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.

Memorial Service for Cliff Taylor

Dear Vanguard Community,

I want to let you know that my father, Cliff, passed away peacefully Monday, April 2, 2012 at 10:30am. My mother, Betty, and I were with him along with my father’s very dear friend Marlin. Dad began failing last week and Saturday evening we took him to the emergency room at St. Jude Hospital for assistance with his breathing. Sunday morning Dad was moved to a hospice room and all afternoon and evening friends came by to say farewell. While my father was no longer conscious, his room was filled with singing and stories of how he had touched so many lives. Somehow it seems fitting that his home going is this Holy Week. My father has been eager for heaven for several months and now is safely home.

My mother and I want to thank you for your many prayers and words of encouragement this year as my father finished his life here. My father was a man of prayer and deep faith, and he prayed every day for Vanguard University.

Dad’s memorial service will be Saturday, April 14th at Eastside Christian Church in Fullerton at 11:00am. Eastside is located at 2505 Yorba Linda Blvd between State College and the 57 freeway in Fullerton, California. In lieu of flowers, my parents’ wish is for charitable contributions to either Vanguard University or Eastside Christian Church.

Thank you again for you many prayers and encouragement.

Dr. Carol Taylor
President

UPDATE April 9, 2012
If you were the recipient of an inlaid wooden cross made by Cliff Taylor, the family would like to request that you please bring that cross with you to the memorial service on Saturday.

Memorial Service for Cliff Taylor

Dear Vanguard Community,

I want to let you know that my father, Cliff, passed away peacefully Monday, April 2, 2012 at 10:30am.  My mother, Betty, and I were with him along with my father’s very dear friend Marlin.  Dad began failing last week and Saturday evening we took him to the emergency room at St. Jude Hospital for assistance with his breathing.  Sunday morning Dad was moved to a hospice room and all afternoon and evening friends came by to say farewell.  While my father was no longer conscious, his room was filled with singing and stories of how he had touched so many lives.  Somehow it seems fitting that his home going is this Holy Week.  My father has been eager for heaven for several months and now is safely home.

My mother and I want to thank you for your many prayers and words of encouragement this year as my father finished his life here. My father was a man of prayer and deep faith, and he prayed every day for Vanguard University.

Dad’s memorial service will be Saturday, April 14th at Eastside Christian Church in Fullerton at 11:00am.  Eastside is located at 2505 Yorba Linda Blvd between State College and the 57 freeway in Fullerton, California.  In lieu of flowers, my parents’ wish is for charitable contributions to either Vanguard University or Eastside Christian Church.

Thank you again for you many prayers and encouragement.

Dr. Carol Taylor
President

UPDATE April 9, 2012
If you were the recipient of an inlaid wooden cross made by Cliff Taylor, the family would like to request that you please bring that cross with you to the memorial service on Saturday.

Campus Update April 2012

Each spring, the Vanguard community hosts a variety of different events on campus and I am excited to share some of them with you. It’s wonderful to see the work God performs through the students, staff and faculty at Vanguard.

Vanguard was recently recognized in the Top 10 Schools for Online Early Childhood Education Degrees by the Super Scholar Smart Choice Awards and receiving a rank of #7.  Programs were selected and ranked based on publicly available information on their academic quality, student satisfaction, reputation in the field, and cost.  We are pleased to have received this recognition and opportunity to provide training for those whom Christ said represented the Kingdom of Heaven.  For more information visit http://www.vanguard.edu/earlychildhoodeducation/

I’d also like you to save the date for our second annual Celebration of the Arts event April 12-15. COTA will feature Vanguard’s national renowned theater, music and communication programs. Be entertained, inspired and informed as you enjoy some of the best Christian arts events in Southern California. For more information visit www.vanguard.edu/cota.

I am always impressed with our students and their passion for missions. Students visited Mexico and San Francisco over their spring break and I commend them as they to spread the word of God and minister to those who need God’s healing hand upon them.

I would also like to invite you to our annual Spring Concert on April 15 at 4:00pm at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach. The Vanguard music department, along with the St. Andrew’s Choir will be performing works of the composer Dan Forrest. To purchase tickets, please visit www.standrewstickets.com.

Lastly, during this Lenten season, I want to express my gratitude for you and your support of Vanguard University. I wish you and your family a wonderful Easter as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the sacrifice He made for all of us.

God Bless you and God Bless Vanguard,

Dr. Carol Taylor
President

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

Evangelical-Pentecostal scholars continue to produce fruitful work for the benefit of Christ’s church. Such advances will help contribute both toward a Reformation among Charismatics and for a renewed pneumatology among evangelicals and their ecclesiology.

One notable example of this work is Gary Tyra’s worthwhile book, The Holy Spirit in Mission: Prophetic Speech and Action in Christian Witness (InterVarsity Press, 2011). J.P. Moreland sets the context for understanding the significance of this book when he writes:

Outside of the West, the church is exploding in rapid growth and influence, and leading experts tell us that much of it is due to supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit. What has been needed is a biblically and theologically savvy defense of this role of the Spirit in the church’s mission. Tyra’s excellent book more than adequately fills that need. His treatment of the importance of the prophetic is alone worth the price of the book.

Recently, Joe Gorra interviewed Gary Tyra about the book and its implications for our theology and practices. Below is Part One of that interview. Currently, Gary is Associate Professor of Biblical and Practical Theology at Southern California’s Vanguard University. Along with his scholarship and writing, Gary has extensive pastoral leadership experience, and great love to see people grow into all that God has called them to be.

PART ONE

You dedicate your book to the renowned Russell P. Spittler, who you rightly describe as “a consummate evangelical-Pentecostal scholar and statesman whose example, counsel and friendship have meant a great deal to me over the years.” As a self-identified evangelical-Pentecostal scholar, can you share a little about your own journey, especially with regard to your own work, and how Russell has influenced you?

I became a Christ follower as a young adult (19-years-old) while a pre-med student in college. Since my conversion to Christ took place within a Pentecostal/charismatic ecclesial setting, my first worship, nurture, community and mission experiences occurred in an environment where the folks simply took for granted the need to be empowered by the Holy Spirit for life and ministry over and over again throughout one’s spiritual journey.

Within a year of my conversion I found myself involved in full-time Christian ministry. Once I responded to the call to transition from medicine to ministry, I began the pursuit of a formal biblical, theological ministry education. Eventually I was exposed to the broader evangelical movement, earning my graduate and post-graduate degrees at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

I emerged from my time at Fuller as an evangelical who nevertheless continues to embrace the best aspects of his Pentecostal/charismatic heritage due in no small part to the influence of fellow Fuller Pentecostals such as Russ Spittler and Mel Robeck. I consider both of these men to be consummate scholars who represent the Pentecostal-charismatic tradition well within the larger evangelical and ecumenical settings. As well, both have spent time with me over the years helping me better understand and negotiate the challenges involved in functioning as a pastor-scholar within an ecclesial tradition that, historically, hasn’t always emphasized the need for advanced theological degrees, much less a critical scholarship.

More of the Interview