Huntington University is adding three new online programs:

  1. Associate degree in organizational management.
  2. Bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  3. Bachelor’s degree in management.

The first fully online program offered will be the Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a major in not-for-profit leadership. Although the official launch of this online program will be in January 2010, some online courses leading to this degree are being offered this fall.

Huntington already offers a hybrid master’s degree program in youth ministry leadership that has both online and in-class components. The university’s online offerings also include some master’s degree courses in other programs, including counseling, education and ministry.

Award-winning Christian radio station Star 88.3 WLAB-FM and Huntington University have formed a strategic alliance. Huntington University will extend financial support to the newly-established Star Educational Media Network, a non-profit formed to purchase Star 88.3 in May. In return, the college will receive:

  • A significant stake in the enterprise,.
  • Several positions on the board of directors.
  • On-air and off-air promotion.
  • Expanded learning opportunities for students.

In addition:

  • Star 88.3 is involved in many kinds of community outreach. This new relationship will provide numerous opportunities for collaborative volunteer service in the greater Fort Wayne area.
  • HU’s campus radio station (The FUSE 105.5 FM) will benefit from the Christian broadcasting expertise of Star 88.3 staff and national consultants.
  • Star 88.3 receives many benefits from record labels and recording artists nationwide. These relationships will create opportunities for on-campus and off-campus performances.

Star 88.3 has 70,000 weekly listeners, and in 2009 was named Gospel Music Association’s Radio Station of the Year at the Dove Awards.

You can read more on Huntington University’s news page.


Huntington University‘s Department of Nursing has acquired 11 manikins for lab and clinical classes. Junior nursing majors, with an anticipated graduation date of May 2011, will be the first to use them in the fall of 2009.

Of the 11 manikins at the Nursing Department’s disposal, four are VitalSims, one is a SimMan, and the remaining six manikins serve more basic functions than the others.

The four VitalSims–one male, one female, one infant and one child–are equipped to be as lifelike as possible. Each one, when plugged in, resorts to the default setting and begins to make respiratory sounds and has a heartbeat and stomach gurgles. As the instructor changes the settings, different scenarios can happen. The manikin can have high blood pressure, the respiratory sounds of a person with pneumonia, stitches, and a myriad of other symptoms of various illnesses and diseases.

The VitalSims manikins are programmed so that students can give full head-to-toe assessments. They also have the capability to give students the experience of performing procedures including, but not limited to, catheters and intravenous therapy. 

SimMan is similar to the VitalSims but more sophisticated. SimMan can do everything that the VitalSims can do and more. He will be hooked up to all the typical monitoring devices that one would see in a hospital setting, each monitoring an actual function of SimMan, including heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen level and more.

The purpose of SimMan is for students to work with him in simulated scenarios. SimMan has set scenarios and has the option of new scenarios being programmed into him. These scenarios simulate real-to-life timeframes and situations to which students will respond. For instance, during one scenario, a student may be performing a routine procedure when suddenly, SimMan’s blood pressure will spike. The students must make rapid decisions and perform the necessary procedures to stabilize the manikin, or he may simulate a stroke that the student will then have to respond to as well. SimMan is so advanced that his settings allow students to “save him” or “kill him.”

The remaining six manikins are less sophisticated but still useful for training. Each one allows students to become accustomed to performing sterile procedures, moving patients in beds, helping patients to the shower and restroom, as well as other basic nursing functions.

Huntington University will launch a new initiative this summer designed to prepare educators for the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Curriculum development, staffing, and the acquisition of equipment and library resources will begin this month.

The Institute for TESOL Studies and related academic courses are an outgrowth of long-term relationships between Huntington University faculty and educators in China. fetters_lukeDr. Luke Fetters (right), who formerly worked 11 years in Macau, is under contract to provide teacher training in Zhuhai City, China. By the end of this summer, Fetters and his team of Huntington faculty, local teachers and volunteers will have trained nearly 400 Chinese educators in English-teaching skills.

The university’s new Institute for TESOL Studies will build upon this foundation and extend new learning opportunities to HU students. Fetters will serve as the director of the institute.

“We anticipate tremendous benefits for Huntington University students, especially those planning careers in education or other professional service in an intercultural setting,” said Fetters. “Future teachers will be better prepared to teach students for whom English is not their first language. Ministry students, social workers and others also may have interest in TESOL training as they prepare to serve various non-English-speaking populations.”


Dr. Terrell Peace (right), chair of HU’s Department of Education, agrees. “There is growing demand for teachers and other professionals who have the ability to bridge cultural and language barriers,” he said. “In our local school corporation, for example, the number of students for whom English is a second language has increased tenfold in the past eight years.”

Pending state approval, the Institute for TESOL Studies will offer English as a New Language (ENL) certification for HU education students and area teachers. Huntington University also will offer a TESOL minor to HU students pursuing a degree in any discipline. Additional formal training and informal consulting in ENL and TESOL methodologies will be available to local, regional and international schools, agencies and social service organizations.


The Excel staff. Dr. Rick Upchurch, clad in his chef’s apron, is on the left. Sharon Custer is front-right.

One of the nice perks of working at Healthy Ministry Resources is rubbing shoulders with the staff of the Huntington University Graduate School. They all have offices in our building. The ones we see most often are with the EXCEL adult education program. Among them is Sharon Custer.sharon_200.jpg

Sharon Custer (right) has taught at Huntington University for 36 years, since 1973. She is retiring from the university this year. She will continue doing some teaching for EXCEL, but looks forward to spending time with grandchildren and going on motorcycle road trips with her husband, Lee (who plans to teach one more year at Huntington North High School).

Yesterday morning, the EXCEL staff held a going-away breakfast for Sharon. Rick Upchurch, director of the EXCEL program, made chocolate gravy, if you can imagine the concept.

Some of you may have had Sharon for classes at Huntington. We all wish Sharon well.

On Saturday, Huntington University awarded degrees to another 235 graduates. This 111th commencement was held in the Field House of the Merillat Complex for Physical Education and Recreation. The break-down included:

  • 7 Master of Arts degrees.
  • 6 Master of Education degrees.
  • 62 Bachelor of Arts degrees.
  • 198 Bachelor of Science degrees.
  • 7 even Bachelor of Social Work degrees.
  • 21 Associate of Science degrees.
  • 3 honorary doctorates.

You can view more photos from Commencement and Baccalaureate at the Huntington University site.

This spring, as part of my sabbatical, I had the privilege of taking some time away from campus to study the Civil Rights Movement and the African-American experience. Chris and I read several books on African-American history and visited numerous historic civil rights sites in 10 cities in Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama.

The experience was enlightening, sobering, sad, discouraging and motivating. Perhaps the greatest point of sadness was the realization that too few of us were involved in this movement to right the wrongs of racism. Perhaps Edward Gilbraith said it best in Reconciliation Blues when he writes: “Looking back, it seems that most white evangelicals were out to lunch during the Civil Rights Movement–or worse, on the wrong side.” (p. 108)

This three-week intensive study has affirmed for me the importance of our work as a University toward racial and ethnic reconciliation. My desire is for Huntington to model the kind of diverse community that is consistent with Scripture and our faith.

Our Diversity Committee is already developing plans to undertake a year-long, campus-wide emphasis in 2009-2010 to study issues of cultural, ethnic and racial diversity. This is important work and I look forward to the involvement of all faculty, staff, students and Board members in this discussion.

I ended my spring sabbatical by running my 7th marathon (26.2 miles) in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Huntington University will award three honorary doctorates during Commencement exercises on May 16:

  • Dr. John Bernbaum, founder and president of the American Christian University in Moscow, Russia.
  • Robert and Sue Miller, entrepreneurs and owners of Essenhaus Inc. in Middlebury, Ind.


Dr. Michael Cook will become the director of graduate ministries at Huntington University on June 1. This is a key position in the training of new ministers.

Cook currently chairs the Christian Ministries Department at Taylor University Fort Wayne, where he has served for the last 12 years. He developed the Bachelor of Science degree in counseling program at TUFW and a number of new courses. Before TUFW, Cook taught at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Cook served as the counseling pastor at First Missionary Church in Fort Wayne for four years and has worked in other churches and counseling centers as a clinic director, staff counselor, research consultant, youth pastor, and associate pastor.

Cook holds a Ph.D. and Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from Albany State University in Georgia.

As director of graduate ministries, Cook will oversee all the graduate ministries programs as well as the Diploma in Christian Ministries, and teach courses in these programs. He will work closely with the other graduate program directors and relevant denominational committees.