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Central’s Business Administration Degree Ranks Third in U.S.

BP1_0491 revCentral Christian College of Kansas has secured national recognition for its bachelor’s degree in business administration. An OnlineDegrees.com report ranked Central third in the nation for its exemplary scores in numerous categories, including:
• The number of available distance education programs
• The percentage of undergraduates who were awarded financial aid
• The percentage of students enrolled in distance education
• The retention rate of full-time students

According to Marcelle White, the senior managing editor of QuinStreet, this survey “highlighted features important to prospective online students such as career services, including job placement and student services, interaction with peers, [and] available scholarships and grants. [The] well-thought-out methodology aims to provide prospective students with the best college options for completing an online bachelor’s degree program in business administration.”

Central aims to have continuity between its online and on-campus degree programs. Its mission to provide an education for the whole person – heart, mind, body and soul – is meant to create an environment where students can fully thrive and flourish during their educational journey.

Visit onlinedegrees.com/business-administration to view the complete ranking and methodology. Visit ccckfoundation.org to support Central’s academic programs.

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The Kenney Announces New Executive Director

John Cruz Bio photoDavid Smeltzer, the chief executive officer of Heritage Ministries, has announced that John Cruz has been named the executive director of The Kenney in West Seattle, Washington.

A graduate of San Francisco University with a degree in organizational behavior studies, Cruz earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the Marylhurst University in 2017 and has extensive experience in the senior care industry, previously serving as the executive director of a senior living community in Oregon.

“We are excited to have John join our team at The Kenney as the new executive director. We believe his expertise, prior experience, and passion will add tremendous value to our organization and our residents. Over the past four years, the collaborative partnership between The Kenney and Heritage Ministries has allowed both organizations to flourish in their mutual passion and mission to serve seniors. We also see tremendous opportunity in both the immediate and long-term future of our industry and our companies,” said Bruce Erickson, Heritage’s vice president of senior housing.

Cruz will oversee daily operations of all aspects at The Kenney, West Seattle’s only Continuing Care Retirement Community, including independent living, assisted living, and memory care.

“I am excited to be joining the team at The Kenney, and the long history surrounding it. My short time here has been enriched by staff and residents’ open arms. I look forward to being part of the future here at The Kenney,” Cruz stated.

Heritage Ministries, the parent company of The Kenney, was founded as the Orphanage and Homes of the Free Methodist Church in 1886 and has grown from its original campus in Gerry, New York, to six locations in New York with additional affiliations in the states of Washington, Illinois and Pennsylvania. As a not-for-profit provider of senior care and housing, Heritage is a leader in the industry, employing approximately 1,500 team members and serving more than 2,500 individuals annually. With locations in New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Washington, Heritage and its affiliates provide rehabilitation and skilled nursing services, memory care, independent retirement housing, and assisted living. The Homestead Stables provides intergenerational equestrian opportunities as well as boarding, training and lessons. In addition, child care is provided at two campuses, allowing for intergenerational programs.

For more information on Heritage Ministries and The Kenney, please visit heritage1886.org or thekenney.org.

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Greenville Offers Next Justice Ministry Pilgrimage Course

FullSizeRender-1Following the success of May’s travel-based Justice Ministry course, Greenville University’s School of Adult Studies and Andrews Chair for Christian Unity announce a second course, “Justice Ministry: Immigration, Exploitation, and Kingdom Economics” from May 15 to 21, 2019. Renowned Christian leader Lisa Sharon Harper will again lead the experience.

This course on immigration is part of a series centered on effective ministry offered through Greenville University in collaboration with Freedom Road LLC. Each course focuses on a pressing issue about which discerning Christians have something distinctive to say and do.

“Immigration, Exploitation, and Kingdom Economics” includes readings, lectures, discussions and a weeklong tour of historic locations in Texas and Arizona that help tell the story of immigration policy, exploitation and labor in the United States.

Participants choose their depth of study by electing to take the course for continuing education credit, undergraduate credit or graduate credit. This opportunity is appropriate for pastors, justice ministers, worship leaders, leaders of nonprofit organizations, justice advocates, social workers and students who have completed at least 90 college credits.

Harper is the founder and president of Freedom Road LLC and the author of “The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right.” An internationally regarded Christian justice leader, Harper co-founded New York Faith & Justice and served as its executive director from 2007 to 2011. She then served as chief engagement officer with Sojourners from 2011 to 2017. Her work has taken her to Croatia, Australia, Germany, Ireland, South Africa and, next year, Brazil.

Apply online for the May course, or email Ben Wayman at ben.wayman@greenville.edu for more information.

 

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In Celebration of Life

Life

As a reminder to all people who call themselves Free Methodists, we celebrate and recognize the sanctity of life and worth of all persons. Freedom Sunday is fast approaching on September 30, and we urge everyone to support efforts such as those led by the Set Free Movement. We must work aggressively to end slavery and everything that degrades people.

Similarly,  all persons, whether slave or free, from conception until death, are of inestimable worth and are image bearers of God. That includes the unborn. We remind everyone who has been engaged in recent national conversations on matters pertaining to the right to live, that the Free Methodist Church is clear on such matters. As we state in our Book of Discipline, Paragraph 3222 B., and reaffirm here, “The intentional abortion of a person’s life, from conception on, must be judged to be a violation of God’s command, ‘You shall not commit murder,’ except when extreme circumstances require the termination of a pregnancy to save the life of the pregnant woman.”

According to the Book of Discipline, “Induced abortion is the intentional destruction of a person after conception and before delivery by surgical or other means. Therefore, induced abortion is morally unjustifiable except when the act has been decided upon by responsible and competent persons, including Christian professional counsel, for the purpose of saving the life of a pregnant woman. Abortion, when it serves the ends of population or birth control, personal preference or convenience, and social or economic security, must be considered as selfish and malicious.”

We understand the complexities of these matters and understand divergent views but remain committed to the celebration of life God created in his own image. Though some no doubt disagree with us on these matters, we nevertheless are resolutely committed to and reaffirm our love for God and all persons.

Board of Bishops, Free Methodist Church –USA

Matthew A. Thomas, David W. Kendall, David T. Roller

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Call and Response to Unite and Equip African-American Christians

BY ESAU MCCAULLEY

sept_newsSometime in 2016, J.R. Rozko, who directs the efforts of Missio Alliance, asked me if I was interested in doing a workshop at their upcoming conference in Alexandria, Virginia. I agreed and when he asked me what issue I wanted to address, I said that I wanted to talk about black Christians. Had the question been posed a year ago, my reply might have been different. I was knee deep in doctoral studies at that time and might have suggested some obscure element of Pauline theology, but when he called, we were nearing the end of what I now call “The Bloody Summer” when it seemed as if every week there was another story of a black person being killed or mistreated by police and civilians. We were not safe at pools, convenience stores, traffic stops, or playing with toys in our neighborhood.

I realized that if my scholarship did not touch directly on the concerns of black people, then the long journey to become an academic was meaningless. Those deaths were not about me, but they were about families who lost loved ones. They were tragedies in their own right, but they reminded me of why I began the journey that has occupied much of my adult life. I wanted to help our people function and serve the Lord in a culture that was often hostile. The questions that would lead to the Call and Response Conference then filled my mind before the election later that year that reconfigured the Christian landscape and left many people of color questioning their place in the church and the culture.

I wanted to speak about black Christians because I noticed a few trends. First, there were questions within the black community concerning the continued relevance of the black church. Groups like the Black Hebrew Israelites and radical black nationalist organizations were questioning the ongoing need for the black church. Furthermore, some elements of the Black Lives Matters movement said quite openly that this was not your parents’ civil rights movement. The church would not take the lead. There was also the reality of black millennials leaving the church. I grew up in the black church and love her still. But I thought that it might be helpful to have a conversation on ways that we may renew her.

I also realized that black Christians were not all in the black church. Of the 79 percent of black Americans who are Christians, 53 percent are in black churches; 14 percent, however, are in evangelical churches. These black Christians also had their own issues to ponder. The election raised new questions about the relationship between evangelical understandings of the gospel and the historic black union of the call to personal conversion and social justice. For all the talk about an exodus from evangelicalism, it remains the second largest cluster of black Christians. We could not simply wish them away. They need our support too. But there were other black Christians still; 4 percent of black Christians are in mainline traditions (fmchr.ch/breligion).

A Corporate Response

It became clear that I lacked the knowledge base and the skill to speak to all these groups in the time allotted. We needed more time. As much I was happy to be invited to speak at Missio Alliance’s conference, I noticed that in many conferences where the majority of the people in attendance are white, people of color find themselves at the “conference within a conference.” That is, we are trying to find the workshops and speakers that speak to our needs within a wider gathering whose attention is directed elsewhere. We huddle at lunchtimes and coffee breaks attempting to share stories and build relationships.

A group of us wondered: What would happen if we did things differently? Lisa Fields, Natasha Robinson, Dennis Edwards and I (Santes Beatty would later be added to our number) dreamed about a conference that focused on the hopes and trials of black Christians no matter where they found themselves.

Most conferences are either black church conferences or black evangelical conferences or black mainline conferences. Rarely are all three groups together in the same space. Rarely do we get to talk and strategize together. The Call and Response Conference wants to pool the resources of African-Americans in different Christian traditions to think practically on how we might equip black Christians and those who minister to them for gospel work in our day.

When I speak about our vision in this way, people often ask me if they are allowed to come if they are not black. I answer a hearty, “Yes!” Christians of color have come for years to conferences when they were not in charge and found something valuable that blessed them. Furthermore, if you have black Christians in your congregation or in your community, it might be valuable to listen to the issues that they face. It is a time to learn. This conference is for black Christians and those who minister to them. Therefore, if you are in one of those categories, you are invited. Nonetheless, this conference is not designed to explain black culture to white Christians. It is a conversation within our culture about how we might effectively function as servants of the Lord in our day.

What can you expect at Call and Response? First there will be great speakers drawn from black churches, black evangelical spaces, multiethnic churches and mainline institutions. You can expect practical workshops on issues like: black apologetics, publishing, youth work, equipping women, blacks in academia, community development, and more.

Speakers will include Sho Baraka​, a hip-hop artist, philosopher and social-thought leader in contemporary culture; Santes Beatty, the director of multiethnic ministries for the Wesleyan Church; Amena Brown, a poet, speaker and author who was named one of Rejuvenate Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 Changemakers; Christena Cleveland, a social psychologist, public theologian, associate professor at Duke University’s Divinity School and the author of “Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart”; Charlie Dates, the senior pastor at Progressive Baptist Church in Chicago, an affiliate professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and an adjunct professor at Moody Bible Institute; Joyce Dinkins, the executive editor of Our Daily Bread Ministries; Christina Edmondson, the dean for intercultural student development at Calvin College; Dennis Edwards, the senior pastor of Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis and the author of “1 Peter” in “The Story of God Bible Commentary” series; Lisa Fields, the founder and president of the Jude 3 Project; Brandon Harris, the Protestant chaplain for the Georgetown University Law Center and Georgetown University’s main campus; Michelle Higgins, the director of Faith for Justice and an organizer for the Leadership Development Resource Weekend; Nicole Hubb, the national director of events for GirlTrek; Doneila “Dee” McIntosh is the lead pastor of Lighthouse Covenant Church in Minneapolis and a founding member of Black Clergy United for Change; Marvin McMickle, the president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York; Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, the founder of Leadership LINKS Inc. and the author of “Mentor for Life: Finding Purpose through Intentional Discipleship”; Truth’s Table podcast hosts Michelle Higgins, Christina Edmondson and Ekemini Uwan; and me.

We will be led in worship by a powerful choir drawn from churches here in Rochester, New York. There will be concerts featuring artists like Brown and Baraka, but most importantly, we are hoping that God shows up and speaks a word to his people about the work that he has given us to do in our day. We hope to see you there.

You are warmly invited to join us Oct. 4–6 at Northeastern Seminary, 2265 Westside Drive, Rochester, New York, for this one-of-a-kind event. I encourage you to visit callandresponseconference.com to get more information and register.

Esau McCaulley, Ph.D., is the assistant professor of New Testament and early Christianity at Northeastern Seminary, an associate member of the Association of Free Methodist Educational Institutions and an affiliate of the John Wesley Seminary Foundation. McCaulley has served across many professional and cultural contexts throughout his ministerial career and theological study, and he has dedicated his work in Christian higher education to instructing students on the proper interpretation and application of biblical texts.

 

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