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Doing for One What We Wish We Could Do For Everyone

One of the first Chapel services of the 2017-2018 academic year featured SNU’s new President, Dr. Keith Newman.  His message on bringing hope and a hand up featured Dr. Andy Stanley’s observation that we should “do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.” His tangible illustration resulted in ‘viral’ videos and local media attention, as he surprised a young man delivering a pizza, which Newman ordered at the beginning of the service, with notes, cash and gift cards collected from the capacity crowd of students, faculty and staff.

Dr. Keith Newman, President of SNU in ChapelThe week prior to this memorable scene was filled with news of hurricane damage and floods of epic proportions in South Texas. Newman voiced the feelings of the student body that they wished they could do more to help. The campus family had given a generous offering; students in the School of Business had led an effort to fill a truck with donations of cleaning supplies and other materials that SNU students, including Houston resident Caleb Hubbs, would be ta≠tly to the hard-hit city. And, even though SNU was collecting three trucks of donated goods at the annual Nazarene Night at Six Flags Over Texas in Dallas-Ft. Worth, it seemed to be so little in the face of so much destruction.

But, as Dr. Newman reminded the students, they can make an impact on their world by bringing hope to the people around them - by asking God to show them one person each day that they can do something for, with no expectation of anything in return.  He challenged them to imagine what could happen at SNU if they woke up every day and prayed for the opportunity to do something for one person, that they wished they could do for everyone.

To listen to podcasts of Chapel at Southern Nazarene University, visit

SNU students working hurricane relief in Houston September 2017

SNU students working in Houston flood relief (l-r) Madison Chandler, Caleb Hubbs, Sara Nichols, Sam O’Bannon, Kellen Escoe

The Hope We Have – SNU Adopts 1 Peter 3:15 as Verse of The Year

The 2017-2018 academic year began at SNU with the university’s new president, Dr. Keith Newman, welcoming a strong class of Freshmen and transfer students for New Student Institute (NSI). Following the traditional events of NSI which included the Candlelighting on the campus mall, Southern Supper, and a day of service in the community, they were joined by a host of returning students to make up a total traditional student enrollment of 1,059. The Professional and Graduate Studies enrollment of 1,118 brings the fall semester grand total to 2,177 students at SNU.

Southern Nazarene University has always been committed to serving the members of our sponsoring denomination, the Church of the Nazarene, and continues to strongly recruit students from the more than 600 churches on the four-state South Central Region and beyond. This is evidenced by the 434 students currently enrolled in traditional programs who self-identify as members of the Church of the Nazarene. Of these, 350 call SNU’s educational zone home.

NSI Candle lighting ceremony at SNUOne of the hallmarks of an education at Southern Nazarene University is the intentional effort to be a Christ-centered community. Led by Campus Pastor, Dr. Blair Spindle, regular Chapel services are supplemented with opportunities to meet for prayer and worship, as well as a strong emphasis on global missions.

With Dr. Spindle’s leadership, the campus has adopted a ‘Verse of the Year’ found in 1 Peter 3:15. It reads, “But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for NSI Candle lighting ceremony at SNUthe hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." Throughout the year, students will be challenged to find ways to apply this teaching in their lives and grow deeper in their spiritual walk.

For the entire student body, the focus on bringing hope and communicating the source of that hope, is meant to bring spiritual renewal and growth as they receive a first-class education in Christ-like community.

Download the Verse of the Year

Dr. Russell Branstetter, An Enduring Legacy

One of Southern Nazarene University’s staunchest supporters recently announced his retirement from active leadership in the Church of the Nazarene. Dr. Russell Branstetter, who has led the South Arkansas District on the SNU Region for 25 years, will step down as District Superintendent effective October of 2017.

Not only has he led his District with distinction, his service on the Board of Trustees of SNU will be remembered for his spirit of encouragement, thoughtful insights and unwavering support of the university. Elected to serve as a Committee Chair as well as a member of the Executive Committee, he was a respected statesman and leader among his colleagues.

Dr. Russell and Gail BranstetterA true partner in life and their 46 years in ministry, Gail Branstetter has served alongside Russ in the administration of the District office as well as being actively involved in a wide variety of causes and ministries. The Branstetter’s children, Jenna and Chris, are distinguished graduates of SNU; just two of the countless number of students the Branstetter’s have guided toward Southern Nazarene University over the decades.

SNU’s President, Dr. Keith Newman, said of Dr. Branstetter’s service, “Your respected leadership and influence of support for SNU on your district will be greatly missed, but your legacy will endure – and so will our treasured relationship and fellowship. We at SNU wish you and Gail all the best in the future.”

Our Nazarene Heritage
Founded in 1899, Southern Nazarene University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university - a service of the Church of the Nazarene. Located on a 40-acre campus just west of Oklahoma City, SNU grew out of several small colleges committed to training people for lives of service to God, leadership, and reconciliation toward their neighbors and within the global community. More than 32,000 alumni work and serve throughout the United States and the world. Read About Our Heritage

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