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...
ACU Adds New Transfer Agreement with Cochise Community College

ACU Adds New Transfer Agreement with Cochise Community College

Arizona Christian University has added a new Articulation Agreement in southern Arizona to its previously established relationships with Central Arizona College and Maricopa Community College. Dr. Karl Sterner, ACU’s Vice President of Professional, Adult and Online Studies Division, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement with Cochise County Community College District to facilitate the transfer of its students directly to ACU. Students who have earned their Associate’s Degree and meet the established admissions requirements set by ACU are able to transfer in and finish degrees as traditional or Degree Completion Program students. This program provides a great opportunity for community college students to maximize their prior coursework and credits to match with courses required at ACU. Both of these institutions mutually recognize each other as quality institutions of higher education, dedicated to providing greater educational opportunities and services for diverse students from all walks of life. ACU, founded in 1960 and located in north Phoenix, is the most selective university in Arizona, the best value Christian university in Arizona, and the only Arizona university ranked among the nation’s top Christian colleges and universities. ACU’s curriculum is set to meet the Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC) requirements, which aligns the institution with the curriculum standards of state schools. “The establishment of this relationship enables ACU to be a viable option for transfer students from Cochise County,” said Dr. Sterner. “Combined with our existing agreements, ACU continues to open doors for all our programs to expand and continue to grow in enrollment, both now and into the future.” Dr. Sterner is now working on additional articulation agreements with other community...
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...
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 Achieves Record Enrollment – Again

ACU Achieves Record Enrollment – Again

Arizona Christian University once again achieved record enrollment this fall in all programs, including more than 600 traditional students on campus for the first time in the school’s history. When including enrollment in its degree completion, concurrent and online programs, ACU is now well over 800 total students and will be serving more than 900 students by year-end. “Just a decade ago Southwestern College was a small Bible college with fewer than 250 students. Today, in an environment where most small colleges are losing students, Arizona Christian University is rapidly approaching 1,000 total students and continues to exceed expectations,” said ACU President Len Munsil. “At some institutions with tens of thousands of students, it’s easy to feel like you’re just a number. Even as we grow at ACU, you will never get lost in the crowd as we provide individualized attention and service.” Arizona Christian University was noted in 2016 as Arizona’s most selective college by Business Insider, listed alongside numerous Ivy League schools across the nation. Remaining faithful to its Bible college heritage, ACU is the only accredited Christian university in Arizona that provides a liberal arts education to all traditional students with a minor in Biblical Studies, two chapels each week and spiritual formation accountability, all while embracing a Christian faith commitment for all staff, faculty, students and Trustees. “As the top-ranked Christian university in Arizona, students who are serious about their faith and want to be part of an elite educational experience in an intimate community of Christ-followers are finding ACU to be exactly what they were looking for,” Munsil said. ACU’s national and international visibility...
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,...
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