SAN DIEGO, CA – The surprising findings of a three-year study on gang-involved sex trafficking, funded by the Department of Justice, was released at 11 a.m., Monday, October 26 at a press conference at the University of San Diego in the Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre.  The groundbreaking study, “Measuring the Nature and Extent of Gang Involvement in Sex Trafficking in San Diego,” lead by University of San Diego (USD) Kroc School of Peace Studies Professor Ami C. Carpenter, PhD, in partnership with Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) Professor Jamie Gates, PhD, gathered and analyzed data from hundreds of current and former gang members, schools, law enforcement agencies, and victim service providers.  Sheriff Bill Gore, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Generate Hope Founder Susan Munsey, and San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten also participated in Monday’s press conference. 


“This study is the first long-term, comprehensive collection of data on the Commercially Sexually Exploited People (CSEP) industry ever conducted in San Diego County,” said Carpenter.  “Our research combines the intelligence we gathered through hundreds of interviews with gang members, law enforcement representatives, school administrators and other community members with critical information we collected by reviewing incident, arrest and contact data provided by law enforcement agencies. The result is a report that accurately measures the various facets of San Diego’s growing human trafficking problem.” 


Dr. Carpenter and Dr. Gates designed the study in collaboration with survivor service providers, law enforcement, prosecutors, County schools, and other researchers. In addition to the comprehensive collaboration with the broader community, the partnership between both universities was no accident.  


“Our universities each have deep roots in the Christian traditions,” said Gates when discussing the motivation behind their work. “Both USD and PLNU have a deep concern for the poor and oppressed and a deep faith that societies are judged best by how they take care of the most vulnerable in their midst.” 


According to the study, in San Diego County, the underground sex economy represents an estimated $810 million in annual revenue and involves more than 100 area gangs. The study estimates the minimum number of CSEP at 1,766 per year with an average age of entry between 14 to 15 years old. 


Other key findings included:


Number of “prostitution” arrests which are actually cases of sex-trafficking;

Proportion of CSEP victims who are U.S. citizens versus those trafficked from other countries;

Cities & neighborhoods most at risk for commercial sexual exploitation

The number of gangs in San Diego involved in sex-trafficking, and their characteristics;

Demographics of traffickers and trafficked individuals (age, ethnicity, etc.);

Key “hotspots” where sex-trafficking occurs;

Recruitment tactics; and

Recruitment activity within local public schools.


This collaborative research is a landmark study that is already shaping public action and policy. In response to the study’s comprehensive quantitative and qualitative data, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore praised the authors, “The inter-agency collaborative nature of Dr. Carpenter and Dr. Gates’ work will be invaluable to San Diego’s law enforcement community.” All participants echoed the importance of the study’s data which will further inform their work across multiple platforms and jurisdictions. 


Looking forward, the study highlights future trends, which include the need for cross-sector approaches to community problems and sustainable capital for nonprofits. In addition, the study provides victim service providers with the data needed to justify substantial improvements in the size and scope of support services. 


This latest study builds upon years of work by Dr. Gates at PLNU through the Center for Justice and Reconciliation (CJR) at PLNU. The CJR’s mission is to “study poverty and oppression and teach Christian means of social engagement.” The contemporary global abolition movement is one specific arena where faculty and staff of PLNU have taken responsibility for getting involved.


“In the last year we have seen great strides in this effort against human trafficking at PLNU and in the broader San Diego region,” said Gates. “From the establishment of the Beauty for Ashes scholarship fund established to support the education of survivors of human trafficking at PLNU, to the communitywide resource, inertia continues to build around these efforts.”  


A product of the CJR, the Abolish Human Trafficking site is a contribution to the growing need to understand and engage locally, nationally and internationally around the issues related to human trafficking. Monday’s presentation, key facts and resources in San Diego’s fight against human trafficking can all be found on this site


This project was supported by Award No. 2012-R2-CX-0028, awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this study are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice. In addition, members of the San Diego County Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Advisory Council supported the study. 

External Relations, Office of Community & Government Relations, PLNU

August 28th through 30th, PLNU will host New Student Orientation (NSO) on the Point Loma campus and officially kick off the Fall semester on Tuesday, September, 1st. NSO is a weekend experience designed to help students and parents/guests become acclimated to university life. Recognized as one of the premier orientation events for new students, PLNU has spent the past seventeen years refining and enhancing their campus welcome for students and parents alike. “The purpose of NSO is really about student success,” says PLNU President, Bob Brower Ph.D.. “We've found that when new students and their families experience an informative, helpful, and engaging welcome by hundreds of students and staff, the transition into the university creates a strong start for students and erases many unknowns in their adjustment to college.” Following a weekend of festivities for both new and returning students, classes begin on Tuesday, September 1st. The new semester not only welcomes nearly 800 incoming students to main campus, but also represents an exciting time of growth in the broader university system as a result of new programs in PLNU’s Graduate and Professional Education Programs through the College of Extended Learning. Over the past several months PLNU has entered into partnership with a number of San Diego County’s community colleges to offer bachelor’s degree completion programs across the region. These partnerships seek to serve new populations of students and allow PLNU to further meet workforce development needs in the San Diego region and beyond. “PLNU is a proud partner with our robust community college network in San Diego County to provide increased access to students across the region who wish to pursue their bachelor’s degree,” said Brower. “These partnerships speak to the collaborative relationships that exist among San Diego’s robust and diverse higher education community and affirms our respective institutions’ commitment to educational quality for the benefit of all students.” The flagship program offered through the innovative partnerships is the RN to BSN program which enables community college students who earn an associate degree in Registered Nursing to earn their Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from PLNU within 15 months – all on their local community college campus. The RN to BSN program is available to students at the following community colleges in the region; San Diego City, Grossmont, Mira Costa, Palomar and Southwestern Colleges. The partnership at Southwestern College in San Diego’s South Bay is the largest partnership to date, with multiple degree options for students. Students who are accepted into PLNU partnership programs at Southwestern can earn bachelor degrees in Nursing, Criminal Justice, Organizational Management, and Child and Adolescent Development without having to leave the district. Continued growth in PLNU’s Graduate and Professional Education Programs is anticipated during the coming academic year, both at community college campuses and PLNU’s Mission Valley satellite campus. For more information on PLNU’s Graduate and Professional Education Programs, please visit

External Relations, Office of Community & Government Relations, PLNU

For the third time in the last four years, Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) ranked among the top three California universities for the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) examination results as reported by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

“These results are particularly satisfying because PLNU has consistently placed among the top three universities in California,” explained Dan Bothe, Dean of the Fermanian School of Business. “Results like this speak to exceptional caliber of PLNU’s accounting students who are sought after by the most prestigious national, statewide and local accounting firms.”

PLNU graduates ranked 3rd in both pass rate and average score among sixty colleges in California for 2014. PLNU candidates had a 61.9% pass rate and 75.6 average score, finishing behind Claremont McKenna College and Pepperdine University respectively.

In addition to success statewide, nationally, PLNU ranked in the top 5% among Medium Programs for candidates taking the exam for the first time. NASBA classifies universities by size of program based on number of candidates. There were 265 institutions in the Medium Program category (21 to 60 candidates).

“Such consistent results are a testament to the dedication and hard work our alumni take into the business community. The PLNU accounting program does not “teach to the test”, rather we emphasize a rock-solid accounting foundation enhanced by personal values articulated throughout the PLNU liberal arts-based curriculum” commented Associate Accounting Professor Carl Hammond. “Our goal is to prepare our students to “add value” where ever the accounting profession may lead them.”

External Relations, Office of Community & Government Relations, PLNU

After a brief illness, PLNU professor, colleague and friend, G.L. Forward passed away on Tuesday, August 4th in San Diego.

Dr. Forward was known for his love of old Humphrey Bogart movies, murder mysteries, and trips to the mountains – especially Big Bear. A self-described "hopeful cynic," he is remembered by the PLNU community for his love of teaching and care for his students.

The memorial service for Dr. Forward is scheduled for: Saturday, August 15, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. Crill Performance Hall, Cooper Music Center Point Loma Nazarene University 3900 Lomaland Drive San Diego, California A reception will immediately follow the service on the Cooper Portico.

In lieu of flowers, the friends and family wish to direct donations to the "Dr. G.L. Forward Memorial Fund," created to directly benefit his Management and Organizational Communication (MOCM) students at Point Loma Nazarene University.

 - Gifts by Mail: Please make checks payable to PLNU and reference “Dr. G.L. Forward Memorial Fund” in the memo PLNU, Office of University Advancement, 3900 Lomaland Drive, San Diego, California 92106

- Online Giving: Visit Simply select “Other Designation” and reference “Dr. G.L. Forward Memorial Fund” with your contribution

For assistance, please contact Dan DeSaegher – PLNU Development Director at 619-849-2992

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family:

c/o: Kathleen Czech Communication & Theatre Point Loma Nazarene University 3900 Lomaland Drive San Diego, CA 92106

Thank you for your prayers and concern.

Communications & Theatre, External Relations, Office of Community & Government Relations, PLNU

The San Diego Point Loma Host Town will host athletes from Albania, Burkina Faso and Finland as they prepare for the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 (LA2015)

San Diego, Calif., July 20, 2015 – In less than 24 hours, PLNU will welcome 177 athletes and delegates to the San Diego campus in conjunction with the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 (LA2015) which begins on July 25, 2015.


In advance of Saturday’s Opening Ceremonies, more than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will be welcomed to Southern California through the Host Town program. One hundred communities have the honor of being selected as an official Host Town, including seven in San Diego County. The San Diego Point Loma Host Town, under the leadership of Dr. Jim Johnson from PLNU and Mr. Michael Perry, Founder and former CEO of San Diego Trust Bank, will welcome athletes from Albania, Burkina Faso, and Finland for three days to prepare for the games. The university, through generous support of Geico San Diego and numerous individual donors, will provide housing, meals, and entertainment while in San Diego.


“PLNU has a long history of support for our local Special Olympics athletes and we consider it an honor to host each athlete as they remind us what true courage, joy and determination looks like,” said PLNU President, Dr. Bob Brower.  For the past 22 years, the Special Olympics Regional Track Meet has taken place on the track at PLNU, making the university a natural partner for the LA2015 Host Town program.  


During the athletes’ time on campus, PLNU will provide a variety of host responsibilities and services, from meals and lodging, to volunteer buddies for athletes while on and off campus. On Wednesday, July 22nd, multiple San Diego Host Towns will meet for an afternoon at the San Diego Zoo followed by a welcome dinner on PLNU’s campus for the San Diego Point Loma Host Town.  Thursday evening the San Diego Padres will host all 1500 athletes and sponsors in the San Diego Host Town delegations for an evening at the ballpark as they take on the Miami Marlins. Athletes and sponsors will be on hand to throw out honorary first pitches along with a parade of athletes during the pre-game ceremony as the entire San Diego region celebrates the inclusion and spirit of LA2105.


Athletes will depart from PLNU on Friday morning to continue their journey to north LA2015. It’s not too late to get involved. If you would like to volunteer with the San Diego Point Loma Host Town, please call (619) 849-2298 or email Donations in any amount are greatly apprecaite and can be made online to the LA2015 Host Town program. 

External Relations, Office of Community & Government Relations, PLNU

Point Loma Nazarene University’s (PLNU) Fermanian & Business and Economic Institute (Institute) has released a new study on housing affordability in the San Diego region. The study, Opening San Diego’s Door to Lower Housing Costs, attempts to quantify and present an objective analysis of the cumulative economic impact of government fees, regulations, and requirements on the cost of new single and multi-family housing, including both purchased and rented units, in various jurisdictions in San Diego County. 


Chief Economist at the Institute, Dr. Lynn Reaser, unveiled the study’s findings at a press conference on April 29th.  “To put it simply, total cost of regulation amounts to approximately 40% of the cost of housing across the various price segments in all of San Diego County,” said Reaser. “These costs are essentially a ‘hidden tax’ on all residents and further limit the accessibility of San Diego’s housing supply.”


Joining Reaser at the release were members of “Housing You Matters”, a region wide coalition of non-profits, housing advocates and members of the business community. Speakers included; Past President of the San Diego City Council, Tony Young, Jerry Sanders, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and Lori Holt Pfeiler, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity San Diego.


In addition to an assessment of cost drivers, the study researched the ripple effects of the regulatory environment, including the effect on households priced out of the market, the overall implications for population, business formation, jobs and economic growth.


 “At the San Diego Regional Chamber we know that making San Diego a place where businesses can succeed and grow, means ensuring our workforce can afford to live here and yet San Diego is one of the nation’s least affordable housing markets,” said Sanders. “We have known for some time that high housing costs are a major impediment to the region’s economic health and this study is a validation as it quantifies what we have been saying for years.”


According to the research, nearly 233,000 households throughout San Diego County are priced out of the market for owned or rented housing. Affordability is expected to further decline as home prices rise faster than wages. “The impact of regulation on housing is not fundamentally a builder or developer issue. It is about the policemen, school teachers, and others who provide us with goods and services every day who are being priced out of the housing market,” said Reaser.


During her presentation Reaser also discussed the potential economic benefits that could accrue from a relatively modest reduction in the regulatory costs restricting housing access. “A 3% reduction could open up housing alternatives to approximately 6,750 additional households in the course of one year,” said Reaser. “Ultimately, our desire is that the results of our work will have a positive impact on a local level and will be used by elected officials to affect change in our region.”


Opening San Diego’s Door to Lower Housing Costs, is the most recent report published by the Institute, which serves as a strategic unit of PLNU, providing expert business and economic consulting, commentary, studies and research. The study offers a series of best practices and recommendations for local government to simplify and standardizing the building permit review process, with the overarching objective to increase housing affordability for all housing types. Coalition members intend to actively support the adoption of recommendations identified through concerted efforts aimed at local government in the coming months.


The full study is posted on the Institute’s website, as well as the “Housing You Matters” coalition site,  



External Relations, Office of Community & Government Relations, PLNU