Monday, May 27, 2013


By Norma Boeckler

Representative Tom Cotton - On Memorial Day and His Service in the Armed Forces

Tom Cotton recently gave a speech to the student body
at Ecclesia College, Sprindale, Arkansas.

The Veterans Memorial Committee of Garland County will hold its annual Memorial Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday at the the Veterans Memorial at the Transportation Plaza.

The service is open to the public and is a day of remembrance for family and friends of fallen service members.

This year’s keynote speaker is U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-District 4.

The Veterans Memorial Committee of Garland County will hold its annual Memorial Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday at the the Veterans Memorial at the Transportation Plaza.

The service is open to the public and is a day of remembrance for family and friends of fallen service members.

This year’s keynote speaker is U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-District 4.

Representative Cotton's Statement for Memorial Day

Cotton Statement in Observance of Memorial Day 
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Cotton (R-Dardanelle) released the following statement in observance of Memorial Day: 
“Today, we honor those brave Americans who gave what Lincoln called “the last, full measure of devotion” defending our country.  John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  Every American who died in our uniform laid down his life for us, his fellow countrymen, so that we might live in freedom.
“We cannot repay their sacrifices, nor can we fill the emptiness of their loved ones.  But we can honor their memory on this day, and every day.  And we can comfort their loved ones, caring for them and reminding them of the nobility of their loved one’s sacrifices.
“I served in the Army and deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.  Between those tours, I had the honor—a solemn honor—of serving at The Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery.  Our main responsibility was military honors funerals.  But every Memorial Day weekend, The Old Guard walks through the cemetery and places a flag at every gravesite—hundreds of thousands of graves.  These flags are a symbolic reminder that we will never forget the sacrifices of our fallen comrades, nor the cause for which they fought.  On this Memorial Day, let us all join in this memory of our valiant countrymen and celebration of our great country.”

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Nine-Fold Fruits of the Spirit

By Norma Boeckler

Dr. Rick Grace on Supporting Ecclesia College

Poiema Heinritz and Dr. Rick Grace visited after the May graduation.

Dear EC Faculty & Staff,

As the school year winds down, we have another effort that is just winding up.  And I want to encourage each and every one of you to be part of it.

As you may know, there are many efforts going on now to raise significant funds to substantially upgrade our campus facilities.  This will help us both in the recruiting and retention of our students.

The EC Advisory Council is meeting monthly and is strategizing ways to approach individuals, corporations and foundations for strategic investments in the future of Ecclesia College.  God has already blessed those efforts with the funding of a campus “master plan.” This conceptual rendering will be presented to those we believe God may be calling to partner with this ministry.  Please join in praying for God’s blessing on these efforts!

Also, application has been made to a bonding effort that would allow the College to restructure its debt, saving close to $15,000 per year in interest alone. This is good stewardship and would afford us the opportunity to use those savings more effectively in campus upgrades.

And here is where you come in.  EC still has to raise $92,000 to have adequate cash reserves by May 31st for the bond plan to go forward.  So, on behalf of the Advisory Council, we are asking you to consider an “end of the school year” gift to Ecclesia College to help raise the needed funds.

Click on this link to donate.

Each member of the EC Board of Trustees has already made a gift to this effort.  The Board of Regents is being asked to do the same.  The Advisory Council is challenging its membership to also help lead the way.  Alumni are being contacted.  Now it is time for us, the faculty and staff to do join the effort.

Every gift is important, even if it is only a few dollars!  They will add up and will allow us to demonstrate to the Bonding Company that a high number of our Boards, Councils, Faculty, Staff and Coaches, are “on board” with the commitment to grow this college.

If God leads you to give, here is what we would like you to do.  Go to the EC website and click on the “make a donation” link.  It will take you to a very easy to follow webpage for you to be able to give online.  Under the “category” dropdown menu, click on “General Donation” as these gifts will be counted toward the needed funds.  When you complete your donation, you will be asked to recommend a link to your Facebook page (if you have one) and it will show up on your Facebook homepage (not the amount given, just the link back to the EC online donation page).

To see what it looks like, please check out my Facebook page (Rick L. Grace).  People who see the link just might be nudged by the Holy Spirit to get involved with us. In fact, several thousands of dollars have already been given online in this way!

The time is short but with God’s grace we can get there! Prayerfully consider giving a gift at this time. The future is bright for Ecclesia College as enrollment for the fall is trending upward, and with a successful finding effort, it will be just that much brighter!

Thanks, and may God bless you as you prayerfully seek serve Him!

Dr. Rick L. Grace,

Chairman, Division of Bible & Theology

Faculty Representative to the EC Advisory Council

Family, friends, graduates, and faculty
gathered to celebrate the latest degrees earned.

From Mike Novak:

I Support Ecclesia College!

I want you to know that you WILL make a difference by giving to Ecclesia College. Like a wise business investment, your donation will reap great spiritual rewards in the lives of every student who chooses to attend here. No gift is insignificant...remember the little boy that gave Jesus his two little fishes and five loaves of bread? Thousands of people were blessed that day because of his seemingly insignificant contribution.

Whether you give to our scholarship fund or a current campus construction project or simply to our general fund, please know that student lives will be impacted by your generosity. And God does not forget your faithfulness to Him as you help fellow believers.

Please know that we also value your prayers as we daily seek God’s face for direction and understanding. Thank you for supporting the ministry of Ecclesia College.


Mike Novak

Director of Financial Development, Ecclesia College

Breanna Lynn Page just graduated summa cum laude
and gave the valedictorian speech.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Graduation Today at Ecclesia College, Springdale, Arkansas.
Part One

Graduation Today at Ecclesia College, Springdale Arkasas.
Part Two

Dr. Will Fletcher, lawyer and minister, gave the commencement address.

Breanna Lynn Page gave the valedictorian address,
honoring her sainted Phillipino mother.

Cheri Headrick led the choir at commencement.

Dr. Sunny Im accompanied the choir.

Add caption

Dr. Robert Headrick, academic dean, gave the invocation.

Graduation Today at Ecclesia College, Springdale Arkansas

Registrar Donna Brown has been busy organizing
the graduation while finishing the semester's duties.

The May Blizzard Recital

Wet snow fell on the day of the May student recital.
Ave Maria.

Sam Kim, from Korea, sang at the recital.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Ecclesia College Faculty Recital - April 22, 7 PM, at Elm Springs Methodist Church

Cheri Headrick recently held a recital at the college for her music students.

The Ecclesia College Music Department is pleased to announce a Faculty Recital for next Monday, April 22, at 7 p.m., at the Elm Springs United Methodist Church.

We cordially invite you to come share a special evening as Dr. Bob performs three selections on classical guitar, Dr. Sunny will perform the "Moonlight Sonata" as well as other works, and Mrs. Cheri Headrick will delight us with her vocal selections.  Cheri and her mom, Mrs. Pam Pope, will open with a duet.  We are so grateful for all who have agreed to share their talents with us next week.

The recital is free and open to the public.  Please bring family and friends.   A reception will follow.

Donna Brown
Registrar, Ecclesia College

Dr. Bob Headrick, guitarist

The Beatitudes

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ecclesia College in Springdale, Arkansas - Expects To Outgrow Campus

President Oren Paris stands in front of a 4800 square foot addition,
with the Dome in the background.
Ecclesia College needs dormitory and classroom space.

SPRINGDALE - Oren Paris III, president of Ecclesia College in Springdale, isn’t boastful of his fundraising abilities. He’ll be the first to say that it’s a learning process he feels he’s only just begun.
“If I were really good at this, we probably wouldn’t be talking about it - ’cause it’d be done,” Paris said laughing in his campus office Tuesday.
But Paris, who succeeded his father, the college’s founder, as president in 1997, knows he doesn’t have the luxury of trying to wish the problem away.
Ecclesia, a private Christian college that began as a one-year ministry-training program in 1975, will soon begin straining both its classroom and student housing capacities, if recent growth is a predictor of future needs.

Isaac Reppert sang "To Dream the Impossible Dream"
at a recent recital.

Paris and Ecclesia registrar Donna Brown said enrollment jumped from 27 full-time students in February 2005, when the college received its first accreditation from the Association for Biblical Higher Education, to a full-time equivalent enrollment of 180 for the fall 2012 academic semester. The college has about 10 accredited degree programs. Paris projected a full-time equivalent enrollment of 200 for the fall 2013 semester.
“We’ll be running out of all space, really,” Paris said. “We’ll be running out of dining space, classroom space, administrative space, library space. It all happens at the same time.”
According to Brandi Hinkle, communications coordinator for the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, the department has certified four programs at Ecclesia, including an associate of general studies and bachelor’s degrees in business administration, emergency management and sports management.
Mike Novak, Ecclesia’s financial-development officer and an adjunct instructor in theater, said although the college does have students from across the United States, most of the college’s students have historically come from Arkansas and nearby states - Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.
“The way we’ve always done our marketing, it’s been a low-key, low-cost effort,” Novak said. “The college is advertised through word of mouth, person to person, often during a student’s visit to a new church - those tend to be closer, geographically.”
Ecclesia also hosts about 20 international students from areas such as Central America and Africa. Novak said this was a result of the college’s emphasis on mission work. Some Ecclesia students participate in missionary trips abroad during the summer months, which earns them community-service credit with the college, Novak said.
Ecclesia is one of only seven “work-learning schools” throughout the country, in which students provide labor for the institution to offset the cost of tuition, which ranges from about $15,250 to $20,250 annually for a full-time student, depending on housing and meal plans.
Ecclesia students are required to work a minimum of 90 hours each semester, performing duties ranging from landscaping and food service to administrative work, and are paid between $9 and $12 an hour toward the cost of their tuition for their work.
The school is now several hundred thousand dollars into an effort to expand its campus enough to cope with annual growth, including a 4,800-square-foot classroom facility that is estimated to cost between $300,000 and $400,000, and renovation of two off-campus rental properties, owned by the college, which Paris said will be converted for student housing.
Paris also must navigate his campus’s architectural equivalent of a white elephant - a 68,000-square-foot steel structure that has sat unfinished for more than a decade, only a few hundred yards from the college’s central administrative building.
Paris said the project began in 2000, when his plan was to expand the private Christian kindergarten-through-12 school then operating on the 200-acre property. Paris said Ecclesia spent about $500,000 to lay the foundation and erect the building’s steel frame and roof, and that construction halted immediately after those steps were completed.
Shifting circumstances have kept construction at a standstill ever since. After the structure was erected, Ecclesia administrators decided to get out of kindergarten-through-12 education altogether and focus solely on higher education, Paris said. Shortly thereafter, an Ecclesia board member who had promised to donate a significant amount of money toward the building’s completion died, and the funding never materialized.
Paris said Nabholz Construction Services, which had completed the first phase, estimated a total cost of $10.5 million to complete the building. While Paris would prefer to have the building finished, the scale of the expenditure has forced him to prioritize smaller, more fiscally manageable projects, such as the 4,800-square-foot classroom facility.
“We just got the building permit [recently],” Paris said. “We need it this fall. But that’s a $400,000 bite we’re taking there, compared to a $10.5 million cost estimate from Nabholz. Some schools would probably look at that and think it’s no big deal - for us, that’d be the biggest amount of money we’d ever had to raise.”
“But by 2015, I anticipate we’ll need to be in that big building,” Paris said.
Ecclesia student council chairman Missie McClarty, a freshman who first became involved with Ecclesia through its home-school preparatory academy as a high school sophomore, said that while the classroom seating situation was tolerable, any growth could make the situation uncomfortable.
“Classroom-wise, we’re not too bad, but I know in the future we’re going to be crowded,” McClarty said.
McClarty originally experimented with living on campus at the beginning of the 2012 fall semester, but said she returned to live with her parents after three weeks, rather than initiate a student loan to pay to live in one of the college’s family-style housing facilities.
McClarty said the 2012 academic year is the first in whichthe college has had a student council, and that she and her fellow council members are working to expand social options on the campus.
“Just little things to give students something to do besides study and work,” Mc-Clarty said.
McClarty said she chose to attend Ecclesia after considering a number of other Christian colleges popular with home-school graduates.
“I was thinking and praying about what I wanted to study,” McClarty said. “The one day, when I was on the Ecclesia campus, I just felt God speaking to my heart, saying, ‘This is where you’re supposed to go.’At first I though it was kind of crazy, but I love the environment and I love the students. We’re like a big family.”
Budgets for colleges such as Ecclesia - which has a total annual operating budget of about $2 million, according to Paris - are much smaller than major universities. The University of Arkansas’ Fayetteville campus, for example, spent more than $56.8 million on new construction and renovations in fiscal year 2011 alone, and another $97.4 million in fiscal year 2012. Steve Voorhies, the university’s media relations manager, said the campus has invested more than $1 billion in construction since 2003.
By contrast, Paris calculates the college will need to raise $59 million over the next 10 years to keep pace with the school’s growth. That amount would provide needed classroom and administrative space, as well as athletic facilities and housing - although of a considerably more humble nature than Paris said he’s seen at large universities.
“I’m not trying to have a climbing wall and a nursing station and ice cream on every floor,” Paris said.
Paris said he has begun quietly approaching potential donors, but is unsure if or when he wants to cultivate an official capital campaign.
“Some folks I’ve been with say, ‘You can call it a capital campaign, but don’t announce it until you’ve largely completed it,’” said Paris, who indicated he hoped to develop considerable momentum before going public with specific donation requests. “You use the capital campaign as a big promotion when you can already see the finish line.”
Northwest Arkansas, Pages 17 on 04/14/2013

Cheri Headrick teaches music at Ecclesia College
and tutors students of all ages in piano and voice.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Biblical Graphics

February Snow and Sleet Storm

The snow arrived in the morning, February 20th. A snowball landed, inside. Students looked out over the snowy landscape from the balcony on the Dome.

Sleet is falling on Thursday, but the worst of the 18-state storm seems to be staying north.