Good News – February 2018

Kansas Brothers “Storm” the Court!

Since Southern Nazarene University made the move to NCAA Division II, the athletics department has increasingly had success in several sports, but had never captured an outright regular season title in any sport. But the Crimson Storm men’s basketball team changed that recently, by capturing the department’s first outright Great American Conference regular season title.

When the celebration spilled onto the court after the game, two members of the highly talented team knew there were also a lot of people in Hutchinson, Kansas celebrating along with them. Brothers Jared and Noah Starkey came to SNU with not only the support and encouragement of their family, but also the prayerful support of their church family at Hutchinson First Church of the Nazarene. Their church, along with their former coaches and teachers at Central Christian School, had played important roles in shaping the lives of these student-athletes, and had continued to inspire and encourage them.

Jared Starkey, a fifth-year senior, graduated from SNU in May of 2017 with a degree in Chemistry and minor in Biology, and is pursuing an MBA in health care while playing in this, his last year of eligibility.

His younger brother, Noah, a junior Business pre-law major, is in his third season at SNU and has compiled an impressive statistical record and several conference awards in his career with the Crimson Storm thus-far; not the least of which included joining his brother, Jared, on the GAC All-Academic Team in 2016-17.

Their parents, David and Karla Starkey, attribute much of their work ethic on the court, and in the classroom, to the positive influence of a Christian environment at home, school, and, very importantly, through the mentoring of their youth pastors at Hutchinson First Nazarene during their formative years. While attending SNU, Jared and Noah have been actively involved in the college ministry at Bethany First Nazarene and have found life-long friends and mentors there and at SNU that will continue to shape their lives into the future.

 SNU Crimson Storm 2017-2018

Coach Adam Bohac, in his tenth season leading the men’s basketball program, said of the brothers, “The Starkey boys are terrific – they are great examples for their peers and younger kids to look up to.” Bohac cites Jared’s servant-leader attitude as a big reason they have enjoyed a successful season. “Jared suffered an injury that caused him to miss his junior season, but through it all he has remained a positive leader for our team.” He described Noah as “a consistent contributor to our team since his freshman year and this year he is playing at an all-conference level – he is a huge part of our success.” Bohac added, “I am grateful my two sons have had the opportunity to spend so much time around the Starkey boys.”

To learn more about the men’s basketball program at SNU, visit Come out and support the team at the GAC Championships March 1-4 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma – or watch online at

SNU Students Serve Urban Youth

When Thomas Cherian arrived at SNU, the Olathe, KS native had every intention of following his chosen path to youth ministry – serving in, as he describes it, “an upper-middle class church where I was comfortable.” But, as Cherian says, “God was pushing me to be uncomfortable for Him, and I never thought I’d fall in love with urban ministry – but I did!” “My internship my freshman and sophomore years at Jubilee Partners (a faith-based non-profit ministry in downtown Oklahoma City) has shaped my calling.” he continued, “I never thought that would be the result, but it’s been a really influential part of my life and, if God opens the doors, I want to continue to work with disadvantaged people, even trauma survivors, through graduate education in counseling.”

Volunteers Make a Jubilee Partners Field Trip Possible for Urban Youth

When the time came in his junior year for a change in internships, as required by the Ministerial Internship Program, Thomas remained involved in the downtown OKC area with Pastor Chris Pollock at the Midtown Church of the Nazarene, but he knew he wanted to continue to mentor underserved youth at Jubilee Partners, as well. Thomas found not only a way, he and ministry major Ben Klippert, a senior from Tacoma, WA, found a group of like-minded young men who, with the support of the university, formed a residential Theme House located in Imel Townhouses.

The nine students in the theme house volunteer regularly at Jubilee Partners, mentoring in the after-school program to provide positive male role models to kids at risk. Although his new internship meant a decrease in the time he could give weekly to Jubilee Partners, the combined efforts of the Theme House group has resulted in increased one-on-one time helping youth in the program with homework, teaching life skills and encouraging physical activity.

Cherian was quick to give credit to Liliana Reza, Campus Pastor of Missions and Service, for her support of the theme house and advocacy of their cause. Another advocate and long-time supporter of the ministry, SNU Professor, Dr. Pam Broyles, was recently honored with the Volunteer of the Year award.

Jubilee Partners director, Kristen Donovan, said, “Our SNU volunteers, especially students like Thomas and Ben, have made an immeasurable impact on the lives of the at-risk students we serve.” “Their consistent presence and passion is inspiring, and we are extremely grateful for their vision to stay involved and bring others into the journey with Jubilee, as well.”

Learn more about Jubilee Partners at

School of Music Celebrates God’s Faithfulness to South Texas Churches

When planning a series of concerts in South Texas by the SNU Chorale, University Singers and the ensemble Hope, Dr. Jim Graves, SNU’s choral director, chose the music that he felt would point worshipers toward the promise of God’s faithfulness. He wanted to focus on celebrating the many ways God had provided for those affected by the devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

Graves knew his students were eager to be used by God to encourage and inspire worship – hoping to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who had faced hardships. But, as they sang, they found themselves blessed and inspired by the strength and faith they saw in the lives of those still dealing with recovery and restoration.

SNU Chorale Performs at Houston Living Word Church of the Nazarene

A concert for the First Church of the Nazarene in Orange, Texas opened the tour. Because their sanctuary is not yet fully restored, Pastor Ray McDowell and the First Nazarene family partnered with a neighboring congregation, using their facilities to bring what Pastor Ray called, “a much needed, fun-filled, spirit-led evening!” He went on to say, “Thank you for including us in your visit to South Texas – your energy and enthusiasm, exceptionally gifted music and heart-felt expressions of prayers for our recovery meant more than you could know.”

The Living Word and Clear Lake Churches of the Nazarene in Houston were hosts for concerts on Sunday morning and evening, respectively. In each service there was a wonderful spirit of worship in celebration of God’s faithfulness throughout the trials of the storms. “I have found that these students are not just top performers,” said Dr. Graves, “but also great people who are spiritually grounded; and that shines through in their voices and the sincerity of their testimonies.”

Other inspirational events included a stop at Duncanville, TX High School, where Mr. Tyron Shaw, a graduate of the SNU School of Music, serves as Choral Director at the large, Dallas metro school. Shaw’s choirs consistently perform at the highest level, earning top awards at state and national competitions. His experience as a motivational speaker was evident as he urged the SNU students to work hard to reach their goals.

Summarizing the trip, Dr. Graves said, “It’s so important for our students to have the experience of concert tours, especially when it involves being able to give something back to the churches who support us so faithfully, and say thank you to them.” To learn more about the SNU School of Music visit

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