AU School of Theology honors distinguished members

Mon, 2009-06-29 15:56 -- univcomm
June 29, 2009

AU School of Theology honored Dr. John D. Fozard with the 2009 Distinguished Ministries Award, Norberto and Julie (Beam) Kurrle with the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award, and Dr. James W. Lewis with the 2009 Distinguished Service Award at the annual SOT Alumni & Friends Annual Awards Luncheon on Monday, June 29.

sot-group2This July marks Dr. John D. Fozard’s tenth year as president of Mid-America Christian University. Echoing the academic fervor of his parents, John received a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Southern Illinois University. In 1977, he earned his Master of Ministry degree from Anderson University’s School of Theology. Twenty-four years later, he finished a doctoral program in Theological Distance Education at Trinity College & Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana. [Pictured left to right: Philip Kinley, Dr. James Lewis, President Edwards, Dr. John Fozard, Dr. David Sebastian, Julie Kurrle, Norberto Kurrle, and Joy Sherman.]

For twenty-two years, before accepting his role as president, John worked in numerous positions, specializing in areas such as mental health, hospital chaplaincy, and ministry to the aging. Through his leadership roles, he has determined a need for the availability of prepared Christian leaders to face challenges on a global scale.

John’s goals for the future are clearly reflected in MACU’s mission statement: impact the world on every level possible through the tenants of Christian principles. His past accomplishments, in every ascending degree of size, mirror the noble traditions of our own institution. Whether in the church or in the business office, John has made significant contributions around the world.

John is married to Brenda; they have a daughter, Rachel Fozard Bailey, and a son, Jonathan. Their grandchildren are Claire and Garrett.

Norberto and Julie (Beam) Kurrle have been serving in Paraguay ever since they left the School of Theology in 2002. For Norberto, it meant going home; his parents moved to Paraguay as missionaries in 1975 and have never left. For Julie, a Michigan native, it was a new adventure. The young couple packed their Suburban and spent 70 days making their way down south.

Norberto and Julie work with Radio Alternativa, a 24-hour broadcast Christian radio station in Paraguay. kurrle2They also work in the areas of Christian leadership and children’s ministry and are transitioning from work with Radio Alternativa to a commitment to Christian leadership in the country. They hope to train and disciples Paraguayans to impact their own nation for Christ. They also help the Paraguayans in their community with basic necessities, such as blankets, farm tools, and mosquito netting.

The Kurrles are currently on their second furlough since making their commitment in Paraguay and will be in the United States until August. They are traveling with their 3-year-old son, Timmy.

After earning advanced degrees and forging a career in the business world, James Lewis accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. It changed the direction of his life. He left a job as assistant director of Corporate Internal Auditing to study at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. It was a decision that has greatly benefited the Anderson University School of Theology.

Since coming to Anderson in 1992, James has served both the university and his local congregation, Sherman Street Church of God. In his current position as the seminary’s associate dean, Doctor of Ministry director, and seminary teacher, he experiences daily exciting forms of service to the gifted men and women called to equip themselves for service in the church.

James also has served the wider Church of God through membership on the former Social Concerns Committee, the Reconciliation Task Force, as curriculum writer for Sunday School, and other special assignments. He was recognized by the National Association of the Church of God in 2007 with its coveted Pansy M. Brown Christian Education Award for his committed service in advancing Christian Higher Education.

James is married to Barbara Kaye. God has blessed them with one son, Timothy [now deceased], and two daughters, Andrea Nicole and Kimberli Chantrelle – both of whom earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Anderson University. They also enjoy in their lives two beautiful granddaughters, Ameris Joy and Nya Simone.

—Photo credits: George Abiad.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.