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Students receive spiritual welcome

Master’s College’s annual student conference-turned-community-event discusses biblical leadership

Posted: January 21, 2011 9:51 p.m.
Updated: January 22, 2011 4:30 a.m.

Dr. Voddie Baucham Jr. speaks at The Master’s College Truth and Life Conference held in Bross Gym at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita on Friday. The conference began as an annual orientation for returning students, but it has blossomed into a community event.

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Students and alumni of The Master’s College were offered spiritual renewal and fellowship at the annual Truth and Life Conference held this week at the college’s Newhall campus.

The conference, created by President John MacArthur in 1993, was originally founded as the Student Bible Conference to welcome the students before their spring semester.

The conference offers them focused time for spiritual renewal without the pressure of academics.

MacArthur began the conference by inviting pastors as keynote speakers.

Now, nearly 18 years later, the attendance has grown, and the speakers feature nationally renowned theologians and spiritual leaders from across the country.

Truth and Life
Joe Keller, dean of student life, affectionately refers to the conference as a “big chapel” session that reflects the school’s thrice-weekly chapel services. The conference began Wednesday, and continues through today.

It features two main worship sessions each day, along with various seminar sessions.

“It’s a kaleidoscope of different disciplines that we teach here from a distinctly biblical worldview,” said Keller. “You can hear the word of God (preached) and see how it speaks to all the disciplines.”

The seminars are taught by the college’s professors and focus on many of the disciplines that are offered at the college, including molecular science, business, art and literature.

“We believe in the lordship of Christ and the sufficiency of his word to address every academic discipline in every detail of life,” said Keller.

The college believes that the truth of the word of God and everyday life are connected. In fact, this is how the change in name for the conference was inspired.

Originally, the conference was attended only by the student body, but about 10 years ago, it began to slowly grow.

“Alumni would come back because they enjoyed it so much, and it had an impact on them,” said Keller. “We kept seeing more alumni attend, and some started to make it an annual thing.”

The college then decided to officially open up the conference to the community. Alumni, families of students, prospective students and local churches now attend. The attendance has reached more than 1,500 people. 

“We are thrilled everybody is coming back for the conference,” Keller said. “It is a real homecoming, and a way for everyone to get refreshed and be together again.”

Servant leadership
Each year, the college offers several keynote speakers and a conference topic. This year, the theme of biblical leadership was addressed by MacArthur, Voddie Baucham and Alexander Strauch.

Strauch, author of “Leading with Love,” spoke Friday on the topic of how to lead and relate to people with the right loving attitude and behaviors.

“Everything starts with an attitude of service,” said Strauch. “Leading with love means having a whole different orientation toward people.”

Strauch cites Jesus as the supreme servant example and urges people to treat others with attitudes of gratitude and love. Strauch calls this servant leadership.

“You exercise authority with a whole different approach,” said Strauch. “It’s not about you; it’s about the other person.”

Other topics the college has focused on include suffering, gender roles in the church and holiness.

Danny Gumpriecht, 20, a senior at The Master’s College, looks forward to the conference every year, and especially enjoyed MacArthur’s message on suffering two years ago.

“It is one of the many blessings at the school to be able to have this conference,” Gumpriecht said. “We go to these sessions, hear excellent messages and worship together. We start (the semester) with the right mindset. Everyone enjoys it.”

“There is something special about this place,” MacArthur said. “There is a joy and love for the truth and everyone picks up on it. That’s part of the joy of working with college kids.”

Reaching everyone
The college even offers child care for attendees with kids. Truth and Life for Children, or TLC, is a vacation Bible school-style child care program and is offered at extremely affordable rates for the entire week.

The program features crafts, games, Bible lessons and singing.

Due to the growing number of attendees and the college’s limited space, this is the first year that the college provided a live stream of the conference via its website.

MacArthur hopes for the future development of a larger chapel to accommodate the growing attendance.

“We would love to open it up to a wider community of people,” he said.

The college, which has never advertised the event and relies mainly on word-of-mouth, holds to keeping the conference at its facility in Newhall.

“We want to have it here at The Master’s College so people can come and experience this place,” said Keller. “We are really thrilled with what the Lord is doing. We believe in the word of God as a transformative agent in the hearts of our students.”

Recordings of the conference lectures can be purchased from the Student Life Office at the college.

For details, visit




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