Saving for a Rainy Day

Indiana Public Media’s Noon Edition radio program has an interview with Timothy Bowman, director of the Ron Blue Institute for Financial Planning at Indiana Wesleyan University. Bowman offers financial advice for Indiana parents, most of whom lack “rainy day” accounts for emergencies.

He says it’s important to see the big picture when making steep purchases because one financial decision effects what you can afford later on.

“Do I want to have kids? Do we both want to work and focus on our careers?” he says. “As you start thinking about that, then you realize that the house that I buy, that impacts what we can do some of our family things. The car that we buy, that has an impact. There’s no independent financial decision.”

Read the full interview here.


Loving the LGBTQ Communities

IWU student Phil Ross has a post today on Love is an Orientation, a blog from the Chicago-based Marin Foundation, a Christian ministry that shares the love of Jesus Christ with LGBTQ individuals in Chicago and elsewhere. Ross is serving a summer internship with the Marin Foundation.

In the post, Ross tells the story of his own life, of having grown up being bullied by people who thought he was gay and of how God used that experience to give him a special empathy for people in the LGBTQ communities:

As I learn to embrace my own identity and God’s unconditional love for me, I’ve become increasingly aware of his unconditional love for all people – regardless of race, gender, gender identity, orientation, ethnicity, socio-economic status…and the list goes on.

Wherever we go and whatever we do, we know we have a resting place in our Lord. As I grow in understanding of what it is to live in true and proper worship of God, I take comfort that my same God promises us safety.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:1-4).

Read the full blog post on Patheos.

Photo credit: Onanymous


Say Hello To Noelle

Noelle and her continually-newborn son, Hal.

Say hello to Noelle. She doesn’t say much, but she’s an important new member of the School of Nursing (SON) family.

The SON recently purchased a brand-new, high-tech Noelle-brand birthing  manikin for the Patient Care Simulation Lab. This high-fidelity manikin,  manufactured by the Gaumard Scientific Company, is an advanced birthing simulator that “delivers” a baby–the realistic, advanced-functioning newborn manikin, Hal. Noelle is designed to provide a complete birthing experience before, during and after delivery.

The Noelle manikin is equipped with a precision programmable fetal delivery system for repeatable teaching exercises including normal, rapid and prolonged labor, and delivery simulations. Labor can be paused, continued  or accelerated at any time. The manikin can be programmed so that each student receives exactly the same scenario, but it also includes 30 obstetric scenarios that can be modified as the instructor requires. Scenarios and their results can be saved and shared for later use.

Maternal/newborn Assistant Professor Angela Bailey, MSN, RN noted that, among other benefits, “our Noelle manikin has afforded us the opportunity for a more realistic post-partum hemorrhage in-class simulation, which has significantly improved pre- to post-test quiz scores.”

Noelle is widely considered to be the leading high-fidelity birthing manikin.

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“All I know is how to be a chaplain”

Screenshot 2014-06-26 at 10.12.06 PMRichard Bareiss can be forgiven if he doesn’t respond immediately when someone calls him by his first  name. For the past 60 years, Bareiss has answered not to the name, Richard, but to the title, Chaplain.

After graduating from Houghton College and Gordon Theological Seminary, Bareiss was commissioned as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy in 1954. After retiring from the Navy, he became the first chaplain at Houghton and later served as the first chaplain at Indiana Wesleyan University.
His 20 years in the Navy was matched by his 20 years as a chaplain at the two colleges: nine years at Houghton and 11 years at IWU.
After retiring at IWU, Bariess was instrumental in establishing chaplaincy programs for both the Marion Police Department and the Grant County Sheriff’s Department.
“All I know is how to be a chaplain,” said Bareiss, who now lives with his wife, Elinore, in an apartment at Colonial Oaks, an IWU-owned retirement community near the Marion campus.
Elinore Bareiss shares a story of Richard’s first year at IWU, where their daughter, Cathy, also was a student.
“Cathy was walking across campus one day, a few steps behind her father,” Elinore said.  “She called out a couple times, ‘Dad! Dad!’ When he did not respond Cathy tried another approach, ‘Chaplain!’ That caught her father’s attention.”
It came as little surprise in 2012 when Richard and Elinore Bareiss decided to establish the Military Chaplain’s Endowed Scholarship Fund at IWU. One criterion for the renewable scholarship is that recipients must be dependents of Wesleyan military chaplains, either active duty or retired.
In addition to giving $1,000 annually to fund the scholarship, the Bareisses also have included IWU in their will and have established an annuity.
Richard and Elinore Bareiss met as students at Houghton College, a Wesleyan sister institution of IWU in upstate New York. Richard was a native of Massachusetts, and Elinore came from Long Island, New York.
“I went to a Baptist church when I was a child but never heard the gospel,” Richard said. “When I told my high school pastor that I was going to Houghton, he said, “ ‘Don’t let those Wesleyans mess up your theology.’ ”
“I was endorsed by the Baptist church during my career in the Navy, but denominational titles don’t mean much in the military because you minister to people from all backgrounds,” he said.
Elinore was raised in a conservative Baptist church on Long Island. “They were not too happy when I went to Houghton,” she said.
Richard and Elinore were married in 1952 after they graduated from Houghton, and will celebrate their 62nd wedding anniversary in June.
Their current apartment in Marion is their 17th home since they were married. They have four children.
The Bariesses spent their first two years of married life in Massachusetts as Richard completed work on his Master of Divinity
degree at the Gordon Seminary. While he was on active duty, Richard earned two additional master’s degrees, one in counseling and the other in student development services.
Elinore Bareiss earned a bachelor’s degree from Houghton with a major in Christian education and minors in Bible and psychology.
For many of his 20 years in the Navy, Richard’s primary residence was aboard a ship while Elinore was at home with their children. At various times, the family lived on the East Coast, the West Coast and in Hawaii.
One of Richard’s more interesting experiences in the Navy was his assignment as the chaplain for an entire squadron of eight destroyers. He explained: “They moved me from ship to ship with something called a high line. They did that by positioning two ships parallel within about 20 yards of each other and then throwing a line from one ship to the other. Then they put me in a chair attached to the line and pulled me from ship to ship.
“One day, I was transferred eight times. It was better than a $2 ride at an amusement park. Today they do it with helicopters,” Bareiss said.
The U.S. Navy also provides chaplains for the Marines and the Coast Guard, and Bareiss was called on at various times to serve both those branches of the military.
“One of my last deployments, for nine months, was as a Marine chaplain in Vietnam,” he said. “That is where the bad guys had my name on an assassination list. I guess they didn’t like me.”
His last tour of duty was with the Coast Guard.
“I never intended that I would spend my entire 40-year career in ministry as a chaplain instead of being a traditional pastor of a church,” Richard Bareiss said.
“That is just the way the Lord led us,” Elinore Bareiss said.
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Irrepressible Joy

Screenshot 2014-06-16 at 2.29.05 PMChelsea Rethlake died of cancer on September 29, 2013, one year after graduating with a degree in math education.
Well into 2014, her Facebook wall remains current with notes and updates from her friends:
April 1: Britta Sjoberg: “I heard ‘Man in the Mirror’ playing in the store today and I thought of the time you, Kelsey and I were rocking out to MJ on our way to a corn maze in Kokomo. But for real, when were you not jamming to MJ’s tunes?
“I miss your enthusiasm and love of life. You left an amazing legacy.”
March 11: Hailey Ann Tompkins: “Hey Chelsea Morgan. Today was a rough one. I miss you. Most times, I still don’t believe it. I love you. As always, wish you were here.”
February 2: Amanda Smith: “We miss you at The River Chelsea, but we know you are enjoying a happiness none of us could even imagine right now.”
People close to Chelsea consistently remember a person full of joy. Her smile, her laughter and her words of encouragement for those she cared about are what people hold onto when they think about who she was.
“There was no hiding Chelsea’s joy of her salvation,” said Pastor Matt Trexler ‘99 of The River Community Church in Marion, where Chelsea attended since its founding in 2007. “She had this amazing ability to brighten a room with who Christ was in her.”
When she found out about the cancer, Trexler recalls, her thoughts were for other people before herself.
“Chelsea’s prayer simply was, even in that first conversation, ‘Matthew, I’ll do cancer if somehow my family can come to know Jesus’…Chelsea never got to see the completion of that on this side of heaven.”
She never lost faith,” says her mother, Pam Zirzow. “You never heard her complain… she continued working and going to school and all of her church activities, all through her chemo and radiation.”
Screenshot 2014-06-16 at 2.31.59 PMThree weeks before Chelsea passed away, her mother gave her life to Christ.
“She had just been told on a Thursday that we were out of time, we were out of treatments, and that she probably had two to five weeks left. She asked me if I’d take her to church, and I did, and she walked in and started singing and raising her hands in praise, and I was just amazed….the joy on her face, and the peace in her face, there had to be something to it.”
At the celebration of life event that The River held to honor Chelsea, her mother was baptized in a portable tank brought in for the event. Spontaneously, several other people chose to be baptized as well, including Chelsea’s uncle and his family.
Chelsea’s story, as told by her friends and through her blog, has influenced people across Marion and even throughout the world to make decisions for Christ.
“Chelsea’s prayer was answered,” Trexler said. “Her cancer and her death were not in vain. Chelsea walked with cancer…with a faith and with a joy that I’ve never seen before.”

Young Adults Who Love Church, Part 3: Sharing God’s Story

melianWhat Gabe Melian and the other core members of Overflow have found in their year of ministry in Florida is that many Millennials won’t be receptive to your message until you’ve earned their trust as a person.

“We want to share God’s story through everyday life,” Melian says. “We don’t want to see church as just a Sunday event as much as we want to see church and faith permeate every aspect of their lives.”

A lot of time goes into correcting negative stereotypes of Christians that have arisen in recent years.

“People have ideas of what church is like, especially young adults, and a lot of times it’s negative because of these perceptions. But when they meet a Christian, when they meet a group of people that call themselves Christ-followers and just accept people and love them and spend time with them regardless of what they believe or whether they’re going to end up coming to your church or not, they really open up and you begin to change their perception of the church.”

For Overflow, social events and friendships have been the greatest tool to breaking down these prejudices.

“We’ve seen that a lot. We’ve seen atheists, we’ve seen gay people, we’ve seen people from other faiths, Buddhists, that are just like, ‘man, I used to have this perception of Christians and the church but since I’ve met you guys, I’ve just been way more open to considering some of the things that you guys talk about.’


Young Adults Who Love Church, Part 3: The Hip-Hop Church

theedgeIt’s rare that you’ll find a Wesleyan congregation that bills itself as “a hip-hop church.”

“Everything from our worship, the way things look, to everything about it embodies the hip-hop culture,” says Pastor Troy Evans of The Edge Urban Fellowship. They meet in a century-old church building with stained glass windows and graffiti art in the lobby and sanctuary. “It’s a unique clash of traditional and modern and hip-hop.”

While the service puts a unique spin on the worship experience, “It’s the other six days of the week that we are actually being family and church,” Evans says.

The Edge has invested in church and community leaders by starting seven businesses in the past few years to help realize the ideas of entrepreneurial church members, each one with a ministry aspect.

“We believe strongly in building the people. What’s your mission, your vision, and how does your mission and vision tie in with what we do at The Edge?”

These businesses include a dance team, Momentum, which performed at IWU in February; a music studio in the basement;
and a video production company.

“We have a young girl that’s 11 years old, she started her own accessory company. She does hair bows, and wallets, and all kinds of stuff like that,” Evans says.

This is The Edge’s way of creating leaders for the future.

“For us, it’s most important that we build into those leaders and then build their capacity so that they will be available for ministry for the long haul,” he says.

front range church

Young Adults Who Love Church, Part 2: Rooted and Reaching

front range churchThey call it church planting for a reason.

When Nathan Lamb and his family came to the Denver area from Marion, Indiana, they wanted to make sure they had a church that grew deep roots in the surrounding community.

“Our vision as a church is to be a church for Littleton, and to figure out how to make that work,” Lamb says. “We use the phrase ‘Rooted and Reaching.’ ”

For Front Range Church, that meant avoiding a traditional church location. Most recently, they began meeting in a recreation center. Merely by virtue of their location, they’ve attracted new attenders: “Here we are, a church, in a building full of people that chose not to go to church on  Sunday morning.”

They also made sure that their core team, a group of twentysomethings who moved with the Lambs from Marion, spread out into the community to grow the church through substantial relationships with a  wide range of people.

“While we were in our infancy, primarily a young adult church, the interesting thing about Front Range and watching young adults plant a church from scratch is that our church has a wide range of generations represented. We have a grandma that brings her granddaughter to church: someone that was reached by a young adult that was two generations removed from them…

“The thing that has been really, really beautiful about this journey is seeing young adults build a church that’s not just for them,” Lamb says.


hipster glasses

Young Adults Who Love Church

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This is the cover story from the latest issue of the Triangle alumni magazine.


These kids today.

If you pay attention to the vast universe of blogs and news sources that write about faith and religion, you may have heard that the American church is in grave danger. Apparently it’s all the fault of the younger generations, especially the Millennials—a popular name for those born in the late ’80s through the early 2000s, who are just now coming into young adulthood.

The media’s religion beat is clogged with surveys and studies and article after article declaring that this generation is leaving church in droves, fleeing to atheism or agnosticism or, most likely, the comforting and colorless neutrality of “None,” often called the fastest-growing religious designation in America today.

It would be easy to stereotype the whole generation as agreeing with the sentiments of this pseudonymous contributor on Reddit (one of the defining online communities of the present decade): “Church,” wrote a user called caba1990, “is just a big book club.”

But Nathan Lamb ‘02 BS, ‘13 M.Div., who pastors a new Wesleyan church in Colorado, has seen a different side of the Millennial world.

“We have seen young adults not only become part of a church, but really take ownership of the local church, and have the ability to build a really healthy local church. I look at that and say, ‘that has to mean something,’ ” says Lamb, who leads Front Range Church in Littleton, Colo. “I’m nothing but optimistic about the future.” It’s true that a lot of young adults are leaving the church.

Studies have shown that this generation of Americans has more people who consider themselves outside of religion than any previous generation on record. People attribute this drop to a lot of things. A lot of Millennials, observers say, have a negative stereotype of the church as anti-intellectual, overly political, hypocritical, hateful toward homosexuals, and unconcerned with helping people outside its own walls.

Rachel Held Evans, a writer and blogger who has become one of the most prominent spokeswomen for evangelicals of the Millennial generation, wrote on that “young evangelicals often feel they have to choose between their intellectual integrity and their faith, between science and Christianity, between compassion and holiness.”

“It just takes a lot of time to kind of break down their assumptions of what church is, and then to begin talking about who Jesus is and all that,” says Pastor Gabe Melian ‘12, who leads Overflow, a Wesleyan church in Tampa, Florida. “It just takes time. It takes a lot of hanging out, a lot of coffee, a lot of conversation.”

Even the culture of church, for a lot of Millennials, seems cold, artificial and unwelcoming: less focused on personal connection, they feel, than on broad-based marketing appeals.

“Typically, most churches are built for those people between 30-35, and up,” says Pastor Troy Evans of The Edge Urban Fellowship in Grand Rapids, MI, “and everything, the music, the paint colors, everything is created for those ages or older. Well, we’re looking at building a church. We need to be thinking 15 years down the line….I have the honor and privilege of building into people that will build the church for tomorrow.”


Unfortunately, a lot of the changes that many churches try to make to serve younger people often come off as little more than cosmetic to the people they’re trying to reach. Evans writes that when she is invited to speak to evangelical leaders on the subject of Millennials and the church, “Invariably, after I’ve finished my presentation and opened the floor to questions, a pastor raises his hand and says, ‘So what you’re saying is we need hipper worship bands. …’ ”

The issues go deeper than that, and so do the solutions. According to Dr. Jim Lo, IWU Dean of the Chapel, the watchword for the next generation of Christian leaders will be fellowship. When he visited Overflow, run by several of his former students, he saw God working through an innovative church model designed around relational ministry.

“They’re doing their church plant through relationships with people their same age,” Lo says. “So their church service looks very, very different than anything that we older ones perceive to be church. They’ll have meals together, and the Bible study is not even preaching, necessarily, but it’s almost coming and [saying], ‘Let me tell you a story. Let me give you my testimony.’ ”

“We just spend a lot of time with people, connecting, getting to know their stories, sharing our stories, and just letting them know that ‘hey, we’re normal, we’re not anti-everything, we just want to love you and share God’s story with you,’ ” Melian says.

For the Millennial generation, Lamb says, an inviting church offers more than contemporary worship and an up-to-date online presence: “A lot of that stuff is kind of expected. It better be good. You better have a good website. You have to be on social media…but at the end of the day, the surprise factor that actually brings people into the community of the church is the authentic relationship.”


This definitely involves creating deep, sincere friendships that go beyond a scripted conversation designed to evangelize. It also means including Millennials early on in the actual process of ministry.

“You have a clear sense of purpose and mission, but then at the same time…involving them early and often in decisions for the church and helping them be a part of what’s going on, when maybe that’s not always true in churches–the default would be, ‘we’re going to do this for them,’ [not] realizing that you really need to do this with them.”

South Carolina-based Providence Wesleyan Church Pastor Wayne Otto ‘93 BA, ‘06 MA points out that, in an age defined by social media, a lot of Millennials are used to having their voice heard.

“We’ve got a very conditioned, younger group of people that feel as though they kind of are entitled to their input right away on anything and everything,” Otto says. “They just kinda want to be part of the story, and they want to communicate, and they want to give their input on where we’re at….where the generation before was like, ‘no, you earn your right to be heard.’ ”

When Millennials enter full-time ministry, Otto says, they’re looking for a very different experience than the often-isolated life of a pastor in many evangelical settings.

“I think the heart cry of a lot of millennials is, ‘why would I want to go into ministry and be alone?’ I don’t want to be lonely, I don’t want to be like the last two generations of pastors who are dying on the vine because they felt like they’ve been by themselves.”

This is why the church plants in many parts of the country is creating networks in which believers in different congregations can put aside any temptation toward competition and pool their talents for the good of all.

“While they don’t want everything centralized, they do want to be networked. They want relationship,” Otto says. they want to feel like the churches that they’re pastoring are part of a bigger movement.”

The Wesleyan Church created a network called Nitrogen to create partnerships among people interested in church planting. Otto works with Nitrogen to help church plants work together.

“We’re trying to help church planters in districts put together district huddles where their church planters are meeting on a consistent basis and where they feel like they really are networked together,” Otto says.


The gap between what many in the Millennial generation hope the church is, and what it actually is, can frustrate people on both sides. At the same time, church leaders working with Millennials believe that the next generation of leaders will have a vital new energy and imagination to re-energize the American church.

“There’s an incredible passion, an incredible willingness to do whatever it takes to see the kingdom move forward,” Lamb says. “I think there’s an incredible opportunity for the church to harness that, if we can figure out how to get our arms around that and allow that to drive the future of the church, I think it’s huge. Huge.”

“I think our generation is pretty passionate about not just expecting people to come in and not just be content with, say, our mass marketing techniques,” Melian says, “but actually being more a community that is out in the world, living out their faith, rubbing shoulders with their friends, neighbors, co-workers, and sharing their faith right there. Not needing to be inside the church walls.”

“This age group will step up to the bat,” Evans says. “In our setting, because we are an urban, younger church I see great possibilities when you have a lot of young people that were on the street that are definitely not interested in the urban church experience saying, “well, man, here’s something different. I can be used at my age, and I do have value, and I have worth.’ “


Abolition in Indianapolis

10244858076_0c3267be54_bThe Indianapolis Star has a story about Jessica Thorne, a 2003 IWU grad who founded Purchased, a nonprofit organization that educates people about the problem of human trafficking.

Jessica Thorne always knew she had a soft spot in her heart for young people living in hard situations — abuse, hunger and poverty weren’t unknown in her job as a teacher in Pike Township, where she worked for nine years.

But it wasn’t until she went to Nepal with her church in 2007 that Thorne, 33, Indianapolis, was introduced to the $32 billion industry of human trafficking.

“I came home (from the trip), and I knew I was broken for it,” she said. “I told my friends, ‘I think I’m supposed to tell people about the issue of trafficking.’”

Read the full story, part of the Star‘s regular “Women to Know” series, here.

Big Ben

Spreading Musical Joy in Europe

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The IWU Chorale on a previous European tour, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

This week, the Indiana Wesleyan University Chorale is out of the country on a European adventure.

For ten days, they’ll be traveling through various places in France and the United Kingdom, with a special focus on London and Paris.

This is far from the first time the Chorale has toured Europe. Most famously, they performed at St. Peter’s Basilica in May 2010, where they were originally tapped to do one piece during a Wednesday evening Mass.

“So many people stayed to take communion, however, that Vatican officials asked us to sing three or four additional pieces,” recalled Chorale Director Todd Guy. “We ended up doing eight pieces, which was basically our full concert.”

Here’s a clip of an impromptu performance during that same tour, on Rome’s famous Spanish Steps:

In addition to London and Paris, this year’s tour schedule includes stops in the Normandy region of France and the English city of Windsor, home of the British royal family.

The tour wraps up on May 20.

 Slider photo: Sammyleejones (license)

Codex Slider Use

Jesus’ Wife? Not So Fast

The Wall Street Journal has a story today about “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife,” a manuscript fragment that many believe provides evidence of an apocryphal gospel in which Jesus was married. Jerry Pattengale, Assistant Provost for Public Engagement and Professor of History, wrote the article, and highlighted the achievements of John Wesley Honors College professor Christian Askeland:

“Two factors immediately indicated that this was a forgery,” Mr. Askeland tells me. “First, the fragment shared the same line breaks as the 1924 publication. Second, the fragment contained a peculiar dialect of Coptic called Lycopolitan, which fell out of use during or before the sixth century.” Ms. King had done two radiometric tests, he noted, and “concluded that the papyrus plants used for this fragment had been harvested in the seventh to ninth centuries.” In other words, the fragment that came from the same material as the “Jesus’ wife” fragment was written in a dialect that didn’t exist when the papyrus it appears on was made.Then last week the story began to crumble faster than an ancient papyrus exposed in the windy Sudan. Mr. Askeland found, among the online links that Harvard used as part of its publicity push, images of another fragment, of the Gospel of John, that turned out to share many similarities—including the handwriting, ink and writing instrument used—with the “wife” fragment. The Gospel of John text, he discovered, had been directly copied from a 1924 publication.

Read the full story here.

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IWU Celebrates Spring Commencement

_JN_1592Indiana Wesleyan University graduated 1,988 people on Saturday in three ceremonies to mark their 142nd commencement exercises, the first of three such graduation days for the class of 2014, in the Chapel Auditorium on the main Marion Campus.

Dr. John Isch, a noted cardiac surgeon and Christian leader from the Indianapolis area, delivered the commencement address at all three ceremonies on the theme of “Give Your Life Away.”

“My life is not mine,” he told the graduate. “I’m a steward. Live wisely, live sacrificially, in everything and whatever you do in life.”

At the 10:00 a.m. commencement event, Isch received a presidential citation from IWU President David Wright, “in recognition of a lifetime of service to God, community and the medical profession; your leadership in multiple Christian organizations; your ministry at Grace Community Church; and your mentoring role in the lives of multiple young men.

The morning commencement also paused to honor IWU student Leah Whittaker, a member of the class of 2014 who passed away in August 2011 after a battle with cancer. Whittaker, who played basketball for the Lady Wildcats, leaves behind a legacy of faith and determination which IWU has memorialized with the annual Leah Whittaker Memorial Tournament and the Leah Whittaker Locker Room in the Recreation and Wellness Center.

The 6:00 p.m. commencement ceremony also marked a special moment: the graduation of IWU’s first Spanish-language cohort from the M.Div. program of Wesley Seminary at IWU.

IWU’s next commencement ceremonies are scheduled for August 9.

Indiana Wesleyan University is an evangelical Christian comprehensive university of The Wesleyan Church. The University, founded in 1920, is committed to global liberal arts and professional education. Nearly 3,000 students are enrolled in traditional programs on the University’s main campus in Marion, Indiana. Nearly 12,500 adult learners attend classes at education centers in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, and online.

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IWU Creates Bastian Center for the Study of Human Trafficking

Indiana Wesleyan University’s Board of Trustees has approved the creation of the Bastian Center for the Study of Human Trafficking, announced IWU President David Wright at a town hall meeting for university employees.

The Center, made possible by a $1.5 million commitment from friends of IWU, Edward and Anna Bastian, will bring IWU’s people and resources to bear on a multibillion-dollar industry that buys, ships and sells people–victimizing an estimated 27 million men, women, and children according to experts.

Laura J. Lederer, J.D., has been named as the executive director of the Bastian Center. She served as Senior Advisor on Trafficking in Persons to the Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs from 2002-2009. Lederer founded and directed The Protection Project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1997. She is an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown Law Center, where she has taught for over 10 years, including the first full course on international trafficking in persons offered at a law school.

President David Wright said of Lederer’s appointment: “We are extremely blessed by the expertise, education, passion and experience Dr. Lederer brings to this important issue. Students will learn from one of the world’s leading authorities on trafficking in persons.

IWU, as a university of The Wesleyan Church, is the latest in a centuries-long succession of individuals and groups influenced by John Wesley to actively oppose trade in human beings.

“From the start, the Wesleyan movement and The Wesleyan Church have sought to stand between the enslaved, the abused and the oppressed, and those who would harm them,” said Dr. Keith Newman, CEO for Residential Education and Executive Vice President. “Human trafficking is as severe, widespread and brutal today as was the global slave trade in John Wesley’s time, which he called ‘that execrable sum of all villainies,’’ Newman said. “”

Edward Bastian is president of Delta Air Lines. He spoke at IWU’s December 2013 commencement exercises.

“We appreciate the support we are receiving at IWU,” said the Bastians in a statement. “We’re glad for the opportunity to team with Laura in helping to eradicate this evil impacting millions of innocent victims around the world.”


World Changing Compassion

Elizabeth_Dole_official_photoIndiana Wesleyan University has chosen Elizabeth Hanford Dole, former United States Senator, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Labor, President of the American Red Cross and founder of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, as the 2014 inductee into the IWU Society of World Changers.

“Senator Dole is a woman of faith who has devoted much of her life to supporting the essential work of healers and caregivers,” said IWU President Dr. David Wright. “Her story is an example to all Christians who, like the Good Samaritan, feel an irrepressible compassion that compels us to act in service to the wounded, the hurting and the broken.”

In addition to her time in the cabinets of two presidents and the United States Senate, Dole led the American Red Cross from 1991 to 1999.

“She totally restructured the world’s largest humanitarian organization during her eight years as president, serving as a volunteer in her first year,” reads Dole’s online biography. “She led a massive transformation of the way the Red Cross collects, tests and distributes one-half of the nation’s blood supply. It was a seven year effort designed to move antiquated World War II-era blood bank practices to a centralized state-of-the-art system with standard operating procedures.”

Beginning in the late 1980s, Dole has been a regular on Gallup’s annual list of America’s 10 most admired women. Through the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, which she created in 2012, Dole provides ways to help caregivers of wounded servicemen and women of the American military.

Above all, IWU has chosen to honor Dole for her witness for Christ and her dependence on God’s grace.

“God doesn’t want worldly successes,” Dole once wrote. “He wants my heart. In submission to him, life is not just a few years to spend on self-indulgence and career advancement. It is a privilege, a responsibility, a stewardship, to live according to a much higher calling–God’s calling. This alone gives true meaning to life.”

In addition to Dole, IWU will honor three members of its own community of students, faculty staff and alumni. These Community Honorees will exemplify the same ministry of compassion that Dole has adopted as her special calling.

Elizabeth Dole has been married to her husband, Bob, a former senator and presidential candidate, since 1975. She has one stepdaughter, Robin.

IWU will officially induct Dole at a special convocation in the IWU Chapel Auditorium on October 3, 2014.

IWU established the Society of World Changers in 2003 to recognize role models who have exemplified the concept of world changers and whose live can serve as an inspiration to future generations.” Previous inductees include television producer and author Robert Briner, author Frank Peretti, legendary football coach Tony Dungy, Oscar-nominated singer Joni Eareckson Tada, and gospel musicians Bill and Gloria Gaither.


Switchfoot is Coming to IWU

switchfootfacebookIWU’s Fusion 2014 Youth Conference presents Switchfoot in concert at 7:00 p.m. on April 4 in the Chapel Auditorium at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Switchfoot first performed in the Chapel Auditorium at Fusion 2010.

As they enter their 17th year as a band, Switchfoot has achieved a level of success that brothers Jon and Tim Foreman and their high-school friend Chad Butler never anticipated when forming the band in San Diego in 1996.

The SoCal natives have sold 5.5 million copies worldwide of their eight studio albums, performed sold-out world tours (visiting five continents in the past year alone), raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to aid homeless kids in their community through their own Bro-Am Foundation, and earned themselves a global fan base devoted to Switchfoot’s emotionally intelligent and uplifting brand of alternative rock.

The Brandon Grissom Band, who regularly lead worship at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL, will lead worship.

Tickets are available from the IWU Box Office at (765) 677-2610 or online at For a full schedule and registration info for Fusion 2014, visit



Wildcats Celebrate First Men’s Basketball Championship

The Wildcats are on their way home this morning, and IWU is getting ready to welcome them back. (WIWU Photo)

Indiana Wesleyan University is celebrating today as the Wildcats men’s basketball team journeys home from their first-ever NAIA Division II National Championship Victory.

No. 5 Indiana Wesleyan defeated No. 10 Midland (Neb.) 78-68 in the national championship game on Tuesday evening in Keeter Gymnasium in Point Lookout, Missouri. The title game was broadcast on ESPN3.

“I can’t put this into words,” said senior guard Jordan Weidner. “It’s such a reward for all the hard work, all the extra time, all the practices, and all the terrible ice baths. This just makes it all so worth it. And I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys to do it with.”

Congtratulations have been rolling in from all quarters, including personal messages from Indiana Senator Dan Coats and Indiana University head basketball coach Tom Crean.

“Indiana Wesleyan is one of my favorite programs,” Crean said last night on Twitter. Greg Tonagel and his coaches are 1st rate and 1st class. Really happy for them.”

All five Wildcat victories in this 2014 NAIA National Tournament were by double digits. It is the first time any team has accomplished that feat at the NAIA Division II Tournament since its inception in 1992.

“In each game we have come out and said we are going to win this because we will play hard, and we did that,” said freshman Lane Mahurin.

Weidner was named the 2014 Championship Outstanding Player for his performance over the last five games. Weidner averaged 23.0 points per game in Point Lookout while shooting 51.4-percent from the field. He pulled down 4.4 rebounds in the tournament and averaged 5.6 assists. Freshman Lane Mahurin was honored with the NAIA Championship Hustle Award while Tonagel was named the NABC/NAIA Division II Coach of the Year. The Wildcats were also given the Dr. James Naismith/Emil Liston Team Sportsmanship Award.

IWU has scheduled a celebration, complete with fireworks, for 8:00 Wednesday evening in Luckey Arena on the main campus in Marion. The team will return to campus with an escort from IWU Campus Police and the Marion Fire Department.

“I’m just so proud of these guys,” stated Tonagel. “I’m proud of these seniors. I’m humbled by this opportunity that was given to our team. This will be a lifelong memory.”

Quotes and tournament details from Kyle Schmidt.



Wildcat fans have been waiting for this day.

NAIA_logo_RevisedThe men of IWU basketball are gearing up to make history tonight in their first appearance at an NAIA Division II Men’s National Championship game at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on the campus of the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri.

You can watch the game live tonight on the online streaming service ESPN3, for free, if you’re an ESPN subscriber. ESPN3 is also free to anyone connecting from an .edu network.

But if you happen to be in Marion tonight, come down to Luckey Arena on the main IWU campus to watch the game on a big screen courtesy of the IWU athletic department.

Here’s the latest update from the tournament:

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. – Some of the best basketball in Indiana Wesleyan University men’s basketball history continues to be played at the NAIA Division II National Championship Tournament in Point Lookout, Missouri.

Indiana Wesleyan overwhelmed Southeastern (Fla.) 98-77 in the NAIA DII Final Four game in Keeter Gymnasium. IWU was playing in their first ever Final Four and on Tuesday will play in their first championship game vs. Midland (Neb.).

“It’s hard to step away from the battle and really believe that we are in the national championship game,” said Indiana Wesleyan head coach Greg Tonagel. “That is why we have played so well, it hasn’t been about the Final Four or getting to the national championship game, it’s been about playing and living in the moment. Guys are just playing good basketball, they really are. They are playing one possession at a time.”

The incredible shooting performances continue for the Wildcats. IWU shot a blistering 53.6-percent (30 of 56) from the field and 64.3-percent (9 of 14) from beyond the arc in the national semifinal contest. The Wildcats capped the evening with an 87.9-percent (29 of 33) effort at the foul line.

“So often we say about this tournament is that it’s about catching fire,” said Tonagel. “We’re hot. Our guys have caught fire and are hot and we are riding that right now.”

Indiana Wesleyan has averaged 90.5 points in the first four games at the national tournament and is shooting 51.8-percent. IWU is also an unconscious 44.4-percent as a team from 3-point range and 75.0-percent at the foul line.

“This team is hot right now,” continued Tonagel. “They are playing together and the unity on this team is at an all-time high in the nine years I’ve been here. Guys are cheering for each other. That’s probably been the most fulfilling thing so far is the unity.”

Jordan Weidner (SR, Danville, Ind.) launched a 3-point bucket to put Indiana Wesleyan in the lead 11-8 with the game just four minutes old. IWU would not trail again.

The Wildcats increased their advantage to 25-16 near the midpoint of the half but were unable to push it to a double digit lead before halftime. Dwayne Johnson completed the opening stanza with a bucket just before the horn that made it a 43-37 halftime score.

Indiana Wesleyan continued to maintain a six point cushion (55-49) five minutes into the second half until a 10-3 run put IWU up 65-52. But Southeastern (27-7) still managed to stick around until the nine minute mark of the game as the score was 75-64.

But the Wildcats let lose during the next 4:30 of the game with a 16-1 spurt to create a blowout situation. The 26 point lead was the largest of the game and one that the Fire could not recover from.

Jordan Weidner continues to shine in Branson as he scored a game-high 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting. He pulled down four rebounds and dished out three assists in 34 minutes of action.

Tonagel said, “Jordan has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever had on a team. He’s not ready for his season to end.”

Lane Mahurin (FR, Rockville, Ind.), RJ Mahurin (SR, Rockville, Ind.), and Nate Bubash all scored 14 points in the victory. Zac Vandewater (JR, Warsaw, Ind.) ended the night with an 11 point, 10 rebound double-double and Bob Peters (FR, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) earned nine points off the bench.

“Our bench continues to be the story for me,” stated Tonagel. “Kylan Dubbels (SO, Kokomo, Ind.) has been very good, Nate Bubash was incredible tonight, and Bob Peters has been unbelievable. He does not look like a freshman out there. It’s been a collective effort of the entire team.”

Indiana Wesleyan continues to own the boards as they out-rebounded Southeastern 45-33 tonight. Six Wildcats had four or more rebounds.

“When we lost the conference tournament we told the guys there are two things we have to do well,” said Tonagel. “One of them is rebounding and the other is creating for a teammate. Those two things have really carried us. Statistically we have dominated the boards and we have a high number of assists.”

Indiana Wesleyan will battle No. 10 Midland (Neb.) in the NAIA Division II National Championship Game at 7:02 p.m. ET on ESPN3. Midland crushed Robert Morris (Ill.) 100-61 in the late semifinal game on Monday. Midland defeated Indiana Wesleyan 85-81 on December 18 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“They are a great team, probably the best coached team out here and it’s their coaches’ third Final Four,” Tonagel said. “The thing that makes them so difficult is their versatility and their balance. They have four guys who can really score and to this point we haven’t played a team like that as we’ve played teams with one or two scorers. So we will need to have a solid collective defensive effort.”

Indiana Wesleyan and Midland are competing in their first semifinal and championship game. Both had previously advanced to the quarterfinal round.

The Wildcats now stand at 30-6 on the season. The 30 wins ties a program record previously done in the 2006-07 and 2009-10 seasons.

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