Several Christian Colleges Shine in ‘U.S. News’ Rankings (Plus News Briefs)
Several Christian Colleges Shine in ‘U.S. News’ Rankings (Plus News Briefs)

Compiled by Jim Nieman and Chris Moon

A handful of Christian church and church of Christ-affiliated colleges had strong showings in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 rankings of best colleges.

William Jessup University, Rocklin, Calif., earned three No. 2 rankings: Regional Colleges West (tied with California State University—Maritime Academy), Best Colleges for Veterans, and Best Undergraduate Teaching (tied with Oral Roberts University).

Milligan College in Tennessee ranked No. 4 in Best Value Schools and No. 13 in Regional Universities South (tied with Longwood University). Milligan also ranked No. 43 in Top Performers in Social Mobility for “enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants.”

Point University, West Point, Ga., ranked No. 10 in Top Performers in Social Mobility and No. 49 in Regional Colleges South (tie).

Kentucky Christian University in Grayson ranked No. 16 in Top Performers in Social Mobility and No. 53 in Regional Colleges South (tie).

According to U.S. News, “Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.”

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News Briefs

The Kentucky Christian University football team knocked off Georgetown (Ky.) College, the 21st-ranked team in NAIA, when the Knights’ injured kicker booted the winning field goal as time expired Saturday. KCU was down by 17 points in the second half before mounting the comeback in its first-ever night game at home.

KCU head coach Corey Fipps called it a “huge win.” The Knights are now 2-0.

“Georgetown is the standard of consistency in the Mid-South Conference, and we hope to emulate that type of consistency as a program,” Fipps said.

Back-up quarterback Josh Drucker led the comeback by completing 10 of 18 passes for 2 touchdowns. But it was kicker Eric Parra Curiel who kicked the winning 25-yard field goal as time ran out. Two plays earlier, Curiel’s short field goal attempt was blocked, but a roughing the kicker penalty was called against Georgetown, giving new life to the Knights. After an incomplete pass, Curiel limped back onto the field to notch the winning kick.

It was KCU’s first win in 12 tries versus Georgetown. The loss to KCU denied Georgetown coach Bill Cronin of career win No. 200.

While pleased with the win, Fipps said the “sweetest victory” last week was seeing sophomore tight end Sean Ray baptized into Christ.

“There are plenty of faith-based institutions with football programs,” he said. “But we want to be a uniquely Christian football program at a strong Christian institution.”

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Southeast Christian Church plans to open its ninth campus.

The new location will be in Shelbyville, Ky. Sunday’s news came about a month after the megachurch announced its eighth campus—a Louisville facility across from its main Blankenbaker location aimed at ministering to senior adults.

The Shelbyville site will be located in a 26,000-square-foot facility about 31 miles east of Louisville. Space will include a worship center that seats 600 people, as well as room for classrooms, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. The new building will open in 12 to 18 months.

“We really feel called to Shelbyville when we considered the fact that Southeast has over 3,000 attendees living in the area and have been actively serving the community through local ministries for nearly ten years now,” senior pastor Kyle Idleman said in a statement. “We look forward to loving and caring for the people who live there one at a time.”

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Mid-South Christian University in Memphis, TN, will commemorate its 60th anniversary with numerous activities on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 20 and 21.

An alumni luncheon will be at noon Friday; Tribute, a gospel quartet, will perform and Paul Newland, son of founding president Vernon Newland, will speak. A celebration banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday that features speaker Bob Russell, president Larry Griffin, and music by Sam Massey and Sherry Duncan.

A Ladies Day brunch begins at 9 a.m. Saturday featuring Angie Burnette Gibson and Cindy Gibson Gale; both are daughters of former presidents of MSCC. There will be a “People’s Choice Grill-Off Competition” at 11 a.m. Then, at 1:30, the closing celebration will take place featuring Jim Bliffen, missionary to Papua New Guinea; he is the son of Jack Bliffen, MSCC’s third president.

Learn more and register for the events at the “Take Up Your Cross for the Next Sixty” webpage.

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At least two Christian agencies with connections to our movement are planning to help with relief efforts to the Bahamas, ravaged recently by Hurricane Dorian.

Maritime Ministries, based in Elizabeth City, NC, and led by Dan Smith, a former vice president of Mid-Atlantic Christian University, plans to make available boats, workers, and logistical support to assist churches on the island nation, according to the Daily Advance newspaper.

“Maritime Ministries has connections to two Church of Christ churches on Abaco and has additional contacts on the island through Randy Crowe at IslandOutreach.com,” the paper reported.

The nautically focused Christian mission organization also has members who sail to the Bahamas each year to teach the Bible and conduct ministries.

Smith emphasized that a long-term response is needed.

International Disaster Emergency Service is another organization that plans to help. At its website, IDES reports it has established contact with New Life Christian Church in West End, Bahamas, and is working to make other contacts. “IDES is sending funds and working on a plan for meeting future needs.” Donations may be made via IDES’s website.

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Mid-Atlantic Christian University evacuated last week as Hurricane Dorian approached. According to the Daily Advance, the college in Elizabeth City, N.C., canceled classes at 8 a.m. Wednesday and closed its residence halls at 5 p.m. MACU’s Facebook page announced that campus reopened at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Further up the East Coast, at Maritime Christian College in Charlottetown, PEI, Canada, the convocation/opening service scheduled for this past Sunday was postponed for one week because of the threatening weather; the service is set to take place at 3 p.m. this Sunday.

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Former Milligan College basketball forward Del Harris (class of 1959), who coached in the NCAA, ABA, and NBA, and was NBA Coach of the Year in 1995 while leading the Los Angeles Lakers, was awarded the 2019 John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award by Milligan last week.

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Two weeks ago, Haus Edelweiss was re-dedicated to the Lord for kingdom purposes. TCM International Institute teaches classes at the house in Heiligenkreuz, Austria. In 1890, the Spanner family, original owners of Haus Edelweiss, painted this message above its front door: “We, Anton and Irene Spanner always trusted in our Lord, and therefore we built this house under the holy cross.” In the German language “holy cross” translates to the name of the town Heiligenkreuz. Over the last few months, Franz Hobl and Raphaela Krisits have restored the dedication to its original appearance. TCM president Tony Twist unveiled the restored dedication at the celebration attended by short-term workers, faculty, staff, and special guests.

TCM is a high-level graduate school that has been training and developing bivocational “international disciple makers” throughout Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and central Asia for years. International students attend one- and two-week intensive courses at Haus Edelweiss, TCM’s main campus in Austria, as well as several other locations.

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First Christian Church in Elizabethton, Tenn., will host an “active shooter” training event in January conducted by the Elizabethton Police Department, the Johnson City Press reported. The two-day ALICE training is designed to help schools, hospitals, businesses, and churches train people about what to do in the case of an active shooter. ALICE stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate.

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A new billboard in Warrensburg, Mo., encourages motorists to “Think GOD.” A partnership of churches—including Northside Christian Church in Warrensburg—funded the sign. The Daily Star-Journal reported the billboard is the brainchild of a member of a local Methodist church who asked, “Why don’t we advertise for God?”

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Owensboro (Ky.) Christian Church will be the collection site for the community’s annual “Feed Seniors Now” food drive. The effort is organized by several local organizations and businesses to combat hunger among people 60 years and older. The food will be stored at the church until it is sorted and distributed, according to the Messenger-Inquirer.

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Archaeologists in Israel believe they may have found Emmaus, where Jesus first appeared to two of his disciples after his resurrection. A Franco-Israeli expedition discovered an ancient wall that they believe could identify the town, according to the Christian Post.

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Send news to cs@christianstandardmedia.com.

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