Harding Magazine

From the President

For such a time as this

President, David B. BurksBy David B. Burks

One of my favorite times of year is the beginning of the fall semester. The excitement of new and returning students and a sense of shared ministry surround us as faculty gathers together for our annual presession conference before classes officially begin.

Executive Vice President Dr. Jim Carr pointed out in his keynote speech at our evening dinner that we now live in a culture that is effectively post-Christian, emphasizing, “We must maintain our spiritual direction or there is no reason for our existence.

“The mission of building Christian servants stands out like a beacon in the night,” he said. “The church is counting on us remaining faithful to our mission. The great cloud of witnesses is counting on us.”

I do believe that Christian education is needed more today than ever. We must, however, embrace technology and change as we work with students who communicate in ways we never imagined just a few years ago.

We must demonstrate our mission of transforming lives, and, with our students, we must put a premium on genuine personal relationships just as Jesus did. As July commencement speaker Dr. Mike Ireland so capably said, we must help our students learn what truly matters in life.

We must allow an all-encompassing love for God and a corresponding love for people to be at the heart of who we are. We must balance grace and truth.

We must stay true to our core mission and purpose, our reason for existence. We must keep the main thing the main thing. We must remain distinctively Christian while reaching out to others.

Our purpose will hold us steady in turbulent times as we look to biblical principles for guidance. I believe God has a plan “for such a time as this.” If we maintain our purpose, God will use this institution in a powerful way. May we be faithful servants as we proclaim the word.

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