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...
Graduation Week Activities Culminate With ACU Alum Bishop Alexis Thomas Commencement Address

Graduation Week Activities Culminate With ACU Alum Bishop Alexis Thomas Commencement Address

Arizona Christian University is proud to announce Bishop Alexis Thomas as the institution’s 54th Commencement address speaker on May 14, 2016 at Bethany Bible Church. “We are proud to welcome back Bishop Thomas to his alma mater as this year’s Commencement speaker,” said ACU President Len Munsil, who had Bishop Thomas as a student in a Christian ethics class at ACU during the 1990s. “Bishop Thomas is an incredibly gifted and passionate communicator of God’s word and has emerged as a compelling spiritual leader in our state and nation.” Bishop Thomas holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biblical Studies from ACU (formerly Southwestern College) and is currently attending The Graduate School of Episcopal Studies. Having served in the capacity of Senior Pastor of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church since 1985, Bishop Thomas was ordained as the Bishop of the State of Arizona in the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship in New Orleans, Louisiana in November 2003. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce, is the General Chairman of the African American Christian Clergy Coalition, which he founded in 2001, and is also the co-founder of the African American Strategic Alliance Coalition in Phoenix. The following events will be taking place during ACU’s Commencement Week. Please join us as we celebrate more than 100 traditional and Degree Completion Program spring graduates this year! 2nd Annual Firestorm Film Festival The Firestorm Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing the capstone work of Arizona Christian University Communication majors who have chosen film as their area of emphasis. Each student has authored an original screenplay and...
Record Spring Enrollment Again at ACU

Record Spring Enrollment Again at ACU

Arizona Christian University is pleased to announce record spring enrollment in its traditional undergraduate program, up almost 10 percent from last year’s then-record enrollment. ACU’s spring enrollment has more than doubled in the past decade, as it continues to transition from a small Bible college to a nationally recognized, elite, conservative Christian liberal arts university. ACU has also achieved record enrollment in its non-traditional degree completion program, which expanded this year to include a campus in Chandler, AZ, in addition to its main campus in north central Phoenix, AZ. “We continue to see great interest from students in being part of a growing, authentic Christian higher education community,” said President Len Munsil. “As our national reputation for academic excellence and quality continues to grow, the value of an accredited degree from ACU also increases.” Geographic and ethnic diversity are also on the increase. ACU students come from 32 states and 12 foreign countries, and Hispanic and African-American enrollment has more than tripled in the past five years. Over the past few months, ACU has achieved independent national recognition from three different organizations as one of the top 50 Christian colleges and universities in America, as the most selective university in Arizona, and as the “Best Value” Christian college in...
Should Professors Admit to Being Broken?

Should Professors Admit to Being Broken?

I have had people suggest that perhaps I am too transparent with my students. I don’t think that’s true. I tend to admit to having problems. I think it’s called being real. As a mature Christian – read old (I’ll be 70 in February) – I have been through a lot in my life. I have openly shared that in my classes. I also share that I would not have made it through a lot of those experiences if it hadn’t been for God. I believe that knowing that I deal with depression has helped my students – both here at ACU and at previous schools – feel that they can come to me and talk about their problems. The fact that I have admitted that I have not always followed Christ as I should have has helped students know that they could come to me with ANY problem they were facing – including those of a sexual nature. They know I will NOT be shocked by anything they share, and I will do my best to be understanding and loving. They also know I am not going to tell them something is right when it’s not! I’ve sinned enough in my life to know the consequences of “sowing the wind,” and all that “reaping the whirlwind” I’ve done would be wasted if I did not share it with my people! Sheila Walsh has written a number of books about her experiences trying to be the “perfect Christian” that she thought she should be. When she finally had a major breakdown, she spent some time in a mental hospital...
ACU Students Visit the Grand Canyon

ACU Students Visit the Grand Canyon

On Saturday, October 3, ACU students in Dr. Kezele’s BIO/BIB 385 Creation Apologetics class went to the Grand Canyon for a day of fun, fellowship, hiking, and learning. This is the second Grand Canyon trip Dr. Kezele has arranged for his ACU students, but thanks to feedback from students who went on the first trip, this time the trip included a hike down the world-famous Bright Angel Trail. The all-day trip started at 6:30 a.m. when the group departed ACU and headed to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Along the way, Jim Clarke (“resident geologist” for Arizona Origins Science Association) discussed several canyon formation theories and pointed out many interesting geologic features. The group hiked three miles on the Bright Angel Trail, down to the 1½ mile rest house and back. Less than a mile down the trail, some of the Canyon’s majestic bighorn sheep made a surprise appearance. (Actual photo from the trip!) On the trail, students saw pictographs and fossils (including tracks), with a lot of opportunities for photos. In the photo, Dr. Kezele and students examine fossil sponges and other fossils in the Kaibab Limestone. After the hike, everyone stopped for ice cream at the Bright Angel Lodge Patio. Students had time to relax, shop, and further enjoy canyon views. On the way out of the Park, more wildlife came into view including several elk and deer. For one student, it was his first time to ever see the Grand Canyon. Here’s what some of the students (past and/or current) had to say about the trip: “The best part about the trip was hiking around...
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