bestworkplaces_100.jpgHuntington University is one of 33 organizations listed among the Best Christian Workplaces Institute in the US, according to the Best Christian Workplaces Institute.

The survey involved more than 7,834 employees in 67 organizations across the US to identify great workplaces with a Christian mission and/or values. Based on the survey, people love to work for the Best Christian Workplaces for two reasons: the cause and the culture.

Three members of the United Brethren missions family will receive honorary doctorates from Huntington University during the May 17 Commencement exercises.

Rev. Russ and Nellie Birdsall will be recognized for their service in missions, education, and other ministries. Russ will receive a Doctor of Divinity and Nellie a Doctor of Humane Letters.

Rev. Owen Gordon, president of Jamaica Bible College, will also receive a Doctor of Divinity.

birdsalls.jpgRuss and Nellie Birdsall (right) graduated from Huntington College in 1953, both with Bachelor of Science degrees in education. Nellie taught school for three years in Huntington while Russ completed seminary. Then, in 1957, they headed to Sierra Leone as missionaries. Russ served as education secretary and business manager, while Nellie became the mission house hostess and was involved in women’s and children’s ministries.

The Birdsalls concluded their missionary service in 1968, when Russ became Dean of Students at Huntington College and, later, Director of Church Services and Alumni. Meanwhile, Nellie resumed teaching elementary students in the Huntington public school system. She also taught GED courses at the Huntington County Jail.


platt-ty_small.JPGTy Platt (right) will take over as head coach of Huntington University men’s basketball team, beginning in the 2008-2009 season, the University announced on April 1. Platt succeeds his father, Steve Platt, who coached the Foresters for 14 years.

The younger Platt has served as associate head coach of the Foresters since 2005. He joined the staff after coaching 12 years in the high school ranks, most recently six years at Norwell high school in Ossian, Ind.

2007_HU_plate_small.jpgThe Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has released a special recognition motorcycle license plate for Huntington University. The design features the university’s athletic logo.

An authorization form is needed to purchase the plate from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles office.

Specialty plates are available for a number of organizations within the state, and all require some additional fees. The Huntington University plate is being offered with the minimum required $15 administrative fee assessed by the BMV. No extra fee will be collected by Huntington University.

Many people already own the license plate available for passenger cars, trucks, and recreational vehicles.

Huntington University‘s Graduate School will consolidate two programs into one new program. The Master of Arts programs in pastoral ministries and discipling ministries will be merged to form the new Master of Arts in ministry leadership program.

In addition, the university’s Graduate School of Christian Ministries will now be referred to as the Graduate School and will encompass the new program, the online Master of Arts program in youth ministry leadership, the new graduate counseling program, the Master of Education program, a diploma in pastoral leadership program, and continuing education courses.

Beginning in the fall of 2008, the Ministry Leadership program will prepare graduate students for healthy and balanced pastoral leadership and train them to equip, teach, mentor and lead others to grow and serve as disciples of Jesus Christ.

The Master of Arts in ministry leadership is recognized by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ as the basic standard for ordination.

This summer, the Huntington University will host its third Summer Theatre Youth Camp. From June 25-July 20, campers entering grades kindergarten through 12 in the fall will learn basic theatrical training from theatre professionals and perform a fully produced musical theatre production. This summer’s performance will be “Guys and Dolls Jr.,” and every camper will have a part.

The camp will run Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Huntington University Merillat Centre for the Arts with performances on July 20. Camp will not be held on July 4.

The cost is $175 per camper with a late registration fee of $25 after May 1. Space is limited to 50 campers.

In 2006, the first camp of 16 children performed “Music Man Jr.” In 2007, the camp’s enrollment for “Annie Jr.” more than doubled from the previous year.

David and Kristi Shamburger, Huntington University theatre faculty, serve as co-camp directors. The Shamburgers created and directed summer youth musical theatre camps in Georgia and have experience with the Nevada School of the Arts youth theatre programming.

David most enjoys the enthusiasm and passion of the young actors. “To them it is magic,” he said. “I always try to get my actors to return to a sense of play. The children still have that, and it’s nice to work with.”

Bishop Emeritus Paul Hirschy, now on staff at Huntington University, is offering to local churches the “Good Sense” stewardship training produced by the Willow Creek Association. This is a six hour session which can be offered on Saturday or Sunday.

The Good Sense training helps participants understand biblical stewardship principles and develop a personal spending plan. It clarifies the danger of consumer debt and points out how this debt is keeping many from being able to enjoy the realization that they can be good stewards of all that God has entrusted to them.

The cost to the church or the participant is $15 per manual (couples share one manual). You can contact Paul Hirschy at or call toll-free 1-866-213-3710 to schedule the training or ask questions.

The prayer chapel in Huntington University’s new residence hall will be called the Paul R. Fetters Chapel after Dr. Paul Fetters, who has spent his career serving the United Brethren in Christ Church as a pastor and in the Graduate School of Christian Ministries.

The Huntington University Board of Trustees adopted the resolution naming the chapel Jan. 26. President G. Blair Dowden (left, congratulating Dr. Fetters) shared the news with the campus community February 15 at the annual Honors Convocation.

“It is my privilege to recognize a colleague who epitomizes Christ-centeredness in his scholarship, his teaching, his ministry, and his personal life,” Dowden said.

Enrolling at Huntington in 1951, Fetters earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1955, followed by a Bachelor of Divinity from the Huntington College Theological Seminary in 1959. He earned a Master of Divinity from Eastern Baptist, now Palmer, Theological Seminary in Philadelphia; a Master of Education in Counseling from the University of St. Francis in 1975; and a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena. During the past 10 years, his studies have continued at the University of British Columbia, Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Joining the faculty in 1960 as a part time instructor in the Huntington College Theological Seminary, he filled several adjunct faculty positions during his 18 years of pastoral ministry. Later in 1972 as a full-time professor of practical theology, he was instrumental in the seminary transformation into the Graduate School of Christian Ministries, serving as director and dean from 1972 until 1997.

A contributor to a variety of denominational publications, religious periodicals and journals, Fetters served as general editor of several UB-related books, including Trials and Triumphs: History of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ and Theological Perspectives: Arminian-Wesleyan Reflections on Theology. He has taught in many of the countries where you’ll find UB churches, including Canada, Sierra Leone, Honduras, Jamaica, and Hong Kong.
He continues to invest himself in the students of Huntington University as a professor in the Bible and Religion Department and through mentoring young adults at College Park Church in Huntington, Ind.

The prayer chapel will be housed in the new residence hall, Livingston Hall, named after the historic dormitory of the same name. The building was demolished in 1988, and RichLyn Library was constructed on the site.

“What an honor!” Fetters said. “The chapel located in Livingston Hall will perpetuate the memories of the early beginnings of the Graduate School of Christian Ministries, which was housed in the original Livingston Hall, 1977-1987.”