ACU Blog

Congrats, Sarenna Selzer!

Congrats, Sarenna Selzer!

Arizona Christian University formally announced its third recipient of the full-tuition President’s Scholarship for the incoming class of 2016, Valley student Sarenna Selzer of Desert Ridge High School in Mesa, Arizona.  With the announcement, ACU’s Vice President of Enrollment, Pete Hamstra, expressed his confidence that Sarenna will be a positive influence not only in ACU’s Business Department, but to the campus overall. “Sarenna comes to ACU with a background that indicates she’ll be a significant presence in ACU’s Business Department. Having served as both the fundraising director and the president of the local DECA chapter, Sarenna’s leadership skills exemplify what ACU looks for in a President’s Scholar,” said Hamstra. He added, “Not only that, her record of volunteerism is consistent with the commitment to service that ACU is known for in the surrounding community.” In addition to her duties with DECA, an association with the mission to “prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe,” Sarenna served as the section leader, drum major and club historian for the Desert Ridge marching band. Outside of school, Sarenna is heavily involved in her church where she is an assistant preschool teacher, large group leader for children, and youth band vocalist. She has also participated in food drives for Goodwill and is a shift manager at Chick-Fil-A. Sarenna quickly realized that her commitment to faith and service would be nurtured at ACU, and that’s exactly what she looks forward to most. Sarenna shared, “Not only will I receive a biblically-integrated education, but I will also have the chance to study the... read more
Congrats, Sarah Crank!

Congrats, Sarah Crank!

Arizona Christian University is pleased to announce that Sarah Crank, a homeschool student from Bowie, Maryland, has accepted one of ACU’s four prestigious full-tuition President’s Scholarships. Sarah’s strong record of service and impressive academics are consistent with ACU’s vision to transform culture with truth. Sarah’s busy schedule reflects her commitment to service, both through her church and in the community. Sarah was selected Junior Miss Greenbelt, which brought with it many opportunities for civic engagement, such as welcoming home members of the U.S. Armed Forces returning from deployment. Sarah leads worship in her church’s children’s ministry, has volunteered at day camps for disabled children, and has served on an overseas mission trip to El Salvador. In 2016, Sarah began a coveted legislative internship in the Maryland House of Delegates. Sarah plans to study psychology at Arizona Christian University and shared why she decided to attend ACU.  “The admissions counselors and faculty never made me feel as if I was just a face in the crowd,” Sarah said. She added, “My accomplishments and individuality were celebrated, and even before my first day of class my goals are already being encouraged and supported. I feel the size of the university helps each student feel cherished, as that’s how I felt when I visited ACU. “ Pete Hamstra, ACU’s Vice President of Enrollment, shared his excitement to welcome Sarah to ACU. “We’re honored that Sarah has accepted our offer to attend Arizona Christian University on a President’s Scholarship,” affirmed Hamstra.  “Sarah brings with her a wealth of experiences and we know she’ll not only be challenged and formed at ACU, but we believe... read more
Remembering the Forgotten

Remembering the Forgotten

Photo includes Jim Claypool and Tyler Carlson   During his four years on the maintenance staff at Arizona Christian University, Jim Claypool has been a staple in the small college community. It’s common to find Claypool around campus replacing sprinkler heads and lights, fixing thermostats, doors, bed frames and windows. And if you happen to catch his eye, he’ll never miss the opportunity to say hello. But Claypool’s life work extends far beyond the confines of ACU into the world intercity ministry. Here Claypool trades in his wrench and socket for a pulpit and a Bible. He trades in his time and his money for the chance to reach a marginalized people. And he trades in everything he has, for everything God wants from him. Claypool has been the head pastor at Bible Baptist Church in downtown Phoenix for the last 12 years. During his time, he has led the small church to make a large impact. The church feeds between 75 to 100 people every week in the surrounding intercity neighborhood and provides both drug and rehab services to those in need. This is just Claypool’s way of recognizing the large and needy intercity population whom he calls the “forgotten people”. But perhaps the most amazing piece of Claypool’s ministry, is the work that he does with the intercity youth. When much of the world looks on the troubled youth of the intercity with a wary eye and would prefer to forget them all together, Claypool has embraced them. Every Wednesday night for the last 12 years, Claypool has opened up his church to the youth of the... read more
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... read more
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,... read more
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... read more
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