US News & World Report ranks Huntington University 8th in its list of the Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest. This is the fourth consecutive year HU has made the Top Ten.

In-state rival Taylor University topped the list, and Bethel University in Mishawaka ranked 19th.

Huntington also ranked fifth in the “Best Values” ranking for the Midwest (right behind Taylor).

Highlights of the college rankings will be published in the September issue of U.S. News & World Report, available on newsstands Aug. 31. The 2011 Best Colleges guidebook will be on newsstands Aug. 24.

US News divided schools into these categories: National Universities (Harvard, Stanford), National Liberal Arts Colleges (Williams College, West Point), Regional Universities (Creighton, Butler), and Regional Colleges. Many of the schools in the “Best Colleges” list actually bear the “university” name, as does HU. And some schools in the “university” category bear a “college” name (like Emhurst College).

To rank schools, U.S. News first organizes colleges and universities by category and then ranks them within each group. Rankings are based on the following criteria: peer assessment (25 percent), graduation and retention rates (25 percent), faculty resources (20 percent), student selectivity (15 percent), financial resources (10 percent), and alumni giving (5 percent).

The 6th Annual Tom Ponsot Memorial Classic Golf Tournament will be held on September 11, 2010, at the Clear Creak Golf Course near Huntington, Ind. The proceed go to support Camp Cotubic in Bellefontaine, Ohio.

Many of us have fond memories of attending summer camp while we were growing up. Friendships were formed, knees were skinned, challenges were conquered, life-long lessons were learned, and most of all, many were introduced to Jesus. Now that we are older, we are glad such places still exist for our kids and grandkids.

Camp Cotubic is one such place, and it held a special place in the heart of Tom Ponsot, a member of our Zanesville, Ind., church who passed away in 2005. Tom saw the great potential of Camp Cotubic and volunteered his time and financial resources to preserve it as a place where his own grandkids and many other children could continue to have summer camp experiences. Tom served as the Chairman of the Board for several years and was passionate about the camp’s ministry.

You can help in two ways:

* Enter a Team. Find three other friends and enter a team. The cost is $50/person and includes greens fees, cart, and lunch. You can register by sending your name to
* Be a Sponsor. Your business, church, affinity group or you can sponsor a hole for $100.

To enter, or for more information, Ponsot-Golf-2011.

Huntington University has been listed as one of America’s Best Colleges by

Huntington University was ranked 289th overall and ninth in the state of Indiana. Huntington was ranked among other top Indiana schools, including Taylor University and Goshen College, and above some state schools, including Purdue University and Ball State University.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are more than 4000 college campuses in the United States. ranked only the top 15 percent of all undergraduate institutions.

The Center for College Affordability and Productivity, in conjunction with Forbes, compiled its college rankings using five general categories:

  1. Student satisfaction.
  2. Postgraduate success.
  3. Student debt.
  4. Four-year graduation rate.
  5. Competitive awards from outside data sources, including the U.S. Department of Education, and

This is the third year for the rankings.

Getting started with the class.

Getting started with a session.

Lunch time.

The team tours Heidelberg.

Today (Friday, August 6) ends the first week of English Camp for the Germany Missions Team. They taught 34 kids during the first week.

Team co-leader Cathy Reich writes, “We have come to love these kids so much and cannot imagine saying goodbye. Many of the team will be going to new homes next week.”

On Thursday, for the “taste of America,” they had hot dogs and salad, and for dessert, Twinkies and oatmeal cream pies.

Some of the team visited Heidelberg, where they saw the lovely city and toured a very old castle. You can see a lot of photos on the team’s Facebook page.

The Mount Pleasant people are excited to be in Mexico.

The Mount Pleasant people are excited to be in Mexico.

Bobby Culler with some of the VBS kids.

Bobby Culler with some of the VBS kids.

Pastor Herberto and family

Pastor Heriberto and family

Thirteen persons from Mount Pleasant Church (Chambersburg, Pa.) flew to Mexico City on Thursday, July 15, arriving with all of their bags except one (which was delivered to the hotel the next morning).

On Friday, they rode a bus seven hours to Zacapu in central Mexico, where they would be conducting a VBS for a United Brethren church called Iglesia Adonai. They are starting a three- or four-year partnership with this church, having just completed a partnership with another UB church in Mexico.

On Saturday, July 17, they helped the church leaders prepare the place for VBS on Monday. That included building two bathrooms—two shelter frames wrapped in canopies, a box with a hole in it, and two holes in the ground.

The Sunday worship service was held at 5 pm. The congregation meets on a loading dock in the marketplace. The 13 Pennsylvanians joined 30 Mexicans in worship. Bobby Culler, youth pastor of Mount Pleasant who was heading up the trip, talked about the partnership God was creating between Iglesia Adonai and Mount Pleasant.

VBS began on Monday  morning…and the children poured in. They had 118 people the first day, and 21 people accepted Christ as Savior. Denis Casco, Bishop of Mexico Conference, arrived that day, along with his wife Reina, daughter Pamela, and their friend Ana, to spend the rest of the week with them.

The next day, 159 people (children and adults) showed up for VBS, and 34 more people accepted Christ as Savior. That night after supper, several team members played soccer with eight young boys. When they were done, they huddled the boys together and told them the Gospel story using the colors of the soccer ball. Seven of the 8 boys asked Jesus into their hearts!

On Wednesday, attendance swelled to 216. The 6-8 year-old class had 57 kids, and the 9-11 year-old class had 73. Another 28 people gave their lives to Christ.

Thursday saw 256 attend, and another 13 people accept Christ. When VBS ended, they got organized for their “Give Away Day.” They filled about 8 tables with toys, clothing, and other gifts. The children and adults filed in and were able to pick one item. Enough items were left that everyone was permitted to make a second pass.

They ended the week on Friday just short of 300, with 286 people attending.

“The place was packed,” says Bobby Culler. “During the week, 122 people gave their lives to Christ. The seeds have been planted, they’ve been watered, and now God must make them grow.

“We came with some preconceived notions of what the week was going to be like, but when we got here, we threw all that out the window and simply followed the leading of the Lord. No wonder it was a successful week.”

He adds, “Here’s another cool thing. All of the Bibles we brought and all of the extra VBS supplies and materials were divided into 4 piles for four different UB church here in Mexico. So our ministry to Zacapu has been multiplied and expanded among four churches. The pastors of these churches were so very thankful for their gifts.”

On July 24, the group said their goodbyes to Pastor Herberto and his family. Bobby Culler writes, “We were able to give them some money for all the food that they bought for us, plus another $1000 that will go toward the construction of the church. When we handed this money to them, they broke down and began crying. This was such an emotional thing for them to realize the support that Mt. Pleasant Church is giving them.

“Now here’s the cool part: when I handed the money to Pastor Herberto, he said that this money is not his but the Lord’s. Then he held the money out in his hand and asked all of us to lay our hands on this money, and he prayed and asked the Lord to multiply it and bless it for His glory and honor! What an incredibly humble man he is!”

The group then traveled the 6.5 hours to Mexico City, and headed to Domino’s Pizza for supper. They spent a relaxing Sunday visiting the Aztec ruins, climbing to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, and witnessing an Aztec worship service. Their final dinner in Mexico was at Chili’s. They then returned to Pennsylvania on Monday.

The Mexico group will share about the trip on August 29 during all three morning services at Mount Pleasant Church.

The Germany Mission Team.

The Germany Mission Team. Laura Branham (inset), from Nashville, Mich., was a late addition to the team.

The team at the home of Galen and Maritta Fiedler.

The team at the home of Galen and Maritta Fiedler (seated on the floor on the upper right).

The 11 members of the Germany Mission Team flew to Europe on Saturday, July 31. The team will participate in two five-day English camps at the Aloys-Henhoefer school in southern Germany, in what is a partnership between the school and Huntington University. Galen and Maritta Fiedler, Global Ministries staff, work at this school.

The first English Camp began on Monday, August 2. The day started at 8 a.m. with a team meeting, devotions, and prayer. They met their group for the week–2 team members, 7 students–and then traveled by bus to Karlsruhe for a photo scavenger hunt (get as many of the 19 photos as possible during the allotted time). After lunch at a park, they returned by bus to the school. The team members then went home with their host families.

Cathy Reich, co-leader (with husband J. R.), writes:

“Today was a great day for starting to build relationships with our students. Two team members were assigned 5 students and got to spend the day together, communicating to accomplish a task. The kids were great. Leaders within each team rose to the top and helped their team with what they needed to accomplish.

“The German students did a great job. They were mostly eager to try the American lunch, but weren’t terribly impressed with our way of making sandwiches. Most of them did not like the A&W root beer–it was too sweet! One even thought it tasted like bubble gum.

“Tonight (Monday) is the first night for the individual team members to be in their guest homes for the week. There is much excitement and very many opportunities to share their faith.”

About 260 people attended “Good Morning Greencastle,” an event hosted by Otterbein UB church of Greencastle, Pa., on Monday, August 2. The event was among the festivities of the 37th triennial Greencastle-Antrim Old Home Week.

“Good Morning Greencastle” featured singers, a comedy skit, a slideshow of local homes and gardens from the 1700s and 1800, and trivia questions about Greencastle thrown out to the audience.

The Herald-Mail published an article about the event, with photos. Take a look.