On Monday, February 9th PLNU students and faculty kicked off the trans-disciplinary Hello Friends! campaign on the San Diego campus.  A real-world sustainable collaboration among PLNU students, faculty, and staff, Hello Friends! received second place in the Nazarene Compassionate Ministries national competition focused on water justice. The team from PLNU was awarded an implementation grant for the campaign, along with $7,500 which they selected to use for a Beauty for Ashes scholarship at PLNU to support survivors of human trafficking.

Monday’s campaign announcement launched a week of activities aimed at connecting the PLNU community and Pastor Celestin Chishibanji from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). “While listening and learning from the community in the DRC, our campaign also seeks to educate and inform the college community about global poverty, clean water obstacles, and hygiene/sanitation challenges experienced by our friends living in another part of the world,” says Dr. Rob Gailey, who directs PLNU’s Center for International Development and led the PLNU team in the project development.

Using web, social media, and daily programmed activities the campaign seeks to raise awareness about access to fresh water, hygiene and sanitation. The ultimate goal is to fund the completion of the first water well at Ep. Mutombo Primary School and Mutowa Institute in the DRC. According to Courtney Mayer, Assistant Professor, Graphic Design at PLNU, who guided her design students in design and branding, the campaign “will use a variety of technology and media: identity, print, web, built environmental space, and social media. We want to open hearts and minds and make a positive social impact in the lives of all who participate.”

During the course of the campaign, students hosted a variety of events focused on clean water access and hygiene; from soap making to a campus wide toothbrush drive. All items made and received will be delivered to the DRC this summer as a part of PLNU’s established LoveWorks program. Fundraising for the well is built into all programming and the week concludes with Friday’s community clean up at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, which borders the campus along the Pacific.

Both Gailey and Mayer recognize that, Hello Friends! clearly integrates the values expressed in the PLNU Mission. “We aspire to put faith into action by using our God-given gifts and talents and hope to see this sustainable trans-disciplinary model developed at other university campuses (and perhaps among local churches), with their own chosen linked communities, educational programming and philanthropy,” said Gailey.


For more information on Hello Friends!, 

External Relations, Office of Community & Government Relations, PLNU

Starting next fall, graduates of the Grossmont College nursing program can seamlessly continue their education and receive their bachelor’s in nursing from Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) in just 15 months without ever leaving the community college campus.

The groundbreaking pact between the two institutions for the four-year nursing degree was announced this morning at a press conference at Grossmont College. Created to address growing workforce demand, the new agreement addresses the omission of nursing programs from recent legislation allowing select community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees.

Administrators hailed the partnership creating cohorts of 25 students each fall and spring as a major plus for Grossmont College’s nursing students, who will benefit from the instruction and student support resources from the university. Tuition for the accelerated degree program is $16,200 and includes the cost of books. PLNU will have a full time advisor at Grossmont College to provide scholarship information and enrollment assistance to interested students.

“PLNU is pleased to partner with Grossmont College to provide increased access to students across the San Diego region who wish to pursue their bachelor’s degree,” said PLNU President Bob Brower, who was joined at the press conference by Grossmont College President Sunita “Sunny” Cooke and nursing deans from both campuses.

The demand for nurses with bachelor’s degrees has grown in recent years. A national study by the Institute of Medicine recommended that by 2020, 80 percent of the nursing workforce should have a bachelor’s degree to meet the country’s healthcare needs. However, it has become a challenge for students to get into four-year university nursing programs. Further compounding the challenge, more hospitals continue to achieve magnet status, requiring them to hire a high percentage of nurses with the degrees.

For Grossmont students there is now a mechanism for students to seamlessly transfer and quickly obtain their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. “It is a wonderful opportunity for our graduates to benefit from Point Loma Nazarene University’s excellent nursing program," said Cooke. "Together we can better meet workforce demand and support student success.”

Highly respected across the San Diego region, PLNU’s nursing program recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. “Today’s announcement is certainly an appropriate way to mark 40 years of excellence in training and equipping individuals called to the sacred work of nursing,” said Brower. PLNU’s nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and licensed by the California Board of Registered Nursing.

Today’s announcement is one of several new programs in development at PLNU that seek to serve new populations of students and allow PLNU to further meet workforce development needs in the San Diego region and beyond. New educational delivery systems and partnerships, like the relationship with Grossmont, continue to extend the educational resource of PLNU as a mission-driven, quality university for the broader San Diego region.

   For more information on the RN to BSN program, visit

External Relations, Office of Community & Government Relations, PLNU, School of Nursing

(San Diego, Calif. – November 22, 2014) – Founded in 1902, PLNU has rich history on which to reminisce. Homecoming provides that special time each fall when alumni return to campus to celebrate and honor their PLNU heritage together with current students. This year’s homecoming week includes over fifty events for PLNU alumni, students and friends.


Homecoming Chapel on Friday celebrates the careers and testimonies of five outstanding alumni. Students, alumni and members of the PLNU Board of Trustees were on hand to celebrate. The Alumnus of Point Loma Award is given to recognize outstanding professional and/or academic accomplishments, a strong Christian testimony, and an impact on the lives of others. This year’s recipients included:  Dr. Brad Strawn (’88), Doug Bowman (’94), Beryl Pagan (’84), and Dr. Brent Strawn (’92).


Saturday kicks off a full day of activity across campus, including a special breakfast at the Liberty Station Conference Center celebrating the 40th anniversary of PLNU’s distinguished nursing program. This breakfast honors the inaugural class of 1974. Highlights of the morning also include recognition of School of Nursing chairs and deans along with a special message from founding chair, Laura Mae Douglass.


The Main Event will celebrate the lifetime achievements of two PLNU alums on Saturday afternoon in Brown Chapel. Dr. Mike McConnell and Rev. Ron Fay will be honored with the PLNU Distinguished Achievement award, recognizing their outstanding accomplishments, their impact on the lives of others and their strong faith. The Alumni Association of Point Loma Nazarene University presents the Distinguished Achievement Award annually to two graduates who have exhibited outstanding lifetime accomplishments in a profession, in an academic field, or in service to a nonprofit organization. These are alumni with a strong Christian testimony who have had an impact on the lives of many and Dr. Mike McConnell and Rev. Ron Fay are no exception.


Saturday’s events culminate in the Homecoming Men’s and Women’s Basketball Games in Golden Gymnasium. The 2014 Homecoming games commemorate PLNU’s first official year in the NCAA beginning with the Women’s game against the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs at 6p.m.. The Men’s Basketball team will take on University of Mary, North Dakota at 8:00 p.m.


Click here for the full Homecoming 2014 schedule!

External Relations, Office of Community & Government Relations, PLNU

This past month, PLNU hosted the H. Orton Wiley Lectures October 13-15, an annual academic lecture series sponsored by the School of Theology and Christian Ministry. Approximately 100-120 students and faculty attended each of the four public talks along with several other events, including a Brewed Awakening discussion sponsored by the Center for Justice and Reconciliation.


This year’s guest lecturer, Dr. M. Thomas Thangaraj, professor emeritus of world Christianity at the Chandler School of Theology at Emory University, led this year’s series entitled “Crossing Boundaries as a Spiritual Practice.”


Dr. Brad Kelle, director of the master of arts program in religion and professor of old testament, shared, “Dr. Thangaraj’s diverse and rich personal experience—as a native Christian in south India to a seminary professor in the U.S. and now back to his native India in retirement—gave him a unique perspective to reflect on the spiritual significance of all kinds of boundary-crossings for our lives.”


The series covered not only theological interests, but also the impact of crossing boundaries culturally, linguistically, and even musically. The lectures took a look at how crossing boundaries can be spiritual practices and means of grace that lead to spiritual formation and deeper experiences with God.


“The talks were especially relevant in a setting like PLNU, where so many of our students participate in boundary-crossing experiences as part of their college careers (through LoveWorks, study abroad programs, community classrooms, etc.),” said Kelle.



The lecture series was first given in 1951 by H. Orton Wiley, professor of theology and distinguished former president of the university. It has continued annually in his honor and focuses on areas of relevance to the Christian ministry from a Wesleyan perspective in areas of philosophy, theology, church history or biblical studies.

External Relations, Office of Community & Government Relations, PLNU

Survivors of human trafficking will have a chance to receive a free college education with the Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund led by PLNU's Center for Justice and Reconciliation (CJR). The CJR is launching a crowd-funding campaign to raise $40,000 in 40 days for the scholarship fund, which would be the first of its kind in the U.S. The campaign kicks off on Thursday, October 30th at “Just Saying” - a spoken word event in PLNU’s Brown Chapel at 7p.m.. 

Since 2005, PLNU’s CJR has been deeply committed to working against human trafficking in San Diego, which was identified by the FBI as one of the country’s high intensity areas for child prostitution. Human trafficking, the use of fraud, force or coercion to get someone to act against their will for little or no pay, has become a major U.S. crisis involving scores of minors and teens in most U.S. cities and at many local high schools.

The CJR’s wide array of work to abolish human trafficking in San Diego includes conducting research, which has led to its involvement and collaboration with local and national law enforcement, child welfare services, educators, researchers and victim service agencies.

Through victim service agencies, organizations that help survivors of human trafficking, Dr. Jamie Gates, director of the CJR and professor of cultural anthropology, first learned that from L.A. to San Diego, approximately two-dozen survivors are currently ready for a 4-year college education. And that number is increasing.

“One of the top three requests consistently for people coming out of that level of oppression is to be able to rebuild their lives by obtaining an education,” said Gates. “Unfortunately for most it is completely out of their reach to find funding and financial aid to attend a university. But what better education could someone coming out of such pain receive than to be surrounded by the compassionate Christian educational environment here at PLNU?”

The spoken word event on October 30th is to open to the public and marks the beginning of the crowdfunding campaign to raise enough money for the Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund to last in perpetuity. The initial goal is to raise $40,000, roughly the annual cost of fully funding a student through PLNU.

“God’s been opening doors, and I can only pray and hope that the financial doors will open as well,” said Gates. “This fund was the obvious next step if we’re going to be a university that gives ourselves fully to working against trafficking. We should be part of the solution in all things that we do, and our primary task is to educate and mentor students.”

The bulk of the scholarship will be for survivors of human trafficking to attend PLNU, while a smaller portion will be for students who are heading towards vocations in the abolition of human trafficking. Survivors’ information will be kept confidential by PLNU leadership and they will remain anonymous among the student population. For more information or to support the funding of this scholarship, please visit the Abolish Human Trafficking website

Center for Justice & Reconciliation, External Relations, info-center, Office of Community & Government Relations, PLNU

On Sunday evening, August 24th, nearly 700 faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends gathered on PLNU’s main campus for the 3rd annual Pray for PLNU event. This year’s event marked the first time that incoming students and their families were also invited to participate ahead of this week’s New Student Orientation (NSO). 


“In three short years, the event has become a significant time for the entire PLNU community,” said PLNU Dean of Students, Jeff Bolster. “This event provides a foundation for the business and excitement of NSO and the start of the new school year.”


The evening began in Brown Chapel at 5:00pm for an opening time of worship led by George Williamson, PLNU’s Director of Worship Ministries.  President Bob Brower provided welcome remarks and shared his vision for the year ahead. After brief instructions from Bolster, participants spread out across the campus to pray. 


As in previous years, special attention was given to the residence halls, as the names of all new and returning students were posted on each doorway, allowing them to be prayed for by name. Additionally, offices, classrooms, labs, and numerous other campus locations, including the off campus sites of the Liberty Station Conference Center and Colony Apartments were covered in prayer. One place in particular was Brown Chapel. University Chaplain, Tim Whetsone, and San Diego First Church pastor, Melissa Tucker, led a group in prayer over each seat in preparation for chapel this coming year.     


Sunday’s event concluded in Brown with a time of worship and a devotional from Norm Shoemaker, the Founding Director of the Center for Pastoral Leadership at PLNU. Ron Benefiel, Dean of the School of Theology and Christian Ministry, brought the evening to a close with a time of prayer and anointing over President and Linda Brower. 


Hosted by the Offices of Student Development, Spiritual Development, the School of Theology, the PLNU Alumni Association, and the Center for Pastoral Leadership, Sunday's Pray for PLNU marked the beginning of another exciting year ahead. For more information, visit PLNU's website.




External Relations, Office of Community & Government Relations, PLNU