The Holy Spirit in Mission: Interview with Dr. Gary Tyra (Part Two)

(To read Part One of this interview please click here)

With this blog post, we continue to report on Joe Gorra’s interview with pentecostal-evangelical scholar, Gary Tyra, regarding the contribution and implications of his book, The Holy Spirit in Mission, which J.P.Moreland endorsed here:

JG: I am hungry to read biblical and theological works that are authored by people with extensive pastoral leadership experience. For that reason alone, I would read your book. For you have over 25 years of pastoral experience! How has your leadership experience informed your approach to The Holy Spirit in Mission? How did that experience factor into your imagination for the writing of this book?

GT: While I would not want to say that the theology of the Spirit I put forward in the book is completely owing to my personal ministry experiences, I will acknowledge that some of the stories I present in the book as contemporary examples of missional prophetic activity do predate the scholarly work that eventually led me to my pneumatological conclusions. I choose to think of this as my formal thinking about the Spirit (my pneumatology) eventually catching up to the actual missional activity he’d been inspiring me to engage in all along.

To be a bit more specific, I suppose that, more than anything else, it was my missional activity as a church planter that made me aware of the need for an approach to Christian ministry that is earmarked by a commitment to both the Word and the Spirit—to being biblically informed and Spirit-empowered. Even though your desire as a church planter is to reach non-Christians with the gospel, you do have seasoned Christians looking for a new church home who wander your way. I found that some of my most perplexing, frustrating pastoral interactions occurred not with new believers, or even non-believers, but with veteran believers who were averse either to the “moving of the Spirit” in the worship services or to my insistence that all spiritual gift expressions be evaluated on the basis of theological, missiological principles provided in God’s word.

Thus, it was, at least in part, this desire as a missional church pastor to see some evangelicals become a bit more open to spiritual experience, and some Pentecostals/charismatics become more committed to a thoughtful, disciplined approach to the study of Scripture, all with the idea of mission in mind, that I went back to the Scriptures in order to forge an understanding of how a biblically informed pneumatology should affect a missional ecclesiology. What resulted from this study was The Holy Spirit in Mission.
Full Story

Delivery Boys and Entourage Comprehensive Review Complete

Dear Vanguard Community

We have recently completed a comprehensive review of the Delivery Boys and Entourage program at Vanguard University.  The review team of 9 members consisted of 3 faculty, 3 student life leaders, a youth pastor, and a current and former student.  Of these, 4 were former Delivery Boys & Entourage members.

The review included two phases – a research phase and then consideration of findings with recommendations for how to revitalize the teams.  The research component included interviews with previous team directors, a number of District Youth Directors and youth pastors, and several camp directors.  The review team conducted a series of focus groups with 28 former team members and with a number of current students.  The research phase also included a review of 24 student talent team programs at other colleges and universities.  The review team’s findings and recommendations have informed how the teams can be revitalized with greater emphasis on ministry and connection to training and leadership development within Student Life.

The review team has presented its report and recommendations to the President’s Cabinet.  I am pleased to now share some of the key outcomes:

  • Delivery Boys and Entourage teams will have a future as part of Outreach Ministries in Student Life.
  • The teams will be part of the Student Leadership Development program and participate in all student leadership events, including the Student Leadership Retreat.
  • This summer an advisory group will be formed to assist with recruitment, selection, training, and care for the teams.
  • Recruitment and selection of new teams will begin during the fall semester once we have finalized staffing and training to support the teams.
  • The teams will be available for camp ministry summer 2013.

We are committed to our mission of equipping students for Spirit-empowered lives of Christ-centered leadership and service and believe that the reorganization of support and training for the teams will better enable us to equip our students for effective ministry.

I want to express my gratitude to the review team for their many hours of careful research and prayerful reflection and recommendations on how best to support effective student ministry teams.

With gratitude,

Dr. Carol Taylor

OC Register: Adjunct Music Faculty and International Soloist Ellen Jung to Perform

Concert violinist Ellen Jung will be one of the featured soloists on May 6 at the “Spring Concert” of the Laguna Woods Village Symphony and members of the Saddleback College Emeritus Institute Symphony Orchestra. Maestra Valerie Geller has prepared an entertaining concert program featuring the popular music themes from Bizet’s opera “Carmen.”

The evening’s program begins with Jung performing the virtuoso composition “Carmen Fantasy” by Sarasate. Jung is an international soloist and member of the renowned chamber music ensemble, the Jung Trio. She received her Artists Diploma from Yale University and is currently on faculty at Vanguard University and the Claremont School of Music. She also performs regularly at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach and is a member of the Long Beach Symphony.

Completing the evenings program will be “Carmen Suites 1 & 2” by Bizet and will feature Mezzo-Soprano Lauren Edwards, Baritone Ryan Thorn, and the Southern California Children’s Chorus.

Concert begins at 7 p.m. at Geneva Presbyterian Church, Laguna Hills. General admission tickets $5 can be purchased at the door or in advance from LWVS musicians.

OC Register

Vanguard University Announces 2012 Faculty and Staff of the Year Award Recipients

Certificate for their Achievement and Honorarium Presented to Recipients at University Awards Chapel

Costa Mesa, CA – Vanguard University of Southern California announced today that Dr. James Huff, Chair, Department of Anthropology & Sociology was honored with the Faculty of the Year Award and Jason Fletcher, Undergraduate Admissions Counselor, was awarded the Staff of the Year Award at the annual University Awards Chapel.

The Student Government Association (SGA) took nominations for Vanguard Faculty of the Year and Staff of the Year with the SGA narrowing the count to 4 in each category. The traditional undergraduate student body then had a week, April 9th – April 13th, to vote online for one faculty and one staff respectively.  The criteria for selection for faculty was based upon, co-curricular involvement, institutional service, community service and notable accomplishments. The criteria for selection for staff was co-curricular involvement, institutional service and community service.  Those who had received the award in the past 5 years were ineligible for nomination.

Faculty of the Year Award Winner

Dr. James Huff’s specializations include anthropology of education and development anthropology, Latin American Pentecostalism, Central American history and culture, and grassroots community development. Dr. Huff has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in El Salvador. Current interests include the formation of faith-based, community development organizations in US and Central America.

Other Nominations for Faculty of the Year included:

Susan K. Berkompas, B.F.A/M.F.A in Acting and Director, Professor of Theatre Arts

Dr. Thomas J. Carmody, Ph.D  Chair of Communication Department, Professor of Communications Studies

Dr. Terry A. Zeigler, EdD, ATC, Professor, Kinesiology Department, Athletic Training Education Program Director, Clinical Instructor Educator, Approved Clinical Educator

Staff of the Year Award Winner

Jason Fletcher is originally from Ontario, CA and graduated from Vanguard University in May of 2008 with a B.A. in History & Political Science. As a student at Vanguard, he served as a leader in the Frontline Ministry, one year as a Huntington Hall Resident Assistant (RA), worked as a telecounselor and Intern in the Admissions Office, and worked at MIKA CDC (Community Development Corporation) in Costa Mesa as a dance teacher and Assistant Art Director. He also enjoys serving as a youth leader for a group of 7th and 8th grade guys at St. Peter’s Church in Huntington Beach. In his free time he loves to hang out with his closest friends, eat at Chipotle, mentor high school kids, teach hip-hop, and go white water rafting.

Other Nominations for Staff of the Year included:

Derek Densberger, Chief Information Officer

Tim Young, Director of Residence Life

Diana Wahlstedt, Administrative Assistance, Depart of Religion

For more information about Vanguard University go to or call 714-556-3610.

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Character or Personality

In her book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking”, Susan Cain opens by describing the cultural shift in American from a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality.  The Culture of Character is defined as one in which people value honor, integrity, and modesty.  Heroes like Abraham Lincoln are revered not only as a gifted communicator by as someone Ralph Waldo Emerson notes does not “offend by superiority.”  The Culture of Personality, on the other hand, is one in which people are captivated by those who are bold and entertaining.  Movie stars and celebreties become the heroes.

The shift was predicated by urbanization.  In the agricultural society of the the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, people lived and worked together in community.  They lived together and interacted the span of their whole lives.  By the early twentieth century, however, more than one third of the population lived in cities.  Americans found themselves working no longer with neighbors but with strangers.  Susan Cain writes, “‘Citizens’ morphed into ‘employees,’ facing the question of how to make a good impression on people to whom they had no civic or family ties.”

Cain notes the attributes of a Culture of Character: Citizenship, Duty, Work, Golden Deeds, Honor, Reputation, Morals, Manners, Integrity

The attributes A Culture of Personality: Magnetic, Fascinating, Stunning, Attractive, Glowing, Dominant, Forceful, Energetic

What is it that turns a group of people from different backgrounds that come from different places into a real community? At Vanguard, we call it our relational culture. Built into the fabric of our interactions at Vanguard is a culture that causes us to go beyond the normal definition of community, reaching out and connecting with each other. Vanguard is committed to fostering a Culture of Character, in the classroom, on the athletic field, on the stage, and in the living spaces of our students.

Truth, Virtue, and Service are the values of Vanguard University. Proclaimed by founders Harold and Hulda Needham, these values are pursued in all we do at Vanguard University. Professors who serve as mentors seek to form students in the image of Christ, who is Truth.

The Champions of Character program is at the center of athletics at Vanguard University. Student athletes are coached both in athletic skill and character formation, living into the virtures of integrity and honor in all relationships. Vanguard University athletics has received multiple Champions of Character awards for its commitment to the whole formation of student athletes, both on and off the athletic playing field.

In a world of personality and its pressure to manage what strangers think of us, Vanguard University remains a community committed to a relational culture. This is where the next generation of leaders, formed in the likeness of Christ, pursue an education in order to serve and further His Kingdom.