Friday, January 21, 2022

Dr. Barb Bird

Dr. Barb Bird is Taylor’s Professor of English, Dean of Faculty Development, and Director of the Bedi Center for Teaching and Learning.

“​​I love teaching at Taylor because of our unique culture. Taylor’s faculty and student body are both diverse and at the same time, unified. We are diverse since we come from different countries and cultures, have different faith backgrounds and spiritual stories, demonstrate different personalities and passions, and even vote on opposite sides of the aisle. But at the same time, we celebrate our diversity, we celebrate our community which is created by all of us choosing to live and work together under one faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and with one purpose: preparing the next generation for a life of servant leadership wherever God calls them.

I trained and mentored over 50 students across 16 years that I directed the Writing Center, which was a joy and privilege for me! I was awarded Taylor’s Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership” award in 2010”

Barb enjoys summer traveling with her husband in their 5th wheel trailer, running (half and full marathons), visiting Walt Disney World, and staying in Fort Wilderness Campground.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Dr. Tracy Manning

Dr. Tracy Manning is Taylor’s Department Co-Chair and Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts

Managing & Artistic Director of Theatre. 

“I came to Taylor because God brought me to Taylor and made a way where there was no way. I never dreamed I would teach and direct at my alma mater. Life had led me in a direction wherein graduate school was not ever really thought about. I had a professional theatre career that I was happy with, a wonderful husband, and three beautiful children.

Going back to school was not part of the conversation…nor was returning to Upland, Indiana. My husband was working at Indiana Wesleyan, and to make a long story a bit shorter, was promoted to the point that a move to Marion was a must. I tearfully resigned my Artistic Director position in Indianapolis, surrendered to the Lord in moving my family, and believed that my work in the theatre was probably over. While that was happening in my life, the life of the theatre dept. at Taylor was in crisis. They had lost their director to cancer a year previous and had been struggling to hold together a wounded program with grieving people. In the summer of 2005, after moving to the area, I stopped in one day in to say hello to those I still knew in the dept. Dr. Rousselow, who had been my teacher and who is current dept. chair, inquired into what I had been doing. I told her of my past work in the theatre and think I said something like, “If you ever need any help, let me know.” “Do you have your Master’s Degree?” was the reply. “No,” I said.

While my lack of a graduate degree was a legitimate boundary to my teaching at a University, it was not too much of boundary for the Lord. Later that summer came the phone call, would I come in with my resume and talk with the Dept. chair about the possibility of coming to Taylor as an Artist in Residence. I would direct one production that year and would not be teaching any classes. I said yes and have been directing and teaching at Taylor since. In May of 2011 I graduated from Indiana University with my Master’s degree and became a full-fledged member of the faculty at Taylor University.

Some say I have the hardest job on campus…I doubt it…there are many others who carry burdens of responsibility that I cannot even imagine. But, I do think I have the best job on campus. I spend extraordinary amounts of time with students, I am part of creating a place where students achieve things they never thought they could, and I am responsible for being a spark in the minds of our audience for thought, challenge, introspection, laughter and love. I have the best job on campus…and am thankful that man’s boundaries are not God’s boundaries and that surrender to His will and way makes me capable of” immeasurably more than I think or imagine.” “

Monday, January 17, 2022

Janell and Aaron Lane

Janell Lane is an EMDR trained, Trauma-centered Licensed Mental Health Counselor, with over 12 years of experience, working in a variety of settings, with different cultural backgrounds. She is a dynamic and powerful counselor, presenter, speaker, community activist, and trainer with a unique way of relating information. She holds a Bachelor of Art in Psychological Science with minors in Criminal Justice and Social Work, in addition to a Master of Art Degree in Mental Health Counseling, with an emphasis in providing community-based mental health services, from Ball State University. Janell is Co-founder, alongside her husband Aaron, of Courageous Healing, Inc. a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization specializing in culturally-centered mental health services and supports. She and her husband also Co-lead Courageous Living, LLC. which focuses on increasing cultural awareness and proficiency of individuals, organizations, & entities who serve and work with diverse populations through: providing quality equity and inclusion training, consulting services, symposiums and conferences, and public speaking services. Janell has a passion for program development and a deep commitment to addressing systemic issues, while continuing to love the direct provision of mental health counseling and social services & supports. She has extensive experience in providing community outreach, diversity training, workshops, mediation, and professional development in a variety of areas, including Restorative Interventions, Trauma Informed Approaches, etc. To maximize services provided, she utilizes time-sensitive methods in her approach, which balances warmth and support, with an honest, direct, and practical style of communication.  Janell is committed to building bridges and pathways to racial reconciliation by way of creating safety, understanding, and opportunities for healing cross-culturally. Janell is also open to incorporating spiritual principles for interested clients.

Aaron, Co-founder of Courageous Healing, has a Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in Law and Society, with a minor in Organizational Leadership & Supervision, in addition to a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Indiana Tech University. Aaron also holds a second Master’s in Clinical Social Work, from Indiana University. Integrating his passion for personal and professional development and systemic change, Aaron enjoys working at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels, advocating for policy change to address systemic barriers, while helping heal individuals and families. In addition, Aaron, Co-founded Courageous Living, LLC, a for-profit consulting company, where he has spent the last 6 years doing motivational speaking, consulting, and program development. He has a vast knowledge-base comprised of certifications in Emotional Intelligence, Lominger, DISC, MBTI and a variety of other trainings. He has a strong passion for mentoring and motivating others to achieve life goals through expanding their knowledge base, supporting their interpersonal growth, and challenging the status quo. Having corporate experience coupled with a background in athletics and coaching, has equipped him with a unique approach to motivation. He is devoted to and gifted in working with diverse populations, creating unity among others, and being a catalyst for community impact.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Dr. Koert Verhagen

Dr. Koert Verhagen is Taylor’s Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion.

“Originally from Cincinnati, OH (home to many long-suffering professional sports fans; but still one of the greatest cities in the USA), I came to Taylor for my undergraduate degree and the hook was set. Upon leaving Taylor, my education and work moved me from Colorado to Boston to Chicago to Dublin, and, eventually, to St. Andrews, Scotland, where I completed my PhD and engaged in post-doctoral research.

Throughout this journey, my sense was that God was preparing to work with students at a place like Taylor. By “a place like Taylor” I mean a Christian liberal arts university that is academically rigorous, forming whole persons, and equipping for the service of God and others. I didn’t just want to teach my subject matter, I wanted to approach it in a way that acknowledges Christianity’s significance, not merely on a cognitive level, but holistically, in the lived realities with which students wrestle on a daily basis. For me, Taylor is the gold standard when it comes to approaching higher education from this angle.

Imagine my delight, then, when the opportunity came up for me to make my way back to Upland, IN! I love what I do at Taylor because I get to come alongside students as they discern how their call to discipleship interfaces with, orients, and empowers their particular vocational calling. This is necessary because Christ does not call his followers to a generic form of life, but intends for them to, empowered by the Holy Spirit, use their particular gifts in order to edify the church and further his mission in the world. This is the work I get to participate in both in and out of the classroom at Taylor, and it is privilege.

Alongside of my abiding academic interests in philosophy, theology, and all things related, students will also become quickly aware of my love for pop culture references that are slightly too old for them, music (Taylor Swift, Wilco, and Manchester Orchestra are current favorites), single-origin coffee, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and, of course, my family—Diana, my wife, and our two boys, Everett (3 yrs) and Duncan (2 yrs).”

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Rev. Dan Blosser

Rev. Dan Blosser is Pastor at Upland Community Church.

“Born and raised in Indiana, I accepted Christ as a five year old following a puppet show at our local church. I graduated from Cedarville University in 2001 with a degree in Nursing. I married my high school sweetheart, Diedra, two weeks later. After she graduated from Grace College (Winona Lake) with a Psychology degree, we moved to Dallas, TX so that I could attend Dallas Theological Seminary. After graduating with my ThM in 2007, we had Miranda, and then Johnny in 2008. I worked for five more years at Baylor University Medical Center, downtown Dallas, in surgery before making the big move back to Indiana to serve UCC as the Pastor of Adult Ministries. Since coming to Upland, we have had two more children: Caroline and Deacon.”

Monday, January 10, 2022

Dr. Jeff Aupperle

“I began working in the Calling and Career Office at Taylor in February 2014. Many things have changed since that first day of work, but the reason I find this work compelling has not changed at all.

The work of the Calling and Career Office at Taylor is designed to answer the two questions of vocation that everyone has asked or will eventually ask in considering their calling: Who am I? and… What am I to do?

In our work with students we seek to reinforce the idea that our pursuit is not the calling, but the Caller. Our work is important and finding work that matters and is meaningful is a worthy quest. We must be careful, however, that the quest does not consume us. The outsized role work has in shaping our identity can be intoxicating and enticing. Work, however, is just one element of our response to the caller—alongside work are elements of family and friendship, service and Sabbath, creativity and community.

There’s a short saying that we use often in the work we do with students that puts the importance of work in proper perspective. It goes like this, “the value of our work is not in what we make, but in what it makes of us.” I am grateful for the opportunity to meet with students, wherever they are along the path, to explore these important questions of calling and career.”

Friday, January 7, 2022

Rev. Jon Cavanagh

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is chapel-2021-fall-jon-c-1.jpg

Rev. Jon Cavanagh, Campus Pastor at Taylor University since 2015, is a 1998 Taylor University alumnus.  He has served at Taylor since 2007, filling roles that have included Director of University Apartments/Coordinator of Off Campus Community, Co-Chair of Residence Life Programming, Hall Director at Wengatz Hall, Head Men’s Golf Coach, and committee assignments including Chair and member of the Community Life Committee, Lighthouse and J-term Capstone Co-Leader, and the leadership of various devotional groups.

In addition to his Bachelor of Arts in Christian Education from Taylor, Cavanagh holds a Master of Divinity from Winebrenner Theological Seminary, Findlay, Ohio (2008). He is an ordained minister in the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (N.A.C.C.C.).

Prior to returning to Taylor, Cavanagh served as Associate Pastor for Plain Congregational Church in Bowling Green, Ohio, and as resident director at Asbury University in Wilmore, Ky., and Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. He also filled the role of Church Planter for Mercy and Grace Ministries in Sheridan, Wyo., from 1999 to 2000.

Jon and his wife Kara are the parents of 2 daughters, Phoebe and Hattie.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Rev. Greg Dyson

Rev. Greg Dyson is Taylor’s Vice President for Intercultural Leadership and Church Relations. He is a proven leader with over 30 years of working directly caring for youth and adults of all ages primarily on the East Coast, with a focus on personal developmental and spiritual growth. He also founded the Lion’s Den Youth Outreach Center of Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, over 45,000 visits by teens since 2002 with established partnerships to over 30 different organizations. www.lionsdenyouth.org. Along with many other things, he co-managed the Cornerstone Bookstore and established a weekly radio show to promote available resources and local community people.

“As we serve together, God has allowed us to conceive a strategic plan for diversity and intercultural leadership, and then to implement that plan. Setting priorities and short-term objectives while tracking progress towards long-term goals. It’s humbling to serve with the amazing team at Taylor University! Our Multicultural Philosophy statement helps you understand our desire and direction at Taylor University

Additionally, I’m encouraged to serve in the area of Church Relations. It is our desire to encourage the work that God is and will continue to do through the local church. With over 30 years of church ministry personally, it’s an honor to work with our Taylor community to foster, encourage, support and advance the efforts of the local church.”

Monday, January 3, 2022

Rev. Jon Cavanagh

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is chapel-2021-fall-jon-c-1.jpg

Rev. Jon Cavanagh, Campus Pastor at Taylor University since 2015, is a 1998 Taylor University alumnus.  He has served at Taylor since 2007, filling roles that have included Director of University Apartments/Coordinator of Off Campus Community, Co-Chair of Residence Life Programming, Hall Director at Wengatz Hall, Head Men’s Golf Coach, and committee assignments including Chair and member of the Community Life Committee, Lighthouse and J-term Capstone Co-Leader, and the leadership of various devotional groups.

In addition to his Bachelor of Arts in Christian Education from Taylor, Cavanagh holds a Master of Divinity from Winebrenner Theological Seminary, Findlay, Ohio (2008). He is an ordained minister in the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (N.A.C.C.C.).

Prior to returning to Taylor, Cavanagh served as Associate Pastor for Plain Congregational Church in Bowling Green, Ohio, and as resident director at Asbury University in Wilmore, Ky., and Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. He also filled the role of Church Planter for Mercy and Grace Ministries in Sheridan, Wyo., from 1999 to 2000.

Jon and his wife Kara are the parents of 2 daughters, Phoebe and Hattie.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Clint Baldwin

Image preview

Clint Baldwin is the International Executive Director of Word Made Flesh International (WMF).

WMF is a Christ-centered, international advocacy and development organization that walks and works with and among people who find themselves in some of the most vulnerable, poverty-stricken, and oppressive situations in the world. After thirty years learning, teaching and administrating in higher education with interdisciplinary focus on international and intercultural peace and justice, Clint brings a deep desire for transformative reconciliation, empowerment, and mutuality to be at work in all places and people. He believes that “we all always have something to learn and we all always have something to give” and that we are “better together.” It is one of Clint’s lifelong vocational pursuits to aid people and organizations in meaningful, humble and healthy navigation of such understanding.

Clint enjoys being with family and friends; reading and writing poetry and prose; savoring a good cup of coffee or tea; being out-and-about in nature; engaging in intercultural experiences and relationships; contemplating, discussing and living the philosophical and theological principles of faith and its practices; and finding ways to cultivate and celebrate joy.

Clint is married to Sarah, who has been a thirty-year key formational partner and presence in his life. He is honored to celebrate her work as Asbury University’s Vice-President of Student Life and Dean of Students. Clint and Sarah have three children – Madi, Kai, & Emily — who bring priceless life, love and goodness into the Baldwin home.