ACU Students Top GSAC in Operation Christmas Child Competition

ACU Students Top GSAC in Operation Christmas Child Competition

ACU student-athletes took up a challenge from their athletic conference and packed and donated the most Operation Christmas Child boxes of any university in the Golden State Athletic Conference. Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian organization that provides spiritual and physical aid to people around the world, started the Operation Christmas Child initiative in 1993. By inviting churches, schools, businesses and individuals to participate, they have collected and delivered more than 115 million shoeboxes to children in need. The boxes are filled with age-specific special gifts, school supplies and hygiene items and sent to more than 100 countries, where pastors and community leaders share the Gospel. Arizona Christian University students have participated in the past, but this year chose to take on a few extra challenges. The student body held a competition between graduating classes, with seniors beating the other three classes and freshman coming in a close second. A few ACU staff members and alumni participated as well, and together with the student participation contributed more than 300 boxes to Operation Christmas Child. The athletic department took on the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) competition between all nine member schools in the conference. Student-athletes from nine ACU teams came together to win the challenge by providing 180 boxes, almost double the amount of the next-closest competitor and making up 30 percent of the GSAC total of 598 boxes. The Firestorm athletic teams also competed against each other and the baseball team’s winning contribution alone would have won the GSAC competition for ACU. “I’m really proud of our student body for getting involved, especially because at the end of the semester...
Athletic Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jeff Rutter Nears 100 Wins, Grows NAIA Athletic and Academic Powerhouse

Athletic Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jeff Rutter Nears 100 Wins, Grows NAIA Athletic and Academic Powerhouse

In the peaceful suburbs of north Phoenix, a southern California transplant has quietly been building a national powerhouse college basketball program at the NAIA level at Arizona Christian University. Jeff Rutter, a long-time assistant coach at Azusa Pacific and star player for Concordia University in Irvine, CA, made the move to Phoenix less than 5 years ago with his wife Kristen and never looked back. Taking over a new NAIA program in the desert at former Southwestern College, he has kept ACU in the top 25 in the nation for five consecutive years while also serving as athletic director for a growing University. “To be honest, I had no idea how good Jeff Rutter was going to be,” said Len Munsil, who after becoming President of then-Southwestern College in the fall of 2010 immediately set about building an elite Christian liberal arts university, for which athletics would be an important element. “I knew I liked him, I knew he understood and believed in the vision of what ACU could be, but I had no idea how good he would be at recruiting and coaching basketball, let alone how well he would build our athletic program. He has been a key part of ACU’s resurgence and growth.” This week Rutter is likely to surpass 100 career coaching wins, less than midway through his fifth season. Arizona has seven 4-year college basketball programs, and Rutter’s winning percentage of .726 (98-37) ranks him just a shade behind the University of Arizona’s Sean Miller (.743) and well ahead of Arizona’s five other college basketball coaches. [See chart below.] Arizona Christian University plays at...
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...
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