Page 1

Volume 45 • Issue 2/2 • Fall 2014

“... be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is...”

Planning and Transformation... important themes in life and scripture

® ADMINISTRATION President Dr. Steve Hostetter Dean of the College Dr. Steven Ware Vice President for Advancement Joan Berntson Executive Vice President Carol Nelson Vice President for Enrollment Management Michael Barnes Dean of Student Life / Youth Ministry Director Randy McKain Camp Oak Hills Director Scott Buchan Center for Indian Ministries Director Zane Williams

DIRECTION MAGAZINE Volume 45 • Issue 2/2 • Fall 2014 Editor Rachel Johnson Director of Marketing & Communications Layout and Design Brent Johnson - Consultant

OAK HILLS FELLOWSHIP INC. 1600 Oak Hills Road SW Bemidji, Minnesota 56601 • 218.751.8670 Oak Hills is located along the shores of Lake Marquette in northern Minnesota. For over eight decades, the staff of Oak Hills have helped people pursue Christian maturity by teaching the truth from God’s Word that changes lives. Today they achieve this through three focused ministries: Oak Hills Christian College focuses on biblical education. Students may choose from ten bachelor degrees, six associate degrees, or a one-year Bible certificate. Camp Oak Hills offers a quality, Christian camp experience for youth, while pursuing a vision for year-round ministry to families and adults. Center for Indian Ministries reaches out to the Native American community to bring them the hope of Jesus Christ. The Mokahum Ministry Center provides culturally relevant Bible training for our Native American brothers and sisters.

“If we only knew the future and could see the whole view,” we may reason, “we would be able to make the right choices today to enable or improve upon that future.” But God, in his wisdom, has chosen not to reveal the detailed future. Instead, Christ has given us a clear mission and purpose to carry on today and into the future until his return. At OHCC we are aggressively pursuing that mission. We trust God to guide and direct our steps through the wisdom he provides even though we cannot fully perceive all the details of that future. As we anticipate and plan our future efforts, the action steps we take are intended to enable us to be as effective as possible. Through our required Biblical Studies Major we seek to prepare graduates to be righteous, just, compassionate, and godly people whose God given talents, skills, personalities and traits are developed to powerfully impact their world for the sake of Christ and his kingdom. Along with this core initiative, we are proactive on a number of fronts to increase our effectiveness and expand our reach. With regard to academics, we will increase not only the number of on-campus options expanding into marketplace ministries as well as professional ministries, but also implement programs that serve a vital need in today’s world. For example: • We have launched a Bachelor’s degree in Addictions Counseling this fall. • Plans are in place to initiate a Sports Management program next fall. • A few years ago we ventured into distance education starting with online courses and programs. • This fall we are expanding our distance education to include classes at a couple of alternative sites.

Planning our Future Efforts Why all this? So we can increase access to and reach more people with a biblical education who will become “oaks of righteousness� in a world that is increasingly unfriendly to Bible-believing Christians. To facilitate this great work, we have also launched a board-approved 25-year plan to completely remake the primary physical campus of the College. Initial steps already underway include transitioning all offices and services out of the central Administration Building to other locations on campus in order to prepare the site for the construction of two new residence halls. This on-campus environment is vital for teaching students how to live life meaningfully and productively as they rub shoulders with fellow students, engage in mentoring relationships with faculty and staff, and develop leadership capacities. In order to be effective in accomplishing our mission, we must provide a learning environment that is conducive to and enhances our desired outcomes.

These are challenging times! As we all work together with the help of God to fulfill the mission he has given us, his Church and Bride, may we be faithful and fruitful to the glory of God.

Dr. Steve Hostetter

President, Oak Hills Christian College

Alumni Project Update


Thank You... to our generous alumni! In anticipation of transitioning offices and classrooms out of the Administration Building, the goal for this year’s alumni project was to raise $15,000 to purchase chapel chairs which double as classroom desks. With your help and a generous $7,500 matching gift, we exceeded the goal and raised more than $24,000! The extra funds helped pay for additional matching chairs needed to complete the transformation of the chapel. Your contributions will serve our students for years to come!

What Has Been Happening Around the Campus Our summer was full as we repurposed space in multiple buildings to accommodate the move out of the Administration Building. All the hard work was permeated with excitement and enthusiasm as we saw progress to goals and vision becoming reality! • New administrative and faculty offices have been intentionally created near the centers of student activity with Student Life in the Valley View Student Center, faculty in the Fellowship Center, and administration in the Schreiber Activity Center. • We have moved out of the Administration Building in anticipation of its demolition. • A new Center for Indian Ministries (CIM) welcome center is being created from the former Ten Oaks Duplex near the entrance to the Oak Hills campus in order to provide greater visibility and ease of access. Volunteer involvement is moving this project along much faster than anticipated.


Update on Capital Campaign Finances We are excited to share recent developments about the campaign. Efforts over the past months to put the structures in place to support a successful capital campaign are now generating increasing interest and participation in the campaign. We have visited with a number of key donors who are passionate about God’s work at Oak Hills. We praise God for the following report on the participation of God’s people and the financial progress. Celebrating God’s Provision for Oak Hills • President Steve Hostetter and Joan Berntson, Vice President for Advancement have met with a number of key donors in the past few months and we are grateful to report that there has been a generous response at this early stage. • Join us in celebrating a recent generous gift of $100,000 from a local businessman who was introduced to the project by one of our board members. • We continue to experience God’s blessing through the generosity of a growing and committed team of donors whose financial gifts enable this first phase of transformation to move forward. Phase 1 Campaign Summary This phase provides offices and services in four other buildings on campus, removes the Administration Building, replacing it with a new women’s residence hall. Phase 1 Campaign Goal Gifts and Pledges Remaining Total Needed

$2,200,000 $1,416,000 $ 784,000

Thank You! for your interest and involvement in the Lord’s work at Oak Hills. We appreciate your continued prayers as we move forward in these exciting times.

Gunnar Kolstad Our Online and Distance Education serves people all over the globe. • An active duty Marine deployed in the Pacific • A Bible Institute graduate working among orphans in South America • A woman who works full-time and lives just a bit too far away to attend courses on campus • Other students include: pastors, a pastor’s wife, children and youth ministry workers, a police officer, court administrator, para-professional educator, and more Christians learning and living out their faith in their communities - that’s the beauty of online at Oak Hills!


BACHELOR DEGREES • Business Administration (NEW THIS YEAR) • Leadership and Ministry ASSOCIATE DEGREE • Biblical Studies and Ministry

is a senior at Oak Hills Christian College in the Pastoral Ministry program and is also a member of the Student Action Leadership Team (SALT). After graduation he would like to stay in Northern Minnesota if the Lord provides.

Transformed by the renewing power of the Spirit of God I first came to Oak Hills in the fall of 2011. I was 19, and for the previous 10 or so years I had been pretending to be a Christian. I came to Oak Hills not to learn more about God, but to get away from home. I had been raised in a churchgoing family. I always believed in God, and I believed that what the Bible said was true, but I was far from ready to relinquish control of my life to Him. I spent my first year at school caring very little about my studies, but through them God began to work in my heart. As I sang along one day during worship time, I suddenly realized I wasn’t just lying to those around me, I was lying to God. I began to cry and a friend came over to ask why. I confessed, and he prayed I would choose to truly follow Jesus. I didn’t choose that night. I graduated in the spring with a one year certificate, and went on to a year-long job I had lined up at a Bible camp. It was disastrous, and I quit in mid-August. That October, I had some minor surgery on my esophagus. It was an outpatient procedure, and there was little risk involved. As I lay in bed the night after the surgery, I began to feel strange. My chest hurt, my heart was beating irregularly, and I felt numbness creeping up my arms and legs. I thought I was about to die, and realized where I was going if I did. Despite that, I still didn’t choose Jesus that night. I went to the hospital and was told there was nothing wrong. They offered me some anxiety pills and sent me home. Still I put off the decision: Would I follow Jesus or not? On December 10th of 2012, I was sitting in my room listening to a song by Phil Keaggy called “The True Believers.” As I listened to the song, the lyrics tugged at my heart and a voice in my head said, “If you don’t choose to follow Jesus now, before you leave this room, you never will.” After several minutes of mental anguish, I knelt down. I told Jesus I didn’t know exactly what it would mean, but I wanted to follow Him. After that, God brought me back to Oak Hills and, for reasons unknown to me, placed me in the Pastoral Ministry program. As soon as there was an opening in the ice that spring, I was baptized. He brought wonderful friends into my life, and I have much to be thankful for. I don’t know where God will take me after I graduate, but the future isn’t as frightening as it once was. I’ve learned that knowing what the future holds isn’t important. What is important is doing God’s will now, wherever He has placed you. Do your best to follow Him, and He will take care of the rest. May God bless you.

College Life

Transformation . . . an important theme in scripture God takes us as we are and where we are, but he is not content to leave us there. Growth and change are regular, and even expected, characteristics of the Christian life in scripture. I have been on sabbatical this past spring. This is a time of rest, refreshment, and reflection. It is a break from the regular routine of academic life and responsibility to devote significant time for growth, both personally and professionally. During my sabbatical, I have focused my attention on a writing project on Galatians. My doctoral dissertation was on a key theme in Galatians. When I finished my degree about fifteen years ago, I had several people in a church who asked to read my dissertation. I appreciated their interest, but I advised against this attempt. A dissertation in any field is written for a very narrow audience. I did make a commitment then "to translate my dissertation into English!" My goal is to make some of the results of my study available for people in the church. And this is the task that I have pursued on sabbatical. An important theme in Galatians is the characteristic of the progressive growth toward maturity in the Christian life. By the power of the Spirit, God intends to move us toward maturity in Christ. This maturity results in obedience to the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2) and the production of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). All of this progressive growth is aimed at the fulfillment of the command to love one another (Gal 5:14). This is not an expectation of perfection in this life. But it does recognize that God accepts us as we are, but he does not leave us as we are. Gunnar is someone in whom God has been doing a work of transformation. He is a significantly changed young man from the freshman that I met a few years ago. But God is not done with him yet; the work of transformation continues day by day. God intends to transform each follower of Jesus into the very image of his beloved Son. Thanks be to God who accepts us as we are but who desires to make us like his Son by the work of the Spirit in us.

Dr. Wisdom Dr. Jeff Wisdom is the Christian Ministries department chair and program director for Pastoral Ministries at Oak Hills. He obtained his Bachelor of Biblical Science from Western Bible College in Morrison, CO; and went on to earn a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, MA and a Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Durham in Durham, England. Dr. Wisdom is also the pastor of Sell Lake Community Church near Shevlin, MN. He has been with Oak Hills Christian College since 2004.

Camp Life

The new kitchen was ready for summer camp 2014! When a fire destroyed the camp kitchen last September, the primary concern was to have it rebuilt so that summer camp would continue without any interruption. Through God’s provision of many skilled workers and generous gifts from friends of camp, we moved into the new kitchen two days before the start of camp!

Scott Buchan Camp Oak Hills Director

The dining hall project continues with these needs: install furnaces, finish off the new basement rooms, paint the exterior, build an enclosure around the coolers, and finish the walls and ceiling in the dining room as funds are available. This project marks the first major step in the transformation of Camp Oak Hills from a summer youth camp to a year-round camp ministry! Thank you to everyone who is taking part in this work! Camp ministry is effective because it removes campers from normal daily distractions, immerses them in God’s word, shares the opportunity for new life through Jesus, builds memories through adventures in the outdoors, and guides them with spiritual leaders. We saw the fruit of God’s work in 41 young people receiving Christ’s gift of salvation, 8 rededicating their lives to Him, and 44 making other commitments in their walk with God!

Camp Staff 2014

CIM Life Center for Indian Ministries

Classes begin at Mokahum Ministry Center Mokahum Ministry Center kicked off the 2014-15 school year with six students representing tribes from Oklahoma to Canada. Two students are returning in the second and third years of the ministry program, while four new students are beginning the one-year discipleship program. The biggest change for Mokahum this year is a restructuring of the curriculum that allows for third-year students to do an internship in their final semester. The staff has seen a need for ministry students to get more practical, “on-the-ground” experience in their chosen area of ministry, and the new internship program should help fill that gap.

Pray for our students: • Calvin (Ojibwe) • Terrence (Ojibwe) • Kevin (Ojibwe) • Alicia (Chippewa) • Michael (Muscogee Creek) • Jacob (Ojibwe)

Zane Williams CIM Director

Advancement investing in Oak Hills Christian College, Camp Oak Hills, and Center for Indian Ministries

A gift to an endowment can have a significant impact far into the future Scholarship Endowment Funds A gift to an Oak Hills endowment helps fund scholarships for campers, Native Americans and Oak Hills students. Alumni and friends of all three ministries can designate a gift of any size through their estate to these established funds. • Presidential Scholarship Fund (Oak Hills Christian College) • Camp Oak Hills Scholarship Fund (Camp Oak Hills) • Mokahum Ministry Center Scholarship (Mokahum Ministry Center)

Named Endowments There are also a number of named endowment college scholarships. These funds may receive gifts at any time or can be used to designate gifts for estate planning purposes. • The Arthur Anderson Memorial Scholarship • The Robert Thompson Memorial Scholarship • The Laureen Vogel Memorial Scholarship • The Don Wagner Memorial Pastoral Scholarship • The Kenneth J. Wold Scholarship • The David A. Smith Memorial Scholarship (includes camper and Mokahum scholarship funds) A new endowment fund may be set up for an initial minimum gift of $25,000 and is often used to create a scholarship in memory or in honor of a loved one or faculty member.

Special gifts to Oak Hills We are grateful to those who think of this ministry as a vehicle to express their heartfelt respect and honor for important people in their lives, and to invest in the work of the Kingdom of God in this world. In Memory of: Betty Jo Buschman Chaplain John K. Dodge Larry Haag Fern Hannan Alice Kastner Lowell Kastner Millie Larson Bob Thoring Katherine Underhill Dixie Vollen

In Honor of: Nick Hargett

Alumni News IN MEMORY Our thoughts and prayers are with these families.

• Rev. Earl J. Wilder, Jr. (Former Oak Hills staff from 1968-1986) • Timothy C. Johnson (’90) • Sally Esther (Neadeau) May (’92)

For More information please talk to: • Your financial planner, tax professional or • Joan Berntson Vice President for Advancement Office: 888-751-8670 ext. 1249 Cell: 218-766-2738

FAMILY NEWS • Matt & Jenny (Vincent) Nevala (Both ’98) The Nevalas are currently living in Honduras, serving children and families as part of the World Gospel Outreach.

Alumni • Alumni & Friends

BIRTHS 2014 • Chris (’13 MMC) & Janine (’12) Ballard Son: Zachariah Alex born April 16, 2014. Weighed 9 lbs. 4 oz. and was 22” long.

• Shaun (’09) & Marta (Lesczynska ’08) Breiland Son: Jaxon Milo born April 26, 2014. Weighed 7 lbs. 5 oz. and was 20” long.

• Jacob (’13) & Nicolle (Harthan ’10) Giese Son: Jason Theodore born July 11, 2014. Weighed 3 lbs. 13 oz.

• David (’11) & Leetha Osburnsen Son: Hayden Isaiah born July 26, 2014. Weighed 8 lbs. 2 oz. and was 20.5” long. Joins big sister Bentleigh Grace (2).

• Eric (’13) & Carmen Aaker Son: Liam James born September 9, 2014.

• Nathan & Casandra (Roy) Myrvik (Both ’11) Daughter: Brielle Renee born Sep. 30, 2014. Weighed 7 lbs. 5 oz. and was 20” long.

Alumni Connection at: • Alumni & Friends • Alumni Directory - user name: alumni / password: connected • Personal Updates - Keep us informed with your news and photos! • Or email updates or news to: If you have Oak Hills student handbooks from before 1980 and would like to give or lend them to the archive department, please contact us at

Having a baby? Pick up a complimentary Lil’ Oakie baby onesie* from the welcome center at Oak Hills. To have one mailed to you, visit (just pay shipping and handling). Email a photo of your Lil' Oakie to and he or she may be included in a future Direction newsletter! *Available sizes: 6 month and 12 month

Henry Johnson Son of Rachel Johnson, Director of Marketing at Oak Hills

Ezra Anderson Son of alumna Bethany (McKain '06) Anderson

Oak Hills Christian College 1600 Oak Hills Road SW, Bemidji, MN 56601

NONprOfIt Org. U.S. pOStage


Oak HIllS fellOwSHIp, INc. permIt #41



Planning and Transformation... important themes in life and scripture

Direction: Fall 2014  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you