Not Your Typical WSMC Concert
Every Sunday evening, radio host Bill McCallie turns back the clock to a time when being a cowboy was an occupation rather than a hobby. Cowboy Jubilee, a syndicated show produced locally by WSMC Classical 90.5 FM, showcases western music, stories, and poetry.
McCallie and his team recorded a live performance recently in an Apison, Tennessee, barn, and the Southern community was there in full force to offer its support (see photos).
Cowboy Jubilee airs on Sunday nights from 6-7 p.m. Listener support for WSMC helps keep this and other programs broadcasting both in the greater Chattanooga community and globally online.
The station is “much obliged” (with a tip of the cowboy hat!) for your financial gifts in support of its mission to enrich, uplift, and inspire listeners.
Enjoy Columns Magazine Online
If the fall edition of Columns, Southern’s magazine, hasn’t already arrived in your mailbox, here’s a chance to get a first glimpse at our exciting collection of news stories, features, and alumni updates! Did you find a particular article or photo enjoyable? Your feedback is an encouragement and a blessing; email firstname.lastname@example.org with story suggestions and other comments. We would love to hear from you.
Year-End Giving Reminder
Your year-end gift can provide peace of mind for many students who, without your help, would not be able to continue their studies at Southern. Learn more about how you can share the joys of the holiday season and enjoy tax benefits at the same time.
To make your gift count toward 2016 taxes, give online by 11:59 p.m. EST on December 31, 2016 (the transaction must be completed by this time).
Checks must be postmarked on or before December 31, 2016, and mailed to:
Southern Adventist University
P.O. Box 370
Collegedale, TN 37315
Research Measures Millennials’ Connection to Adventist Church
Faculty and staff with Southern’s Robert H. Pierson Institute of Evangelism and World Missions have worked on the Adventist Connection Study (ACS) for a decade, examining the connection between recent college graduates and their engagement with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The research, performed primarily at Southern but with assistance from Pacific Union College and Oakwood University, reveals an alarming exodus of young people from the church.
Chelsy Tyler, ’14, is a research assistant for ACS, working toward her doctorate in theology. She wants to better understand what is happening with her peers in the church and has struggled first-hand with the disappearing generation of millennials in her previous position as associate pastor in Texas.
Almost half of white Seventh-day Adventists in North America are 60 years or older, while 2010 U.S. Census data reveals the median age in the United States is 37. There is quite a gap that the church is missing. Unless something is done, the concerns will only increase.
“We know that there is a wide gap between the younger and older people coming to church,” Tyler said. “The ACS study is designed to help us understand why young people are not coming and to give advice to church leaders.”
A summary of ACS’ initial findings include:
- There is a large group of connected and active young adults in the Adventist Church today.
- The strength of one’s devotional life had a clear correlation to the strength of one’s acceptance of Adventist doctrines and lifestyle.
- Young adults prefer to attend medium- to large-sized churches which have fulltime pastors.
- While young adults showed strong support for some doctrines, their support for other doctrines seems to be weakening.
- Young adults are questioning the Church’s stance on homosexuality; at the same time, they generally accept the Church’s teachings on heterosexuality.
- Adventist media has little influence on young adults.
- There is a lack of evangelistic outreach being carried out by young adults.
- The transitory lifestyle of many young adults negatively impacts their connection with local churches.
Research from ACS is being submitted to the academic journal Review of Religious Research. For more details, visit McKee Library’s website for the ACS executive summary, complete research report, and PowerPoint summary.
-by Erica King, senior international studies and public relations double major
Successful Film Graduates Share Their Wisdom at “The Roundtable”
Southern’s School of Visual Art and Design hosted The Roundtable, a four-day festival of mentorship and learning for student filmmakers. The series, the first of its kind at the university, was held the week of homecoming and featured more than 25 alumni as presenters. Topics included “Finding the Passion,” “The Real World,” and “Putting It All Together.”
Students, community members, and employees gathered for seminars, workshops, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. Alumni shared their experiences in writing for television, successfully creating independent films, and other real-world scenarios, as well as discussing strategies for social media marketing and lessons on how to format a production-ready resumé.
Southern’s Film Production program, which began 15 years ago, offers students hands-on experience with cameras, lighting, editing tools, and writing methods. Graduates receive the experience they need to land jobs in this competitive industry. Senior animation major Kit Clements and sophomore film production and fine arts double major Jake Strauss describe the transition between school and the working world as intimidating. The Roundtable was specifically created to ease students’ worries by sharing the experiences and knowledge of alumni.
“It’s comforting to know there is something after graduation,” Clements said. “Connecting with alumni is especially important because they can answer important questions and help us look at possibilities we haven’t even thought about.”
“The alumni have shown us what it is like in the outside world and the different paths that we can take,” Strauss said. “Their encouragement and experience helps remove some of the pressure and fears for us—and our parents—about finishing school without landing a job.”
Roundtable participant Kevin Ekvall, ’07, a freelance documentarian, expressed how much he valued his time at Southern and the education he received.
“Southern is full of great collaborators and hard workers,” Ekvall said. “The people that graduate from here have a lot of technical skill and know the mechanics of filmmaking.”
One of the practical topics covered during the series was “Faith in the Creative Industry.” Leif Ramsey, ’05, works in video production and shared about being employed in a secular environment.
“No one has ever asked me to compromise my beliefs to do a project,” Ramsey said. “We set a schedule that allows us to not work on the weekends.”
Emmy Award-winning director and documentary filmmaker Maranatha Hay, ’07, explained that graduating from an Adventist institution has been an advantage to her in a busy industry.
“Going to Southern ended up being a huge advantage because core principles like Sabbath-keeping have helped me appreciate that weekly break,” Hay said.
For the closing night, a crowd gathered to watch professional work produced by alumni as well as projects created by the students. For event coordinator and Associate Professor David George, ’98, MFA, The Roundtable ended on just the right note.
“When the last piece played, there was such an incredible feeling of community in the room that it was hard to describe,” George said. “Everyone gave a standing ovation, but as we looked around we realized that it wasn’t completely clear whom we were trying to honor. I think everyone felt it. We were honoring each other. Honoring the willingness of the alumni to come back and share. Honoring the current students’ desire to learn. And honoring the amazing talents and gifts that we have been blessed with.”
-by Oksana Wetmore, sophomore business and public relations double major
Long-Distance Mentor Meets Student Face to Face
It’s no secret: preparing for a career can be downright confusing. Often, students find themselves desperately navigating an endless maze of opportunities. Questions such as “What do I need to do to get into my graduate school of choice?” or “What can I do now to prepare for a successful career?” are common. This problem is the main focus of one of Southern’s latest programs, Leadership Education through Alumni Partnerships (LEAP).
“The LEAP program is a win-win,” said Biology Professor Rick Norskov, ’76, MD. “It’s a way for students and alumni to enrich their lives through career mentoring. The program helps students gain wisdom and build positive relationships, while the mentorship creates enthusiasm in the careers of the alumni.”
Marsie Mawuntu, a junior allied health major, took advantage of this opportunity and was paired with Rick Stevens, ’71, DrPH, of the Florida Department of Health in Orlando, Florida.
“With Dr. Stevens as my LEAP mentor, I was able to gain advice and insight on choosing a career path, taking the MCAT, and shadowing opportunities near the area,” Mawuntu said. “We have corresponded through email several times, and not only have we discussed academic pursuits, but also spiritual growth and letting God lead your life journey.”
Mawuntu and Stevens were able to meet face to face for the first time during a special mentoring event during Homecoming Weekend. This experience with LEAP has motivated her to pay it forward.
“Currently, I am an inspired mentor myself with the Pre-Med Club at Southern, passing the torch of leadership and guidance,” Mawuntu said.
For students like Mawuntu, LEAP opens the door to guidance, opportunities, and relationships that will help them along the path to a successful career. To learn more about how you can become involved, visit southern.edu/mentor.
Called to Southern: Doors Open as Professor Submits to God’s Will
By Kathy Goddard, associate professor of English
I left teaching in 2007 to become a writer and trainer largely because I was a tired teacher, but my full-time position at In Discipleship ministry evaporated in June 2010. With no firm job prospect, I resorted to a principle for knowing God’s will called “The Least Attractive Alternative,” which I had learned in an Adventist periodical and used at other turning points in my life. I prioritized my list of job options:
- Working for a church as a discipleship trainer
- Writing full time for the Sabbath School Department
I submitted before God to the least attractive alternative if He showed me that this was His will. I then pursued Number 1, the most attractive alternative to me. God closed that door, so I moved on to Number 2. God closed that door. So I moved on to Number 3. One of the contacts I made was with Jan Haluska, chair of Southern’s English department at the time.
“I’m sorry,” he said on the phone. “We’ve hired three new teachers for the up-coming year for our department, and we have not needed a teacher with your qualifications.”
My heart plunged as another door slammed shut.
“Send me your curriculum vitae. I will file it and let you know if we have an opening in the future.”
Two days later, Haluska responded to my curriculum vitae with this request:
“Write an essay that tells me how you would incorporate the Three Angels’ Messages into your teaching at Southern.”
I wrote the essay and sent it to him. Two days later, he called and asked to meet.
The previous spring, a professor had informed Haluska that the coming year would be his last year at Southern; he wanted to return to Idaho. After my interview, Haluska asked that professor:
“Would you stay another year if you knew I had a qualified teacher to replace you?”
“No. I’d give you my resignation right now,” the professor said.
“Then I accept it.”
Two days later, I signed a contract to teach the 2010-2011 school year. Nine days later, I stood in front of my first college composition class at SmartStart. I didn’t yet have an office or a computer, but I had a job that I knew was God’s will for me. Having gone through this process, I realize God was bringing me back to teaching. It has invigorated me! Teaching truly is my calling, and where I find great joy.
Goddard has taught students in all three levels: elementary, secondary, and college. As a writer, she has published in several genres from short stories to a Bible textbook. Her awards include the Zapara Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Alumni Academy Achievement Award.
"Called to Southern” is a series for QuickNotes that highlights the path our faculty and staff have taken to end up on campus. There is a definite pattern that show’s God’s leading, and we look forward to sharing these stories with you.
Southern’s Impact on Ken DeFoor, ’71
In this video, one of the region’s most successful entrepreneurs discusses the powerful role that Collegedale’s community of faith played in keeping him and his friends grounded in the time since graduation.
"One thing that never changed through all the years was my tremendous affection for my college and the good memories I had that seemed to bring me back and stabilize me a little more as I went through the journey."
Southern roots have proved helpful both in business and in his spiritual life.
Missionary Nurse Provides Physical and Spiritual Aid
Gayle Haberkam, ’75, has served as a nurse for seven years with the Karen people in the jungles of Thailand, ministering in more than 70 villages. Her work, while rewarding, has its challenges.
The difficulties of living in the jungle differ from those in the United States; an angry charge of aggressive male elephants is an everyday concern! Traveling to other villages to give medical care can take hours and require multiple methods of transportation as trucks become stuck in mud, or the roads grow too narrow. Often, in fact, she ends up on foot.
Haberkam not only provides necessary medical care but also offers spiritual relief by praying with patients after visits and hosting baptismal classes. She remembers many occasions in which God has used her to help others in both ways. One such time, she had been delayed in journeying to another village to provide medical assistance. Because of this delay, Haberkam was able to respond to a man who had shot himself in the head. Despite his serious injury, the Karen man was transported to the hospital in time and fully recovered. He later requested to be baptized.
Though not every patient has expressed a need for Bible studies, God has led her to be in the right place to reach those who are open to His healing. It’s an exciting responsibility that comforts Haberkam when considering the dangers and difficulties which surround her.
“I would face any elephant, any snake, any poisonous spider, scorpion, or caterpillar to see the people learn about God,” Haberkam said. “We don’t have to think of the future as being dark, dismal, and hopeless, because Jesus is right there beside you.”
When in the United States on furlough, Haberkam is often found speaking at churches and other venues to spread the good news about God’s work in the jungles of Thailand. More mission-related stories and details can be found on Haberkam's website.
-by Brittany Swart, senior English major
Tell Us What's Happening!
Southern would love to feature you in our Beyond the Columns alumni update section of the university magazine! Please email us any family or professional news you'd like to share with classmates!
Campus Research Day. Join employees and students on December 1 from 8 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. for Southern's Campus Research Day. This semester 345 students will present on a variety of topics (see PDF of schedule). If you live nearby, we'd love for you to attend and show your support. Next semester we hope to stream many of the presentations online!
Christmas Tree Lighting. Join us on December 1 at 6:30 p.m. as we jumpstart the Christmas season on Taylor Circle with light refreshments and musical performances from Deep 6, Collegedale Academy Band, Southern Jazz Ensemble, One Praise Gospel Choir, AWS/CAMS Strings, Southern Ringtones, and SilverBrass.
Christmas Concerts. Southern's School of Music has multiple opportunities for you to enjoy a free holiday performance. The Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble, and Southern Ringtones perform their Christmas Concert on December 3 at 8 p.m. in Iles P.E. Center. Southern's Symphony Orchestra and choral ensembles are holding their performance on December 10 at 4 p.m. in the Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church; it can also be watched live online at southern.edu/streaming.
Reformation Tour to Europe. You are invited to join the Alumni Association tour “Martin Luther and the Reformation: Celebrating 500 Years” scheduled for June 13-25, 2017. Visit major sites of the Protestant Reformation in Germany and Switzerland during this historic, milestone anniversary. Immerse yourself in European culture and breathtaking scenery with experienced tour leader, Bill Wohlers. The cost is $3,950 per person and includes air fare, ground transportation by motor coach, lodging, breakfasts and dinners, as well as an estimated 20 sightseeing activities. Email Alumni Relations or call 423.236.2830 to learn more and to reserve your space before January 1.
Join Us On Campus. Southern’s event calendar is loaded with listings for concerts, lectures, and other campus events. We would love to see you here!
Join Us Online. Each week during the school year we invite you to join us online for Vespers on Friday at 8 p.m. and the student-led Renewal church service on Sabbath
at 11:35 a.m. (Eastern Time).
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