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.”

Story

Vanguard Goes Beyond the Expected to Help Veterans

“Of any school I have attended, Vanguard has been by far the most supportive and efficient, whether it be answering my questions or validating my enrollment with the VA.  The Veterans Resource Center staff has far exceeded any and all expectations I have had, coming from other universities I have attended in California.”  - Jon Barkley ’12 United states Marine Corps.

Veterans need to be connected with their meaning and purpose in life after the military.  Vanguard serves a small population of veteran because we believe that relationships are at the core of the healing process. Vanguard invests in the individual: Academically, spiritually, and emotionally.

More below about Vanguard’s honoring of Veteran’s by The Daily Pilot.

By B.W. Cook

The Daily Pilot

During this Fourth of July remembrance week, it is important to acknowledge that our freedom often comes at a very high price. That price, of course, is the sacrifice of loved ones serving military missions far from their homes, and putting their lives on the line every day so those of us not in harm’s way can share the 4th of July holiday with family and friends.

Recently in Costa Mesa at Vanguard University, a much more serious dedication in advance of the Fourth of of July celebration honored America’s veterans with the creation of a “Courtyard of Honor.” Adm. Vernon E. Clark, former chief of Naval Operations for the Navy, joined forces with Brent Theobald, Vanguard University’s director of Veteran Affairs, in welcoming some 150 local veterans and their families at the unveiling of a permanent installation that Vanguard officials are labeling as “Value Pillars.”

Each of the pillars in the Veterans Courtyard relates to a specific ideal of service. Inscribed on the pillars are quotations and verses from scripture dealing with the ideals of honor, gratitude, camaraderie, commitment, justice, truth and integrity.

The Daily Pilot

OC Register: Meet Second Harvest Food Bank CEO Nicole Suydam ’95

As of April 2012, Nicole Suydam ’95, has accepted the role of Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County’s chief executive officer. Suydam studied history/political science during her time at Vanguard University. Second Harvest commented on her promotion: “As we make the transition to new executive leadership, we are thrilled to welcome Nicole as CEO. Nicole is a proven leader in community relations, fundraising, organizational leadership and board development, maintaining long-term relationships with Orange County funders and community leaders. She will be an invaluable asset to the organization.”

Nicole served as Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County’s development manager from 1997 to 2001.  Her latest position as vice president of development for Goodwill of Orange County had her as the overseer of business and fund development, community relations, and board development, also managing the successful $7 million Goodwill Fitness Center capital campaign.  Her experience also includes roles as development manager for Women in Community Service in Alexandria, Virginia and deputy finance director for the California Republican Party in Burbank. In 2011, Suydam was featured in OC METRO’s “40 Under 40” list of outstanding young professionals in Orange County. All-together, Suydam brings 16 years of successful non-profit management and leadership experience to the organization.

The Register‘s own Adam Probolsky speaks to his admiration and appreciation for Nicole and her accomplishments and service to the community.  (See article below. )

ADAM PROBOLSKY
PROBOLSKY PERSPECTIVE
FOR The Register

I have known Nicole Suydam for at least 15 years. When we first met, she worked for Second Harvest Food Bank (her first stint at the charity) as development manager. Later, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she raised money for a national nonprofit organization. Then, she returned to Orange County where she spent nine years at Goodwill. When she left, she was vice president and a member of Goodwill’s senior leadership team.

Today, Suydam is a mother of two and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank. She manages over 50 employees and oversees the distribution of 16 million pounds of food a year from Second Harvest’s 121,000 square-foot food distribution facility on the Great Park site. Secured from the U.S. Navy through the McKinney Act (legislation which provides land for poverty relief organizations), the warehouse was used for storing Humvees during the days when Marine Corps Air Station El Toro was operational. The massive space has a redwood super structure and includes office space and cold storage.

Second Harvest provides food to 470 member charities, from church pantries to soup kitchens and homes for abused women, homeless shelters and rehabilitation centers.

Nicole has always had a passion for people in need. “If you are hungry, it is very hard to be a good citizen,” she said. “A lot of people are struggling.” Speaking to Nicole in her office, she says the photos of her family on her desk keeps her grounded. The “It CAN be done” plaque reminds her to be positive and to look for ways to overcome challenges. She also made it clear that she is fond of her wireless telephone headset.

Why does she like it so much? “Because I like to talk with my hands,” she said.

OC Register

Interview with Vanguard’s Director of Global Center for Women and Justice

Sandie Morgan is the Director of Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice and teaches Women’s Studies, Family Violence, and Human Trafficking at Vanguard.  As a Registered Nurse, Sandie served on the Board of the International Nurses Association in Athens, Greece where she lived for ten years.  It was there that she discover human trafficking wile doing a story for Lydia Living magazine and working on reducing violence against women. Below is an interview by Terence Loose telling more insight about Sandie and her life work.

This educator and nurse is fighting the modern-day slave trade, which exists even here in the OC.

BY Terence Loose
COAST MAGAZINE

If you’re like most Americans, you are under the impression that slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation – and the Civil War – in 1863.

But you’d be wrong. Slavery still exists. In fact, the U.S. State Department says there are 27 million victims of human trafficking worldwide – 100,000 or more in the United States and some even in Orange County. These unfortunates are sold into everything from the sex-slave trade to the restaurant industry.

But there is hope, and one big reason for that is Sandra Morgan, director of the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University. Recently, she also served as Administrator for the Orange County Human Trafficking Taskforce, which battles against the modern slave trade. In addition to teaching at Vanguard, she hosts a podcast called Ending Human Trafficking.

Her conviction is obvious to anyone who listens. She speaks with a knowledge and passion for the issue of human rights that is only found in someone committed to changing a seemingly unchangeable problem. And she says that this is part of her mission.

“Our mantra here is study the issue, be a voice, make a difference. I live by that myself. I do the research so I have an answer for people when they ask about this issue,” she says.

So we asked.

How common is human trafficking in Orange County?
Our Orange County human trafficking taskforce has served over 100 certified victims of human trafficking. Those are only the ones we’ve been able to get certification for so we can provide them with services.

Does one stand out in your mind?
I met one young girl named Shyima who was brought here from Egypt to be a household slave at age nine. For three years she lived in a $1.6 million Orange County home, only she slept in the garage and was up from early morning until late at night doing all of the cleaning and taking care of two small children. Her life was the life of a slave. She never went to school, she never got to play, she never went to the doctor or the dentist.

How was she rescued?
A neighbor noticed a child who never went to school and they called the authorities. [The national human trafficking resource center hotline is 888.373.7888.] Now, Shyima’s doing great. In fact, in November she got her U.S. citizenship. As for the family who had enslaved her, they were convicted, spent time in prison and then were deported.

Movies like to depict victims as being kidnapped into this life. Is that common?
No. Most of the media over-glamorizes the idea of force. People being kidnapped is pretty rare. More often you have people who are in a compromised position without any options and someone offers them a job or opportunity and they take it. In the area of our American children, the majority are kids who come from dysfunctional families – they’ve been in group homes, in foster care, they don’t have a home to run back to. So someone takes them in and the grooming process begins. They’re recruited and sold for sex.

A sex slave trade right here in Orange County?
Yes, we have several cases ongoing of juveniles who were being sold for sex right here in Orange County. That raises the question: Who in Orange County is buying a child for sex? And what other kinds of jobs are we talking about? The one that gets the most attention is the sex trade, but we also have victims that have been household servants, worked in eldercare facilities, in restaurants, hotels, magazine sales.

What keeps them loyal?
If you get down into basic child psychology and the way a child’s brain is developing, we are hard-wired to have a family. And even if that family is a gang or a pimp and three women he’s exploiting, at least you have someplace to go home to. So there’s this sense of belonging. In fact, often when the police show up to rescue them, they don’t want to be rescued.

What happens in that situation?
Fortunately, if they’re under 18 they don’t get to choose. We take them and help them. Many times, it takes months before young women and boys can go through restorative services. In fact, in Las Vegas, a judge pointed out that 85% of the juveniles they save run away, so they put them in juvenile detention.

There is also the situation of debt bondage. Can you explain that?
A trafficker tells a victim something like, “We have a restaurant job for you and you’ll be able to send money home to your family.” The [victim] says they don’t have money to get across the border. So the [trafficker] will say, “That’s OK, you’ll owe us.” So the victim comes across and earns little to nothing and what they do make goes to pay their debt. They’re charged for the place they’re sleeping – which is often nearly inhabitable – their groceries, exorbitant interest and other things, all at outrageously high prices. After a few weeks, the victim begins to understand there is no way out, and they’re threatened with being turned over to the cops so they’ll never see their family again, or even with harm to them or their family. So people could be human trafficking victims and right in front of you, but they’re afraid to self-identify.

Why did you first get involved in fighting human trafficking?
I was living and working in Greece in 2000. In Greece prostitution is legal and so I walked past brothels all the time. But I noticed that a lot of the girls in the doorways were very young and not Greek, so I started asking questions. That was the beginning of my journey. When I found out more, and how horrible the problem was, I tried to figure out how to change it.

And you now teach on a bigger scale at Vanguard University.
That’s why I love my position and what we’re doing here. I realize my limitations. I’m only one person; I can only do so much. But every semester, when I teach my students, I multiply myself 30, 40, 50 times. In that way, I hope I can really make a difference.

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