Siloam Springs, Ark. (May 27, 2006) - John Brown University and Kanakuk Kamps announced this afternoon (Friday, May 26) their exciting partnership in a unique program that provides youth workers a chance to earn a graduate degree in ministry. The announcement was made to three-hundred Kanakuk youth workers at the camp located in Branson, Mo. Students who complete the program will be uniquely and thoroughly prepared for a career in ministry. College graduates participating in the Kanakuk Institute (KI), a year-long training program in practical and biblical knowledge, will now be able to receive course credit toward a JBU master’s degree in youth and family ministry for their Kanakuk training. JBU and Kanakuk have worked closely together to design this opportunity for youth and ministry workers to earn a relevant master’s degree from a leading Christian university while working at one of the best Christian camps in the nation. “When this idea was first presented, it seemed to be a perfect fit for JBU and Kanakuk,” Dr. Cary Balzer, director of the graduate ministry program at JBU, said. The purpose in creating this program is to prepare individuals to serve in church and parachurch ministries with a focus on spiritual formation. Graduates of this degree program partnership will have formal ministry training, experience in the field and a graduate degree to verify their preparedness for a professional career in ministry. Students can earn nine hours of credit through KI training and 22 hours of course credit through JBU classes and online courses. They will also complete a three credit-hour internship at Kanakuk Kamps. “This program is an outstanding blend of practical application and academic rigor,” Dr. Richard Ellis, dean of graduate and professional studies, said. “Kanakuk Kamp is recognized nationally as a premier Christian camp, committed to quality in all its endeavors. KI extends that ministry by mentoring college graduates in ministry to youth. At the Institute, students will receive understanding of biblical teaching and experience in ministry. At JBU, the students will research the sociological, cultural, theological and psychological dynamics of contemporary ministry to children, teens and their families. It’s a great combination.” JBU’s Biblical Studies Division faculty will support this new program by offering intensive classes taught on JBU’s main campus in Siloam Springs, Ark. and through online courses. Some online courses will be supplemented with KI seminars presented by Drs. Gary Oliver and Greg Smalley of JBU’s Center for Relationship Enrichment. Students also must attend any events or activities as required by Kanakuk. Online courses offered to students in the program focus on youth and children ministry, relationship principles and Christian education. This September, the inaugural class of JBU-Kanakuk students will begin the program by coming to Siloam Springs for their first week of intensive learning. Students entering this program in fall 2006 are expected to complete their degree in May 2007. Students wishing to participate in this program must first be accepted to the Kanakuk Institute, and then submit a separate enrollment application and transcripts to JBU’s Graduate Admissions office. John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked sixth by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 1,900 students from 43 states and 40 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.