SPS 2016

The Society for Pentecostal Studies Honors Peterson, Klaus and Dempster with 2016 Lifetime Achievement Awards

SPS Lifetime Achievement Award March 2016

On Saturday, March 12, 2016, the Society for Pentecostal Studies honored three of the Department of Religion’s most esteemed  colleagues, past and present. Professor of World Mission and Intercultural Studies, Dr. Doug Petersen, Board of Trustee member, Dr. Byron Klaus, and former Vanguard President, Dr. Murray Dempster were awarded the Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award for their outstanding contributions to Pentecostal scholarship. Congratulations, gentlemen. We your colleagues salute you.

Interview with the Honorees Honorees with Dr. Spittler Honorees and their wives

CHLS 2015 Team Photo

Students Experience the Holy Land – CHLS Bible Lands Tour 2015




Vanguard students join 100 students from 7 universities for 28 days in Israel and Jordan, studying abroad in the Holy Land. From archaeology lectures and digs to adventures like cave exploration, jeep treks, hiking in the wilderness and swimming in the Dead Sea, this trip has a little something for everyone. Students experienced personal transformation as they solidified their faith by following the footsteps of the patriarchs, the kings, the prophets and even Jesus Himself. The Bible Lands program truly offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study the Bible in the land of its origin with some of Israel’s top scholars and archaeologists.

graduating seniors

Commissioning Service & Reception ~ Undergraduate Programs in Religion

Department of Religion Welcomes our 2015 Graduates, Families and friends!

Commissioning Service & Reception

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

4:30 pm~ Commissioning Service: Forrest Room

5:15 pm~ Reception: Needham Courtyard

Recounting God’s Faithfulness & Celebrating our Religion Graduates!

Commissioning Service and reception flyer 2015


Travel to the Bible Lands


Have you ever wanted to walk where Jesus walked and experience the land of the Bible?
Monday, October 13 @ 10:00 am in Heath 102, you can learn more about the Israel/Jordan study tour May 18-June 12, 2015. Scholarships and 3 transfer units may be available. Visit   http://holylandsstudies.org/ 


Brochures are available in the Department of Religion office.

Diana Wahlstedt, X6341
Administrative Assistant




Author: Gary Tyra, D.Min
Publisher: IVP Academic
Date: 2013

A Missional Orthodoxy: Theology and Ministry in a Post-Christian Context, Gary Tyra, D. Min

A MissionDr. Gary Tyra, Professor of Religion in our Professional Studies program published a new book A Missional Orthodoxy: Theology and Ministry in a Post-Christian Context

The emerging and missional church movements have raised decisive questions about what it means to embody the Christian faith in a post-Christian and postmodern world. A common reactionary response denies the significance of the context and reasserts the supremacy of classical orthodoxy. An equally common position at the other end of the spectrum involves a rejection of orthodoxy as contextually insensitive and incapable of being inclusive and missional at all. The one asserts its orthodoxy at the expense of being missional and contextual; the other emphasizes generosity at the expense of its fidelity to “the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 1:3). The church today needs a theology that is both orthodox and missional–doing justice to both aspects. Gary Tyra has written just such a book. In A Missional Orthodoxy he critically engages with the works of Brian McLaren and Marcus Borg for the sake of developing a comprehensive missional theology that retains what he calls the “four Christological verities” at the heart of Christian doctrine. Tyra discusses the methodological question of contextualization, offering an incarnational model of recontextualization that unites the postmodern insights of the culture with the truths of the biblical text. On the basis of this missional foundation, he examines all the major Christian doctrines in order to overcome the false antithesis between a fighting fundamentalism and a too-accommodating liberalism. The result is a humble, modest, missionally faithful orthodoxy that provides a compelling witness within a world of competing extremes.

Religion Department Welcome & New Student Orientation

Please join us:
Date:   Friday, August 24th
Time:   10:00am – 11:00am
Place: Great Commission Hall, Heath Building, 2nd Floor

All are welcome!  Come and learn more about the Religion department and meet the faculty and staff. 
Refreshments will be served!

Commissioning Service & Reception, Undergraduate Programs in Religion

Vanguard University ~ Department of Religion
Welcomes our 2012 Graduates, Families and Friends:
Commissioning Service & Reception
Undergraduate Programs in Religion
Friday, May 4, 2012
Heath Academic Center, Vanguard University
9:00am~Commissioning Service: Heath 100, 1st floor
9:45~Reception:  Great Commission Hall, 2nd floor

Please R.S.V.P to Diana Wahlstedt with the number of attendees by April 27th
diana.wahlstedt@vanguard.edu or 714-966-6341

Newly Published Books – Department of Religion

The Holy Spirit in Mission Prophetic Speech and Action in Christian Witness

Dr. Gary Tyra

The Law of Jealousy

Markita Roberson w/a E. Deloyrce Dunlop

Christ’s Empowering Presence

Dr. Gary Tyra

WHEN Life Happens

Dr. Sheri Benvenuti

Leading the Congregation

Dr. Roger Heuser

Faculty Published Works page

Faculty member of the Year: Dr. Greg Austring

Faculty member of the Year: Dr. Greg Austring

Yearbook Dedicated to Dr. Ed Rybarczyk

Yearbook Dedicated to Dr. Ed Rybarczyk

“This year, the Vanguard Sojourn staff chose to dedicate the yearbook to someone who we feel has had an immeasurable influence on the students represented in it: Dr. Edmund Rybarczyk.  The wisdom, humor, Spirit-filled teaching and ministry experience that Dr. Rybarczyk brings to his job as Associate Professor of Systematic Theology truly epitomize a Vanguard education. He,  as many other Vanguard faculty, challenges students to work through thought-provoking questions about their faith and worldview, while informing them with the knowledge and understanding that come from a life lived in God’s service.

 Like many students who find themselves in a Rybarczyk class, after the first few weeks of hearing his lectures, I had already determined to take him again as soon as possible.  This spring I signed up for, “Developing a Christian Worldview” claiming one of the last spots available.  I went into my first class ready for another semester of being challenged in my faith and personal understanding of Christ, of repeating points from his lectures to everyone I knew (including my parents), and of trying to coerce all my friends into taking his next class with me.  More often than not, the trend is that students who take his class once sign up to take another.  The attractions is not only profound wisdom they find in his lectures, but also his heart for the students of Vanguard and his willingness to go the extra mile to develop relationships with them.  Holding movie nights with discussions afterward at his home, treating students – even entire classes – to Starbucks and conversation, and being readily available to meet with and pray for any student who asks are just some of the ways that Rybarczyk demonstrates his love for the students of Vanguard.  In turn, these students have come up with creative ways to express their admiration for him, including endearing nicknames, songs and chants of praise and even t-shirts  asserting that they attend “Rybarczyk University.”

 Student Body President David Vazquez has gotten to know Rybarczyk well over the years.  Having taken four classes with him he can accurately explain why students so readily gravitate to him:  “It is simple, Ed is held dear to the student body because he cares about us – not just our minds but our hearts, our successes and our pain.  Ed has taught me to embrace my spiritual roots, but at the same time he has taught me that this should not stop me from thinking  critically about what I believe.  He has helped me to realize the importance of God not only to Society, but to my life.”

 We have chosen to dedicate the yearbook to Dr. Rybarczyk to show our respect for everything that he has invested here at Vanguard, and to remind him that slowly but steadily, his relationships with students are helping to shape and fine-tune our worldviews and, consequently, change our culture.  From every Vanguard student who has been blessed to know Professor Rybarczyk, we would like to extend a giant air hug; we hear your heart.

1 Corinthians 11:1
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
Rebekah Killam
On Behalf of the Sojourn Yearbook Staff and the Students of Vanguard