in Nepal, accompanied by seven other trekkers, including trek organizer Kevin Padgett, alumnae Carly Payne (’07), and TMC Director of Global Outreach, Dr. Lisa La George. CNN, NBC, The Today Show, and dozens of international news outlets have highlighted Eli’s milestone, but the trek to Base Camp was about more than just the tenacious accomplishment of a disabled teenager. The trek was launched to both bring awareness about disabilities and to raise funds for The Elisha Foundation, founded in 2005 by the Reimers to minister to families impacted by disabilities. Justin described the heart of the Trek and The Elisha Foundation this way: It is our prayer and desire to see this Trek be used to awaken more people to the needs of the disabled around them, in their own churches, in their own communities, and throughout the world. However, of primary importance is to show that the only remedy for suffering that can supply all that is needed for the disabled is the Gospel of Christ. Jesus secured for us a forever with Him where these broken, sin-cursed carcasses will be made new with His resurrection power. This is a hope that lasts, and a hope that cannot come through therapies, doctors, medicines, or anything but Christ alone. The purpose of this adventure is to see Jesus, the “Mover of Mountains,” be made known among the world’s disabled. The Elisha Foundation exists to pursue Christ–centered transformation in the lives of people experiencing disability throughout the world by providing family retreats, respite care, and outreach through local churches. One family who has personally benefited from the ministry of The Elisha Foundation is Jason (‘96) and Mary (‘97) Hartung and their four children. Jason said,“When it comes to thinking biblically about disability, suffering, and God’s goodness, there is nothing that God has used to greater effect in my family than the TEF retreats. We treasure those memories and the lasting relationships we developed.” You can learn more about the ministry of The Elisha Foundation and the Trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp at www.theelishafoundation.org.
Kinesiology and Physical Education Graduates Pursue Doctorate
he Kinesiology and Physical Education Department would like to congratulate four of their alumni who were accepted to the Cal State Northridge Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) program this past fall. Emily Bruton (’11), Nicole Richards (’11), Thomas Morsey (’12), and Jared Sinn (’12) were four of more than 1,100 applicants who applied to CSUN’s DPT program, which only accepts 32 students per year. 20
The Master’s College maintains a strong academic reputation at CSUN, and alumni have excelled at the university’s DPT program in the past. The Pre-Physical Therapy (Pre-PT) emphasis was established at TMC in 2006, and more than a dozen of the program’s students have gone on to complete or are currently pursuing their doctorate in Physical Therapy. The Pre-PT emphasis is also one of the fastest growing emphases on campus with close to 50 students enrolled.
A L U M N I I N
F O C U S
T TMC A A H J, ’ P S C L TMC. H L L S L’ M C T. W L . TMC Alumni Association: Hugh, why don’t you tell us about the competition you just won. Hugh Jackson: There were 73 initial contestants in the competition (the entirety of Liberty’s first-year class). To begin, we wrote an 18-page motion concerning the case that had been assigned to us. Following this, we had two weeks to prepare for oral arguments in Moot Court. In this stage, you argue why the law is on your side and not your opponents’ side. After the first two rounds, half of the group was eliminated and the remaining contestants were ranked 1 through 32. Then we competed in a form of bracket system with a single-elimination format. We were judged not only on the strength of our arguments but also how well we responded to questions from the judges and to opponents’ arguments. Needless to say, once I got to the final four, I was a little nervous. One of our guest judges for the final round was the Chief Justice of the 8th Federal Circuit and another was the Chief Justice of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court. The funny thing was, I did not expect to take first place. A few weeks before, a friend and I had come in 5th place in a negotiation tournament, and I felt that was a decent turnout and I was content with it. However, following that tournament, my dad had challenged me to be open to the Lord taking me to new levels and to allow God to use both success and failure to grow me into the man He wants me to be. Looking back, it was such a blessing for the Lord to allow me to win this competition and it was a blessing to interact with the guest judges.
law, and I want to be thinking strategically, “How can I be a light for Christ in whatever area He places me.” My preference is to be involved with a Christian organization that understands what the role of the believer is in today’s world and that also understands how we can honor the Lord by operating rightly according the laws of our nation.
TMC: And when you think back to your time at TMC, how do you think your education at the college helped you for law school now? HJ: Looking back, I realize that my time at TMC encouraged me to think critically according to biblical principles. Classes with Dr. Frazer in particular helped me wrestle through questions like: “How can I as a Christian give a biblical reason for the things I believe?” Now in law school, I couldn’t be more appreciative of the education I received at TMC.
TMC: That’s great, Hugh. That leads me to my next question - why do you as a Christian want to become an attorney? HJ: That all goes back to my understanding of my role as a follower of Christ in the world today. The Lord has blessed me with a desire to study the 21
Fellowship group at Grace Community Church on January 27, speaking on “Harmonizing the Bible and Science: A Guide to Conflict Resolution.”
MATHEMATICS BIBLICAL STUDIES Dr. Ernie Baker is on Sabbatical during spring and summer 2013. During this time he will be working on his new book for high school and college students on how to make wise choices in finding a spouse and how to prepare for marriage. In addition, Dr. Baker contributed to the book Christ Centered Biblical Counseling, which was released by Harvest House in March. He and biblical counseling alumnus Jonathan Holmes (Soul Care Pastor at Parkside Church in Ohio) coauthored the chapter “The Power of the Redeemer.” His chapter “Men in Conflict” will also be featured in the Biblical Counseling Department’s new book Men Counseling Men. Dr. Baker attended a week of meetings at the Spanish Language Institute (training center for missionaries) in Costa Rica in February and at TMAI in Samara, Russia in June.
ENGLISH Prof. Grant Horner has six articles in press on American poet Emily Dickinson, to be published by ABC Clio as part of a new scholarly work called “All Things Emily.” He also has an essay on John Milton’s Latin poetry in a new edition of the “Latin Alive!” textbook series. He was the speaker at the National Bible Bee Finals in Gatlinburg, Tennessee last fall, and in June 2012 gave two talks on Socratic teaching methods in literature and the visual arts at
the Society for Classical Learning annual meeting in Charleston, South Carolina.
MASTER of ARTS in BIBLICAL COUNSELING Dr. John Street, Chair of the MABC Graduate program, has recently spoken in several conferences. He spoke at a retreat sponsored by the Evangel Bible Church of Berkeley on the topic of “Forgiveness.” Most of the 100 students in attendance were from the University of California Berkeley. He also spoke at a Men’s Conference for First Christian Reform Church of Ripon, California on the topic of “God’s Design for Marriage.” He spoke at the 2013 Shepherds’ Conference on “Dealing with Difficult People: How to Shepherd Strong Personalities in your Church!” and spoke in March at the Fort Worth Biblical Counseling Association Conference at Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas on the topic of “Hope for Those in Despair.” In early April he spoke for the Biblical Counseling Conference of Faith Community Church in Woodstock, Georgia. Later in April he spoke for the Counseling and Discipleship Training Conference sponsored by the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors in Portland, Oregon. In June Dr. Street and his wife Janie will be teaching in two Conferences in Salvador, Brazil. In August Dr. Street will spend ten days teaching for the European Biblical Training Center directed by Christian Andresen in Berlin, Germany.
BIOLOGICAL and PHYSICAL SCIENCES Dr. Taylor Jones was an invited speaker at the Doulos 22
Dr. Remi Drai presented a special seminar in Fall 2012 on “The Exploration of Mars.” The seminar was well attended by faculty, staff and students. Dr. Drai, formerly a scientist with the European Space Agency, is a specialist in the area of space ship control.
MUSIC Dr. Ruta Bloomfield and harpsichord student Mark Hughes attended a conference called “Continuo: The Art of Creative Collaboration.” Sponsored by the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies, the event was held April 4-6 in Tacoma, Washington. Prof. Sarah Dixon adjudicated at the annual ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) Piano Festival for young pianists (along with Dr. Kelly) on March 5, where almost 100 students came to play and receive comments and awards. She also led the Vocal Jazz Quartet in their performance at Disneyland this February, along with Dr. Opfer and the TMC Big Band. The group drew a large crowd and impressed the Disney personnel with their performance and professionalism. Prof. Dixon continues to pursue performance roles in the Santa Clarita area. This Easter season she participated in Grace Baptist’s annual Passion Play as a soloist (Mary the sister of Lazarus) and as part of the choir under the direction of Peter Beers and John Kersey. She also sang as a featured soloist at Valencia United Methodist Church with renowned Broadway tenor, Kristofer McNeely for special Easter services. Dr. Katherine Kelly was invited to adjudicate the California Association of Professional Music Teachers Piano Auditions at the Pasadena Steinway Gallery on March 10, 2013. She also adjudicated the Association of Christian
Schools International Piano Festival on March 12 and the Santa Clarita Valley Junior Music Festival on April 13. She organized a student chamber music concert on March 28 at The Master’s College. Dr. Ken Mays and Dr. Kelly were guest performers along with seven student performers. The concert included a piano and violin sonata, a six hand piano trio ensemble, an eight hand piano quartet ensemble, and a piano, violin and cello trio. Dr. Kenneth Mays has composed piano arrangements for two Welsh hymns, “O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” and “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” (Aberystwyth). He has also prepared a vocal arrangement of “Be Thou My Vision.” This summer he plans to write a new piano arrangement for the group of pianos in Come Christmas Sing 2013.
grosso by Corelli introduced four student harpsichordists. The concert also featured works by Mendelssohn and Elgar. Wallin Huff’s string quartet “Anima Mechanicae: Soul of the Machine,” was recorded this past summer by the New England String Quartet, which is slated to be released soon on the PARMA album, “Allusions: Evocative Chamber Works.” She is currently talking with PARMA about her next album, which will feature her three works: “Leviathan of the Ancient Deep” (Concerto for 6-string electric violin, EWI, synthesizer and chamber orchestra), “Courage Triptych” (for string orchestra, soprano saxophone and piano) and “Counterpoint Invariable” (for violin trio). This spring she self-released an album “A Personal Echo: The Original Works of Sarah Wallin Huff,” an eclectic album consisting of small ensemble works and early works. On March 20, 27 and April 3, she was invited to conduct a three-week lecture series on Women Composers throughout the ages, covering the lives and music of several women from Medieval days through to our present age, and exploring the societal climates that helped or hindered women’s ability to excel as professional composers.
Dr. Paul Plew in cooperation with Student Life has introduced ten hymns that will become standard knowledge of the TMC student body. These “Top Ten Hymns” will provide a common heritage they can share with each other and the future student generations. Dr. Plew introduced each hymn with its background and scriptural references during chapel throughout the spring semester. The ten hymns are: “Holy, Holy, Holy”; “Great is Thy Faithfulness”; “O, The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus”; “A Mighty Fortress”; “And Can It Be”; “It is Well with My Soul”; “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”; “O, God, Our Help in Ages Past”; “How Great Thou Art”; and “O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”. Dr. Plew spoke this spring at The Master’s Academy International Conference at Calvary Bible Church of Burbank on the topic “Special Musical Services Inside and Outside the Local Church.” He also adjudicated more than 25 public high school choirs at a festival hosted by Hart High School.
Dr. William Schlegel’s new book, the Satellite Bible Atlas has recently been made available on BiblePlaces.com. The book includes 85 full-color maps with biblical events marked on enhanced satellite imagery, accompanied by geographical and historical commentary. Dr. Eugene Merill of Dallas Theological Seminary described it as a “must have… The precision of satellite photography overlaid with clearly demarcated boundary lines and biblical historical graphics – the whole topped off by text commentary – has resulted in this beautiful and useful historical atlas of Bible lands.”
Prof. Sarah Wallin Huff, adjunct professor of composition and strings, led the TMC Chamber Orchestra in their spring concert on April 4 which included her own composition, “Adoré.” A concerto
Dr. Benjamin Foreman traveled to the Word of Life Bible Institute in Hungary this February to teach a one week class on Bible Manners and Customs, covering topics such as family life, style
ISRAEL BIBLE EXTENSION (IBEX)
of worship, warfare and government, among other things. This is the fourth time Dr. Foreman has taught at Word of Life Hungary, and the class was well-received by the students. He also recently completed a Hebrew series on worship, to be published in the near future.
HISTORY Dr. Gregg Frazer recently had an article published on World Magazine’s website. The piece, “Jefferson and Christianity” comes as part of an ongoing debate on WorldMag.com, dealing with David Barton’s book The Jefferson Lies. Using Jefferson’s letters and writings, Frazer refutes Barton’s claims that this founding father held to the basic tenets of Christianity until the last fifteen years of his life. This is similar to the subject matter Frazer dealt with in his recent book, The Religious Beliefs of America’s Founders. He calls Barton to not make the issue a political argument, but to focus on good historical scholarship.
TEACHER EDUCATION Prof. Donna Hall presented a Comparison/Contrast of Intervention Programs for students with learning disabilities on March 1, before the National Institute of Learning Development. This organization has been part of Professor Hall’s professional life for more than twenty years. She served early in the leadership of the organization. At the conclusion of her presentation, she was awarded a “Certificate of Recognition” by the leadership. As part of her work at The Master’s College, Professor Hall has continued to provide consulting to local Christian schools concerning those in their student population with learning challenges. She has maintained individual work with students to provide learning assistance. In these ways, her heart continues to resonate with the desire to help children learn by overcoming impediments to their intellectual development. Her award comes as a testimony to her unwavering commitment to developing teachers who have compassion for all children.
Successful Rebounding Keyed by a season-opening, recordbreaking winning streak and led by two All-Americans, The Master’s College women’s basketball team returned to national prominence this year with an appearance in the NAIA National Tournament, capping off one of the most successful seasons in program history. Driven by fifth-year head coach Dan Waldeck, the Mustangs reeled off 17 consecutive wins to start the 2012-13 campaign, a streak that caught the notice of coaches around the country and vaulted the club to as high as No. 8 in the country. The streak came to an end in late January against eventual national champion Westmont but the Mustangs still completed the regular season with 25 wins, the fourth-highest total in school annals, and a third-place finish in the Golden State Athletic Conference. The Mustangs parlayed a 25-5 record and their high national ranking into a NAIA tournament berth, the first for the squad since the 2007-08 season. Although the Mustangs lost in the opening round of the national tournament, it couldn’t put a damper on an outstanding year in which the club finished as the nation’s no. 12 – ranked team.
After leading the Mustangs through a magnificent season, senior guard Lena Rivera and junior forward Jacquelyn Marshall earned AllGSAC and NAIA All-American honors. Rivera was named all-conference for the second year in a row and All-American (honorable mention) for the first time after, averaging 10.4 points and five rebounds per game. Meanwhile, Marshall made a seamless transition after transferring from UC Irvine, posting team-highs of 13.1 points, 7.7rbounds, and eight double-doubles en route to secondteam All-American honors.
“I remember sitting underneath Yosemite Falls during our annual team retreat and we talked about what we wanted to accomplish in the coming year,” said head coach Bobby Blanken. “The girls were extremely serious about playing for a national championship, and were committed to the idea of giving 100 percent and doing the absolute most to have the opportunity.” As the Lady Mustangs’ season progressed, TMC tallied win after win and proved to be able to
History Makers On Nov. 30, the clock struck midnight on the finest season in TMC volleyball history at the end of the first round of single-elimination play in the 2012 NAIA National Championships. The Lady Mustangs’ 2012 campaign came to an end in four sets (25-27, 27-25, 22-25, 22-25) by means of a decisive kill from Oklahoma Baptist University. But at the end of the match, rather than disappointment, pride in the achievement of their playoff run was shared by the Lady Mustangs and the faithful fans who made the trek to Sioux City, Iowa. 24
hang on with the nation’s best. In fact, the Lady Mustangs possessed a solid record of competing with nationally ranked teams as they topped four NAIA Top 25 powers during the course of the 2012 campaign. On Nov. 6, TMC came within three points in the fifth set of beating conference rival and top-ranked Concordia. The Mustangs’ regular-season schedule ended with a 26-5 (10-4 in conference play) overall record, good enough to earn them a first-round bye in the opening round of the 2012 NAIA National Tournament. It was the first time in program history the team made an appearance in the national tournament.
But TMC faced turmoil early on in their designated playoff pool as the Lady Mustangs fell to Cal State San Marcos and Viterbo (WI) within 24 hours of each other. Down but not out, coach Blanken and his squad navigated their way through a four-set match against Indiana Wesleyan on Nov. 29, followed by winning two back-toback tiebreakers against Cal State San Marcos and IWU, giving the Mustangs the green light to advance out of their playoff pool to the single-elimination bracket against Oklahoma Baptist. When all was said and done, the Lady Mustangs played nearly four straight hours of volleyball that Thursday night. “Things started to not go the way we wanted them to, and we all thought it was over,” Blanken said. “I felt like God was teaching us to be perseverant. I was very thankful for how the girls adjusted and continued to play. We were blessed to be given the chance to be in the mix with the nation’s Top 12 (teams).” The Mustangs took that chance and faced the Bison of Oklahoma Baptist at noon the next day in the first round of single elimination play in the national tournament. The Bison got out to a quick start, taking the first game at 27-25. OBU started the second set strong as it created a 20-12 advantage. But the Lady Mustangs struck back, scoring five straight
points to slice the deficit to 24-22. A kill by Rebecca Peluffo and a Bison attack error by OBU kill-leader Kristin Pressley tied the match at 24. Aubrey Bekendam and Ashley Newton tallied back-to-back kills, giving the Mustangs a 27-25 victory. The battle continued in game three as the Bison topped the Mustangs 25-22. TMC entered the fourth set facing a must-win situation. With their season hanging in the balance, the Lady Mustangs started the set by keeping the margins close, tying the game nine times. However, OBU surged to a 23-19 lead before the Lady Mustangs came together and cut the lead to 23-22. TMC’s title dreams were dashed by way of consecutive kills, ending the match at 27-25. But at the end of four sets the Lady Mustangs’ efforts were not in vain as coach Blanken encouraged his squad to hold their heads high in wake of the loss. “I couldn’t be more proud of the girls. Our seniors, in particular, contributed so much to rebuilding a struggling and unsuccessful program. It’s really special to see how committed the squad was to the idea of winning the championship. I’m very proud of our girls.” The Mustangs graduated Rachel Taylor, Tori Callihan, and Jenna Kapuscinski. The senior trio led the Mustangs to a 27-8 (10-4 GSAC) season, a far cry from the consecutive 2-18 seasons they experienced as freshmen and sophomores (2009 & 2010). The future looks bright for the Lady Mustangs as their head coach and two returning players received prestigious accolades in the offseason. On Nov. 14, Blanken, who is now entering his fourth year as head coach, was named GSAC Volleyball “Coach of the Year” by the conference coaches. At the end of the season, Blanken was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s (AVCA) Southwest Region “Coach of the Year.” Blanken’s overall record at TMC is 54-45.
Highlighting the AVCA’s 2012 NAIA honor list for The Master’s College was Aubrey Bekendam, who earned the 2012 AVCA NAIA Freshman of the Year award. Bekendam finished her freshman campaign with 349 assists, 120 kills, 174 digs, and 11 service aces. The setter also placed 10th in the Golden State Athletic Conference in both digs (91) and hitting percentage (.277). Sam Dougherty made it on the 2012 AVCA Second-Team All-America list. Dougherty finished the year with 452 kills, 372 digs, 56 service aces, and 22 assists. The Mustangs’ ace also finished the year first in the GSAC in service aces and third in kills. This accolade came on the heels of Dougherty’s selection to the 2012 TachikaraNAIA Volleyball Second-Team All-American list. In addition, Dougherty earned AllGSAC honors accompanied by the GSAC’s “Player of the Week” award on two separate occasions in the fall and was also a recipient of the NAIA’s “Volleyball National Player of the Week” award for the week of Oct. 29-Nov. 4. And with the program’s most successful season in the books for more than six months, coach Blanken and his staff now look to August where they will begin another chapter in TMC volleyball history. “Sustainable success has always been one of program goals. With the culture we’re trying to build, and the talent we’ve retained, we’re excited to see what the Lord will do with Mustang Volleyball in 2013.” For more info on the women’s volleyball team and all other Mustang sport teams, visit www.masters.edu/athletics
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Running the Race Set Before Him 5:00 AM:
Grab a snack Do devotions Leave for practice
Make it to class
Chapel (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
10:30 AM to 4:00 PM: Class & Study 4:00 PM:
7:00 PM to 8:45 PM:
Go to Bed *70-105 miles a week 48 weeks of the year
For the average college kid, a weekly schedule like the one listed above is a far cry from being considered “normal.” But, for the above-average Mustang cross country and track athlete John Gilbertson, that is the life he lives, and the life he loves. In fact, to him, that schedule IS “normal.” “John Gilbertson is the type of guy who practices excellence in every area of life,” said eighth-year Mustang track and field head coach Zach Schroeder. “To be an athlete that produces school record after school record, multiple NAIA All-American honors, an individual national championship title, and a world-leading time in the 10k, you have to be extremely disciplined. I’ve never seen a collegiate athlete like John prepare to compete the way he does.” On a surface level, Gilbertson is obviously an above-average athlete. Holding six school records, an individual cross country national championship, being named an NAIA All-American multiple times, and achieving
2013’s world-fastest time on March 29 in the 10,000 meter event, backs that up. But what makes him one of the top athletes The Master’s College has ever produced runs deeper than that. Much deeper. “I only have one tradition on race day,” Gilbertson said. “The last song I play before each race is Hillsong’s “I Will Exalt You.” That song focuses my attention, because that’s what I want to do. I want to exalt the Lord in my actions, and praise Him no matter the outcome. Every time I go to race, I go to win for the Lord.” The classic movie, “Chariots of Fire” popularized the legendary Olympic sprinter and missionary Eric Liddell and reminded the athletic world of I Samuel 2:30, in which God states, “For those who honor me, I will honor.” Reminiscent of Liddell, the Lord HAS blessed Gilbertson, and it shows. In the fall of 2012, Gilbertson won seven consecutive races that ultimately produced an undefeated personal season. Gilbertson capped off his season on Nov. 17 when he won the men’s 8K in 23 minutes and 56 seconds at the 2012 NAIA National Championship in Vancouver, Wash. “It sounds selfish, but I kind of knew I was going to win it,” Gilbertson said on the national championship race. “I knew I was ready, and I knew the Lord was with me. I felt prepared and empowered. I honestly wanted to win so that no other runner would take the glory for himself. I wanted to give all the glory to the Lord and exalt Him.” Gilbertson has a proven track record of applying that same attitude towards every other race he has competed in. Schroeder can affirm that. “John has a consistent testimony in his commitment to the sport, but more importantly, in his commitment to the Lord,” Schroder said. “He’s setting the standard of the ideal athlete that we look for at The Master’s College.” It’s accurate to say that Gilbertson’s testimony is what The Master’s College is looking for in its students, whether they are athletes or not. As seen on the college’s website, “The mission of The Master’s College is to empower 26
students for a life of enduring commitment to Christ, biblical fidelity, moral integrity, intellectual growth and lasting contribution to the Kingdom of God.” One of the most important ways the college’s administration attempts to accomplish that in lives of TMC students is through the first point: “The Commitment to Christ through unreserved worship of God.” “Worship.” The word derives from the Old English word “worthscipe,” meaning worthiness or worth-ship. Simply put, it means to offer extravagant respect, admiration and devotion. Worship characterizes Gilbertson’s approach to his sport. In an interview dating back to his sophomore year, Gilbertston once said, “I feel like each race day is a sacred day, and it shouldn’t be defiled by any kind of distractions. Race days are when I get to go out and worship God and exalt him, and that’s all I think about really when I’m racing and before the race also.” It’s fair to say that Gilbertson’s success can be linked to worship. According to him, that’s all that running is. “How we worship is seen in our running,” he said, “It’s how we rely on God in the moment. It’s our legs, but not our strength. You need the Lord working with you. You need to push through the pain and work harder, because that’s what the Lord asks of us. We want to do that through the way we compete. The way we compete is how we worship. That’s all it is. ” Gilbertson embodies the approach to competing shared by all The Master’s College cross country and track athletes. Under the leadership of Schroeder, TMC’s distance running program has carved
a unique niche in the running world as the team boldly seeks first and foremost to use the gifts that God has endowed them with to glorify and worship His name. Gilbertson, a captain for the Mustangs, further explained that “We view running as a gift from God, and fully want to invest in what He’s given us – not only running with excellence, but in all the little things that add up to it. We ‘run in such a way that we may win’ (1 Cor. 9:24), not only in running, but also in life. We strive to worship God through our running and in everything by being ‘All In!’” And as Gilbertson graduates from The Master’s College in May with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences, he’s already preparing for life that matches his daily schedule: disciplined and abnormal. While most college kids are applying for jobs that will adequately pay off outstanding student loans, support themselves or a spouse and launch them into the trajectory of a long-term career, Gilbertson has once again set his goals higher than the normal standard.
Much higher. “My post-collegiate plans are to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games.” Knowing that this isn’t something one can decide to do on a whim, Gilbertson has begun the process of achieving his goal. Already in communication with a number of professional coaches, Gilbertson hopes to earn a spot on an elite team. And while his end-goal is to compete on the professional level, Gilbertson is still focusing just as much energy on his commitment to the Lord as he would be focusing on his training. “It’s all about keeping your own life in an eternal perspective,” he said. “I want to be a testimony in the Santa Clarita Valley and throughout the world, and speak into other’s lives. People see me and say that I’m fast and it is all done by my own athleticism. It’s not. I think of myself as someone being used by God. That’s who I am. A follower of Christ wanting to do his will.” Hebrews 12:1-3 states “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” John Gilbertson stands as a testament to the fact that the lives of a Bible-believing Christian and a long-distance runner have one thing in common: In order to achieve the goal, it takes discipline, faith, and perseverance … one step at a time. To learn more about The Master’s College distance programs, visit www.masters.edu/athletics. 27
2012-13 Mustang Athletics Highlights: May 13-25: Members of the men’s soccer team served in Indonesia. August 20-24: Members of the men’s basketball team served in Costa Rica on a mission trip the week prior to the beginning of fall classes. August 21: Volleyball hosted CSU San Marcos in front of a packed house during the college’s Week of Welcome festivities, beating the Cougars 3-1. September 22: TMC Athletics hosted its firstever home Cross Country meet, The Mustang Challenge, at Central Park in Santa Clarita. November 17: John Gilbertson wins the men’s 8K NAIA National Championship cross country race in Vancouver, Washington. November 27-30: Women’s volleyball makes first-ever appearance in program history at the NAIA National Tournament. February 7: The Lady Mustang basketball team defeated New Hope Christian 83-49, marking the first time the program went undefeated in non-conference regular-season play. February 9: The Master’s College Athletics Department, Admissions Department, and the Associated Student Body worked in unison to host the first annual “Mustang Stampede” during the men’s & women’s basketball games against conference rival Biola University. March 4-5: Mustang golf hosted its annual tournament, “TMC Spring Invite,” placing third out of 12 teams. March 13: Women’s basketball made its eighth appearance at the NAIA National Championships. March 26: Baseball earned a No. 5 national ranking. This is the first time Mustang baseball has been ranked amongst the NAIA’s top five teams. March 29: John Gilbertson set a world-fastest time for 2013 in the 10,000m at the 2013 Stanford Invitational. The Master’s College Sports Information Department live-streamed every home oncampus athletic event. The following teams ranked amongst the NAIA’s top 10 teams during the academic year: men’s cross country, volleyball, women’s basketball, baseball and golf. 8 of TMC’s 11 teams made it to NAIA postseason tournaments.
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