Higher Education

Bible Colleges in the 21st Century (Part 2)

From Voice, Nov/Dec 2014. Used by permission. Read part 1.

Most of the innovations sweeping higher education are products of the Internet that is quickly transforming virtually everything and making our entire world more global, mobile, social, visual and digital.

Global

The world of work is increasingly international. As more and more companies move to the global marketplace, it is common for work teams to span continents and be culturally diverse. Working from his home country of St. Vincent, a West Indian pastor/graphic artist designed the current Piedmont logo. That seemed most appropriate to me as we added “International” to our school name and featured the curvature of the earth in the logo.

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Bible Colleges in the 21st Century (Part 1)

From Voice, Nov/Dec 2014. Used by permission.

Just a few weeks after terrorists hijacked planes and used them to attack the Pentagon and World Trade Center, I was asked to become the president of Piedmont International University in Winston Salem, North Carolina. I had no way of knowing the extent of how the tragic events of September 11, 2001 would transform our world, nor could I have imagined the changes that would sweep across the higher education landscape. Like many other Bible college leaders, I had to quickly learn to navigate a variety of shifting currents in the post 9/11 economy and deal with the continuous emergence of disruptive innovations and new technologies. In addition, I felt the urgent need to address the two horrible trends that have been plaguing American higher education for years.

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The Church and the College

From Voice, Nov/Dec 2014.

Leading a Christian college, university, graduate school, or seminary is a challenge in the varied uncertainties of our day. It is especially disheartening when academic publications use terms like “tsunami” and “danger” and “at risk” to describe the perilous nature of the traditional education landscape. One wonders how the smaller private Christian colleges will surf the coming tsunami and overcome the challenge.

This brief presentation is not meant to be a “how to” survival guide for the small college. Rather, it is a perspective on why ecclesiology matters in the overall mission and purpose of a Christian liberal arts college. In what follows I address the nature of the church, the mission and core values of the college, and then consider how ecclesiology informs college life and operations.

What I mean by the church

So what do I have in mind when I reference the Church? I am not writing about a particular denomination nor am I writing about a specific style of ministry. Rather, I am considering what the Bible reveals to us about the nature of the Church in both its universal and local significance.

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"InterVarsity... lost campus access in America's largest university system because it requires student leaders to affirm Christian doctrines."

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