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Undergraduate Creativity on Display at Fine Arts Festival


Originally written by Joshua Stoiber

The Student Government Association (SGA) and Fine Arts Committee hosted their annual Fine Arts Festival on Sunday, April 6, in Hinkson Hall, showcasing a variety of creative submissions from students to be judged by professionals and enjoyed by members of the TIU community.

The evening began with a time of light refreshments and a chance for attendees to view each of the almost 100 submissions put on display, a record-breaking number for the Fine Arts Festival.

After the reception, the winners of the $100 grand prize for each category were announced. This year’s winners included Laura Brown for poetry, Andrew Koenig for prose, Michael Stevenson for photography, Lisa Kowieski for painting, Stacy Wilcox for graphic design, and Kyle Berry for musical composition.

After the winners were announced, a short presentation was given by Todd and Monica Rogers, proprietors of The Pig And Weasel, a local art venue that the couple run out of their home in Evanston. Their presentation told the story of how they went from the simple idea of creating an intimate performance venue to the thriving outlet for local culture that The Pig and Weasel has become. They also gave practical advice for students looking to make their own artistic dreams a reality.

The night concluded with the Trinity Oscars, SGA’s annual mini-film festival. Only the first and second place films were shown, which came from TIU students Michael Bowman and Megan Menke, respectively.

“I really enjoyed the event,” said TIU freshman Tiffany Valleau. “I thought that there was a really good balance between the festival’s more ceremonial aspects and the other parts of the evening, and the pieces were all very impressive.”

The festival represents a culmination of the Fine Arts Committee and SGA’s efforts to strengthen the creative community on campus.

“I think it’s important that a liberal arts college have a culture of creativity,” said Fine Arts Committee Chairman Dr. Brad Fruhauff. “It may be even more important for a Christian college; Christians should look to the Incarnation as evidence that God is interested in human bodies and the creation and the interaction of the two. The Fine Arts Festival is one way even a small campus like ours can gather to celebrate and enjoy our Creator’s gifts of creativity, and I think this year we demonstrated once again that college is about more than just a degree.”

The last major event for the TIU creative community will be the release of this year’s Trillium, Trinity’s undergraduate art journal, which was moved from a semester release to an annual “omnibus” edition in a move to provide a higher-quality publication.

“It’s going to be bigger, better, more colorful, and probably square,” said Fruhauff.

The Fine Arts Committee will be meeting one more time this year in order to discuss more ways that the Committee, SGA, and the Trillium can continue to foster the campus’s creative community over the next year. Some ideas that are being considered include guest speakers, workshops, and a book group. Student suggestions are welcome, and anyone interested can contact Dr. Fruhauff at

TEDS Dean Tite Tiénou Honored with Festschrift

In January, TEDS Dean Tite Tiénou was honored with a collection of essays from colleagues and former students, including TEDS Professor of Mission and Anthropology Robert J. Priest. Communities of Faith in Africa and the African Diaspora was edited by Casely B. Essamuah and David K. Ngaruiya (MDiv ’01, ThM ’04, and PhD ’08).

Communities of Faith is a collection of essays on the multicultural Christian spirit and practices of churches around the world, with particular attention to Africa and the African diaspora. The essays discuss history, theology, anthropology, ecumenism, and missiology. Specific topics addressed include Pentecostalism in Africa, gender roles in South African church communities, HIV/AIDS ministries in Uganda, and several other areas concerning the international role of the African church.

Dean Tiénou, a prominent global missiologist, joined the TEDS faculty in 1997. He also holds the position of co-provost and senior vice president of education and currently holds the Tite Tiénou Chair of Mission and Global Theology. He is a leading expert in the fields of missions, theology, and the African church.

The book is currently available for purchase through Wipf and Stock Publishers or through Amazon.

TIU Athletics Roundup

The departure of winter and the return of spring means a brand new athletic season here at TIU:

To cap off their season, two members of the Trojan men’s basketball team—Matt Heber and Zach Sweatman—were recognized as NAIA Scholar Athletes for their work on the court and in the classroom.

Meanwhile, the softball and baseball teams began their respective seasons with tournament play in Florida. The Trojan baseball team collected three big wins during the trip, including splitting a doubleheader against conference rival Trinity Christian College, while the softball team is still seeking their first win. Though both teams have returned home, they have yet to return to the diamond, as inclement weather has postponed or cancelled each contest.

Kingdom Leadership Grant Banquet

Kingdom Impact
by Andrew Koenig, with contributions from Joshua Stoiber

Outside TIU’s Nyberg Conference Room, a group of high school students rehearse a speech in front of a lavishly decorated presentation board. Inside the conference room, families waited around two tables, seated among Trinity faculty, staff, and another group of students. The room is filled with excited, yet slightly anxious, chatter.

The scene was a part of the Kingdom Impact Grant Banquet, an evening that lauded the culmination of several months’ worth of hard work. At last spring’s 360 Student Leadership Conference, hosted by TIU’s Emerging Kingdom Leaders, high school students were offered an opportunity to receive a grant from Trinity to put toward a ministry-minded project. According to the grant’s webpage, the purpose of the grants is “to empower high school youth to plan, conduct, and evaluate a service project that promotes human flourishing in God’s kingdom.”

Two teams were awarded grants, and over the course of the past year, they put their grants to use in their respective ministry areas, all the while evaluating, amending, and altering their plans for optimal impact by the end of 2013.

The purpose of the banquet was to allow the recipients of last year’s grants to share with Trinity faculty and staff about how they had used their money for their projects.

Hudson Nyhart, the sole representative for, was the first presenter. His website, he explained, seeks to provide an online classifieds service for ministries looking for staff or volunteers and helps advertise a ministry’s services to its communities.

Dinner TalkNyhart, whose team came up with the idea for CommissionConnection after the conference last spring, said that their biggest hurdle was finding an experienced web developer. The money from the grant allowed the team to hire a developer and get the site up and running in a matter of months. Though the site currently serves only the Milwaukee area, Nyhart hopes to eventually expand the site.

“We’re still working out some bugs,” Nyhart said.

The second group represented A&C Children’s Ministries from Milwaukee. According to the ministry’s four leaders—high schoolers who had held various VBS and youth outreach camps in their own yards for several years—they were desperately in need of worship equipment for their program. Once they received the grant, they were able to purchase the instruments and amplifiers needed to better facilitate worship among their growing number of kids. A&C was also able to use the money to fund a no-charge Bible study for local girls that focused on strong women of faith from the Bible and from the modern church.

The Kingdom Impact Grant will be made available to ministry-minded students again during this year’s Student Leadership Conference, which is held at TIU April 25–26. Those who are not able to attend the conference will still be able to apply here by June 30, 2014. Grant recipients will be announced in August.

Trinity Celebrates African-American Festival Week

Originally written by Joseph Englehardt, Trinity Digest Staff Writer

As a part of African-American History Month, Trinity will be celebrating African-American Festival Week from February 17-21, sponsored by the Multicultural Development Office (MDO).

Trinity’s organized observation of African-American History Month comes from MDO’s dedication to “education and awareness of multiculturalism in the local community, and unity for the sake of Christ and provide activities and programs to engage communication.”

“The purpose of African-American History Month is to celebrate African-American achievement, not just celebrating culture because everybody’s culture should be celebrated,” MDO director Clary Butler said.

Former MDO director and current Atlanta pastor Keith Norman will be the keynote speaker at this year’s African-American Festival, preaching during undergraduate chapels throughout the week. Trinity’s Gospel Choir will also lead worship as in previous years.

On February 20, MDO and Trinity’s Discipleship Cabinet (DCAB) will be co-hosting a multiculturalism workshop.

The celebration of African-American History Month on Trinity’s campus continues after the festival. A haircare workshop specifically tailored to the unique qualities of African hair, but open to everyone, will be available Saturday, February 22. A shuttle will also be provided to Sign of the Dove, a multicultural church in Waukegan, on Sunday, February 23.

Last year’s AAFW included an event called High Definition, which focused on urban fashion and performance art. A similar event, Night at the Apollo, on Friday, February 28 will feature improv, poetry, and music. The title of the event references the TV show “Showtime at the Apollo,” which was well-known for its amateur talent night and featured many up-and-coming African-American performers.

Any questions about African-American Festival Week can be directed to the Multicultural Development Office at

TIU Missions Team Visits India

Written by Allison Koenig, Digest staff writer

A group of twelve TIU students returned from an 18-day mission trip to Rapelle, India on Tuesday, January 14, where they partnered with the India Rural Evangelical Fellowship (IREF) — a missions organization that works to spread the gospel in rural India through church plants and other service projects.

The team lived on the IREF compound for the majority of their time in India. The compound also serves as housing and a school to about 3,000 orphans. During their stay, the team prepared songs and skits to perform for both the Vacation Bible School program and the youth conference, and helped to pray over participants and serve communion at the conference.

Staff leader and Johnson Hall assistant residence director Kelly Newlin shared of the team’s work in India. It was Newlin’s first time participating in the annual trip.

“We did a lot of children-focused ministry, including a Vacation Bible School program for the compound’s children. We also helped with an evangelistic youth conference, which about 5,000 kids attended,” Newlin said. “Kids came from hundreds of miles away for the conference.”

Sophomore Katlyn Stoneman shared a story of how their ministry through music had an affect on the compound’s children, even across language barriers.

“We were helping a doctor and his wife with scabies and lice treatments one day at the school. A lot of the kids were crying because the treatment is pretty painful and scary, but they asked to sing the song, ‘I’m Trading my Sorrows’ with me. They didn’t know it, but they were singing a song about giving up their sickness and present pain to the Lord, and it was just amazing. I get goose-bumps when I think about it.”

TIU sophomore and Missions Cabinet (MCAB) Advocacy Representative Heidi Backstrom made her second trip to India this year. She noted that her prior experience at the IREF compound, along with the trip’s extension this year to a full two weeks at the compound, allowed for greater engagement with the culture and with those they ministered to.

“The trip being longer definitely made a difference. Last year, we had to leave right as we were starting to get to know the kids, but this year, we had more time and could get to know them better,” Backstrom said.

Backstrom also shared of the cultural issues that create difficulty in IREF’s work, including the poor treatment of women and the lingering effects of the caste system.
“Even though the caste system isn’t legal anymore, it’s definitely a problem,” Backstrom said. “When they [IREF] plant churches, they have to plant a church for the higher caste people and one for the lower caste people, and then try to merge them together.”