Point Loma Nazarene University’s Voices in Praise Gospel Choir, or VIP Gospel Choir, has recorded an album that is now available to purchase immediately. Entitled the VIP Project, this new lively album encompasses a beautiful array of well-known worship songs, including “How Great Is Our God,” “Jesus Is The Light”, and “More Like Him”. Recorded live at the Church of Rancho Bernardo, this album is one of hopefully many more albums to come from PLNU’s VIP Gospel Choir.

The album is available to buy both on iTunes and on the website “CD Baby” at If bought from CB Baby, the greater percentage of sales is given directly to the choir.


The San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC) announced the results of a report completed by PLNU’s Fermanian Business & Economic Institute (FBEI) today. The report quantifies the economic impact on the San Diego area that would result from the proposed Navy Broadway Complex Redevelopment proposed for the downtown area.

SDMAC and Dr. Lynn Reaser of PLNU presented the report at a press conference on Friday, October 28, at 10:30 a.m., at the Broadway View Room on the Broadway Pier, San Diego. Ruben Barrales, President & CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, also participated in the program.

John Pettitt, president of SDMAC, said, “The proposed Navy Broadway Complex Redevelopment project represents a major development effort for San Diego. The project will have a positive impact of great significance to jobs, income, and the San Diego region’s total output of goods and services. It is estimated that as a result of the redevelopment 7,400 total new jobs will be created, and over $350 million in income and nearly $850 million to the region’s total output would be generated. This redevelopment project would provide a highly productive use of now largely vacant land and generate sizable tax revenues.”

 The economic impact report was completed by PLNU's chief economist, Dr. Lynn Reaser, and FBEI research assistant, Dieter Mauerman.

Fermanian Business & Economic Institute, PLNU

Jessie Beauchaine (98) served as the associate producer for the documentary "I Came to Testify," part of the PBS series "Women, War & Peace." She started by researching, trying to “determine whether or not there was a story in Bosnia.” It quickly became clear that the information she was gathering was not just interesting, but deeply impactful. 

"I Came to Testify," narrated by Matt Damon, tells the story of the story of how rape and sexual enslavement was used as a weapon of war in Bosnia. Ultimately, the film became the story of a handful of women who testified at the International Criminal Tribunal in The Netherlands. Because of their testimonies, wartime rape and sexual enslavement were deemed crimes against humanity for the first time in history. This established a standard for how sex crimes would be prosecuted in future conflicts.

“I talked to all sorts of people – NGO administrators working with women victims of war, prosecutors at the Yugoslav Tribunal in The Netherlands, journalists who'd covered the war in Bosnia and the break-up of Yugoslavia, and in particular, anyone who had worked with or reported on the use of mass rape during the war and the women who'd survived it,” said Beauchaine.

Beauchaine calls her journey to documentary filmmaking “circuitous.” She graduated from PLNU with a B.A. in history. She began researching documentary filmmaking graduate programs after graduation, but shied away out of fear of inexperience. She went on to obtain a master’s degree in Christian ethics from Fuller Theological Seminary. It was there that she developed an interest in social justice work, but took a job as a writing and critical thinking instructor at Soka University in Orange County, Calif, an experience she says “gave me time to reflect on where I wanted to go next.” After five years there, she was accepted into Columbia University’s School of Journalism. She graduated with a print journalism degree and after freelancing in a bottomed out economy, she took an internship with "Women, War & Peace."

“The series involved history, social justice, obviously journalism – everything I wanted in a career. So I threw myself into it and was ultimately promoted twice over the almost two years I was there,” said Beauchaine.

Her seemingly meandering journey has led her to a place that has combined all of her experience and passion into the perfect mix.

“Until recently, I looked at my history degree, seminary training, scads of internships, five years of teaching – as false starts,” said Beauchaine. “And now I marvel at the fact that I ended up more or less where I'd wanted to be in the first place, only now I'm better prepared to assume the responsibility of telling what I think are important stories, and it's exactly because of those other paths I've taken. For the first time in my life, I'm deeply grateful for the learning experiences that have come to me throughout my different attempts at finding myself and my purpose.”

Watch Episode 1: "I Came to Testify" on the PBS website

Alum, History & Political Science, PLNU

On Oct. 22, over 6,500 people attended Point Loma Nazarene University’s annual Fall Festival, a free event for the San Diego community. One of the highlights of the event has become the presentation of the Presidential Community Service Award, given to individuals who express the university’s value of community service.

This year’s recipient was Malin Burnham, chairman of John Burnham & Company Insurance and Burnham Real Estate.

In addition to his involvement with the Burnham Companies, Malin has been active as a board member of several major corporations. His present involvements include: board member of Sanford|Burnham Medical Research Institute, UCSD Foundation, Rady School of Management, SDSU Campanile Foundation and the USS Midway Museum, and co-chair of the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. Malin served as Trustee of Stanford University from 1985 to 1995. He also co-established the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate at the University of San Diego.

Malin has been a world-recognized sailor for five decades and has helped San Diego achieve prominence in both local and professional sports. At age 17, he became the youngest skipper to win a World Championship in the International Star Class.  In 1987, he played a leading role in bringing the America’s Cup to San Diego.  

Malin has received many awards for his community and professional work, including the Junior Achievement/San Diego Business Hall of Fame, Philanthropist of the Year, Civic Entrepreneur of the Year, Mr. San Diego and the Gold Spike Award.




Also recognized was Vincent Mudd, owner, president and chief executive officer of San Diego Office Interiors. Mudd has been recognized in the San Diego community for his leadership in entrepreneurship and sustainability. Mudd and San Diego Office Interiors have won numerous local and national awards including Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Cool California Award from the California Air Resource Board, Man of the Year, and a number of awards for sustainable design, construction and indoor air quality.  

He has also served as Chair of the Citizen’s Fiscal Sustainability Task Force, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the American Red Cross, numerous investment and audit committees, and is the current chairman of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

Mudd has been appointed to executive positions for a variety of local and statewide boards and commissions including: State Compensation Insurance Fund, Workplace Alliance, San Diego County Water Authority, City of San Diego Charter Review Committee, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, and SDSU’s Campanile Foundation.  

Very active in the community, Mudd has also served as Chair of the Citizen’s Fiscal Sustainability Task Force, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the American Red Cross, numerous Investment and Audit Committees, and is the current Chairman of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the largest Chamber of Commerce in the State. 

Mudd is a licensed general contractor, and teaches a course on Sustainable Design and Construction at SDSU’s College of Extended Studies. 

Office of Community & Government Relations, PLNU

On Oct. 15, 180 volunteers from PLNU participated in a collaborative community project to restore the urban Swan Canyon in City Heights. 

Each year, the locally-based FaceLift committee selects a one-block radius in the City Heights area to receive a makeover during a one-day event held in June and in the fall. 

The group spent the day weeding, adding mulch, and cleaning to create a safe entrance into Swan Canyon so children can walk safely to school. The group loaded truckloads of large rocks and boulders to outline a trail and dug holes and installed a fence around the mouth of the canyon so trucks can no longer back up and dump their trash there. 

They also weeded and cleared a large median to be ready for native plants to be planted. 

Another group worked in the front yard of one house with a landscape artist who donated a design for a low-income family. The students weeded and dug to create a path through the rocky yard.

"It’s inspiring to work with the younger generation and see their commitment to making the world a better place!” said Project Clean Coordinator Linda Pennington. 

 PLNU joined FaceLift City Heights, San Diego CanyonLands, CRASH, Inc. (Community Resources and Self Help), and the Ocean Discovery Institute in cleaning and beautifying the canyon. 

“As always, PLNU rocks!" said Amanda Moss, FaceLift co-chair. "I truly hope they know how much their efforts are appreciated.”

"It was a great day of working alongside each other and helping our neighbors in City Heights," said Becky Modesto, PLNU director of community ministries. "This event has always built a lot of bridges in the community.  Everyone joins in and works together and in the end strangers have become friends and a neighborhood is united."




Community Ministries, PLNU

Dr. Dean Nelson, professor of journalism, co-authored Quantum Leap: How John Polkinghorne Found God in Science and Religion, a book on John Polkinghorne, the famed physicist who helped explain the existence of quarks and gluons, the world’s smallest known particles. Quantum Leap discusses Polkinghorne’s contributions to research at the interface between science and religion.

Nelson had read Polkinghorne for years and was “drawn to his clarity.” When he became a staff writer for Science & Spirit magazine, Dr. Karl Giberson, the magazine’s editor at the time, had the idea to write a biography about Polkinghorne, and he shared the idea with Nelson. Despite the fact that Polkinghorne himself had written over 30 books, no one had written more than a magazine article about the world-class physicist and theologian. That was when Nelson decided to write the book on Polkinghorne.

“[Polkinghorne] committed his professional life to believing in unseen realities – quarks and gluons – and then committed the second half of his adult life to other unseen realities – the existence of a loving God,” said Nelson “I find that compelling.”

Nelson began “literary speed dating,” meeting with Polkinghorne in Cambridge and around the world at conferences where he spoke. Nelson read everything Polkinghorne wrote. Quantum Leap slowly morphed into the story of not just Polkinghorne, but about the larger relationship between science and religion. 

“By telling the John Polkinghorne story, that gave an entre to talk about bigger issues like, ‘How does a scientist think about prayer?’ or ‘How does a scientist think about miracles or the resurrection or eternity or creation for that matter?’.”

When the book began to take a scientific twist, Giberson, previously a professor of physics at Eastern Nazarene College and executive vice president of the Biologos Foundation, began to serve as an expert voice to explain some of the more difficult concepts in the book, thus the shared byline. 

Nelson completed his writing over a sabbatical and through a grant from the Templeton Foundation, from which Polkinghorne received the prestigious Templeton Prize in 2002. 

The experience was both enlightening and encouraging for Nelson. 

“My IQ went up by 80 points just by being in his living room,” said Nelson. “The reason you know [Polkinghorne] is a genius is that he can take really complex ideas and state them clearly. This is one of the things he’s known for – he took the presence of a quark, which no one has actually seen, and explained its presence mathematically.”

Nelson says Polkinghorne exudes the same clarity when it comes to articulating his thoughts on faith and spiritual questions. 

“He can be talking about the Heisenberg Principle one moment and talking about why the resurrection is worth believing at another moment with equal clarity,” said Nelson. “That is what’s so unusual about him.”

Bridging the gap between science and religion – two subjects that are often at odds – is what has made Polkinghorne such an interesting individual. In fact, he would say his science makes him a stronger believer and visa versa, Nelson said. 

In his book, Nelson explains that since both science and religion are searching for the truth, Polkinghorne values that they can inform each other. 

For example, Polkinghorne’s view on creation is one that embraces the possibilities of both faith and science. He articulates the prospect of an ongoing creation story – that perhaps everything is still in the process of being created – a different way of looking at the world than either six 24-hour days or the Big Bang.

In the process of writing Quantum Leap, Nelson says both his scientific knowledge and his faith were strengthened. It also encouraged Nelson that conversations around religion and science don’t have to be unnerving. 

“Hanging out with John Polkinghorne or reading Quantum Leap can show us that science and faith don’t have to be afraid of each other… If you’re really searching for the truth, Polkinghorne would say, then why do you have to be afraid of any of it?”



Read Nelson in USA Today: Why certainty about God is overrated

Listen to an interview with Nelson about his book on KPBS's Midday Edition.

Literature, Journalism & Modern Languages, PLNU