Blessing the World

Dr. Ronald L. Ellis, president at California Baptist University, has an enduring passion for the Great Commission. Ellis has sought innovative ways to offer students service opportunities that represent Christ’s calling. These funds below will support programs that are part of that Great Commission outreach at CBU. With your generous support CBU will continue to shine the light of Christ not only through our nation but throughout the world.

  • CBU marks 20 years of global service

    A lot can be learned by stepping outside of one’s cultural bubble, said Jeff Lewis, director of Mobilization in the Office of Spiritual Life at California Baptist University.

    McKay Vandenberg, an English senior, would agree. She went to South Asia on an Inter-national Service Project (ISP) over the summer and interacted with locals with the goal of building relationships.

    “I learned that the world is a lot different than what our media portrays it to be. While there is a lot of hate and anger being portrayed, the vast majority of people all just want the love that Christ brings,” Vandenberg said. “People all across the globe are searching for the answers Christ gives. How can we hide those answers from them?”

    Vandenberg represents the positive change in a student’s perspective that takes place during CBU service projects.

    In its 20th year of mobilization efforts this summer, CBU sent out more than 300 students, staff and faculty in 37 teams to serve in 17 countries for the ISP, United States Projects (USP) and Summer of Service (SOS). In its two decades of service, the CBU global outreach program has tallied 4,267 participants and served in 58 countries.

    Service projects typically include teams that conduct sports camps, teach English to university students, provide healthcare and engineering skills, and assist with children and deaf ministries. The purpose is to work with the indigenous church and its leaders to form connections with community members that eventually open up opportunities to share the Gospel.

    Lewis said he knows many students who went on ISP who are now serving overseas as missionaries. However, Lewis wants students to realize that all are called by Christ and that does not necessarily mean becoming a pastor or a missionary.

    The scriptural meaning of calling is to belong to God, to become a new creation in Christ and to serve in the church and the world, Lewis said.

    “Mobilization is challenging followers of Christ to do what the scriptures communicate,” Lewis said. “They need to be awakened that they’re already called to join God, strategically, intentionally, in His global purpose every day of their lives.”

    Kerri Horton, logistics coordinator for Mobilization, said the projects help students form diverse worldviews.

    “We hope to create students who are world Christians that don’t just see things through the American lens,” Horton said. “They take that into their workplace. They take that into their ministry. They take that into discipleship relationships and they’re encouraging others and discipling others.”

    Rachel Rosales, a graphic design junior, went on an ISP to the United Kingdom this summer. She said the trip encouraged her to be intentional about faith issues in everyday conversations.

    “My experience made me more aware of what I can do in daily life. I can talk to people I wouldn’t normally talk to and talk about things that are important. I’m trying to get past those chit-chats and get to things that are important,” Rosales said.

    Kris Smith, assistant director of Mobilization, has served as a leader on five separate trips. The journeys have also ministered to her. She has seen firsthand how believers, who are living in poverty, find contentment in a relationship with God despite their circumstances. Additionally, she appreciates how the program aims at getting volunteers disconnected from everyday distractions such as cell phones (they leave them behind when serving) and focus on being fully engaged in service.

    “You’re so in tune to hearing from God in tangible ways,” Smith said. “I think that’s what makes growth so exponential and makes it so exciting to be part of a team, because you leave everything behind and you see God do amazing things.”

    Before leaving for their fields of service, CBU offers participants up to 75 hours of training. Half of that takes place during Intensive Training Weekend. The weekend includes preparing students and others how to communicate and seek help during a potential disaster. Additionally, teams receive weekly training for 15 weeks that covers cultural shock, spiritual warfare and specific customs. Teams also conduct Bible studies, practice sharing their testimony and prepare for their project.

    “If you ask field workers what sets CBU apart in the field, it’s that they are the best-trained teams that they receive,” Horton said.

    In the future, Lewis sees Mobilization partnering with more churches and being a resource for them. He also sees the program participating with academics and developing mission experiences to assist students capture a vision as it relates to their degrees.

    “It should be part of the transformation of how they view the world and how they will be engaged in the mission of Christ until they see him face to face,” Lewis said.

  • Ceremony signifies a commitment to healthcare

    The inaugural class for the Master of Science in physician assistant (PA) studies at California Baptist University participated in white coat ceremony on Sept. 29. Thirty students took place in the event as family, friends and CBU faculty and staff were on hand to offer their support.

    Dr. David Pearson, dean of the College of Health Science, said the ceremony is a student’s public acknowledgement that they will commit to a career in healthcare services.

    “It is their professional baptism in the sense that a baptized believer is ready for continued growth and service to the Lord and similarly a white coat recipient is ready for continued growth and service to humanity,” Pearson said.

    For the students, both the ceremony and being part of the first class have significant meaning.

    “It means so much to me,” said Amy Plaia, a PA student. “It’s an honor and I know that it was divinely orchestrated for all of us who are in the first class.”

    The two-year program features both a didactic and clinical year and is housed on the new Health Science Campus at CBU.

    “This is a significant time for the College of Health Science because we regard the PA program as an essential element of our quest to transform lives through the health professions,” Pearson said. “This group of students will have an amazing impact on the health and wellness of the Inland Empire for decades.”

  • CBU dean leads team to write on “The Love of God”

    Dr. Chris Morgan, dean of the School of Christian Ministries at California Baptist University, recently finished editing “The Love of God,” which will be released by Crossway publishing on Sept. 30.

    The book is the seventh volume in the series “Theology in Community” that aims to unpack the biblical and theological teachings on historic and contemporary theological issues. Morgan, who is also a professor of theology at CBU, has served as general editor for each of the volumes.

    Morgan said the goal of the book is to present a biblical view of the love of God from the perspectives of the Old Testament, New Testament, biblical theology, systematic theology, apologetics, missions and social justice.

    “The Love of God” is written for thoughtful church members, pastors, as well as college and seminary students, Morgan said.

    “We can have a tendency to make love (only) about ourselves,” Morgan said. “We need to view love in light of God and the Bible’s own teaching.”

    Morgan assembled a team to write on issues such as: “Distorting the Love of God?”; “Is the God of the Old Testament a God of Love?”; and “How Does God’s Love Inspire Social Justice?” The book has 10 chapters.

    “One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most in this project is finding high caliber experts in their disciplines that could come together to write about the love of God and address important current questions,” Morgan said.

    Contributors include accomplished evangelical scholars D. A. Carson, Mariam Kamell, Andreas J. Köstenberger, Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Robert L. Plummer, and more.

    Morgan also contributed a chapter, “How Does the Trinity’s Love Shape our Love for One Another?” He said the ultimate purpose of every Christian’s life is to bring glory to God, but that many never consider how Jesus’ command to love others brings glory to God. Morgan’s essay seeks to address how and why love for one another is shaped by the love of the Trinity.

    For Morgan, the love of God is a boundless topic.

    “I’ve been captured by the love of God. God’s love is infinite in its depths and heights and I’m fascinated to see how it relates to everything in the Christian life,” Morgan said.

Bachelor of Applied Theology (BAT) Fund

Your financial assistance will help the BAT program continue to prepare students to become pastors or to serve in various ministry leadership roles. BAT is known for its fully directed curriculum, packed with theology and ministry courses. Additionally, students spend four semesters receiving hands-on ministry experiences in a local church.

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The College of Health Science’s Global Health Engagement Fund

With your support students will continue to receive opportunities to travel abroad over the summer to serve in various health care opportunities. Some current partnerships include the Bo Hoa Hospital in Jilin City, China; the University Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines; and the Cedarnest Pediatric Cancer Recovery Center located in Changchun, China.

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International Service Projects Fund

Your generous gifts will help students serve in various capacities oversees in the name of Christ. Since 1997, more than 4,000 students, staff and faculty have served on International Service Projects and related programs in 58 countries.

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