2016 Homecoming and Family Weekend BBQ Award Recipients Announced

2016 Homecoming and Family Weekend BBQ Award Recipients Announced

Arizona Christian University is excited to announce the recipients of the upcoming inaugural Homecoming Awards to be honored November 4th during ACU’s first Homecoming and Family Weekend BBQ. The on-campus event will feature five award recipients, nominated by their peers and chosen by a diverse group of ACU staff and faculty members. Each of the recipients embody ACU’s mission and have distinguished themselves by transforming culture with truth. The 2016 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year is Dr. Mark Bailey, class of 1972. Dr. Bailey assumed Dallas Theological Seminary’s presidency after years of service as both a professor in the Bible Exposition department and as the Vice President for Academic Affairs. In addition to his years at the Seminary, he has pastored various churches in Arizona and Texas. He was a seminar instructor for Walk Thru the Bible Ministries for twenty years and is in demand for Bible conferences and other preaching engagements. His overseas ministries have included Venezuela, Argentina, Hungary, and China. He is also a regular tour leader in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Rome. His board service includes Bible Study Fellowship, Insight for Living, Jews for Jesus, and Walk Thru the Bible Ministries. Dr. Bailey began his academic career in the Bible department at ACU (then Southwestern College) and later became Dean of Faculty, for a total of nine years with the school. The 2016 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year is Grant Botma, class of 2005. Mr. Botma founded Stewardship Mortgage, Insurance, Financial, and Planning in 2007, located in Gilbert, AZ. The business was started and funded entirely on savings. Grant currently employs three other ACU...
ACU Celebrates 54th Graduating Class

ACU Celebrates 54th Graduating Class

Arizona Christian University celebrated 104 graduates this past Saturday, May 14 at Bethany Bible Church in Phoenix, AZ, awarding bachelor’s degrees in Behavioral Health, Family Studies, Biblical Studies, Christian Ministries, Biology, Business Administration, Communication, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Music and for the first time, Psychology. More than 1,600 people were in attendance. The program of the ceremony involved many Class of 2016 graduates, including Martha Irvine singing the National Anthem, ACU Veterans leading the Pledge of Allegiance, Invocation by Becky Capps, a reading from the New Testament by Desiree Jackson, “How Great Thou Art” lead by Matt Lombardi, and Benediction by Timothy Bailes. Bishop Alexis Thomas, Senior Pastor of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church and 1999 alumnus, delivered a compelling and lively commencement address. He gave the following three graduation expectations to graduates as they waited to walk across the stage and receive their degrees: “Don’t expect everybody to know how special you are – you have to know it. Remind yourself of who you are. … Expect people to consider you to be a little weird. We as Christians are not a sub-culture, we are counterculture. Every now and then, those who don’t believe what we believe will think we’re a little strange. Stand on what you’ve been taught. … Expect your learning to never end. Keep learning every day.” After awarding the students their diplomas, ACU President Len Munsil delivered the “charge” to the graduates. He encouraged the crowd that the hope of Christians is not in rulers or possessions, but in Jesus Christ, who has overcome the world, and whose Kingdom is not of this world. He reminded...
Firestorm Film Festival Winners

Firestorm Film Festival Winners

“Run the Risk,” a short film about a lowly office employee who rediscovers life’s joy, took home the top prize at Arizona Christian University’s Firestorm Film Festival, held May 10th at Picture Show in Paradise Valley Mall. The film, by junior Communication major Nicole Jenkins, also earned Jenkins the award for Best Director. “The movie is about the importance of the arts in helping you find your life’s passions,” Jenkins said. The awards, the “Sparkies,” recognize outstanding achievement among Arizona Christian University’s film students. Junior Communication major Lauren Johnson’s film “Some Days Are Just Hard” won three Sparkies, including Best Screenplay for Johnson, Best Acting for PJ Sparks, and Best Music Composition for Julie Higby’s original score. The “Get a Grip” Sparkie went Eric and Sarah Dalrymple for Andrew Dalrymple’s film “Stanley.” The “Get a Grip” award recognizes individuals for behind-the-camera contributions. “Stanley” also won in the Best Supporting Actor category, with the Sparkie going to the film’s namesake—a 1960s Stanley thermos. Arizona Christian University and the Department of Communication and English thanks the Picture Show at Paradise Valley Mall for their support of the 2nd annual Firestorm Film Festival. The event was sponsored and supported by Pure Flix Entertainment, Brand Cure, The Arizona Coyotes Foundation, Connect the Dots Promotions, Illuminated Collective, Arcadia City Church, The Original Breakfast House, Kathy Loeffler Real Estate, and other private donors. Future sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Arizona Christian University’s Advancement Office. ACU is an accredited, private, non-profit, Christian university in Phoenix offering various bachelor’s degrees including a recently added Psychology major and programs of study such as Criminal Justice, Healthcare Policy,...
3rd Annual Westphal Athletic Awards Ceremony

3rd Annual Westphal Athletic Awards Ceremony

This past Thursday evening, May 12th, Arizona Christian University held the third annual Westphal Athletic Awards Ceremony at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Scottsdale, AZ.  Over 300 guests enjoyed the black tie event honoring outstanding student athletes for their achievements and character. Athletes and teams were nominated by ACU’s coaching staff and winners were chosen by an independent group of staff members. The sixteen “Westphal Awards,” named for former NBA player and coach Paul Westphal, who started his coaching career at ACU (at the time, Southwestern Baptist Bible College), were awarded throughout the evening by student presenters. Jared Cohen of Sports 360 AZ was the night’s emcee, sharing comical and inspiring personal stories about specific stand-out ACU athletes. Arizona Christian University’s President Len Munsil and his wife Dr. Tracy Munsil opened the evening by presenting the Female and Male Faith Awards. President Munsil encouraged the crowd to continue using their talents and abilities for God’s glory, using the compelling story of the Olympic runner, Eric Little, as an example. Each award winner gave a humble “thank you” speech and Coach of the Year winner, Randy Chambers, received a standing ovation from the crowd for his service as Spiritual Formation Coach to all teams. Coach Westphal shared personal stories of failures and triumphs throughout his career, encouraging the student athletes in the importance of being a strong and reliable team player. He ended the night by awarding senior basketball player Jackson Helms with the Westphal Award for being ACU’s “best teammate.” ACU’s 2016 Westphal Award Winners: Female Faith Award: Emily Devore (Softball) Male Faith Award: Zach Vogel (Baseball) Record...

Nominations for the 2nd Annual Firestorm Film Festival

Some Days Are Just Hard, Run The Risk Lead Nominations at the 2nd Annual Firestorm Film Festival “Some Days Are Just Hard,” a story about transitioning from college life to the workplace, picked up seven nominations to lead all films at Arizona Christian University’s 2nd Annual Firestorm Film Festival. The film, written and directed by senior Communication and Political Science major Lauren Johnson, earned nominations for Best Film, Best Director, two nominations for Best Acting (with nods going to PJ Sparks and Hugh McCrae), and two nominations for Best Music for the original song “Happens to Everyone” by Desiree Wilson and original score by Julie Higby. “Run the Risk” was the second most recognized film, earning five nominations. The follow-your-dreams picture, written and directed by junior Communication major Nicole Jenkins, was nominated for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. It also earned a Best Acting nod for its lead Adam Plowman. “Stanley,” a short film about parents enrolling their child in school, picked up four nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Acting for Selah McAvoy. “Stanley” was written and directed by Senior Communication major Andrew Dalrymple. “The Shoe Man,” written and directed by senior Communication major DJ Hoskinson, earned nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. Winners will be announced at the 2016 Firestorm Film Festival, Tuesday, May 10 at The Picture Show inside Paradise Valley Mall, 4550 E Cactus Rd, Phoenix. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The Firestorm Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing the capstone work of Arizona Christian University Communication majors. The festival showcases the talents of student filmmakers as well...
Pro-family legend Dr. James Dobson Honored with ACU’s 5th Daniel Award for Courageous Public Faith

Pro-family legend Dr. James Dobson Honored with ACU’s 5th Daniel Award for Courageous Public Faith

On April 14th, Arizona Christian University (ACU) presented Dr. James Dobson with the 5th Daniel Award for Courageous Public Faith in honor of his stand on behalf of the family. Because of Dr. Dobson’s work, thousands of marriages have been saved and strengthened and millions of children have been raised by parents who follow the teachings of Jesus. Dr. Dobson received this lifetime award at a banquet in his honor at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, AZ with more than 500 people in attendance. Dr. Dobson was accompanied by his wife, Shirley Dobson, who this year will be recognized for 25 years of service as Chairman of the National Day of Prayer.  “Dr. James and Shirley Dobson are the kind of servant leaders we want to expose to our students. Our students want to serve. They want to transform culture with truth. This is the core mission of ACU and we are honored to present Dr. James and Shirley Dobson to our ACU family”, said President Len Munsil. The banquet also featured a message from President Munsil regarding ACU’s vision for the future. He outlined the unique place the school holds in the academy of higher Christian education. “Arizona Christian University was created for such a time as this. Our mission and vision are clear and unique, and the necessity for education grounded in a biblical worldview could hardly be more obvious than it is today.” Dr. Dobson ended his speech filled with comical stories from his life, humility, and words of wisdom, with a personal endorsement of ACU. “I ask you to support this school. There are not very many out there that really do stand up for the things that we believe: the authenticity...
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