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Whitworth Theology Department Annual Newsletter 2017

Kent McDonald (2000-present), Lecturer of Practical Theology, Regional Trainer for Young Life Inland Northwest

Linda and I are now the happy grandparents of two! On September 29 Marlow Bailey was born. So now we have a beautiful granddaughter to go along with Bennett, who is 3 years old. What a blessing it has been ... except that they live in Portland. But, we make up for it through FaceTime – almost every morning at 7:15 a.m.

This has been a great year in teaching and ministry training. This winter we placed nearly 20 new Young Life leaders out of our Foundations for Christian Leadership Class and in the spring another 20 stepped into campus ministry positions! We are extremely excited over the launch of our new Ministry Training Fellows Program through our Office of Church Engagement. In this program students can major or minor in theology and receive additional practical training in ministry, including service in ministry through our Summer Fellowship Program. The new program is training Whitworth students to be Christ-centered, biblically grounded, and culturally savvy; building them to be creative leaders in the church and society. We are thrilled for those who have already signed up as our first cohort into this program.

In February, I had the privilege of being the keynote speaker at Young Life's Inland Northwest Regional Training Weekend, where 450 staff and volunteers came together for a weekend of encouragment, workshops, seminars and inspirational worship. I unpacked some of the latest research from Fuller Youth Institue as to why it is that 50 percent of kids who say they are Christians in high school end up walking away from their faith after their first year in college. We looked at some new thoughts on how to present the gospel that may help this millienial/post-Christian generation actually hang on to their faith through college.

In May I took a group of 16 Young Life College Leaders from Whitworth on a mission approximately 839 miles above the equator to the beautiful country of Nicaragua. We saw firsthand what Young Life is doing in the world of teenagers in the poorest country in Central America. The goals of this trip were to serve and to see how God uses people from different cultures to reach kids, and then to help my college leaders understand how they might help support, pray for, and even consider "doing" international ministry in the future.

Linda continues her work with Younglives and loving teen moms. This year she started the third Teen Moms YL Club here in Spokane and is ministering to nearly 120 teen moms ages 13-19 each month with meetings in Spokane Valley, West Central and the Hillyard neighborhoods.

Our oldest daughter Lauren and her husband, Michael, still live in the Portland area, enjoy being parents to Marlow and Bennett, and are serving on the Portland Central YL Committee.

Morgan, our middle daughter, just finished her first year of graduate school in the University of Denver's master's in international development and global health program and loves it. We are flying out to see her in June.

Clarin, our youngest, and her husband, Nick, are finishing their first year with the Peace Corps in Swaziland, a small country in the middle of South Africa. They are living in a village and are loving it. And this year we are going to do Christmas in Swaziland...oh, yeah! We are going fly over and spend a couple of weeks with them. How fun!

Blessings,

Kent & Linda McDonald