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  • Former Student Named Time Magazine's Person Of The Year

    December 12, 2014
    Katie Meyler for Time
    Thirty-two-year-old Katie Meyler, a former student of the University of Valley Forge, is among one of Time magazine's Person of the Year honorees for 2014. Among those honored are five categories of Ebola fighters: caregivers, directors, doctors, nurses and scientists. Meyler is a caregiver. She is a volunteer Ebola fighter, using her available resources to help contain and stop the epidemic. The University of Valley Forge had the opportunity to speak to Meyler through a live Skype call on Nov. 17 when she shared the current challenges in Liberia and the need for action in spite of fear, during this time of crisis.

    Meyler is from Bernardsville, N.J., and attended the University of Valley Forge as a college freshman during the 2003–2004 academic year. While at the University of Valley Forge, she was involved with the homeless ministry and other outreach ministries. She said her time at the University of Valley Forge encouraged her to mature and see a world that was much larger than her own.

    After college, Meyler traveled to Liberia to help run an adult literacy program in a remote village. Once there, Meyler saw the positive effect she could have in the education system in Liberia and decided to stay. In 2009, she founded More Than Me, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improve the education opportunities for girls in West Point, a slum of the Liberian capital Monrovia. In 2013, she opened the More Than Me Academy, which offers free education to school-aged girls. When the Ebola outbreak was confirmed in West Point on Aug. 12, 2014, the mission of More Than Me shifted its focus to keep the girls of West Point protected from the Ebola virus. Meyler began to work directly on the front lines with Ebola victims and the orphaned children left in the wake of the epidemic.  

    The More Than Me Academy was converted into a Housing Observation and Pediatric Evaluation (HOPE) building for young girls recently orphaned and left homeless by the virus who are undergoing evaluation for Ebola symptoms. The organization was also able to purchase a community ambulance to transport victims to treatment centers. Meyler has chosen to stay in Liberia and fight this epidemic until it is defeated. 

    Time magazine has published a person of the year issue since 1928, highlighting an individual or group of individuals who significantly impacted the global community. The Ebola fighters highlighted in this issue have risked everything to stand up for humanity and bring hope. 

    To read more, visit these magazine links:
    time.com/time-person-of-the-year-ebola-fighters
    time.com/time-person-of-the-year-ebola-caregivers
    charismanews.com/culture/46458-meet-the-woman-on-the-front-lines-of-africa

  • UVF Worship Leading Program Recognized in National Magazine

    December 09, 2014
    Editors Pick Award - Worship Leader Magazine Best of 2014
    Worship Leader magazine selected the Worship Leading undergraduate program and Worship Studies graduate program of the University of Valley Forge (UVF) as part of its Best of the Best 2014 issue. The Best of the Best issue is an annual selection by the editorial team of the top resources and products that influenced services of worship in the past calendar year. UVF was highlighted as one of the top worship leader training academic programs around the country.  
     
    Worship Leader magazine is a resource for the Christian community; its goal since 1992 has been to “provide biblical wisdom and best practices” to Christian leaders. According to the magazine’s website, more than 20,000 church leaders depend on Worship Leader for information and details on new song and album releases, worship leader training, conferences and more. In regard to the resources highlighted in the magazine, Managing Editor Jeremy Armstrong said, “The products we present in the Best of the Best are not the end result, but they represent an important aspect of communicating in a modern world.” 
     
    Worship Leading majors
    This year’s issue highlighted the top leadership training nationwide, worship songs, visual resources, musical instruments and missional resources. Worship Leader said UVF’s undergraduate Worship Leading program combines traditional, theological and practical training: “A dynamic spiritual environment with multiple opportunities to develop your leadership skills provides the ultimate higher education experience for aspiring worship leaders.” It also stated that the Worship Studies graduate program establishes a solid foundation for students and the “skills needed for a lifetime of leadership.”   
     
    Department of Music chair and professor, William DeSanto, Ph.D., said, “We are honored that both our worship leading programs have received this national recognition ... It is a tribute to all our team members who have diligently worked over the years to create these relevant and much-needed programs.” 
     
    Both UVF programs are designed to offer students a valuable range of knowledge and experience within worship leading. “One of our goals was to create a program that would prepare students to become worship leaders in a variety of environments,” Dr. DeSanto said. “Additionally, we wanted a curriculum with academic integrity.” The Worship Leading undergraduate program is one of the eight programs offered in the Department of Music. The program prepares students to become contemporary worship leaders. Students become proficient in voice, musical instruments, songwriting and the use of current technology for worship. This program also provides students with a solid biblical and theological foundation. The Worship Studies master’s program is designed for worship leaders, pastors, missionaries and laypersons interested in graduate-level worship studies. This graduate program is the first of its kind offered by an Assemblies of God college or university. The courses offer historical and theological concepts as well as practical, applicable knowledge and experience.
     
    The University of Valley Forge is grateful for this recognition. For more information on our academic programs, please visit valleyforge.edu/academics. For more information about Worship Leader magazine, please visit worshipleader.com.
     
  • UVF Celebrates New Flag Addition

    December 09, 2014
    Kasey Smith Guatemala Flag
    On Nov. 11, during the University of Valley Forge (UVF) weekly missions chapel, a new flag was added to the university’s collection. Each flag hanging on the walls of the Flower Chapel represents a country in which a UVF alum has been called to serve. The 54th flag honors the ministry in Guatemala where Kasey Smith ’07 and his wife, Esther, are serving. 
     
    In July 2012, the Smiths went to Guatemala on their first short-term mission trip together. It was on this mission trip that the Lord began tugging on their hearts for the needs of the at-risk children and families in Guatemala. Over the past two years, the Smiths have had the opportunity to return to Guatemala twice. Within this time frame, the Lord confirmed that He had a plan for the couple to live there as full-time missionaries — to minister to children and families through spiritual and educational development programs for the local community. 
     
    The Smiths are certain that God has been preparing them for their calling to Guatemala for several years. Kasey has a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies and a master’s degree in education. He worked as a teacher for five years before working the next two years with low-income families as a social worker. Esther was raised in Brazil as a missionary kid and served the people of Brazil for 18 years. She also has a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies and has spent two years serving as the assistant children’s ministry director at their sending church, York Christian Church in York, Pa. In preparation for the mission field, the Smiths have attended the New Life School of Missions in San Juan, Texas, for the past several months.
     
    The UVF community is elated to see its alumni answer the call to missions.  The 54th flag addition embodies what the students, faculty and leaders of UVF have been proclaiming throughout the 2014 fall semester: “New name, same mission!”

     
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