Members of the Shafi family open some of their gifts Monday in GCU's Learning Lounge. The gifts were provided by staff in the University's Tempe office complex.
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Christmas comes early to Learning Lounge families

December 16, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Story by Janie Magruder Photos by Darryl Webb GCU News Bureau Since it first began tutoring students at Alhambra High School last year, the Grand Canyon University Learning Lounge has been embraced by the campus community — faculty, staff and student tutors. On Monday, 15 months to the day after it opened its doors, the Learning Lounge got another big hug. This time, its teenaged clients came on campus, not for free help in reading, writing, math or other subjects, but to receive Christmas gifts from those jolly St. Nicks in the GCU Tempe office complex. Staff in the University’s international, College of Education Mid-Atlantic enrollment and non-degree/single course divisions brought dozens of gifts for three Alhambra students and their 17 family members. The delivery of gifts, including jeans and T-shirts, remote-control cars, roller backpacks and a “Frozen” waffle maker with pancake mix and syrup, came just a day after more than 350 children and their families in the GCU neighborhood visited campus for Canyon Cares Christmas. The annual event, supported by hundreds of faculty and staff members who purchased gifts and volunteered time, provided the guests lunch, crafts and visits to Santa in the Arena on Sunday afternoon. Alhambra junior Jane Sabuni and her sister, Lillian, came to the Learning Lounge […]

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New band, local churches highlight spring Chapel/theGathering

December 10, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

By Cooper Nelson GCU News Bureau Grand Canyon University will continue its fall Chapel/theGathering theme, “Making a Difference,” in the spring semester with a new crop of pastors from West Valley churches scheduled to speak at the popular Monday morning service in GCU Arena. Chapel will remain at 11:15 a.m., with message-board announcements beginning at 11. Students and staff will hear messages from pastors from Fellowship Church, Catalyst Church, New City Church and Bethany Bible Church of Phoenix, along with Faith Bible Church and Church of the Cross of Glendale and Gateway Church of Scottsdale.  Pastors from East Valley parishes, including The Grove Church and Redemption Church, also will be on campus next semester. GCU’s Director of Spiritual Life Danielle Rinnier said a conscious effort was made to bring in pastors from churches near campus to encourage students to join local church communities and expand their worship habits. “We know Chapel isn’t a church service and we really want students to get involved with local churches,” Rinnier said. “We really want to allow students to hear the message from pastors of great local churches so they will hopefully reach out and try these churches and find a good fit.” Jared Ulrich, worship coordinator, held freshman-only auditions in […]

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GCU Today Magazine highlights revitalization plan

December 02, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

The latest edition of GCU Today Magazine — featuring a comprehensive look at the University’s new plan to strengthen its west Phoenix neighborhood — is available here. The December issue also has a story about GCU nurturing its spiritual-life roots, a feature on the men’s basketball team’s debut on the national sports stage and an article about what a new name and a new dean mean for students in the Colangelo College of Business. Don’t miss our stories about alumni Gustavo Anton’s journey to medical school and Michelle Lara’s road to recovery from a near-fatal accident, plus a profile of online student Komi Lokossou, a broadly smiling goodwill ambassador on GCU’s main campus.

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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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GCU's Dance Department will present its winter dance concert, "Balance/Opposition," this week in Ethington Theatre.
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Winter dance concert to explore opposing themes

December 02, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Faculty and students in GCU’s dance department have been working on their winter dance show, “Balance/Opposition,” since last fall. On Friday and Saturday, beginning at 7:30 p.m., the talented artists will present a sophisticated series of pieces that communicate the trials of humans through movement. Be prepared to laugh and cry.

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Chris Brown of North Coast Church was an animated and engaging storyteller at Chapel on Monday. Photo by Darryl Webb
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Chapel: Don’t limit your faith to ‘The Box’

December 02, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Chris Brown of North Coast Church in Vista, Calif., is an animated storyteller, scene-setter and humorist, and his Chapel talk Monday morning was filled with references to everything from genies to Pop-Tarts. He challenged listeners to examine whether they’re using God or truly worshipping Him and making Him central in their life.

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COFAP pioneers concept of onstage student shepherds

December 01, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Story by Janie Magruder Photos by Alexis Bolze GCU News Bureau Like one of those resonant quotations that’s attributed to “anonymous,” the origins of the unusual — and possibly unique — student chaplaincy post, which has been embraced by the College of Fine Arts and Production at Grand Canyon University, might never be known. Assistant Dean Dr. Juan Hernandez began allowing music students to select chaplains from among their peers several years ago during preparations for a concert. The request came from students, who wanted to designate someone to handle their spiritual needs before, during and after rehearsals, Hernandez recalled. “Our students spend a significant amount of time together,” he said, “and so it became a way for them to create community, to take ownership of their work and their activities in a way that was not just them being told what to do, and to promote the University’s initiative of faith, learning and leadership.” It was so successful that Hernandez’s students now elect two of their own at the beginning of each school year as ensemble shepherds. With the endorsement of Dean of Students Pastor Tim Griffin, the College of Theology and COFAP Dean Claude Pensis, this voluntary spiritual […]

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GCU alumni Raul Saenz and Kea Goode, with Cesar Chavez High senior Tatiana Farias in their classroom.
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Alumni step up to support youth through Elevate Phoenix

December 01, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

By Janie Magruder GCU News Bureau Kea Goode’s mother died when she was 5 and her father never was part of her life, so she knows better than some the importance of teachers and other mentors to a young person. Their influence in her own life helped the 2012 GCU alumna find her purpose in the classroom. “I want to be that same positive influence in the lives of my students,” said Goode, who works for the nonprofit Elevate Phoenix. “I know what it’s like to feel alone and discouraged. If I can be a beacon of hope for just one of my girls, then I’ve successfully done my job.” The 27-year-old Phoenix native is among 10 teacher-mentors employed by Elevate Phoenix to teach peer leadership to students in the Phoenix Union High School District. At Cesar Chavez High in southwest Phoenix, Goode and fellow alum Raul Saenz co-teach good character, habits and life skills to classes of about 30 young women and men at a time. Goode and Saenz also teach the students how to teach their own leadership lessons each week at a nearby elementary school. “I love the interaction with the kids,” said Goode, who has a B.S. in psychology. “We teach them to be proactive, […]

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Beth Guckenberger shared stories Monday morning that demonstrated to the Chapel audience that you don't need to have everything figured out before you  start a ministry. Photo by Darryl Webb
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Chapel: A difference-maker tells her story

November 18, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Monday’s Chapel talk was a first-hand look at why you don’t need to have all the answers to do God’s work. Beth Guckenberger of Back2Back Ministries told of how she and her husband felt called to start an orphanage in Mexico from scratch, with their own money, and turned it into an organization that spans three continents and has helped thousands of children.

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Terry Crist of City of Grace delivered a powerful message about women in Chapel on Monday morning.
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Chapel: Women are empowered by God

November 11, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

The Chapel talk by Terry Crist of City of Grace on Monday morning was an unusual but incredibly important message: Women showed their strength in the Bible and should feel empowered by God “to own who you are, to accept who you are and to use who you are to change the world to the glory of God.” GCU Today has coverage.

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