Vanguard University Names Mike Beals Dean Of Spiritual Formation

Dr. Mike Beals brings 31 Years as an ordained minister and served as faculty at Vanguard from 1991 to 2009

COSTA MESA, CA. August 2012 – Vanguard University announces that Mike Beals has been named Dean of Spiritual Formation.  This position will serve as the university pastor for the Vanguard community and the senior administrator of the Spiritual Formation Department.  Mike will provide leadership for student spiritual development and the chapel program, in addition to service to the community through local outreach and global missions.

President Richard Mouw of Fuller Seminary, states, “Mike is a careful thinker, a solid scholar, and an intellectually stimulating conversationalist.  He is also a very fine person, whom I consider to be a good friend.  In our many conversations together over the years I have been impressed by his pastoral sensitivities, his sense of his own humanity as a servant of the Kingdom, and his deep love for his family.  In short, I admire him greatly as a Christian fellow-disciple. When I read your published description of this position, it struck me that Mike is a perfect candidate for this particular assignment.  He has just the right blend of spiritual mentorship, administrative savvy, and love of the academic life that this position requires.”

Mike came to faith in Christ at Vallejo First Assembly of God in 1977.  He began attending San Diego First Assembly of God while pursuing the pre-med program at San Diego State University, but sensed God calling him to Vanguard.  While at Vanguard, Mike double-majored in Religion and Psychology and went on to earn his MA in Church Leadership.  Mike completed a second MA at Fuller Theological Seminary in Biblical Studies and Theology.  He earned his Ph.D. at Fuller in Christian Ethics. After completing  both his BA and MA, he served as an adjunct faculty member from 1991 to 2005 and an Assistant Professor of Religion from 2005 to 2009.

As an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God, Mike has spent the past 31 years in ministry at Mission Hills Community Church in Rancho Santa Margarita, the last 23 of those as Senior Pastor.  Mike has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Fuller Seminary since 1999.  In addition to scholarly involvement in the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Mike has been actively involved in global outreach in Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, China, Israel, Switzerland, France, England, and Scotland.

Jeff Hittenberger, Provost of Vanguard proudly states, “We have experienced many blessings at Vanguard.  Having Mike join us as Dean of Spiritual Formation is a particularly rich blessing as so many here already know and appreciate him and look forward to serving with him as we equip each student for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service.”

 

 

For more information about Vanguard University visit vanguard.edu;

About Vanguard University

Vanguard University is a private, Christian, comprehensive university of liberal arts and professional studies equipping students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service. The U.S. News & World Report has ranked Vanguard among the best baccalaureate colleges in the west in their 2011-2012 rankings of colleges and universities and The Princeton Review named VU a 2014 “Best in the West” College. Vanguard is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). vanguard.edu

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Vanguard is Bringing Enlightenment to the Stage

Theater seeks to enlighten and inspire

By Shannon Annarella / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Each summer, American Coast Theater Company – a professional drama troupe attached to Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, performs two plays seeking to enlighten and inspire audiences with plays that share a fresh perspective on the human condition.

The six-year-old company is still in its “building stages,” says founder and artistic director Susan Berkompas, but is “ready to take it to the next level.” Berkompas has headed up the theater program at Vanguard University, where ACTC’s shows are held, for 16 years. Vanguard students are also given the chance to intern for the American Coast Theater Company for course credit.

Through Sunday, ACTC is performing “Enlightenment.com”, an original comedy by Warren Doody, a Vanguard professor who teaches composition and playwriting. “It’s really a play that’s made up of seven quirky, foolish people,” Berkompas said. “It really is all about seeing their foolishness and their antics play out.”

“Enlightenment.com” is about the connection between romance and technology. It is the story of a soon-to-be groom who, upon receiving an RSVP from a past love, looks within to move forward. To achieve this, he seeks help in an “enlightenment therapist,” a minister for the online community who also interprets dreams.

Although ACTC is founded on Christian principles, faith isn’t the only lens the plays are presented through. Berkompas revealed that “it’s not about preaching a sermon” but about finding “light in the darkest of storylines” and “that grain of hope or that seed of redemption.”

Unafraid to present dark or heart-wrenching material, ACTC finds the fine balance between gripping and gratuitous. Mature content, such as in the company’s first show, “A Streetcar Named Desire”, is handled creatively, but still true to the original vision. “We have to do justice to what the playwright has written. If it’s meant to be dark and dangerous, then it’s about finding the depths of darkness and of the dangers,” Berkompas shared.

In a similar manner, Berkompas explained that ACTC strives to have “an original point of view while trying to be honest about what the story really is.” With Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew”, which they performed from June 8 to July 8, they had “a very particular point of view that hasn’t been told very often. If you didn’t love the shrew by the end of the show, there’s something wrong with you,” Berkompas joked.

The American Coast Theater Company offers an intimate and impactful experience that is family-friendly and “illuminates hope, redemption, and enlightenment.” Emphasizing this, Berkompas shared, “ACTC’s mission is to tell the stories that haven’t been told, yet that are worth telling.”

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