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Volume 48 • Issue 1/2 • Spring 2016



President Dr. Steve Hostetter

Interim Dean of the College Dr. Greg Giles

Vice President for Advancement Joan Berntson Executive Vice President Carol Nelson

Vice President for Enrollment Management Michael Rasch

Dean of Student Life Brad DeJager

Camp Oak Hills Director Scott Buchan

Center for Indian Ministries Director Paul Straubel

Director of Church and Ministry Relations Jim Hodgson


Volume 48 • Issue 1/2 • Spring 2016 Editor Mitch Berntson - Consultant

Layout and Design Brent Johnson - Consultant


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 nine 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 higher education. Students may choose from nine bachelor’s degrees, five associate degrees, and a one-year Bible certificate. Online includes two bachelor’s degrees and two associate degrees. 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.

Providi Nourishin

Ken Davis

In light of our current culture “that is increasingly antagonistic keynote speaker at this winters’ Gala Fund Raiser

to the Christian worldview, now more than ever, students need a Christian college education.

“I’d send my student to Oak Hills Christian College if it didn’t cost so much. Initially, we’re going to send her to a community college so she can complete her general coursework at a lower cost.”

These were the words of a parent to me several years ago. This young woman went to a community college, walked away from the Lord, and made sinful choices. Now she and her family will have to live with the consequences of her choices for the rest of their lives. In a later conversation the parent said, “I wish I would have sent her to Oak Hills.”

Would she have made better choices had she come to Oak Hills first? Who can say? However, research indicates that students who attend a Christian college abandon their faith at a rate substantially lower (7%) than those who attend a non-Christian institution (52%).1 Clearly the odds favor the Christian College experience.

Despite this data, the significant voices who could encourage youth to attend a Christian College are rapidly diminishing in number. Recent research by the BARNA Group for the Association for Biblical Higher Education demonstrates that the “church ‘ecosystem’ is faltering as a feeder” for the Christian college.2 1 Steven Henderson. “A Question of Price Versus Cost” (Christianity Today, March 2006). 2 David Kinnaman. Presentation made at the ABHE Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL (February 2016).

ing a ng Environment In our western world, we continue to head in a direction that is increasingly morally and spiritually bankrupt. As a consequence, those who declare themselves Christian and stand on the Word of God as truth face growing challenges and persecutions. At Oak Hills, our goal is to develop strong Christians who will be able to withstand these tests of faith. In order to do so, we must create an environment that is conducive to learning, growth, and the development of robust Christian leaders.

If we expect a growing harvest of godly graduates from Oak Hills, we must provide a physical context that promotes this growth and learning. This critical element in providing a nourishing environment is functional and attractive facilities. While our current facilities have served us well these many years, they are old and tired and their functionality is inconsistent and haphazard.

In that light, our twenty-five year master site plan for the physical campus calls for the replacement of all primary campus facilities in order to bring them up to date, provide comfortable living and learning space, and create a context conducive to learning and growth.

“I’ll send my student to Oak Hills Christian College as long as they don’t have to live in the dorm.” These words represent the perspective of more than one parent or caregiver over the past several years in our attempts to recruit students to Oak Hills. Through comments like these, student surveys, and input from alumni, friends, the Bemidji community and the Oak Hills’ staff, we determined that the greatest and most urgent need to address first was the residence halls and the living conditions for our single students.

For this reason, the replacement of the residence halls has become the first major step in the revitalization of our campus facilities. Completion of the residence halls will be followed by replacement of the Fellowship Center and finally, the Schreiber Activity Center. Other smaller improvements to landscaping, the lakefront, and other facilities will occur in the intervening years as time and resources permit.

Dr. Steve Hostetter

President, Oak Hills Christian College

College Life

Entry View

New Residen

Slated for completion in 2017, the new 88 bed residence hall will be a two-story building with four independently secure floors for the use of our single men and women.

The large commons area between the wings will span the full two stories and provide beautiful lake view great public spaces for our students and summer guests. Offices on the first floor will be used by Studen staff and will provide a connection point with students throughout the school year. A large game room o second floor will provide more space for students to unwind at the end of their day. Each of the four hal have a private lounge for the use of the students in that hall.

nce Hall

ws and nt Life on the lls will

25 Year Master Site Plan



New Residence Hall

Fellowship Center replaced with a new 300 seat chapel on the north end facing the lake


Schreiber Activity Center replaced


Additional housing or classroom building as needed


Valley View Student Center replaced

Joan Berntson Vice President for Advancement


investing in Oak Hills

Christian comedian, Ken Davis

Oak Hills’

Gala Fund Raiser

The flowers have all been put away and the thank-yous have long ago been written, but the sweet memories of the Oak Hills Winter Gala that took place on Thursday, January 28, 2016 still linger in the hearts and minds of guests, students, and staff. God blessed this event with great weather, almost 400 guests, and a line-up of top-notch speakers.

Special guest, Sally Cummings Roddy

There were 50 table sponsors whose generous contributions paid for the costs of the event. Several businesses and alumni also provided $65,000 in challenge gifts before the event to encourage those in attendance to help the college move toward the goal of funding the new residence hall. The goal for the evening was $100,000. With the challenge gifts, the total raised in gifts and pledges that night was over $155,000.

The purpose was to raise funds for “A Campaign for Real Transformation,” a $4.3 million campaign that will begin the process of completely remaking the college campus over the next 25 years. The first building that will be built is an 88 bed residence hall that will replace the aging men’s and women’s dorms that have been in service since the 1950’s. The new residence hall groundbreaking is planned for spring or summer 2016 and completion may be as early as January 2017. Total raised for the campaign to date is over $3.1 million.

Anderson Saint Georges


s Christian College, Camp Oak Hills, and Center for Indian Ministries Christian comedian, Ken Davis, is an alumnus of the college and he flew in from Franklin, TN to humorously share about his life and the impact that Oak Hills had on his work and success.

Special guest, Sally Cummings Roddy, daughter of Oak Hills founder Sheridan Cummings, traveled from Glendale, CA to attend and share a message of encouragement. At 90 years of age, she continues in her work as a script continuity expert on the television program, NCIS.

President Dr. Steve Hostetter shared the vision of the college and how this building will impact students. Oak Hills Christian College students, Alex Schuld, Shania Rieger, and Anderson Saint Georges, spoke eloquently about their transformation during their time at Oak Hills. A senior, Kaycee Clark, shared her musical talent by singing and playing her guitar for three songs: “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” “Oceans,” and “Be Thou My Vision.”

anks to Our Gala Challenge Sponsors Diamond / $15,000+ • Ken & Diane Davis • Anonymous North Dakota Alumna

Platinum / up to $10,000 • Vern & Judy Anderson • Dr. David P. Nelson • Oak Hills Staff & Faculty

Table Sponsors

Sally Cummings Roddy Dr. Steve & Brenda Hostetter Michael & Sarah Karvakko Scott & D’Wana Carroll Dr. Thomas & Jean Bower Owen & Hellen Hall Wally & Liz Detweiler David & Marnie Swedberg Dr. David Nelson David & JoAnne Harthan David & Sarah Cocolin Mike & Barb Harthan Art & Virginia Anderson Family Fern Hannan Family Dick & Darlene Roue Dr. Gary & Cheryl Siefers Martin & Marcia Giese Linda Berntson Dr. Kion & Eileen Hoffman David & Mary Ann Gallagher Greg & Jean Giles Dana & Carol (Ammeson) Ellefson Bob & Julie Bush (In Memory of David A. Smith) Rick & Nancy Vyskocil Dr. Steven & Martha King Donald & Susan Gunn

Silver / up to $2,000 Gold / up to $5,000 • 1st National Bank Bemidji • Cecelia Dick Estate • Beltrami Electric Co Op • Thrivent Financial cs • Amity Graphi

Andrew & Marta Sears Jim & Jayne Tutt Dr. Jeff & Debbie Vogel OHCC Students Ron & Joan Berntson

Focus Publishing Inc. LaValley Industries The Focus Group Stewardship Investments, Inc. Security Bank USA Bill & Laurie Oakes, Century 21 Mark Gazelka State Farm Insurance DeMars Farms Northwoods Lumber Co. Gary Brooks / Mt. Zion Church Total Track & Performance Products Shine the Light & Your QFM Kevin Kangas Construction Paul Bunyan Communications Westwood Building Center Hampton Inn & Suites Minnesota Nice Café & Catering Inspirations Christian Bookstore / Loren & Vicki Fiet LHB (Architectural Services) Int’l Falls Covenant Church (in memory of David A. Smith & in honor of Barbara Smith)

Camp Life

Scott Buchan

Camp Oak Hills Director

2016 Summer & Fall Programs

Camping Programs • Day Camps (5 days) grades K-4 • Overnight Camps (6 days) grades 3-12 • Native American Camps – partnership with CIM

Leadership Training Programs • Summer Staff Ministry 10 weeks / young adults • Junior Staff Ministry 1-4 weeks / Jr. & Sr. high Spring Work Days – April 30 & May 14

Women’s Fall Craft Retreat Sept. 18-20

General Information

Missionary Staff Openings • Operations Director • Maintenance and Construction Director • Marketing & Advancement Director

Wish List • Pontoon boat w/ outboard • Golf cart – for the nurse • 4x4 pick-up • Minivan

Find all the information you need to know to register online for camp programs.

Our Vision: A Year-round Camp Ministry

Camp Oak Hills reopened in 2009 as a summer program. In the last seven years, over 1,000 campers have heard the Good News of Jesus and been taught from God’s Word at summer camp. It is now time to expand the camp ministry beyond the summer months so that lives can be transformed year-round.

Rebuilding and winterizing the dining hall is only the first step in a longrange plan to build quality camp facilities that can be used to reach youth, adults, and families all times of the year with these programs:

• Youth Retreats - Weekend retreats for youth to connect with God • Adult Retreats - Weekend opportunities for rest and spiritual renewal • Family Camps - Weekend and weeklong opportunities for families to connect with each other and with God • Outdoor Education - Creation based nature classes for public and parochial schools • Team Building - Using low and high ropes to develop communication skills and trust

Dining Hall Project Update: Volunteers are working on finishing the walls and ceiling in the dining room with pine paneling in time for summer camp. The transformation is stunning!

The projects left include installing the furnaces, finishing the stairway & lower level, building an enclosure around the walk-in coolers and pouring a concrete patio at the entrance. These projects will continue as funds are available. $123,092 is needed to complete the projects.

CIM Life Center for Indian Ministries

Reaching Urban Natives in Minneapolis

It was on the White River reservation in Arizona that Dan Pack first felt a call upon his life to reach the Native American people for Christ. He had been praying for Native Americans since he had recommitted his life to the Lord. It was there that God ignited a passion in him to help Native people find healing and restoration. Dan and his wife, Erin, have served as missionaries to the Native community in South Minneapolis for nearly 10 years. He is currently serving as pastor of Akina Community Church. Little Earth of United Tribes, a Native-only housing project, is their main focus of ministry. Minneapolis is the perfect place for ministry, as it serves as a natural hub between the reservations and the city. It also boasts the highest concentration of Native Americans in an urban setting.

The urban Native community can be rife with violence, drugs, depression, and alcohol. Generational poverty tears down families, and a lack of education makes it nearly impossible to break the cycle. However, God is more than able to work in difficult situations. The Packs have seen amazing growth through their weekly kids program and women’s Bible study. They are also involved in summer camps with the children, and have seen God’s healing and restoration in their lives.

Until now, Dan and Erin have both had to work full-time to support the church and ministry. Now God is calling them to raise full-time support for their family. That way they can take ministry to the next level and be more available to minister to the needs in the community. The Lord is birthing new dreams in their hearts, such as a daily after-school tutoring program and the opening of a ministry discipleship school. Would you pray and partner with them to see God’s love restore the Native community in Minneapolis?

For more information about Dan & Erin Pack’s ministry, visit or contact them at Gifts to the Packs’ ministry may be sent to Center for Indian Ministries, 1600 Oak Hills Rd. SW, Bemidji, MN 56601.

Paul Straubel CIM Director

“One hand can’t clap,” says an African proverb.

Even as we break ground for a new residence hall, the college continues to expand Online Courses and Programs to serve both residential students and all those who need non-residential options. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• High school students looking for dual college credit, those just starting college, and working adults with or without previous college experience – all may take it to their next level with Oak Hills Online programs. BACHELOR’S DEGREES • Business Administration • Leadership and Ministry

ASSOCIATE DEGREES • Biblical Studies and Ministry • Science in Business Admin. - 2 yr. (New This Year)

Courses are 24/7 year round • Courses are instructor led and require no set time. • Students in China, Okinawa, and several USA time zones may all ‘meet up’ in an online course! • Low online tuition with financial aid availability.

Oak Hills Online We can’t clap our hands and shout loud enough!

Learn more at

Join us for a weekend of celebrating

the history of Oak Hills and a time of looking towards the


Oak Hills 90th Anniversary Homecoming Weekend • August 26-28 Celebrating the Past, Anticipating the Future ( Alumni Weekend has been cancelled )

Alumni Project 2016

Matching Gift Available until June 1, 2016

One of our alumni has challenged us to match $10,000 by June 1 for the 2015-2016 alumni project. This year’s project is the purchase of the first of two much-needed 15-passenger vans. With the help of many of our alumni, we have raised just over $12,000 of our $22,000 goal for the first van.

We are currently using two older 12-passenger vans that each have almost 200,000 miles. The new-to-us 15-passenger vans would allow us to transport our sports teams in a single van versus using both 12-passenger vans for most sports trip. Our vans are also used to transport students on class trips, to student life activities, and to ministry and volunteer opportunities. If 200 of our alumni each gave $50, we would be able to meet this matching challenge. Are you one of those 200? Please pray about giving a generous gift toward the 20152016 alumni project. (You may send in a check, call Oak Hills with your credit card number, or give online with a credit card or bank account at

Special gifts to Oak Hills

We are grateful to those who think of Oak Hills 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 Linda Anderson Wendell Fast Fern Hannan Robert L. Hewitt

_________ Agnes Hodgson Robert “Bobby” Lorence Jim & Jemima Schreiber Julie Webster

In Honor Aaron Lofgren Barbara Smith Paul & Michele Straubel


Alumni • Alumni & Friends



David (’14) and Megan (Thierstein ’14) Hogetvedt welcomed son Everett Arthur, born December 25, 2015, 9 lbs 2 oz and was 21 ½” long. Corey (’09) & Elizabeth “Ellie” (Shuka ’07) St. Peter welcomed son Tobiah William, born January 27, 2016, 7 lb 4 oz and was 20” long. (right)



Emily (Julin ’15) Stynsberg married Tyler Stynsberg on September 5th, 2015. Emily graduated from OHCC with a degree in Youth Ministry and Biblical Studies and is now employed as the District Assessment Coordinator for the Bagley School District. Her husband Tyler is the Associate Pastor of New Journey Church in Fosston, MN.

John (’14) & Abigail (Nelson ’14) Merck welcomed son Charles John, born October 24, 2015, 6 lb 14 oz. (left)



Our thoughts and prayers are with their families.

Linda (Taplin) Anderson (’76) Carl Berg (’53) Rosemary “Rosie” (Zuknik) Fischer (’81) John “Doc” Green (’49) Gene Hiatt (’66) Duane Schendel (’61) John Schoenfelder (’51) Julie Webster (’76)

Alumni Connection at • Alumni • Alumni Directory - user name: alumni / password: connected • Personal Updates - Keep us informed with your news and photos! • Or email updates or news to:

Got A Little Oakie?

Pick up a complimentary Lil’ Oakie baby onesie* from the Welcome Center at Oak Hills. To have one mailed to you, visit Email a photo of your Lil' Oakie to and he or she may be included in a future Direction Magazine! *Available sizes: 6 month and 12 month

Pictured: Gideon Walker Nelson, 11 mos. Son of Jake (OHCC Student) and Sydney Nelson

Upcoming Events

Oak Hills Christian College

April 15-16 ........College Preview

May 7 ................Commencement May 7 ................Groundbreaking

CANCELED ......Alumni Weekend

June 15-18 ........Women's Breakaway

August 11-12 ....Global Leadership Summit

August 26-28 ....Homecoming Weekend Keep up to date on News and Events

Providing a Nourishing Environment


1600 Oak Hills Road SW, Bemidji, MN 56601

Oak Hills Christian College




Direction: Spring 2016  
Direction: Spring 2016