24 May

Equipping Women in Leadership

By Hyveth Williams – Berrien Springs, Michigan … If you are a woman leading in church, parish, educational, or organizational ministry, Equipping Women for Effective Leadership (EWEL), is a Doctor of Ministry degree just for you!

Launching October 4, 2021, the first intensive, Women and Gender, is designed by Course Facilitator, Dr. Janet Ledesma, Associate Dean & Professor, Educational Leadership Coordinator, College of Education & International Services. Dr. Ledesma created a rigorous course to help you explore and enhance your unique skills as a spiritual and effective woman leader through the personal development of a leadership plan that will affect positive and spiritually sound changes in the organizations where God has chosen you to serve.

In many ways, women remain underrepresented in top leadership positions in America and globally. This course will help women learn and identify the internal factors within them and external factors impacting them to become courageous spiritual women of God in leadership.

This Andrews University Doctor of Ministry degree, lauded as a national innovation specifically for women, will develop your full spiritual and professional potential as a woman in leadership in your church, organization, community, and home. By maximizing your potential, participants will be able to enhance the unique strengths, skills, values, and traits God has given to make effective, lasting connections to work and people.


  • Skills and tools to enhance your unique traits and characteristics as a spiritual leader to effectively develop and empower those you serve.
  • Ability to develop and maintain relationships, connections, and interpersonal interactions that drive spiritual growth and innovation in the places you serve.
  • Personalized development plan to identify your strengths and guide you towards achieving your goals as a Christian woman in leadership.
  • Opportunity to interact with like-minded women from diverse backgrounds seeking to add value to the organizations and institutions in which you serve.

Some of the Course Topics for the first intensive, to be taught by Dr. Ledesma and female guests from a variety of professions, will address:

  • Womanhood of God
  • Women and Resilience
  • Women and Leadership
  • Women and Organization Conflict
  • Values driven leadership for Women
  • Emotional Intelligence and Women
  • Creativity and Innovation for women
  • Women Leading in Crisis
  • Women and Research

For more information contact Dr. Hyveth Williams, Director – 269-471-6363; the DMin Website – www.doctorofministry.comand https://www.andrews.edu/apply/

–Hyveth Williams, is director of  Doctor of Ministry program, Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University; photo supplied.

This article was original published on the NAD ministerial website.

20 May


By Bentlee Barry – Loveland, Colorado … Campion students celebrated the end of the year, on May 16, by enjoying a fun and relaxed day at the last Student Association (SA) picnic. They gathered on the field for volleyball and “bubble” soccer, in which participants wore an inflatable bubble suit.

After an hour of competition between students, it was time for a class color run. Classes took a turn running a loop around campus while the other classes threw colored powder and cheered them on. “At first, I didn’t really want to get any color on me, but by the end I was covered!” said Brayan Martins, Campion sophomore.

Afterward, it was time to cool down with root beer floats and a water balloon fight.

Once the fun subsided, students reflected on the crazy and unusual year and the difficultly in planning events.

“Being on SA this year has challenged our team to think of COVID-safe activities. Maintaining distance and wearing masks had to be taken into account when planning activities like the banquet, fall party, or class scramble. We always looked for fun activities that most people would enjoy, and I am proud of our SA team for everything they have done this year to make the year so memorable!” exclaimed Kylie Wehling, spiritual vice president.

SA President Ryan Bell highlighted, “It’s been great to have a team that came together and shared the workload. It’s taught me to trust those around me and rely on people to help out. I’ve learned to value teamwork a whole lot more.”

Erin Johnson, Campion SA sponsor emphasized how proud she was of her student team this year. “This SA team as a whole has been flexible and innovative. They took what seemed like an impossible task (with COVID restrictions) and not only accomplished it but also made improvements for future years,” Johnson reflected. “I think our biggest accomplishment was the SA Banquet. We transformed the gym and made a night to remember. Even staff who have been here for many years said that it was the best banquet they have seen. I will miss this team tremendously but I am so excited for next year’s SA team.”

–Bentlee Barry is a senior at Campion Academy; photos supplied

20 May

Reality of Christian life on display at Campion week of prayer

By Jayce Treat – Loveland, Colorado … Recently, in early May, Campion Academy students shared personal testimonies with their peers during the final 2020-2021 school year Week of Prayer. They told personal stories which dealt with topics such as severe injuries, depression, and sharing the gospel with others.

Kylie Wehling, Campion Academy junior, shared her story of a severe injury she suffered and how God led her through it. “Speaking for Week of Prayer really made me step back and look at all the times God was there for me, even in my darkest moments,” Wehling remarked. ”Sometimes we forget that God works miracles in our lives every day.”

Isaac Avila, Campion Academy junior reflected on the Week of Prayer, “I liked this quarter’s Week of Prayer because I got to hear from my fellow peers and classmates which made the service more relatable to me.”

Students listened to how God helped their peers deal with some hard circumstances in their lives.

“I know the speakers, they are my friends, but when they gave their talks, I saw them in a different light,” said Jynaya Wright, Campion Academy senior. “They are usually always so happy and positive, but hearing their testimonies made me realize that they have their problems too.”

Wright explained how even though her friends went through some hard times, they gave their struggles over to God. “It was a huge inspiration to me to keep going even though we face troubles in our lives because God’s got your back.”

“I never thought I would share my story because I didn’t think it was important. But as I have heard my fellow students’ testimonies throughout the year and have seen the impact they had, I realized I wanted to help others too,” explained Bentlee Barry, senior. “It can be scary to share God but when you lean on Him and let Him speak through you, it becomes much easier! I feel even closer with God since sharing my testimony; it has changed my relationships with those around me and most importantly with God.”

The student testimonies were live-streamed and can be viewed on Campion Academy’s Facebook page.

–Jayce Treat is a senior at Campion Academy; photo supplied.

20 May


By Jon Roberts – Denver, Colorado … The Rocky Mountain Conference has a presence at the first “Global Camp Meeting,” which launched on May 19 and is sponsored and created by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.  The virtual event, featuring workshops and speakers from around world, includes a three-part series by Andy Nash, pastor of Littleton church.

Titled “Meet @ the Text,” the workshops will feature two discussions on how to study the Bible verse by verse and will include a presentation of Nash inviting Mile High Academy students and Chris Morris, associate pastor of Littleton, to join in a short study of the Book of Jude.

Nash explains how he was invited to help out with the global event.  “Previously I had done some writing for Thomas Nelson Bibles, so they asked if I would be willing to do a workshop on studying Scripture. This is one of my favorite subjects, so I was happy to help.  I particularly enjoyed our third session when my colleague Pastor Chris Morris and I studied the book of Jude with two high school students.”

Inductive Bible study is a passion for Nash so it was natural that the workshops he created were rooted in scripture.  “I love inductive Bible study and feel like it’s how we’re meant to study the Bible and preach the Bible.  When a congregation leaves church, they should be thinking about the Scripture, not the speaker.  As a pastor, I want church members to be studying Scripture for themselves—Monday morning as well as Sabbath morning.”

What does Nash expect the online gathering will accomplish?  “My hope is simply for people to fall in love with their Bibles, which is living and active.  Once we’ve entered into God’s Word, we are forever changed.”

To join the “Global Camp Meeting,” visit https://2021.campmeeting.com/ Nash’s sessions will be located in the auditorium under media ministries.  All times are listed in Eastern Standard Time.

To view the Bible study Nash conducted with Mile High Academy students click here: https://vimeo.com/552977341

 –Jon Roberts is RMC communication / media assistant; photo supplied

20 May


RMCNews with Michael Cookenmaster – Cheyenne, Wyoming …Students in grades four through nine at Laura E. Mason Christian Academy in Cheyenne, Wyoming have been busy for the past nine months planning and designing an eight-foot long, five-foot wide paper city.

The project, entitled “One World: Share the Dream,” was part of their social studies theme of world history. Dr. Michael Cookenmaster, head teacher at Laura E. Mason Christian Academy, explained the project: “This hands-on project is meant to make students understand the constructivist approach to learning.” The constructivist approach to learning holds that people actively construct or make their own knowledge and that reality is determined by the experiences of the learner.

Students held planning meetings and “everyone pitched in to cut, fold, glue, and design layouts of neighborhood quarters based in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Students determined building structures, names of corporations to be represented, parks and recreational areas, entertainment space, and the airport environs.”

Why the hands-on approach? For Cookenmaster the answer is simple, as “children learn best when they are building something.”

The extensive undertaking allowed students to use cross pollination of core content. Cookenmaster described cross pollination learning. “As they built the city, not only were students learning social studies, but they were also having to incorporate environmental science, geometry, and virtual and creative literacy skills all incorporated to support their unique Seventh-day Adventist world view.”

“Most importantly, the project taught students about humanity, the environment, and the biblical injunction to be stewards of the earth,” he added.

Part of completing the project includes students planning to premier a video of their hard work. To watch the video click here: https://youtu.be/se-10IcwmcE

RMCNews with Michael Cookenmaster, head teacher at Laura E. Mason Christian Academy in Cheyenne, Wyoming; photo supplied

19 May


By RMCNews – Denver, Colorado … DeeAnn Bragaw, RMC women’s ministry director and prayer coordinator, recently accepted the invitation by the North American Division to be their Women’s Ministries Director.

Ed Barnett, RMC president reflected on Bragaw’s ministry, “DeeAnn has been a blessing to our conference, and I know she will be a blessing at the North American Division as well! We will miss her.”

Bragaw is a Colorado native and will miss her home state.  In an interview with NewsNuggets she explains her service in RMC.  “It’s been my privilege to live and serve in Rocky Mountain Conference! I’m a Colorado native who grew up in Denver about six blocks from the conference office and graduated from Mile High Academy. I spent many summers both attending camp and then working at Glacier View Ranch, and married my husband, Paul, right here in RMC. Together we’ve served in Casper, Boulder, Franktown, Brighton, and Campion.  And now I’ve served conference-wide in prayer and women’s ministries.”

The process to accepting the invitation has not been easy Bragaw explains.

“In April, I received a phone call from NAD administration, asking if I’d be willing to submit a resume’ and interview for the position of Director of Women’s Ministries for North American Division. I was shocked! ME?” She continues, “The journey and the decision have not been easy. There are many factors involved in transitioning into this new role. I actually asked if I could serve NAD from RMC! (They said ‘No’.)”

Prayer and Jesus will remain the center of her ministry at the NAD, she comments. “I can’t wait to get to know more of our women, and to develop a team of women from around our division who can partner with us to continue to provide resources to better equip women of all ages to serve from a place of wholeness in Christ.  My deepest prayer and my highest calling are to point our women to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith and our service, who mentored His team of disciples so they could disciple others. And He did that by spending time in prayer.”

Bragaw will be transitioning to Maryland and will begin serving as NAD women’s ministry director on July 4.

“At this point Paul will likely stay in Colorado at HMS for the upcoming school year, and we will slowly transition to Maryland. Our family is mostly in RMC, and this is HOME – we’ll be back! Until that time, my prayer is that God will continue to reach the hearts of our people in RMC with a call to a deeper life of prayer, surrender, and service. As one friend put it, ‘You’re not leaving us – you’re taking us to NAD!’”

Bragaw’s prayer for RMC members as she begins a new chapter in her life, “May the Lord bless you and keep you, may He make His face shine upon, may His mercies extend to your children’s children, and may we, together, pray on and serve with joy!”

–RMCNews; photo supplied

19 May


By Douglas Inglish … By the time I turned 16, I had developed an odd, but occasionally useful, ability. In my bare feet I could touch an eight-foot ceiling with the fingertips of one hand. Normally that would be just beyond reach for a person of my height, but my arms are absurdly long. (For reference, my predecessor Eric Nelson and I have the same sleeve length, even though he is several inches taller.)

When we moved into our new house in Colorado, there was a push pin in the ceiling of one of the bedrooms. Because the head stuck out from the surface, I knew I could just get a grasp on it and pull it out, and reached up to do so. But I couldn’t get it. I had to go downstairs and get a step stool so I could pull it out.

I was dumbfounded. As any contractor can tell you, both 2 x 4 studs and drywall come in eight-foot sections specifically to make it easy to put up walls that give you a standard eight-foot ceiling. But this room had a ceiling height of eight feet and one inch. In fact, a little investigation showed that all the ceilings in my house were eight feet one inch high. Why in the world would anyone do that? It was more work and it sure wasn’t enough difference to notice.

My move to Colorado required not only a new place to live, but a whole new set of professionals (mechanic, dentist, etc.). When I showed up for my first appointment with my new doctor, the mystery of the too-tall ceilings in my new house was solved. The physician’s assistant stood me up against the wall and declared, “Six feet even.”

“No,” I corrected him, “Six foot one.”

He stood his ground. “No, six feet even.”

I was ready to pull out my new driver’s license and prove him wrong when the light dawned: It’s begun; I’m shrinking! Theoretically, I knew that people lose height as they age, but it had not occurred to me that I should be expecting it quite yet.

Close on the heels of that epiphany came another: My ceilings are not eight feet, one inch high. That doesn’t even make sense. I’m the problem, not the contractor.

Well, I always like a good laugh, and if it’s on me then it’s still a good laugh. But getting older isn’t what I find funny about this. What makes me laugh about it is my very human reaction when I first got evidence that I was getting shorter. Instead of thinking that I was the problem, I reached an entirely improbable conclusion and blamed the person who built my house. It never even occurred to me that the ceiling was perfectly normal, it was I who needed a redefinition of normal.

That’s the way we all are, going back to the biblical Adam’s refusal to own his behavior when confronted about the fruit he ate. When a problem rears its head, it is amazing what ridiculous conclusions we will reach in order to avoid admitting that, yes, this is on me.

I hope this change in subject doesn’t give you whiplash, but how is your local church budget doing? Having a hard time spending it all? Or, and this seems more likely, could you easily find good uses for it if you had more? Even worse, is the board discussing where to cut expenses in order to cover the bills?

Like everything else, the natural reaction to a shortfall in the church budget is to think that the problem is with other people, not me. People with higher income, or who bought their house when prices were reasonable, or whose children are finished with school and out of the house. If those people did their part, the budget would be fine!

Okay, I’m not going to beat this into the ground, because you already get the point. Instead of always thinking that the problem must lie outside of ourselves, we need to own our piece of the problem. Even more importantly, no matter who is to blame for a problem, solutions nearly always start with me stepping up and doing my part.

It’s like when I couldn’t reach the push pin in the ceiling. Even when I was misidentifying what the problem was, I knew the solution was a step stool.

I also knew who had to go get it. And no, it was not going to be the contractor.

–Douglas Inglish is RMC vice president and stewardship director.

19 May


By Marsha Bartulec – Erie, Colorado … Vista Ridge Academy was joined by the Erie Chamber of Commerce on May 17 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the expansion of the early childhood program.

Principal Sandy Hodgson is excited about the new opportunities for students and the community. “We are pleased to expand our program to better serve our community,” she said.

Commenting on the expansion, early childhood program director, Sandy Hepp, who has 25 years of experience in early childhood education, echoes Hodgson’s excitement “We are excited and honored to add a second classroom to our program.”

The expanded program will offer a full education program for ages three to five and will be offered from mid-August to late May.

Students can expect social and academic development, which includes phonics, reading (with a therapy dog), math, and handwriting. The children will also learn about the Bible, attend weekly chapels, and take classes in music, physical education, technology, and art.

Vista Ridge Academy aims for each child to become comfortable in the school setting, feel that learning is fun, and find joy in who they were created by God to be, setting up a firm foundation for the rest of their education.

— Marsha Bartulec is vice principal of Administration at Vista Ridge Academy; photo supplied.

18 May

Brighton Adventist Academy CLASS OF 2033 Graduates Stand Tall

By Jodie Aakko – Brighton, Colorado … May 13 marked the day five young Brighton Adventist Academy graduates stood taller than ever. Although a pre-kindergarten or a kindergarten graduate may look small in size, they are giant in accomplishments and pride.

Five boys beamed from ear to ear as they were filled with love and recognition from teachers and family.

“Ricky, you are receiving an award for future firefighter, because you never leave a friend behind!”  announced Mrs. Sandra Santos, pre-kindergarten teacher. The graduates were honored with awards for exemplary character and individual personality strengths.

They also received a large bag filled with gifts which matched each student’s interests and talents including science kits, art supplies, teacher materials, adventure tools, and other items including an over-sized teddy bear graduate which they hugged.

“Keep this T-shirt with you until you graduate high school!  Each year, add your hand print on the back, above the school year. And in the year 2033, you will still remember how much I loved you, and you will remember that you learned how much Jesus loves you!” explained Gina Davison, kindergarten teacher.

Wayne Morrison, pastor of Brighton church and commencement speaker, reminded the students that even though you can’t see God, you know what He looks like because He loves you, and He knows your name, and you will know His voice. Pastor Wayne ended with a charge to the students to always stay in tune with Jesus and keep your child-like faith.

–Jodie Aakko is the principal of Brighton Adventist Academy; photo courtesy of Brighton Adventist Academy Facebook page.

13 May

Campion Staff and students recognize retiring staff members

Editor’s note: Many staff transitions and retirements are happening at Campion Academy. Below are a few of the long-time staff members who have or are retiring this school year.


Sherry Hay, Registrar
Years at Campion: 1997-2021

Sherry Hay has announced her retirement after working as registrar at Campion for 24 years. Throughout her time at Campion, Hay has worked under six different principals and navigated changing technology as she created class schedules and kept students and parents updated on their grades and attendance.

Don Reeder, Campion Academy principal said, “Campion Academy will miss her in the registrar position. She is a master puzzle solver; I would challenge her with the class schedule, the calendar, and individual student schedules and she would always make it all work. She’s a prayer warrior for God and I will miss her.”

Hay has touched the lives of many students. Keziah Paduli, sophomore, commented, “She’s an amazing and sweet person and patient with me and other kids. I’ve noticed that she wants all the students in this school to succeed.”

“I have worked for Mrs. Hay since the summer before my freshman year,” explained Olivia Jordan, junior. “I have grown very close to her through work and time spent together. She has become like a grandma to me: always there to talk about any of the problems I have or listen to my struggles. She prays with me when I need it. She pushes me to dig deeper and go beyond my dreams and goals. Mrs. Hay has made an impact on Campion with her gentleness and kindness that I will never forget.”

Hay is looking forward to the many opportunities retirement brings. She will have more time to exercise, cook, and read. More importantly, she will have time to spend with her daughter when she has her baby in August, and travel with her husband, Bill, who works for Adventist World Radio.


Dan Philpott, Teacher
Years at Campion: 2003-2021

After 18 years of teaching at Campion, Dan Philpott is retiring. He has been the teacher of many classes over the years such as Algebra II, Geometry, and Industrial Arts, encouraging students to do their best academically. Philpott plans to work in a warehouse, building and designing cabinets.

He has encouraged and helped many students and made an impact on each of their lives in different ways. “I’ve always struggled in math my whole life,” stated Jynaya Wright, senior. “When I came to Campion that was actually one of my biggest fears: falling behind in math. But when I got to Mr. Philpott’s class, I wasn’t scared anymore, because I knew that no matter how many times, he had to explain something to me, he would never give up on me. One of the reasons that I have confidence in math today is because of Mr. Philpott.”

Staff members also appreciated working with him. Steve Eickmann, staff member at Campion, explained, “One thing I like about him is that he is a good teacher and he’s always calm and respectful with students and is patient with those who struggle in his subjects. He knows a lot of tricks and I’ve never seen him lose his cool. He’s been a good friend over the 15 years I’ve known him.”

Senior Ryan Bell has gotten to know Philpott a little closer than other students as he has been living with him this year at Campion. “I have enjoyed seeing the hard-working side of him, but despite the work, he always has a sense of humor that makes everything more enjoyable.”

“Mr. Philpott has made my school experience a lot of fun. Being in his geometry and industrial Arts class definitely has its challenges but, in the end, Mr. Philpott always helps us out and is one of the most patient people I’ve ever met. I’m going to miss his still, quiet energy on campus next year and it’ll be weird without him, but what he taught me that I’ll always remember is to “GETTER DONE.” We appreciate you and we’ll miss you Mr. Philpott!” Melody Mambo, sophomore, exclaimed.


Joe Martin, Bible Teacher
Years at Campion: 1990-2021

After three decades at Campion, Pastor Joe Martin has stepped down from teaching. Known as “Pastor Joe” by the students, he was actively involved on campus. Martin worked as director of the Literature Evangelism (LE) program for 28 years and taught Junior Bible for his last three years at Campion.

“You could see his determination even in the way he walked down the street. No one on the LE team could keep up with him,” said Kelby Eickmann, a Campion alumnus who worked closely with Martin for two summers and two school years in Literature Evangelism. “Pastor Joe impacted my life by demonstrating what passion for Christ looks like. He put his love for God and other people into action. He didn’t simply claim to have a desire to serve God; he really lived it. He is relentlessly stubborn and can sell books to anyone,” Eickmann added.

Grant Velbis, who graduated from Campion last year, shared his experience in Martin’s Junior Bible class. “Pastor Joe’s class helped me see that there is so much evidence and reasoning behind the things we believe as Adventists. Just how he lived his life inspired me because he lived with such passion and conviction for Jesus. He didn’t just ‘talk the talk;’ he lived out everything he believed. That is something I would like to have in my life.”

Martin’s goal for the students he taught and worked with was to help them grow in their relationship with God. Shelby Waller, a junior this year, reflected on the impact of his Bible class. “He taught us directly from the Bible, and he encouraged us to build our own relationship with the Lord. It was up to us how much we wanted to learn, and that motivated us to take notes and to learn more.”

“Pastor Joe’s class influenced me a lot during my junior year; it was very interesting, and I just couldn’t help but pay attention,” said Susan Wang, a 2019 Campion graduate and international student from China. “I really liked how he taught Revelation in a way that we have hope after we die. Pastor Joe also reminded us to be thankful for waking up in the morning, daily life, and for receiving help from others. I was really moved by this and so I decided to get baptized. I did Bible studies with him on Tuesday and Thursday mornings before I got baptized, and even continued to do them into my senior year,” Wang added. ”He gave me a space to share my day and struggles, and he would encourage me with Bible verses and life advice.”


Patricia Torres, Learning Resources Director
Years at Campion: 2005-2020

After 16 years of teaching at Campion Academy, Patricia Torres retired this school year. She was the learning resource director as well as an ELL teacher, showing students strategies to be more successful and independent with their work. She hadn’t originally planned to retire this year, but she was needed by her family as a care-taker.

“I miss the students so much; it’s hard to express,” said Torres. After being away from campus since September, she reminisced on her experience here, “I knew God wanted me there and with every student, I would pray that I would be able to bring them closer to him.”

Torres taught study skills class to the freshmen class to provide them with tools they would need to be successful academically. Melody Mambo reflected, “She always helped me with my organizational skills and helped me stay on top of things. She had a contagious smile on her face that always brightened everyone’s day. I’ll definitely miss her presence, and know she beneficially impacted many students.”

Senior Amira Davis worked with Torres as an international ambassador, joining her in making the new students feel welcomed. “I loved her enthusiasm and passion for the international students,” Davis said. “She really looked out for us and cared about when we were struggling. I’ll always miss her smiling, kind face.”

Torres was most well-known for the time she would take to work with students one-on-one to meet their individual needs. “She never gave up on me even though it was hard sometimes. She always pushed me to go forward, always teaching me different strategies so that I could do better in school,” said Emily Gama, senior. “I would always talk to her as a friend and I miss that. She kept it confidential and gave me advice when I needed it; she was trustworthy.”

Torres shared some final words of advice for the students, “No matter what you do, ask Jesus to help you and keep your eyes on Him. Before you know it, everything you dreamed of will come true, that’s what working at Campion and Jesus has taught me.”

–Authors who contributed to this article include ​Bentlee Barry, Sami Hodges, Haley Enochs, and Tiffany Dien; photos supplied