Connect with the colleges of Grand Canyon University (GCU) through the GCU Community page. Enjoy a collection of the latest news, events and hot topics that GCU’s Deans, faculty, staff and students have prepared. As an aggregate of the colleges’ blog, you will find an assortment of topics assembled on this community page. Click around and get lost in the engaging content provided by GCU.
A mother and teenager daughter embrace in the fall foliage.

By Paige Ferrari
Global Outreach Student Leader

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you.” (Psalm 63:1)

Bring on the stretchy pants and Mom’s famous stuffing!

Thanksgiving came and went before we knew it. But, today is Black Friday and leftover sandwiches only persist our turkey coma.

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Silhouette of man praying at the top against the beautiful cloudy sky

By Mark Kreitzer
Faculty, College of Theology

By Nancy Kreitzer  

God brought each of us into the world by His gracious plan and power, gave us specific gifts along with the assurance that He has numbered our days and designed them with purpose (Psalms 139).

Yet, in the midst of blessings, we often struggle with thankfulness. Finances become tight, relationships fall apart and conflict arises where we hoped for peace. Pain enters through portals we carefully crafted for protection, and instead of thanking God, we grumble. We see others whose lives seem virtually carefree. We wonder why God has left us here in our frustrating circumstances as we complain about His “great” plan for our lives.

How can we give thanks when life is just not going the way we expected?

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Closeup portrait of a wild wolf

By Chris Cunningham
Local Outreach Coordinator 

A few weeks ago, a group of my friends and I were joking about spirit animals. We went around the room deciding which animal fit each of our personalities the best.

When my turn came up, one of our friends blurted out, “Chris’ spirit animal is the cynical lone wolf!”

Looking back, I’m wondering if he set the spirit animal game up because he seemed like he had been waiting to let that one out.

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Fall decorations surround a pumpkin with "Thanks to God" inscribed on it

By Paige Ferrari
Global Outreach Student Leader

Where does the Bible give thanks?

Between cooking the turkey and baking the pies, take a moment to be filled with the spirit and reflect on what it truly means to give thanks.

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A nurse in scrubs holds a cross in their hands

By A. Veronica Perez, MPH
Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Thanksgiving provides an opportunity to reflect on what is important and give thanks for the blessings in our lives. As a public health professional, Thanksgiving is an especially good time to be thankful for the gift of health and the ability to promote health as a profession.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time for me to give thanks to God for the opportunity to educate and train the next generation of public health professionals. It is an honor and a privilege to serve my students in this capacity.

Here are some additional thoughts about Thanksgiving from my fellow colleagues in the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions at Grand Canyon University:

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happy little Girl hugging her teacher in classroom

By Marjaneh Gilpatrick, EdD
Executive Director of Educational Outreach and Chair of MEd in TESOL

At a recent faculty and staff meeting in Grand Canyon University’s College of Education, our Dean Kimberly LaPrade, PhD, asked everyone to share their thoughts about Thanksgiving from an educator’s lens.

Some reflected on how Thanksgiving provides an opportunity for educators to make meaning of it with their students:

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Fall wreath and pumpkins set up on a mantel saying Give Thanks

By Josh Sugata
Faculty Training and Development Specialist, General Editor

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

The following story, the Children’s Sermon, always makes me smile:

“A pastor was giving the children’s message during church. For this part of the service, he would gather all the children around him and give a brief lesson before dismissing them for children’s church.

On this particular Sunday, he was using squirrels for an object lesson on industry and preparation. He started out by saying, ‘I’m going to describe something, and I want you to raise your hand when you know what it is.’ The children nodded eagerly.

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Open Bible with glasses lying on a holiday dinner table with prepared turkey and fixings in background.

By James Waddell
Faculty, College of Theology 

As we enter into the season of Thanksgiving, we usually attempt to move our hearts to a place of giving thanks for the good in our lives. But, what if we could become thankful not only in the good, encouraging or beautiful seasons of life, but also in the evil, discouraging or troubling aspects of our lives? To be thankful in suffering certainly seems counter-intuitive, and yet the Bible calls for this different sort of thanksgiving.

The Old Testament emphasizes a thanksgiving that we should give for all things. Job 2:10 famously declares “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” And, the author of Ecclesiastes reminds us, in the various “time[s] for every matter under heaven,” that God “has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11).

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Diverse group of elementary school students looking at a globe.

By Deb Heim Martinez, MEd
Faculty and Student Teacher Supervisor, College of Education  

As we prepare for Thanksgiving, this is a perfect time to celebrate diversity. Thanksgiving is a time of coming together to share and appreciate our families, friends and gifts from God. Although inclusive practices should be part of our daily routine, taking the time to celebrate the cultures and families in our classroom comes naturally at this time of year.

In National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) Position Statement on Developmentally Appropriate Practice, the importance of the early childhood community is stressed because it is often the first one outside of the child’s family. It should be one where each child is respected and they are able to build positive relationships within this community. By welcoming families into the program, we bridge the child’s worlds together and assist them in finding positive social emotional connections.

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GCU students gathered in a local church, smiling

By Bob Greene
Faculty, College of Theology

Isn’t it true that the more a Christian believer comes to comprehend all we have in Jesus Christ, the more eager we are to share Jesus with others?

I’ve come to realize that there must be three non-negotiable factors for my life as a Christ follower:

  1. I must continually make sure that the gospel is the content for everything I do as an individual. I must remain gospel-centered.
  2. I must strive to be intentional (i.e. always on mission) because as the gospel is truth, it must be proclaimed in real, tangible ways.
  3. I must love my community in context, which practically means that I share my life as a believer in Jesus with unbelievers in the places they belong, while building trust to create an environment or place where they can explore and examine the gospel of Christ safely.
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