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UC rocks at Stryper Convo


WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — It was standing room only at a recent convo about the history and controversy over Christian rock music. Ministry and Missions professor Dr. Bob Dunston and Communications professor Jeremiah Massengale shared their knowledge and interest to create a convo that combined the history of popular 80’s band Stryper and the controversy surrounding the group’s ministry and other Christian rock groups.

Dunston was a young professor at UC when he first saw Stryper on MTV. He thought they were making “really good music, but not sure how serious I took their ministry,” he shared. The members of Stryper, however, are still practicing their discipleship method, releasing their newest CD—“Second Coming”—on March 26.

With videos of Stryper music interspersed with lecture, UC students learned that Stryper’s name stands for Salvation Through Redemption Yielding Peace, Encouragement and Righteousness, and Isaiah 53:5—“…by His stripes we are healed”—is a source of inspiration for their moniker.

Students also learned about the progression of Christian rock music from Massengale, who discussed the query, “what makes it ‘Christian’ music,” a question that may never be answered completely. Regardless, bands will most likely continue to proclaim their Christian message, and with songs like “To Hell with the Devil,” by Stryper, will continue to be avoided by some Christian groups for years to come.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; twelve graduate degrees, including two doctorate, two specialist and eight master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.