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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... read more
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... read more
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... read more
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... read more
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... read more
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... read more
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... read more
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