Trinity College, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Trinity Graduate School graduates were challenged to use their education to invest their lives in the gospel of Christ for the sake of others during TIU’s 116th Annual Commencement Ceremonies.
Far from being simply a day of graduation traditions, Commencement at Trinity is intended to be a time of celebration and gratitude for God’s provision. This is the day when the collective efforts of students, families, churches, friends and other support systems were recognized, when we gratefully acknowledged the resources God has provided for the attaining of a specific goal, and when graduates hopefully anticipated and began the next phase of the journey to which our triune Lord has called them.
For the safety of this year’s keynote speaker and the organization he leads in a “closed” country, all references will remain anonymous, but we can still share the powerful commissioning he gave to graduates.
The speaker acknowledged that his charge was likely the last lecture graduates would be required to hear, and he started with a pointed question: “Some of the most educated people in the world have no idea why they were born. Do you?”
He then went on to exhort graduates to do the very things they were probably instructed not to do as children: play in the dirt, hang out with the wrong crowd, and walk near the edge. To play in the dirt and get their hands dirty, graduates need to be willing to go wherever the Lord sends them, truly investing themselves in often seemingly inglorious and “unclean” work—not least when the cost is high. Hanging out with the wrong crowd means investing their lives in the lives of others—no matter what their status—in order to show them the love of Christ. This is precisely what Jesus did. And walking close to the edge means taking risks, challenging themselves to be bold for the sake of Christ’s gospel.
“There’s nothing more nauseating than Christians who think the world revolves them,” the speaker said. “It matters where you invest your life.”
Trinity’s Alumni of the Year were also announced and honored at their respective ceremonies. This year’s honorees are Drs. Randall and Rebekah Basinger (Trinity College), and EFCA President Dr. William Hamel (TEDS).
Hamel also shared with graduates about the direction the Lord took his life since his college graduation. He had originally intended on becoming a math teacher and a football coach, but the Lord instead led him to TEDS and then to the pastorate for many years before becoming EFCA President.
“If you don’t know what to do with your life, that’s okay,” Hamel said. “Trust your future to a faithful God.”
Please join the Trinity community in congratulating our 2013 graduates and celebrating the work of God in their lives.
With thankful hearts, the Trinity community expresses its love and gratitude to Craig and Carolyn Williford’s dedicated service to its mission—to educate men and women to engage in God’s redemptive work in the world by cultivating academic excellence, Christian faithfulness, and lifelong learning.
On Monday, May 20, all Trinity faculty and staff will have an opportunity to express that love and gratitude to the Willifords from 1:30–3:00 p.m. in the Lantern Lounge. The reception will include refreshments as well as cards, so that anyone may write a note of appreciation to Craig and Carolyn.
by Wendy Moore, assistant sports information director
On Saturday, May 4, Trinity International University Men’s and Women’s Soccer spent their final team activity of the year serving the local community and sharing their love of the game with youth from North Chicago.
Freshmen Nikki Post said that they spent time “teaching the kids about the NAIA Champions of Character Core Values, what those values look like in everyday life, and just letting them know they are loved.”
“I can’t think of a better way to end our year than serving the Lord by loving on these kids,” Post added.
The North Chicago community is about 15 miles from Trinity’s campus, but the two worlds could not be more different. Trinity is located in affluent Bannockburn, Illinois, surrounded by major business corporations, strong school districts, and upper class neighborhoods. A twenty-minutes drive north, however, reveals an under-resourced community that at one time was called a “food desert.” Many of the youth from North Chicago have faced difficulties beyond their years.
Trinity’s soccer players organized the day in its entirety—from games and activity stations to how they would greet the kids the minute they stepped off the bus. The five NAIA Core Values of Sportsmanship, Respect, Servant Leadership, Integrity, and Responsibility were integrated into the different activities throughout the day. One TIU Men’s Player and Women’s Player would be at each station to speak on a specific core value and interact with the youth on how they could apply it to their lives. The core values would also be strategically woven into the activity and then talked about after each game. The remaining soccer players who did not take part in this facilitation were divided into teams and each of them selected a few boys and girls that they would then be intentionally spending time with throughout the day.
“I hung with a kid named Marson all day,” Trinity Junior Greg Navitsky said. “We had so much fun! His joy and love for the atmosphere was electric. At each station we did a handshake that we came up with, and he also asked me to give him piggyback rides to all the stations. It reminded me of how the love of Jesus Christ loves to be present with us and how he never grows tired, weak, or weary.”
After two hours of fun, fellowship, and learning, the day came to a close with a pizza party.
Trinity Men’s and Women’s Soccer Head Coach Patrick Gilliam said that he is “extremely proud of both our small group leaders and our two teams for their planning in the weeks leading up to the event and their investment in the youth of North Chicago. As is often the case, I think we were the ones who were more blessed by what took place.”
Trinity Athletics has announced the recent hire of Laurel Wartluft as the new head women’s basketball coach. Wartluft comes to Trinity with extensive experience as a collegiate basketball coach, having served at Kent State, Moody Bible Institute, and, most recently, at Walsh University, where she was the head women’s basketball coach and assistant athletics director.
“As a highly successful coach at previous institutions, Coach Wartluft has the background and experience necessary to develop a highly successful program at Trinity International University,” said TIU Director of Athletics Dr. Tony Ladd.
She has career coaching achievements that include consecutive trips to the NAIA National Basketball Tournament in 2010 and 2011, as well as a Final Four appearance in 2011. Coach Wartluft is replacing Summer Fine who resigned the position earlier this year.
Call for Papers
January 22, 2013, marked the centennial of the birth of the late Carl F. H. Henry. An architect of the modern evangelical movement in the U.S., Henry was involved in the inception of Fuller Seminary, Christianity Today, and the Evangelical Theological Society. He was also a professor, friend, and supporter of TEDS, leaving us both his single largest gift and his personal archives. This centennial moment offers a marvelous opportunity not only to commemorate and celebrate Carl Henry’s life of ministry and love of God, but also to rekindle the enduring significance of his theological vision for a new generation of evangelical scholarship, continuing the spirit of philosophical, theological, and social engagement that Henry envisioned.
Please consider sharing your research paper or project at this year’s Henry celebration (Oct. 11, 2013 at TEDS) and in the Spring 2014 edition of Trinity Journal. Some examples of potential research papers to be presented at the conference might include:
- Carl Henry’s Theology of Revelation and Scripture
- Evangelicalism and Social Engagement
- Carl Henry’s place in twentieth-century theology
- Carl Henry on Mercy and Justice
- Carl Henry’s Theological Interpretation of Scripture
- Evangelicalism and Theological Education
Proposals should include a title of no more than 100 characters and an abstract not to exceed 250 words. They should also include name, email address, and place of employment/study. The proposals are due by July 1, 2013, and should be submitted to Geoffrey Fulkerson: email@example.com.
Six essays will be accepted and announced by July 15. The selected essayists, in addition to having their travel expenses covered to the Remembering Carl Henry Conference (Oct. 11, 2013 at TEDS), will be given a $500 honorarium, and the selected essays will appear in the spring edition of Trinity Journal.
Update: Chapel will now be held indoors (in the ATO Chapel) on Friday, and Summer Send-Off festivities are being moved inside the Waybright Center.
On Friday, May 3, Trinity International University will celebrate the end of the academic year with a Summer Send-off on the Waybright lawn. Come together as a community, share a meal together, and encourage and celebrate the labors of the past year.
College chapel services will be held outside on the Waybright lawn at 11 a.m., followed by a picnic lunch, live music, and games. The event will last until 3 p.m., so come and go as you please.
Hawkins Dining Hall will be closed for lunch during this time. Individuals on a meal plan can swipe for lunch and others can pay $7 for the meal. Lunch will be available until 2 p.m. and will be packaged in a to-go box, so it will be easy to grab and go for people on the run. While some picnic tables will be set up, plan on bringing a picnic/beach blanket for chapel/lunch.
Sponsored by Student Affairs. Please contact Heather Cordero at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Trinity’s undergraduate leadership program Emerging Kingdom Leaders (EKL) hosted their first ever sold-out annual conference, with 400 high school students attending on April 26 – 27. EKL is a leadership program designed for freshman undergraduate students, and students can continue to participate as mentors throughout their undergraduate career.
The conference, hosted by current EKL freshman and leaders, consisted of three main sessions, three workshop sessions, a TOMS Sole party and a variety of other fun activities. The main session speaker, Pastor of Spiritual Formation at River Valley Church Matt Tebbe, shared about the 360° theme of the conference. Director of Leadership Development and Director of the Office of Christian Formation and Mission Katherine Jeffery said the conference looked at each part of life and how to grow in each part, with Christ in the center of it all. EKL developed the 360° logo around this idea, with the cross forming a circle.
Students attending the conference had the opportunity to attend several workshops, all focused on different aspects of the holistic circle of Christian life.
- “The Well-Rounded Woman” by TIU Cordinator of Minority Student Engagement Joi McGowan
- “Well-Rounded Relationships” by Residence Director Israel Diaz
- “Well-Rounded and Globally-Minded” by Movement121 CEO and President Brad Jeffery
- “Centering Your Circle: Reliance on God” by Trinity junior Steve Durgin
- “Expanding Your Circle: Being Bold and Courageous” by Director of the Multicultural Development Office (MDO) Devlin Scott
- “Shaping Your Circle: How the World Sees You” by Trinity senior Stephen Cartwright
- “Academics: Thinking in Circles” by PhD Program of Educational Studies Director Dr. Donald Guthrie
- “Social Media: Spheres of Influence” by Trinity sophomore Alex Johnson and sophomore Alyssa Dixon
- “Mentorship: Speaking into the Circle” by Trinity senior Hannah Merrifield
- “Evangelism: Bringing Others into the Circle” by Trinity senior Joshua Wheeler
- “Running in Circles: Leadership for Athletes” by TIU Head Men and Women’s Soccer Coach Patrick Gilliam
For youth leaders accompanying their youth groups or students to the conference, Trinity Assistant Professor of Business Dr. Antony Beckham presented two different workshops, “Concentric Circles: Influence Matters” and “Circles not Squares: from Programs to Formation.”
EKL began in 2007. Each year, EKL members work towards the conference as their year-end project and take on individual responsibilities. EKL members were divided up into groups for planning the workshops, main sessions, hospitality, Friday night coffee house, team challenge, and the TOMS sole party. At the sole party, students were each given a pair of white canvas TOMS shoes to decorate.
This year, 400 students attended the conference, coming from from Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. EKL members have been seeking out creative ways to get the word out about the conference, such as a EKL 360 Leadership Conference Facebook group and a “EKL Harlem Shake” YouTube video. These measures have proved effective, as only 107 students signed up last year. This year’s conference also offered an additional perspective for future athletic leaders and a global perspective with Movement 121′s presence at the conference, advocating a one-to-one connection between consumers and crafters worldwide.
Junior Brittany Aylesworth has been involved with EKL since her freshman year. She first attended the conference in high school because of her leadership involvement in high school.
“It looked like the perfect opportunity to get my foot in the door right away,” Aylesworth said.
Aylesworth was on the workshop committee, and spent the past few months brainstorming topics, recruiting speakers, and working through logistics. The best part of the conference for Aylesworth is the students that attended.
“I love seeing the high school students and knowing that not only are those prospective Trinity students, they are more importantly future leaders. It is awesome to think that God might be using our conference to affect future teachers, ministers, businessmen, or world leaders,” she said.
Jeffery said preparing for the conference helps the freshman EKL members learn more about themselves and their leadership style as they get out of their comfort zone in different activities. Throughout the year, EKL members have been reading through the book Introduction to Leadership by Peter Northouse.
“Many of the students have had to call up different churches to talk about the conference. For some of them it’s a fun thing, for others it’s not,” Jeffery said. “A lot of them went above and beyond what they were asked to do.”
Sophomore Michael Smith is a communications major and an EKL mentor. He oversaw the hospitality committee for the conference. In some instances, this even involved using his communications experience to edit conference materials.
“I think the opportunity to plan a conference is one that most people will never get to have until they have a career. I think the fact that it allows the students to do this with a lot of guidance while in college is phenomenal,” Smith said.
The EKL program has been a formative program for Aylesworth during her undergraduate degree.
“Through the mentorship and educational pieces of the program, I have become aware of and more confident in the unique ways that God has gifted me to serve. From the very beginning as a freshman to my time as a mentor my sophomore and junior years, I have been surrounded by people who see my potential and walk with me in the process of becoming the person God has intended me to be,” Aylesworth said.