Members of the Class of 2014 were all smiles Friday at GCU's first winter commencement.
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GCU’s winter commencement is first rate

December 12, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

By GCU News Bureau On a day when 530 Grand Canyon University traditional graduates were on cloud nine as they paraded up to receive their diplomas, numbers were the name of the game — and there were two ways about it. First, this was a first. GCU had never before held a winter commencement until Friday afternoon at the Arena, but the University’s ever expanding student population made it obvious a year and a half ago that it would become necessary. First-semester graduates previously had to wait until spring commencement if they wanted to participate in the ceremony. Second, there was the numerical magic of Justin Willman, who wowed the crowd in his entertaining commencement address, just as he had in the October ceremony for online graduates. His closing trick, in which the random numbers he got from four students equaled, when multiplied, the date and exact time (121,214,437, or 12/12/14 at 4:37 p.m.), is impossible to figure. But in between jokes and other tricks, Willman, host of “Cupcake Wars,” had a simple message for the graduates: “No matter how you do the math, the past and the future always wind up adding up to the present.” Three cheers for that. —Rick […]

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Dr. Pete Charpentier (center) prays on Wednesday with senior Jordan Burnidge (left) and sophomore Emmett Foster before their finals. Photo by Alexis Bolze
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GCU faculty: Going the distance, making a difference

December 12, 2014 / by / 1 Comment

Fall semester at GCU was a time of great growth — in students, courses, programs and learning — and as GCU hosts its first winter commencement this afternoon for about 700 traditional graduates, GCU Today takes the opportunity to celebrate the University’s stellar faculty. They have gone beyond the call of duty to assist students inside their classrooms and outside of them, too, dedicating many extra hours, evenings and weekends to student success. Click here to read stories about several of them.

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Worship Arts showcases talent, togetherness

December 09, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

The first Worship Arts Showcase was Monday night in Thunderground, and if it’s a portent of things to come in the new Center for Worship Arts, it will be something to see. Students performed, for the first time, songs they had written, and even Bart Millard, the director of the Center and the front man for MercyMe, was amazed.

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Worship Arts Showcase features 20 original songs

December 09, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Photos by Darryl Webb GCU News Bureau The 40 students in the new Center for Worship Arts at Grand Canyon University put on quite a performance Monday night in Thunderground. All of the 20 songs were originals written by the students this semester.  

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GCU students worship at Chapel last fall in the Arena. On average, about 5,000 people attend the service each week.
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Campus ministries a nurturing force for students

December 02, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Story by Janie Magruder Photos by Darryl Webb GCU Today Magazine The trinity of sacredly held campus ministries at Grand Canyon University — small group Bible studies, chapel services and local/global outreach activities — not only are surviving unprecedented student population growth, they are thriving amidst it. Call it a God thing. “The more people who come, the more opportunities we have to impact the kingdom, and it’s up to us to figure out how to reach them,” said Dean of Students Pastor Tim Griffin. “God is allowing thousands and thousands and thousands to come to this campus, and it’s a great opportunity that we don’t want to miss.” Upon Griffin’s arrival at GCU a little more than four years ago, he spelled out spiritual life at GCU and drew a line in the sand with Christian organizations clamoring to provide those services on campus. In those early days, Griffin might have felt like Daniel in the lion’s den. “We told them they were welcome on campus but that they would have to do something different from small groups, worship and outreach,” he said. “We defined our field of play, what the rules would be and how we would engage […]

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"I did it!" Nearly 1,900 graduates of Grand Canyon University attended Saturday's two commencement ceremonies in the Arena, putting the cap on years of hard work and perseverance.
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Commencement a magical time for 1,900 GCU grads

October 25, 2014 / by / 6 Comments

Grand Canyon University’s non-traditional commencement ceremony returned to campus and to the more spacious GCU Arena on Saturday. The extra seats were a blessing as family members and friends of nearly 1,900 online students for morning and afternoon ceremonies.

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‘Barefoot Tribe’ gets to heart and sole of giving

October 07, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

By Rick Vacek GCU News Bureau Christians talk about getting their hands dirty and their feet wet in practicing their faith. Dr. Palmer Chinchen takes it to a whole new level on the lower extremities. Chinchen, lead pastor of The Grove in Chandler, spoke and his pastor of worship, Josh Havens, sang Monday in the second installment of the Grand Canyon University College of Theology’s Ministry Forum. Together, they challenged audience members to practice what they preach. “A lot of people are willing to follow Jesus into an air-conditioned church,” said Chinchen, whose mantra is, “Take off your shoes and walk the holy ground of a broken world.” Not long ago, Chinchen created what he calls “The Barefoot Tribe” and challenged his congregation to wear their favorite shoes to church, then take them off, throw them in a pile and walk barefoot the rest of the day. The shoes would be donated to people who don’t have any shoes to wear, and for one day the Chandler churchgoers would know what it feels like to walk in the footsteps of those people. He wasn’t sure how many people would participate, but he was overwhelmed by the response. A movement was born. Call it sole […]

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University updates emergency management plans

September 19, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Grand Canyon University is in the process of updating how its Public Safety force responds to emergencies and how the campus community is alerted to potential threats.

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Group pushes on with missions to Muslims

September 16, 2014 / by / 1 Comment

Trying to bring Christianity to Muslim countries can be risky business, but the speaker at the first College of Theology Ministry Forum said it’s a mission that can be accomplished. Bob Blincoe, U.S. director of Frontiers USA, believes it’s one of the most important challenges facing Christians.

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‘Lunch and Learn’ gives faculty food for thought

September 15, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

By Rick Vacek GCU News Bureau It was the first meeting of the “Lunch and Learn” Series, sponsored by the College of Theology at Grand Canyon University, but it still brought back memories for the guest speaker, Cindy Seminoff. The first time she taught on that same stage, in Howerton Hall, she was pregnant with her daughter, Cassandra. Cassandra will turn 13 on Tuesday. Her mother has been at GCU for 18 years. So when the associate professor in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology addressed a large group of faculty members Friday on “Knowing God and Self,” part of the University’s Integrating Faith, Learning and Work (IFLW) program, she came at it with considerable knowledge of GCU’s recent history. Judging from the lively question-and-answer session, her knowledge of integrating her faith into her teaching methods was considerably appreciated, too. A year ago, Seminoff said she introduced a “Scripture of the Week” and other forms of prayer into her exercise science and nutrition classes. The response, she said, was “overwhelmingly positive.” Of the 48 students who responded to an end-of-year survey, 45 said they liked her use of Bible verses in communications to them and her practice of leading them in prayer […]

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