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A Publication to the CCU Community Summer 2011
The Colorado Christian Connection is a regular publication produced by Colorado Christian University for the CCU community.
We envision graduates who think critically and creatively, lead with high ethical and professional standards, embody the character and compassion of Jesus Christ, and who thereby are prepared to impact the world.
Just A Word
ear Friends, It is with great joy that I announce the completion of Colorado Christian University’s Year of Evangelism. During the past school year, CCU’s faculty, staff, and students embarked in joint effort to share the love and message of Jesus Christ as widely as possible. They hosted special events, volunteered in the community, and made individual commitments to reach out more intentionally in their own circles. In January, nearly 1,000 church leaders from nine states swarmed to CCU’s campus for the Outbreak Conference, a practical evangelism-training event led by celebrated authors Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg, as well as CCU Alumnus Greg Stier, founder of Dare 2 Share, one of the most prominent teen-outreach organizations in America. This April, CCU also staged the world premiere of “I, Witness,” a passion play that looks at Christ from a new angle. Community members were encouraged to bring non-Christian friends and family, and across six performances the 65-member cast hosted sell-out crowds totaling nearly 2,600 people. Some statistics report that only five percent of American Christians ever engage in any form of evangelism—yet, Christ clearly calls us in Scripture to share the Good News far and wide. At CCU we educate students to contribute significantly in their career fields, not only in knowledge and skill, but also in faith and character that turn others to God. The Year of Evangelism was a rally point. I hope we all will carry the torch indefinitely. Sincerely,
William L. Armstrong, President
Events to Attend
July 8 Summer Preview www.ccu.edu/Visit Lakewood Campus July 29-July 31 Western Conservative Summit www.WesternConservativeSummit.com Marriott City Center August 5 Summer Preview www.ccu.edu/Visit Lakewood Campus August 25-27 Summer Play - Marvin’s Room www.ccu.edu/music CCU Music Center September 1, 7:00 p.m. CCU2theWorld Reunion Lakewood Campus - Beckman Center September 30 - October 2 Homecoming Weekend Lakewood Campus - Event Center October 1 Ninth Annual Hall of Fame Banquet Lakewood Campus - Event Center October 6 Fourth Annual Jefferson County Prayer Breakfast Marriott Denver West
Colorado Christian Connection magazine is meant to connect CCU alumni and friends to each other and to CCU. As we build each issue, we strive for complete accuracy, however, we occasionally miss the mark. Please inform us of our errors and we will address them in the following issue.
This publication is sponsored by the
Office of Development:
Dr. Paul Eldridge Vice President of Development David Nye Director of Development Dan Westermann, ’04, ’10 Director of Development and Alumni Relations Christi Kirchner Development Manager
This publication is produced by University Communications: Lisa Zeller Director of University Communications Jon Watters University Writer/Editor Danielle Hull University Graphic Designer Special thanks to these contributors: Ron Rex Associate Professor, School of Business and Leadership
To add your name to the Colorado Christian Connection mail list and to receive other announcements about CCU alumni events, please go to
to add your name or to update your contact information.
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School of Theology Professor Dr. Aaron Smith: Faith Seeking Understanding
GLOBAL IMPACT: SARAH PALIN
Tribute to the Troops: Huge Success
REFLECTION: Year in Review
A Look Back at the Academic Year
LIFE LONG LEARNING:
CCU Student Brings Grammy Winner Switchfoot to Red Rocks
school of theology
and intellect, that initially drew Dr. Aaron Smith to teach at Colorado Christian University. Dr. Smith joined the faculty at CCU in the fall of 2009, and has quickly made a noteworthy impact on the campus and in the lives of the students. Some of his impact is evidenced by his invitation from this year’s outgoing senior class to be the honored faculty speaker at the 2011 Senior Banquet. Dr. Smith’s speech was a powerful reminder to the soon-to-be alumni that the disciplined study and commitment to God’s Word should not be abandoned after college, but should instead be vigorously embraced.
FAITH AND It is also apparent that Dr. Smith’s steadfast dedication to his REASON ARE students is paralleled by his own NOT MUTUALLY professional contributions to the study of theology. Dr. Smith EXCLUSIVE earned his Ph. D. in Systematic
Theology from Marquette University, and his M. Div. from Bethel Seminary San Diego. He has published several articles and book chapters, and has presented at conferences throughout the country. When asked about the greatest challenges facing the Class of 2011 as they take the next step of their journey after CCU, he responded, “We may as well not be shy about our poor economy, troubling foreign affairs, and a shifting moral climate, but frankly, I don’t think these challenges are any more severe than the challenges, albeit distinct, which faced earlier generations…But Christians in every age are confronted with the call to be people of hope in a world of despair. It really does come down to our collective participation in God’s work of redemption - will we do it or not?” It is this powerful conviction that acts as the constant metronome by which Dr. Smith marches onward. Joined by a team of highly enthusiastic and accomplished colleagues, the CCU School of Theology is committed to seeing the next generation of Theology graduates succeed and contribute to what Dr. Smith refers to as a,“meaningful reformation of the evangelical church” – a reformation that moves modern-day evangelicalism from spiritual milk to solid food. His desire is to see his students, and those with whom they interact, continue to value theological substance over vague concepts and become a beacon of intellectual hope. Above all, Dr. Smith and the entire faculty at CCU continue to strive to train students who think critically and creatively, lead with high ethical and professional standards, embody the character and compassion of Jesus Christ, and who thereby are prepared to impact the world.
by Dan Westermann, ‘04, ‘10
Faith Seeking Understanding
ver the past several years, under the expert direction of Dr. Sid Buzzell, the School of Theology at Colorado Christian University has quietly and providentially ascended to new heights of theological and evangelical significance. For years, the faculty of the School of Theology has proudly pursued Anselm’s axiom, fides quaerens intellectum or Faith Seeking Understanding, in an effort to lead a new generation of Christian thought leaders to make a significant impact in today’s culture. They strive to teach them to recognize that faith and reason are not mutually exclusive – but are rather wisely inseparable. It was this ongoing, collective effort to cohesively merge two dynamic qualities, faith
DR. AARON SMITH:
VALS 2011: Continuing the conversation
n addition to the powerful array of high impact speakers like Charles Colson that presented at the 2011 VALS Conference, Colorado Christian University was also fortunate to have numerous intermittent spotlight presentations from companies that have been turning to CCU for interns and new employees. These representatives repeatedly spoke of the value CCU students add to their companies. Beginning just over one year ago, the School of Business and Leadership at Colorado Christian University launched an initiative to dramatically increase the work experience students receive while they are pursuing their business education. Today over 60 companies actively accept and screen student resumes for internships, part time jobs and full time employment after graduation. In that same period of time, this program has placed students into 62 internships and jobs. This employment initiative hopes to be a catalyst to change the view of both business and students about the employment market. “In many places, all we hear is how poor the job market is,” said Professor Ron Rex, CCU Professor of Management and faculty sponsor for the employment initiative. “If you depend upon online job applications and wade your way through the internet, it is extremely difficult. But, when a student has an advocate, someone that will help match them to a great company with a personal introduction, it is a very optimistic market,” he continued. CCU seeks to match businesses with students that have a specific skill set and proven track record. This initiative is primarily successful because of the faculty’s keen awareness of the student’s strengths and weaknesses – and is therefore able to make informed recommendations. Professor Rex explains, “What we do is eliminate a lot of the risk employers take with a new hire. We recommend students for specific jobs in which we know both the employer and the student. The guess work on selection is gone.” Colorado Christian University is in the business of preparing extraordinary students to work for excellent companies. If your organization is interested in partnering with CCU in this employment initiative, please contact Ron Rex at 303.324.3106.
VALS 2011: Bringing Together Academics and Business
by Ron Rex and Dan Westermann
Governor Sarah Palin visits CCU.
big names visit campus
PALIN and TRIBUTE TO THE TROOPS: HUGE SUCCESS
ess than 24 hours after the world learned of Osama bin Laden’s death, nearly every major media outlet in Colorado, and an estimated audience of 1,300 flocked to Colorado Christian University’s Lakewood campus to find out what Sarah Palin had to say about it. The “Tribute to the Troops” event may have been the largest, most publicized event in CCU history. A crowd from across the state filled the Event Center, with an additional 300 guests in overflow seating. Proceeds from ticket sales and a celebrity auction, totaling nearly $40,000, were donated in full to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), an organization that provides comprehensive care for families of fallen soldiers. Perhaps most special to those in attendance were opportunities throughout the evening to interact and shake hands with veterans, local military members, and ROTC cadets, as well as watching a live video chat with 2010 CCU alumna Amy Justice, now serving as an Army staff sergeant in Kuwait. The homage to U.S. military personnel and veterans couldn’t have been more surprisingly timed, as the crowd applauded guest speaker William Boykin—the retired lieutenant general who helped found the legendary Delta Force and served as U.S. deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence. Yet, while Palin spoke of bin Laden’s death and its score for global stability, she also used the occasion to lay out her thoughts on America’s role in the world and appropriate use of military power. The former Alaska governor gave praise to CCU in her comments, highlighting the University’s Strategic Objectives, a University-wide set of educational values
by Jon Watters
that addresses issues like sanctity of life, biblical view of human nature, limited government, and personal and economic freedom. “This was a milestone in the maturing of Colorado Christian University as an influential center of learning and thought,” said John Andrews, event host and director of CCU’s Centennial Institute. This public-policy think tank will be hosting the second-annual Western Conservative Summit this July. Learn more at www.WesternConservativeSummit.com.
Reflection: Year in Review
July: Western Conservative Summit (1) “Right Turn, Right Now,” was the theme for the first-annual Western Conservative Summit hosted by CCU’s Centennial Institute. Some of the best nationally-known conservatives gathered in Denver July 9-11 to tackle the question of how to “restore liberty and renew America’s moral core.” Please consider joining CCU and the Centennial Institute for the second-annual WCS this year, July 29-31, 2011. Go to www.ccu.edu/centennial for more details. August: Year of Evangelism (2) The 2010 – 2011 academic year was officially themed as “The Year of Evangelism” for the CCU community. As part of The Year of Evangelism, CCU faculty and staff partnered with The Family Tree, a Denver-based nonprofit organization, to help families and youth overcome child abuse, domestic violence and homelessness. September: President’s Circle Dinner (3) Keynote speaker Franklin Graham praised CCU for its Year of Evangelism efforts, and made a strong case for supporting the vital ministry of Colorado Christian
University during the annual President’s Circle Dinner. This event celebrates God’s provision and acknowledges the unique role of President’s Circle donors – those who annually provide CCU with gifts of $1,000 or more and will actively promote and who pray for the University. October: Symposium (4) Continuing its focus on Evangelism, CCU welcomed renowned evangelists and authors, Lee Strobel and Mark Mittleberg, for the annual CCU Symposium. This year’s highlight included relevant evangelism training for all in attendance as well as practical resources to share the saving message of Jesus Christ. Nov/Dec: TBN highlights CCU (5) This past December, Trinity Broadcasting Network, America’s most watched faith channel, aired several episodes of its show “Joy in Our Town” featuring faculty and staff of Colorado Christian University. Drs. Barbara White and Chuck King discussed issues related to the current national nursing shortage, teaching ethics, and how both relate to higher education.
a look back at the academic year
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January: Outbreak Conference (6) A packed crowd of nearly 1,000 pastors and leaders from 200 churches and 9 states – Midwest to Pacific Northwest – converged on CCU’s main campus for the first-ever “Outbreak” conference. This conference, held on CCU’s Lakewood campus, equipped local churches to become highly contagious in their Gospel outreach efforts to people inside and beyond their own walls.
March: Women’s 1st Ever NCAA Tournament Run (8) After a fantastic season, the CCU Women’s Basketball team made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA DivisionII Women’s Basketball Tournament – accompanied by First Team All-Region pick and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year, Christina Whitelaw. Congratulations, Lady Cougars!
April: VALS (9) Conference attendees heard from Mark Mittleberg, Lee The ninth annual Values-Aligned Leadership Summit Strobel, Garry Poole, as well as CCU Alumnus and Founder (VALS) encouraged more than 525 business executives and CCU students to “Do the Right Thing”. Renowned of Dare 2 Share Ministries, Greg Stier. author and commentator, Chuck Colson, lamented in the current culture, the real crisis is not financial – it is ethical. February: Fund for Beckman Scholars Luncheon (7) The Fund for Beckman Scholars Luncheon was held on February 4th, and honored Dr. Beckman, his family, and May: Commencement (10) the students that received scholarships from this fund. Joined by thousands of friends and family, 377 new The Fund for Beckman Scholars provides annual need- graduates celebrated this monumental educational based scholarships for students. Each year all gifts given milestone, and took their first steps as CCU alumni to to the fund are distributed to students with demonstrated impact the world for Jesus Christ. Congratulations to the financial need. During 2010-2011, 236 students were Class of 2011! blessed by more than $254,000 in scholarships.
Switchfoot To Red Rocks
by Jon Watters
rammy-winning rockers Switchfoot were drumming in full force April 16 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, but it wasn’t their typical concert. The California-based group was headlining The Calling conference, an event with a higher purpose: to inspire and equip Christians to wholeheartedly pursue their Godgiven callings. For many Christians, calling is about discovering their God-given gifts and passions, and using them purposefully and in good stewardship. For 2011 CCU graduate Chrysandra Brunson, it boils down to living intentionally, which is why she’s made “The Calling” literally her calling. The conference was her creation and is one among a series of similar events she hopes to launch all over the country, perhaps the world—as long as there are audiences craving the topic. Switchfoot was a perfect frontrunner this April, with the chorus of their hit song “This is Your Life” echoing “…are you who you want to be?” For some that night, the answer: a resounding yes. Far-off gazes elsewhere across the iconic outdoor venue expressed pursuits still under way or undiscovered. Either way, the crowd of nearly 5,000, ranging from teens to baby boomers, was eager to celebrate and learn more about the idea of their calling. Acoustic rockers Chasen joined Switchfoot onstage along with local musician Lindsy Morton and speaker Rex Crain.The former baseball player for the Boston Red Sox offered life lessons taken from his own incredible journey out of the major leagues and onto an unexpected path. The Calling began as Chrysandra’s senior project in high school. While classmates made snowboards, wrote cookbooks, or learned how to swing dance, she fleshed out the idea God planted in her heart to start a faith-based movement. More than a series of concerts, her long-term goal is to turn The Calling into a nonprofit organization dedicated year-round to helping Christ-followers and seekers understand calling and its implication in their lives. “If Christians worldwide fully understood and embraced this,” Chrysandra poses, “unbelievable things would be happening and people would see Christ in new, vivid ways.”
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Life Long Learning
photo credit: www.platformmanagement.com
ARE YOU WHO YOU WANT TO BE?
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Where Are They Now?
Welcome Paul Eldridge 1960’s
rom the moment I stepped onto campus I have been graciously welcomed into the CCU community. I am humbled by the numerous greetings of genuine care and excitement the members of this campus have extended toward me and my family. What a wonderful community this is and I am thankful to be a part of it!
Karon (Schnabel) Cope, 1969 – Karon studied Christian Education at Western Bible College and now lives in Crosby, Texas. Karon and her husband Wayne, class of 1990, are blessed to have two grown children, Cristi and Delene.
Christian Higher Education continues to be an important part of how Jesus is moving and working in young adults’ lives today. As an alumnus of a small Christian university, I see how the Lord used my alma mater to change me in dramatic ways – spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, socially and in many other areas. Through the Holy Spirit and the dedicated faculty and staff here at CCU, the same changes are taking place within our students. They leave this university to go out into the world and make an impact for the Kingdom of Christ, as so many of you have done. Great things are happening at CCU and I am honored to be a part of this place! Paul Eldridge joined Colorado Christian University in May of 2011 as Vice President of Development. He leads the Development Team at CCU and oversees fundraising efforts and alumni relations for the university. Before joining CCU, Paul was Senior Director of Development and Planned Giving at John Brown University for eight years. Prior to his work in development and planned giving, Paul practiced law in southern California. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from John Brown University, a Master of Arts degree from Simon Greenleaf University and a Juris Doctor degree from Trinity Law School. Paul and his wife, Laurie, have been married for twenty three years and have three daughters: Clarisse (13); Isabelle (11) and Charlotte (6). He can be reached at 303.963.3093.
Donald “Chad” Wible, 1997 – Chad and his wife Allison, along with their two children Alvin (4) and Olivia (2), recently moved from Denver, CO to Murphys, CA to begin a new season of ministry in their lives. On January 1, 2011, Chad began his new position as Pastor of Sierra Bible Church of Murphys. Chad is enjoying the many aspects of ministry in an Evangelical Covenant church, and he has already had the opportunity to celebrate with the church on their 60th anniversary. May God continue to bless Sierra Bible Church as well as Chad’s family as they continue on this new journey together.
Dustin Richartz, 2000 – Dustin works for Beecher Carlson as an Assistant Vice President and Regional Risk Control Manager. His key focus at Beecher Carlson will be to assist in helping clients find new ways of enhancing their corporate health and safety programs and reduce their property and casualty insurance risk exposure. He will be based in Beecher Carlson’s Denver Office while living in Commerce City with his wife, Kindra, and their son, Daniel (2). Michael Williamson, 2009 – Michael graduated with a degree in Organizational Management in Christian Leadership and now resides in Colorado Springs with his wife, Karen. Additionally, Michael recently completed his first children’s book Kochine and the Whisper People under the pen name of Professor MacKay. This book is the first in a series that is inspired by Michael’s two boys, Allen (10) and Judah (5). Michael’s book has been very successful so far, and is
1914 Denver Bible Institute
1945 Denver Bible College
1948 Western Bible Institute
1949 Rockmont College
alumni news and updates
available on Kindle and Amazon, and at Barnes and Noble, as well as other retailers. Congratulations to Michael on this exciting accomplishment!
Cathy White, 2010 – Cathy recently graduated in 2010 with degrees in organizational management in Christian leadership and psychology. Cathy and her husband, Robert, currently reside in Lone Jack, MO, and are blessed to have four wonderful children, Shawn (33), Derek (31), Michelle (30), and Jeffrey (28). (pictured right with family) Paul Roberts, 2011 – Paul recently graduated with a degree in organizational management and quickly began a Master of Science in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management at Eastern Kentucky University in May. Through this program, Paul will be focusing on occupational health and workplace safety which has been providing him with great opportunities to integrate his faith into his daily work. On top of his academic pursuits, Paul and his wife Karen are currently living in Brighton, Colorado enjoying every day with their three children: Zachary (12), Cole (8), and Kyle (6).
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This section of the Colorado Christian Connection is designed to encourage alumni to stay connected. If you’ve had a recent change in your life (i.e. engagement, wedding, birth, new job, promotion, or something else exciting), we’d like to hear about it. Submit your news and photos to
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1968 Colorado Baptist Junior College
1975 Western Bible College
1983 Colorado Baptist University
1985 Colorado Christian College
1989 Colorado Christian University
Giving for a Lifetime
From the MOUNTAINTOPS
by Dan Westermann
hen listening to the unique story and testimony of Mike and Suzie, it becomes quickly evident that they love the mountains. It was on a mountain, more than fifty-eight years ago, where they met while skiing. Mike and Suzie also competed in the same racing circuit in Oregon and Washington. Since then, their unwavering passion for the mountains has never changed. Born and raised in the mountains of Northeastern Oregon, Suzie pursued downhill and slalom ski racing – eventually being picked as an Olympic Team hopeful for the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley,California. Her incredible potential even led Suzie’s parents to open a ski shop as a way to pay for her and her sister’s ski lessons. Suzie taught ski lessons after graduating college, while concurrently working as the Director of Student Activities at a local community college. Mike’s passion for skiing and for the mountains was evidenced by his thirty-plus year commitment to the national ski patrol, as well as his life-long dedication to mountaineering. Interestingly, Mike actually spent most of his career underneath the mountain as a mine safety engineer; he also taught mine safety at the Colorado School of Mines. While Mike and Suzie have lived in Colorado since 1975, their initial encounter with CCU did not happen until just recently. Mike and Suzie were invited to attend a church in Golden, Colorado, pastored by a CCU alumnus. This was their first encounter with a Christian university. Having attended primarily non-Christian institutions of higher learning during their academic tenure they were impressed by Colorado Christian University and the quality of the leadership and its graduates. Two years later Mike and Suzie decided to give a significant and creative gift to Colorado Christian University by donating real property to CCU in exchange for a charitable gift annuity. Through this creative Charitable Gift Annuity, and in concert with the planned giving team at CCU, Mike and Suzie were able to offset most of their capital gains tax liability and make a noteworthy gift to CCU. When asked why they support CCU, Mike and Suzie responded, “Because it’s the right thing to do.” They continued to explain that they knew their gift would be of great benefit to the students at CCU who will go forward and make a positive impact in our culture. They also cited the reason for their gift was due to a tremendous respect for President Armstrong and the leadership he provides to the university. Mike and Suzie are pleased to have found a creative way to give to CCU and to receive a lifetime income – a true win, win.
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Discover how a Charitable Gift Annuity can benefit you and CCU.
A Charitable Gift Annuity is an agreement between you and CCU. Under the terms of agreement, when you give a gift of cash or appreciated property to CCU, the University agrees to pay you a fixed, insured income for the remainder of your life. Your payment is based upon your age at the time you enter into an agreement with CCU, and it will never change.
BE A LEGACY
How a Charitable Gift Annuity Works
• You will receive a fixed income for the rest of your life, with rates significantly greater than current money-market or CD returns. • You will receive a tax deduction for a portion of your gift, making the effective return on your Charitable Gift Annuity even higher. If your gift includes appreciated property such as stock or real estate, you may also avoid paying some of the capital gains on the sale of that property. • Through a two-life annuity, you can guarantee a life income for your spouse or another family member.
How Will My Family and I Benefit?
• You will enable future generations of students to receive a rigorous, life-changing education centered on Christian principles and ethics.
How Will CCU Benefit?
For more information, contact: 303.963.3330 or LegacyGiving@ccu.edu
ur Pro d To Yo mmitte
Webinars & Event Job Search Guide Self-Assessment Tools Resume Writing & Interview Tips Much More • • • • •
JENNIFER HILZER, ’04, ’10,
is currently a facilitator with Disney University at Walt Disney World. Her undergraduate degree in communication and graduate degree in curriculum and instruction from Colorado Christian University made this possible.
Colorado Christian University
Office of Development 8787 W. Alameda Ave. Lakewood, CO 80226
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