The beauty of Thanksgiving Day is that it is a time of reflection. It allows us to ponder what God has done in and through our lives and what he may yet wish to do.
I’m thankful God has allowed me to work since 1974, almost continuously, in Christian education and in particular since 1982 in Christian higher education. That was the year I earned my doctorate in Political Science with concentrations in Public Administration and Survey Research. I defended my dissertation on Friday the 13th in July of that year and began working as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at my alma mater, Cedarville University (OH), in September. Six years at Cedarville, then 3 years at The King’s College near New York City, and now almost 15 years at Cornerstone University have gone by quickly but fruitfully.
When people ask me what I do I generally answer, “I’m a Christian educator.” If they press me for more specifics, than I tell them about the presidency. Working as an educator in a Christian institution of higher learning is not a “better” calling than others, but it has always been an interesting one.
I like the eclectic nature of the task referred to as administrative leadership. One hour you focus on new building plans, the next on an academic issue, and the next on a visiting supporter of one of the school’s programs. And so it goes. I tell people that I used to “teach politics,” but now as a university president I practice it every day.
A key part of the role is to be gone, to be off campus, out of town, or out of state, visiting with people who support the university. It’s called “Advancement,” and it’s a matter of sharing the university’s mission with those whom God has moved to participate spiritually and financially. The best days in my point of view are the busiest days, the days you almost run from one appointment to the next. That’s a “President’s day.”
In today’s so-called postmodern culture—one in which the primary motivating idea is that there is no such thing as absolute moral truth—the Christian university occupies an important and potentially strategic platform. We believe in truth, what Francis A. Schaeffer used to call “True Truth” in order to make his point unmistakable. We believe in the One and the Way, we are not afraid to research, to question, or to learn because indeed “all truth is God’s truth.”
The Christian university faithful to its mission can be instrumental in developing students capable of influencing culture, today and tomorrow. That’s a lofty statement and a loftier goal. But the God of a biblically Christian university is a “Big” God. He and his purposes are lofty by definition. And on this Thanksgiving Day I am thankful that God has allowed me to play a small part in this lofty mission.
© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2005
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