USNewsColleges.jpgHuntington University, for the 12th consecutive year, ranks as one of the best comprehensive colleges in the Midwest, according to U. S. News and World Report. The 2007 guide to America’s Best Colleges places HU 16th among 107 institutions in the Midwest Comprehensive Colleges category. Conference rival Taylor University ranked third. Calvin College (Michigan) and St. Mary’s College (Indiana) share the top spot.

Huntington University has made its first foray into distance learning with its Masters of Arts in Youth Ministry Leadership. The program started in October 2005 with three students, and now has 13 students. It involves a combination of distance and online courses, with courses offered in Colorado, Ohio, Florida and other locations near national conferences for youth workers.

This summer, the program earned accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

By offering master’s degree in youth ministry leadership. Each course begins with 30 days of online communication, learning activities, and fellowship. Three days of intense class time follow, giving students and faculty a face-to-face opportunity to discuss, debate, and theorize about relevant ministry topics. The remaining coursework and research activity is facilitated through an additional 60 days of online interaction.

Huntington partnered with Youth Specialties and Youth for Christ to create the program. Classes currently meet in Fort Myers, Fla.; Denver, Col.; Huntington, Ind.; and at one Youth Specialties National Youth Workers’ Convention per year. This year, that convention is in Cincinnati, Ohio. Current students come from Maryland, Texas, Oregon, Georgia, Virginia, Florida, Alabama, Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio.

myers_bob.jpgBob Myers (right), assistant professor of Worship Leadership for Huntington University, has earned his Doctor of Worship Studies from the Institute for Worship Studies in Orange Park, Fla.

Myers came to Huntington in the fall of 2005, joining the Department of Ministry and Missions. He heads up the new Worship Leadership program initiated in 2004. In addition to his doctorate, Myers holds a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from California State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Biola University. 

Myers came to Huntington from Sioux City, Iowa, where he served as pastor of worship at Central Baptist Church. As a pastor there since 1997, he planned and led both traditional and contemporary worship, oversaw various vocal and instrumental ensembles, taught classes on worship, and instituted the “Living Christmas Tree,” a program attended by more than 6,000 people each year. His professional experience also includes serving as worship leader for a Promise Keepers gathering.

zezulaDr. Patricia Zezula has decided to retire after 37 years on the Huntington University faculty. She began as an instructor in the Department of Physical Education in 1969 and moved up through the ranks, becoming a full professor in 1990. Zezula earned her doctorate in educational administration from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.

Upon her graduation from Huntington University in 1969, the University hired Zezula as an instructor, assistant athletic director and coach. At various times during her first 15 years on staff, Zezula assumed head-coaching responsibilities of every woman’s sport the college offered. In 1982, she was promoted to athletic director, giving her the distinction of becoming the first female intercollegiate athletic director in Indiana.

“It has been a privilege to work at Huntington, and I look forward to continue teaching on a part- time basis,” says Dr. Zezula.

GodspellStudents from Huntington University are spending the summer performing the musical “Godspell” throughout the midwest. The schedule includes about 20 UB churches–in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Ontario, Florida, and Kentucky (the Little Laurel UB church).

Pat Jones, the UB Director of Healthy Church Ministries, recommends the play to United Brethren audiences. He writes:
“I was recently asked by the Admissions and Theater departments of Huntington University to sit in on a dress rehearsal of their 2006 Summer Tour production of Godspell. You could probably join me in reciting the words of many of the songs that were popularized in this musical when it was first produced in the ’70’s, such as ‘Day by Day’ and ‘Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord.’

“Once again I was struck with the remarkable way this story presents the psychological, social, and relational trends that represent us as sinful human beings through the centuries and then gives voice to Jesus speaking the truths of the Sermon on the Mount and familiar parables into those trends. The dialog and songs are firmly based in Scripture. What makes this even more striking is to realize that the creator of Godspell is not a believer.

“This is a high energy, fun theatrical presentation of the powerful Gospel of our Lord. Dance, lighting, varied musical instruments, humor, sarcasm, and simple props force us as the audience to see and hear ourselves and our condition. We are then hit with the high calling and demand of Jesus to live above it all through Him. You will not be disappointed in inviting your unsaved friends to it. This is a great opportunity to reach into the lives of our pre-Christian, unbelieving friends with a high quality, Scripturally sound presentation of the Gospel. It gives a foundation for further dialog with your friends about the Gospel, and just may serve as the bridge to see them come to faith in Christ. I recommend it to you.”

Some openings remain in the schedule. If you want to investigate the possibility of booking a performance, even at this late date, call Jeremy Rufener at the University: 260-224-3290.

A team of three staff members, one alumnus, and ten students from Huntington University left for a 24-day mission trip to Uganda on May 16.
While there, the group will worship with communities, show “The Jesus Film,” do construction work, and facilitate vacation Bible schools. In addition, the team will meet with representatives from Uganda Christian University, Samaritan’s Purse, the U.S. Embassy, and Wycliffe Bible Translators. 
The course description is as follows: “The purpose of this course is to expose students to the issues of HIV/AIDS, poverty, and mission strategies in Uganda, Africa. They will be called upon to integrate academic thought and practical experience in order to shape a Christian worldview. From May 14-June 5, 2006, students will work with Food for the Hungry’s various ministry sites. These include the Child Development Program for HIV/AIDS orphans; Bringing Hope, the HIV/AIDS medical ministry and abstinence program; and the local churches’ clean water initiatives. In addition to ministry experience, students will have the opportunity to hear local leaders discuss the issues and trends in medicine, social ills and church leadership.” 


Huntington University unveiled a new strategic plan which includes doubling the enrollment to 2000 students by the year 2016. The plan resulted from a year-long effort by the University Innovation Task Force, a 24-member group of faculty, staff, students, administrators and trustees.
Other goals include doubling the endowment (currently valued at $21 million), raising the five-year graduation rate to 75 percent, strengthening the academic ethos of the campus, and reaching competitive compensation targets for faculty and staff (with salaries in the top 25 percent for the Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities).


burnett_mike.jpgAre you looking for a different kind of summer camp? This coming July the Huntington University Department of Theatre Arts will host its inaugural Huntington University Summer Theatre Youth Camp.  From June 26 to July 21, campers ages 6 to 15 will learn basic theatrical training from theatre professionals and perform a fully produced musical theatre production. This summer’s performance will be a junior version of the “Music Man” in which 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 22. There will be no camp session on July 3 or 4.


Ann McPherrenDr. Ann McPherren has been appointed vice president for Huntington University Planning and Strategy. She will report directly to President G. Blair Dowden and will be part of the Senior Leadership Team. The position gives McPherren responsibility for coordination, development, implementation, and monitoring of the new strategic plan and process. She will also continue serving as professor of business and economics, teaching six hours each semester. McPherren celebrates 25 years of service at the University this year. She graduated from HU in 1979.

Huntington University held its annual Forester Night recognition program on May 2. Outstandng Senior awards are given to a person in each academic department. In addition, the student body votes on the following three awards:
Mary Ruthi

  • Dr. Mary Ruthi (right), professor of sociology, was chosen by the student body as Professor of the Year. Ruthi, who has taught at Huntington for over 24 years, is chair of the Division of History, Social Sciences and Education.
  • Jenna Rodgers, a senior educational ministries major from Franklin, Pa., was named Female Forester of the Year.
  • Andy Vaught, a senior history major from Roanoke, Ind., was named Male Forester of the Year. Vaught also received the Outstanding Senior recognition from the Department of Bible & Religion.