News Articles

BP Ledger, August 5 edition

EDITOR’S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.

Today’s BP Ledger contains items from:
Association of Christian Schools International
California Baptist University
World News Service (two items)

Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) names new president

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (ACSI) -– The board of directors of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) has appointed Dr. Daniel Egeler as the president of the association.

“Dr. Egeler demonstrates a heart and passion for Christian education,” said David Manley, Chairman of the Board of Directors for ACSI. “Most importantly, he is a servant leader.”

“It is with great humility that I accept this position,” said Egeler. “I take the mission of ACSI very seriously. At ACSI, we work to strengthen your schools for the glory of God and so that they can serve as examples of excellence in your communities. This is part of paying it forward for me because I am a product of Christian schools.”

Dr. Egeler grew up on an isolated island in Lake Victoria, Tanzania, where his father was an island evangelist. As a Third Culture Kid (TCK), Dr. Egeler learned the art of relating oral history from his African elders and spent years immersing himself in a variety of cultures, attending school in Tanzania, Kenya and New Jersey. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from The King’s College in New York, a Master’s degree from Washington State University and a Doctorate in Administration and Instructional Leadership from the University of Alabama.

For 13 years Dr. Egeler was a teacher, soccer coach, high school principal, and Director of the Alliance Academy in Quito, Ecuador. He returned to the United States in July of 1999 ultimately joined the staff of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he assumed the role of Vice President of International Ministries for ACSI in August of 2007. His children attended Colorado Springs Christian School where Dan served as a volunteer soccer coach.

Dan, as ACSI president, has the goal of strengthening Christian schools and equipping Christian educators. The initiatives he will focus on include providing outstanding services to schools in the United States and ultimately around the world, leadership development that focuses on the needs of U.S. leaders and the emerging global Christian school movement, advocacy for expanding school choice in the United States, economic self-sustainability of international offices, and pursuing collaborative partnerships that benefit member schools.

He was appointed as the president of ACSI in July of 2013.

He currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his wife Kathy and their four second generation Missionary Kids (MKs), Andrew, Danielle, Matthew and Bethany. In addition to his duties with ACSI, he is the author of Mentoring Millenials: Shaping the Next Generation, published by NavPress.
Donations expand options for CBU aviation science program

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (California Baptist University) — Two hangars and a 1954 twin-engine Piper Apache airplane have been donated to California Baptist University’s aviation science program just weeks before for the launch of its inaugural class.

The gifts were presented by George and Helene Galik who first became interested in CBU’s aviation science department after seeing its Boeing 727 aircraft parked just a short distance from the couple’s hangars at the Riverside Municipal Airport. The jet aircraft, donated in January by FedEx Express, led George Galik to research how he could to turn over the contents of his two hangars to CBU’s budding aviation science program.

“It is another example of how the 727 has opened doors for (the program) and the university,” said Dr. Daniel Prather, professor of aviation science and chair of the aviation science program.

Prather said the donation of the hangars and the Piper Apache airplane provides the program with the opportunity to expand its academics in the future.

“That hanger, twin-engine aircraft and the tools in the hanger, we see as the beginning foundation of developing an aircraft maintenance program,” Prather said. “It is great that it was donated to us, because now we have assets that we didn’t have otherwise and would have had to go out and buy. It has definitely given us a boost.”

The possible future program would allow students to obtain an airframe and powerplant (A&P) certificate that opens doors for them to work on planes and aircraft engines found at airports.

The Department is expecting approximately 20 students as aviation science majors this fall. All flight training will be conducted by CBU instructors, initially in Cirrus SR20 aircraft. Students will be able to obtain a private pilot certificate by completing the private pilot ground course and private pilot lab course. Aviation Flight majors will also earn their instrument rating, commercial pilot certificate, multi-engine rating, and certified flight instructor certificate.

Currently, the program’s Boeing 727 aircraft is undergoing a makeover that includes a paint job and CBU logos. The plane’s design was created by Taylor Griner, a CBU graphic design student and winner of the plane’s redesign competition held last spring.

Prather said the project is set to be finished by mid-August, just in time for students to begin classes Sept. 3.
Secular group attacks college dorm with “values-oriented twist”

TROY, Ala. (World News Service) — A new faith-based dorm at Troy University in Alabama came under fire from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) in early August for allegedly violating fair housing laws and the principle of church-state separation. Once it reviews applicable statutes, FFRF says it will send the school a letter, usually a precursor to legal action.

But officials at the public university are defending the dorm, which opens to students this fall, saying it will be open to students of all faiths. The school already has honors student dorms, substance-free dorms, and international student dorms. The new dorm will be like the others, with preference given to students of faith, but the students are not required to have a religious affiliation.

Private donations funded the $11.8 million building, which the college said was “much-needed student housing, with a values-oriented twist.”

Students admitted into the dorm must first submit an application and provide a letter of recommendation proving their campus involvement. The school gives preference to students who have active spiritual lives and are involved in campus faith organizations. All students in the dorm must also “be respectful of diversity,” the campus website said, and must participate in at least two community service projects per year. Students must also maintain a 2.5 grade point average and refrain from bringing alcohol or illegal drugs into the building, a policy for all students and dorms on campus.

A 2,300-square-foot chapel will be the centerpiece of the new dorm and provide a space for faith-based groups and activities. Local St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of Mobile collaborated with the school to include in the building a Newman Center, a catholic student organization also on 270 other secular U.S. campuses.

Andrew Seidel, an FFRF attorney, told Montgomery’s ABC affiliate WAKA that the dorms violate fair housing laws: “We know that university officials have expressed that the dorm will prefer Christian students or students who live a godly lifestyle, whatever the language is that they’ve used, over those who don’t, so that right there raises serious constitutional and discrimination concerns.”

But John Schmidt, Troy University vice chancellor, defended the dorms: “I think if anything it’s very inclusive. Here on campus, we traditionally house many groups. We just had the Church of Latter Day Saints on campus, we’ve had the Episcopal church, we’ve had, in terms of our student groups, we’ve had the celebration of Ramadan, so we think it’s going to be very inclusive.”
Ball State backpedals on Intelligent Design

MUNCIE, Ind. (World News Service) — Students at Indiana’s Ball State University will no longer hear intelligent design perspectives in honors science classes after the school president blasted it as a “theory” overwhelmingly rejected by the scientific community.

In response to pressure from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), Ball State president Jo Ann M. Gora released a statement July 31 saying the school will limit intelligent design inquiries to humanities or social science courses.

Gora’s statement comes in response to recent criticism launched at physics and astronomy professor Eric Hedin’s honors class, “The Boundaries of Science.” Hedin, a Christian, listed on the class syllabus books by qualified scientists and intelligent design proponents like Stephen Meyer and Michael Behe.

One of Hedin’s students related information about class discussions to Jerry Coyne, a professor of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago and author of Why Evolution is True. On his blog, Coyne posted his complaint letter to Ball State administrators, whom he said “rebuffed” him.

“His shoving of Christianity and religion down the throats of science students must stop,” Coyne wrote of Hedin. “I will do my utmost until it does, or until I fail. … This will now go to the lawyers,” he wrote.

Coyne reached out to the FFRF, who on July 31 gave him credit for first alerting them to the situation. FFRF lawyer Andrew Seidel wrote a May 15 letter to Gora demanding an investigation. Ball State responded with a four-member panel that considered course material and spoke with Hedin.

By June, WORLD reported growing support for Hedin that included Indiana state Sen. Dennis Kruse, who serves as chairman of the Senate education committee: “I come from a Christian perspective and a conservative perspective. I’m under the impression academic freedom should be for everybody.”

Despite support, the panel ruled against Hedin’s material, although it has not released the review of Hedin’s class. A school spokeswoman said Hedin remains an important and valued member of the school’s physics and astronomy department.

In her statement, Gora did not disclose the future of Hedin’s class, focusing only on intelligent design teaching: “On this point, I want to be very clear. Teaching intelligent design as a scientific theory is not a matter of academic freedom — it is an issue of academic integrity. As I noted, the scientific community has overwhelmingly rejected intelligent design as a scientific theory.”

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