Good News – September 2018

Walling to Share Best Practices for Leading and Communicating Change

On Monday morning, October 1, 2018, pastors and lay leaders will gather on the campus of SNU and at host sites across the South Central Region to hear Dr. Jeff Walling at the Fall Pastors Forum. Sponsored by the Resource Center for Pastoral Leadership at SNU, Jeff will be speaking from 9:00am to noon about Leading and Communicating Change.

Now, more than ever, rapid change in our culture is bringing challenge and change to ministry and churches. Jeff will be sharing biblical principles to lead and communicate effectively during these transitions. You won’t want to miss this one! The cost is only $20, and you can hear Jeff in person on the SNU campus – join one of the satellite host sites listed – or choose to view from your personal computer when you register here

For more than 20 years, Jeff Walling has been speaking before thousands each year in inspirational and motivational workshops and seminars across the globe. Currently, Jeff serves as Pepperdine University’s Director of the Youth Leadership Initiative, working to raise up the next generation of young Christian leaders.

In addition to serving as featured presenter at the Pastors Forum, Jeff will be speaking at the annual Youth Ministry Summit – also on the campus of SNU – Monday evening, October 1st and Tuesday, October 2nd. You can register for the Youth Ministry Summit here.

Pastors – don’t delay – register yourself and your staff members today! And, encourage your youth workers to attend the Youth Ministry Summit – these events are designed to equip, inspire and encourage!

$3.5M in Church Endowments Support Students Like Ana

 Over the last several decades, more than fifty churches and several of the South Central Region districts have taken a visionary step to invest in the future of their young people by establishing Church Endowed Scholarship Funds (ESF) at Southern Nazarene University. Over the years, the total of these endowments has grown to over $3.5 million. Earnings from SNU’s careful investment of these funds are the source of scholarship awards. This fall alone over seventy students received a scholarship from their respective church’s ESF.

One of the students directly impacted by a Church ESF is Ana Ruiz-Bautista. Moving from Lima, Peru to Tulsa, Oklahoma was a journey of more than just miles – it was a God-ordained step of faith for the family. Since their obedience to God’s call in 2010, Ana said she and her family have seen His divine provision for them, over and over. And so, as Ana’s graduation from high school approached, she and her family prayed that God would provide a way for her to attend college.

Ana knew about Southern Nazarene University through her youth group at Regency Park Church of the Nazarene in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She met SNU recruiters at summer camps and district events but thought an education at SNU was out of reach, financially. She enrolled at Tulsa University, where several scholarships awaited – but she and her parents did not feel at peace about it, so they continued to pray. Soon after, Ana found that, because of faithful donors who generously support scholarships and endowments at SNU, her dream of attending SNU could become a reality. Now, the sophomore bio-chemistry major has her sights set on medical school, and her brother has joined her at SNU as a freshman business major.

One of the key scholarships Ana receives is from the Regency Park Church Endowment Scholarship Fund. In fact, seven current SNU students from Regency Park, including Ana and her brother, receive scholarships from their church fund’s earnings. Regency Park’s pastor, Dr. Geoffrey Gunter, said, “The Regency Park ESF was already in place when I came to pastor the church, and I give full credit to the faithful, generous, endowment donors for the tremendous financial support it has afforded the many students we’ve had attend SNU over the years.”

At Regency Park, as well as a great number of other churches, their ESF’s benefit from matching gift programs offered by donors’ employers. In some cases – where the employer guidelines specifically allow – donor gifts assist the church’s education allocation giving and the matched funds build the church’s endowment – bringing greater earnings for scholarships.

Ana couldn’t agree more that faithful donors have made her education at SNU financially possible. She said, “God has used the generosity of so many people to help me get where I knew He wanted me to be!”

Find out more about establishing a Church Endowed Scholarship Fund at SNU by contacting Todd Brant in the office of University Relations at SNU. Check here to see if your company participates in a Matching Gift program. Your church could truly make a difference in the life of a current or future student at SNU!

Dr. Lena Crouso Brings Diverse Gifts to SNU

Navigating the waters of intercultural relations in today’s diverse society can be challenging, and, as a Christ-centered community at SNU, our deepest desire is to foster respect and bring reconciliation to our campus, churches and communities. So, when the opportunity arose to bring in a gifted leader to encourage a vibrant, diverse academic community at Southern Nazarene University, Dr. Keith Newman, president, invited Dr. Lena Crouso to serve as Vice President for Intercultural Learning and Engagement.

Dr. Crouso’s educational achievements are extensive, and her professional and life experiences have prepared her to lead the campus to a deeper understanding of how to ensure diversity, inclusion, equity and respect. Dr. Newman said of her addition to the senior leadership team at SNU, “We look forward to learning from her, serving with her, and watching what God will do through her ministry in our community and across the Region.”  

Lena is a daughter of Indian Immigrants and spent some of her formative years in India. Her journey from Hinduism to Christ, and her diverse life path, have given her a heart and mind for the empowerment of all people and a desire to lead others to spiritual, emotional and social transformation and freedom. She is an ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene, and a sought-after presenter and consultant. In addition to her leadership of the Center for Student Success, the Center for Global Engagement and Access and Opportunity Programs, she serves as the university’s Chief Diversity Officer.

Lena and her husband, Kendall, and their daughters, Kayla (Alan), Chloë (Josh), and Addie Rose, share a love for Christian service here and in India. Learn more about Lena and the office of Intercultural Learning and Engagement here.

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