Fall 2016 Commencement

Fall 2016 Commencement

Arizona Christian University celebrated 27 students on Saturday, December 10 as the graduates walked across the stage at the institution’s Fall Commencement Ceremony at the Phoenix, AZ main campus. Bachelor’s degrees were awarded in Behavioral Health, Family Studies, Psychology, Christian Ministries, Biology, Business Administration, Communication, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, and Music. More than 500 people were in attendance. The program of the ceremony involved many Class of 2016 graduates, including ACU veterans leading the Pledge of Allegiance, Invocation by Ryan Lashua, a reading from Scripture by Kathleen Slagle, and Benediction by Makenzie McKown. Class of 2017 music student, Kaylee Franks, lead both the processional and recessional on piano, and music faculty member Martha Irvine sang The Star Spangled Banner. ACU’s retiring Provost, Dr. Gary Damore, shared wisdom and encouragement with the graduating class before presenting the candidates to their proud friends and family members. After awarding the students their diplomas, ACU President Len Munsil delivered the “charge” to the graduates following a prayer of dedication by Campus Pastor, Tim Reed. The ceremony was followed by a dessert reception in the newly renovated Student Activity Center lobby, featuring live music by ACU’s Advance Band. If you weren’t able to join us, please watch ACU’s Fall 2016 Commencement Ceremony below.  ...
Teaching Millennials #connections

Teaching Millennials #connections

by Linnea Lyding, ACU Education Department Chair Millennials, it turns out, are on track to becoming “the most educated generation in American history” (Pew Research Center, 2010, p. 2).  As the ACU Education Department Chair, I decided it was time to learn as much as I could about this unique and passionate group of students that fill our university classrooms. Using a quick, informal survey of friends and family, I came up with six key words that relate to the activities of a Millennial.  The words are: selfies, snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, emojis, and hashtags.  At first glance, these words can give the impression of self-absorption.  However, I work with Millennials, and because of this, I see something deeper.  I see connections.  By staying connected in real time, they are able to share whom they are with, what they are doing, and how they are feeling with the world around them. Always curious and ready to act, Millennials enjoy reaching out with hashtags to find people to connect with on similar topics of interest. Millennials are often referred to as the “connected” generation, implying that they are constantly connected to technology.  I agree that they are “connected;” however, I would say their connections are much more personal than technological. According to the Pew Research Center (2010), Millennials “get along well with others, especially their elders” (p. 8).  Millennials are not only connected to their peers, but they also connect with and care about non-profit causes.  This is evidenced by the fact that “84% of Millennial employees made a charitable donation in 2014” (Achieve, 2015, p. 9), and they volunteered as...
What’s missing in American politics? Our Founders would say virtue and religion

What’s missing in American politics? Our Founders would say virtue and religion

I’m in the classroom every day with college students, most of whom will be voting for president for the first time in less than a week. As a political science professor, I am curious to hear what the next generation is thinking about the current state of American politics. What I hear consistently is what they don’t like about politics. They point first to the most obvious—the lack of character and integrity in the candidates and more generally in elected officials. They harbor an abiding distrust of politicians, who they see as fundamentally dishonest, willing to say anything to get elected. Like many Americans, they believe politicians are inherently self-interested, more concerned about their own power than the common good or the needs of the average voter. They are disgusted with the corruption they see in American politics. They want authenticity in their candidates. But more troubling, they are deeply suspicious of American institutions. They don’t trust the government at any level. They generally believe the economic system is “rigged” against them. And they are particularly disillusioned with the news media. As they prepare to vote, they are desperate to know where they can go for accurate information to inform their decision. They instinctively recoil at the “spin” of the news media, and distrust any political news, no matter the source. These concerns expressed by the next generation are spot on, mirroring those of the American electorate at large. Polls show that trust in government and other institutions is at an historic low. An extensive Pew Research Center poll from 1958 to 2015 shows trust in government in a free...
ACU Pol Science Student Receives Prestigious Conservative Leadership Award in New York City

ACU Pol Science Student Receives Prestigious Conservative Leadership Award in New York City

Arizona Christian University senior Jacob Richards was awarded the prestigious Richard and Helen DeVos Freedom Center Leadership Award at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s (ISI) Dinner for Western Civilization in New York City on Thursday evening, Oct. 27. The annual gala, held this year at the University Club of New York, honors the accomplishments of top student leaders, pays tribute to the greats of the American conservative movement, and strives to renew a commitment to raising up a new generation of leaders grounded in the timeless truths of Western civilization. “We are thrilled for Jacob, who is an exceptional student of character who has great thinking, writing and leadership skills,” said ACU President Len Munsil. “We’re also excited for the Arizona Christian University Political Science program, only five years old, to be recognized already for producing the next generation of national conservative leaders.” “ACU’s Political Science program has equipped me with the knowledge and scriptural grounding necessary for a career of meaningful Christian influence,” Richards said. “Having mentors and professors who are deeply invested in my success has made all the difference in preparing me to transform culture with truth.” ACU’s Political Science department is led by Dr. Tracy Munsil. The 2015 recipient of this award attended Baylor University, a major research institution with nearly 17,000 students. ISI recognizes exceptional undergraduate students with the Richard and Helen DeVos Freedom Center Leadership Award. The award honors longtime trustee Rich DeVos, who cofounded Amway and owns the Orlando Magic NBA franchise, and whose philanthropy has underwritten the membership and recruiting efforts of ISI through the DeVos Freedom Center. These student award winners...
The Importance of a Christian University

The Importance of a Christian University

Observing how Christian organizations engage the culture in our nation, it is noticeable how many Christian institutions have begun to adopt an adversarial posture toward the mainstream culture, a posture known as the “Benedict Option.” The “Benedict Option,” as presented by philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre in his book After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, can be defined as follows: “…the Benedict Option — or “Ben Op” — is an umbrella term for Christians who accept MacIntyre’s critique of modernity, and who also recognize that forming Christians who live out Christianity according to Great Tradition requires embedding (entrenching Christians) within communities and institutions dedicated to that formation.”  [i] MacIntyre says “that our contemporary world is a dark wood, and that finding our way back to the straight path will require establishing new forms of community that have as their ends a life of virtue.”[ii]  Many organizations and individuals are putting up imaginary force fields with the intent to build Christianity from within their protected communities as a means of nurturing, preserving, and passing on the Christian value system. The difficulty with this strategy is that it is counter to the words of our Savior. Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19, 20.[iii] We are not to lock ourselves off from the culture. We are commissioned to GO into the culture and bring the good news of Jesus Christ. An Alternative View Speaking at the Council...
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