Lewis Wilson Institute Special Speaker Explores History of AG in Forming National Fellowship

RobeckHeath 109 filled on April 25 for the Lewis Wilson Institute’s (LWI) last gathering for the semester. With 2014 marking the 100th anniversary of the Assemblies of God (AG), LWI hosted its final speaker to explore another piece of the AG’s rich history.

Young and old filled the lecture hall on Friday to hear one of the world’s leading Pentecostal historians, Dr. Cecil M. Robeck, Jr., speak on “The Formation of the Assemblies of God as a National Fellowship.” Several students and community members attended along with many of LWI’s regular event attendees. LWI Director Derrick Rosenior, Ph.D., introduced Dr. Robeck as a friend and as “one of the most preeminent Pentecostal scholars in the world.”

For the Seminar, Dr. Robeck focused on the crucial role of publications in recording the history of the AG. Digging through the thousands of pages of recorded history in the periodicals and other AG publications turns out to be “an incredibly complex thing,” he said. However, from hours of research and perseverance, Pentecostal historians continue to piece the account together.

When talking about the important role of publications in the growth and development of the AG, Dr. Robeck said they gave readers “the opportunity to watch the movement grow.” AG publications also helped to create a desire among AG churches across the nation “to move beyond independence to interdependence,” he added. In his lecture, Dr. Robeck also mentioned the history that led to the formation of the Pentecostal Evangel, which is the main AG publication today.

After a short break following the end of the lecture, attendees gathered back in the room for a Q&A session. Questions arose about women in the AG, what the AG looks like throughout the globe and the work of God in AG churches outside the U.S. in comparison to in the U.S. When addressing the issues about the AG on a global level, Dr. Robeck said: “I think we’re really interlocked with each other.” And when describing the similarities and differences between the AG churches globally, he said that he is blessed to be able to travel often outside the U.S. and see the life of God and the Spirit’s movement around the world.

Dr. Robeck is the director of the David J. DuPlessis Center for Christian Spirituality and a professor of church history at Fuller Theological Seminary. Also, he is a best-selling author and an ordained AG minister who has received several awards and has numerous academic publications. Read more about him in his Fuller professor profile, by clicking here.

Colleges in California Ranks Vanguard University in Top 10

Vanguard_University_of_Southern_California_221174For 2014, Vanguard University ranks among Colleges in California’s 10 Best Christian Colleges and Universities in California.

Based on specific criteria, Colleges in California selected Vanguard University as one of the 10 best schools to represent the state of California for excellence in Christian academia. Ranking criteria included academic reputation, campus intimacy, selectivity based on admissions rates and student satisfaction. After creating a list of California schools with a Christian-centered educational mission, Colleges in California used these criteria to narrow down the list to the 10 best.

Coming in at No. 9, Vanguard University is noted as an “exemplary Christian university” with a “Christ-centered community that encourages God’s Spirit in all aspects of life.” Colleges in California also notes the significant number of alumni who have gone on from Vanguard to pursue graduate degrees at top universities or become influential Christian leaders. They mentioned leaders like psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen ’78 and evangelist Heidi Baker ’80 MA ’85. Lastly, the summary notes Vanguard’s ranking in the US News & World Report’s top 10 colleges in the West and the Colleges of Distinction’s feature on Vanguard for its “top notch academics.”

To view the full rankings, visit Colleges in California’s website by clicking here.

Literary Celebration and Conference Hosts Friends and Family

synecodoche-11-0019Friends and family gathered around to celebrate achievements and explore readings at Vanguard University’s Department of English annual Global Literatures and Christianity Conference on April 10-11.

Each year, students collaborate on a conference theme, choose panel topics and put on a party to celebrate students’ many literary achievements and enjoy a time of exploration into diverse texts. For this campus-wide, undergraduate conference, the English department invites all students to attend and contribute their own work.

On Thursday, the department hosted the Synecdoche Literary Celebration where original creative works were performed and the new Synecdoche released. For the release, the celebration featured live music, snacks, numerous literary readings and the induction ceremony for the English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta.

Sophomore English major and co-president of Sigma Tau Delta, Elaina Ahmed said the celebration was enjoyable for all attendees. During the celebration, the new Synecdoche released for purchase and multiple pieces from the literary journal were read aloud. Reflecting on the creative excellence of senior Meredith Howard’s short story, Ahmed said: “I was listening to her read it and you could have been there.”

On Friday, Vanguard hosted academic panel sessions and presentations from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the nursing building. Undergraduate English majors presented academic papers, followed by two roundtable discussions on the topics: “The Power of Storytelling through Diverse Voices” and “From Paper to Digital: The Evolution of Book Culture.” Speaking on the discussions, the chair of the English Department, Dr. Karen Lee, said: “The students tackled a range of sophisticated topics, and they rose to the occasion with zeal.” According to Dr. Lee, this year’s conference was a “grand success.”

To learn more about Vanguard’s Synecdoche, click here.

San Francisco Spring Break Missions Bring Love to Tenderloin

IMG_3949Vanguard University’s San Francisco Outreach worked with City Impact to bring the love of Christ to the Tenderloin during this year’s Spring Break mission trip.

The Tenderloin is the “skid row of San Francisco,” senior psychology major Katie Friesen said when describing her experience on the San Francisco Outreach (SFO). It’s a place that is “super dark spiritually” and overwhelmed by drugs, alcohol, sex and abuse, she said. However, there is a light among that darkness: City Impact. City Impact provides for the basic and spiritual needs of people living in the inner city of San Francisco. On March 16-22, Vanguard’s SFO team served alongside City Impact to bring the love of Christ to people in need.

According to their website, City Impact offers three types of work: “relief for those in urgent need, rehabilitation for those wanting a way out, and development to ensure the cycles of poverty and despair are not repeated.” They provide free meals, a very affordable thrift shop and a k-8 school, which is the first school in the Tenderloin area. Coming alongside City Impact, the SFO team helped prepare meals, minister to the homeless, pray for people in the Tenderloin and show the love of Christ.

When describing her experience staying with City Impact and working with them, Friesen said their love and commitment to spreading the Gospel inspired her. One of their goals is to get every apartment complex in the Tenderloin to hear the Gospel, so they go door to door knocking. The SFO team joined in their mission during the week they were there. When tenants would open the door, the team would offer prayer and encouragement, and when there was no response, the team would pray over the door.

Also, the team joined with City Impact in handing out chips at night to the homeless. It was a great way to strike up conversations, share Christ’s love and show them that someone does care about them, Friesen said. “We had the raddest conversations with these people,” she said. “It was so cool to see the Holy Spirit work,” she added.

Looking back on the trip, Friesen said she was inspired. When the trip was nearing its end, Friesen said she began thinking about the intentional love that she had been sharing with the people of the Tenderloin during outreach and how she could continue sharing that love beyond the trip’s last days. She said she thought to herself: “This is how it’s done here, now how does it look at home?” Since returning to school, Friesen said she has begun to look for ways to love people like she loved them in San Francisco, whenever and wherever opportunities arise.

For more information about Vanguard’s missions teams, click here.

Future Student Leaders Attend Christian College Leadership Conference

CCLCgraphicOn April 5, future Vanguard University student leaders attended the Christian College Leadership Conference (CCLC) at California Baptist University.

Each year, Vanguard University provides the opportunity for all of the new student leader hires to attend CCLC. The conference allows students from multiple Christian universities to gather for worship, teaching and lots of good fellowship. The day includes main sessions for all attendees, breakout sessions, and lots of time for student leaders to bond together through discussions and various games.

For this year’s conference, keynote speaker Josh Riebock spoke for the two main sessions and the band All Sons and Daughters led worship. Riebock, a bestselling author, shared his message using his favorite medium: stories. Throughout the message, Riebock would make points and then use narratives to better illustrate his ideas. Jaime Saravia, a current Huntington Hall Resident Assistant (RA) and a future Vanguard Centre RA, said the storytelling was very effective in catching his attention and speaking to him.

Looking back on the conference, Saravia said: “It helps leaders to begin to prepare.” Being his third time attending the conference, Saravia knows its value. Through past conferences, this year’s conference and personal experience as an RA, Saravia said he has learned that “although the chaos is there, God’s there too.”

To learn more about Vanguard’s student leadership positions, click here.