Archive for July, 2010
Last Wednesday, as I was preparing to go to Cincinnati for the Grace Brethren national conference, one of our faculty stopped by to drop off some old admissions files and folders. This man has a reputation for being a man of prayer often interrupting conversations when an issue comes up to lift it up to the Lord. He greeted me with a smile and a handshake and explained about the contents of the box. Then he asked me how I was doing and I talked with him about my semi-busy schedule and how things were going for the fall. Before leaving, he offered to pray with me and led us in prayer for my upcoming activities and the incoming students.
Despite his reputation, he caught me off-guard by praying with me, but it was just what I needed. Stopping and praying was a perfect reminder to me that all I do depends on God. I can work hard, email and call people constantly, and host great visit days and campus tours. But it’s the grace of God that anyone comes at all. God has to be working in people’s hearts first of all for them to consider going to school post-college. And I am very far from being an expert recruiter and admissions counselor, so any fruits of my labor are also the result of God’s grace. It took a holy man to remind me of this and I want to focus on this as I prepare for the fall.
That brief meeting was good preparation for my weekend as well. At the national conference, I was challenged and encouraged in my own personal walk and had the privilege of reconnecting with a lot of old friends. Friday night during the main adult meeting, the focus was on preparation for the next day’s FGBC service projects and the rest of the weekend. I wasn’t going to be directly involved, but again I felt the conviction of the Spirit about making an impact for the glorious Gospel of Christ in the world God’s put me in. Unsaved friends came to mind that I resolved to reach out to, along with upcoming opportunities to mentor and disciple others. I walked away appreciative to the Lord for leading me to get my mind right and prepare for what He might have ahead for me.
The past week has been filled with some holy moments and it was all foreshadowed by a random interruption by a holy man of God.
Grace Theological Seminary has been awarded accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) following an intensive approval process.
The ATS is a membership organization of more than 250 graduate schools that conduct post-baccalaureate professional and academic degree programs to educate persons for the practice of ministry as well as for teaching and research in the theological disciplines. In the process of becoming accredited, Grace was first accepted as an associate member of ATS then began its candidacy process. The seminary conducted a comprehensive self-study before undergoing a site visit by the ATS accreditation team, who recommended Grace for approval by its Commission on Accrediting.
Dr. Jeff Gill, dean of Grace Theological Seminary, spoke about the opportunities afforded to Grace students as a result of the accreditation. “In addition to the strong affirmation of the excellence of our school, accreditation allows Grace to apply for student scholarships from large foundations like Eli Lilly and the Kern Family Foundation. We also look forward to a greater recruitment pool of prospective students since ordination in many denominations requires a degree from an ATS-accredited seminary.”
Grace has been granted full initial accreditation for a period of five years, which is the maximum awarded by ATS.
For more information about Grace Theological Seminary or to submit an application, please visit gts.grace.edu or call Lee Compson at 877.607.0012.
I’ve often heard it said in relation to the Gospel that you can’t understand how good the Good News is until you understand how bad the Bad News is. I think that’s pretty sound and true as it properly emphasizes our sin problem and need for a Savior.
I’ve encountered this principle reading in the Old Testament recently. Judges is well-known for stories like Deborah, Gideon, and Samson but the majority of the book is focused on the defeats and failures, not the incredible victories. It’s discouraging just how bad it got for the nation whom God redeemed out of slavery in Egypt. Blatant idolatry, religious leaders being anything but, civil war all concluding with ‘everyone did as they saw fit.’ (21:25).
Thankfully God provided Samuel and David and for half of his life, Solomon. And even for many years after them, though the nation strayed from God, there were prophets to bring them back. And the process culminates in our wonderful and merciful King coming to earth to redeem us once and for all.
Isn’t God’s grace amazing. Even though depraved humanity continues to prefer it’s depraved state, our gracious God consistently responds with grace. Eventually he cuts it off and sends the punishment that we had coming.
But He is truly long-suffering and gracious and unchanging in that regard.
Grace College Introduces Three-Year Accelerated Degree Option: “Even a College Can Go Back to School”Thursday, July 1st, 2010
Starting fall 2011, Grace College will offer a three-year accelerated degree in each of its 50-plus major areas of study, enabling students to enter the workforce or pursue a graduate degree more quickly. With the accelerated degree option, students could graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in three years or with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in four.
Grace hopes the new program will help students not only earn a quality education in less time and for less money, but also gain more real-life experience with a focus on applied learning. The faculty and staff have spent the past year developing the program in response to student and family financial concerns.
“We have listened to people’s concerns about [the cost of] higher education and we are answering them,” said Grace President Dr. Ronald Manahan. “This is radical for us. There is risk, but the risk is far greater if we do not do [this].”
Grace College is among the first colleges in the nation to introduce an accelerated program that can be applied to all of its undergraduate degrees.
The idea of the accelerated degree began receiving national and political consideration last fall when Sen. (R-Tenn.) and former U.S. Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander publicly addressed the need for three-year options in higher education. Grace, which began developing its three-year accelerated degree in June 2009, has received support from Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who recently began pushing for more Indiana colleges and universities to offer accelerated degree options.
“Grace College is showing the academic innovation and leadership for which it is known,” said Daniels. “This recent move is exactly the sort of new alternative I had hoped for in asking universities to create a three year option for students.”
Students who graduate in three years are able to not only save one year’s cost of tuition, but can also begin their career a year early, working and earning in their chosen field. Grace estimates that the money saved plus the money earned will reduce the cost of college by approximately 50 percent.
“I am sure that many students will take advantage of this opportunity to enter the workforce a year early and save up to 50% of the cost of their education,” said Daniels.
The new program is designed to help students achieve their degrees at a quicker pace without sacrificing academic rigor. Classes will be structured into two 8-week sessions per semester, focusing on two to three courses per session, in order to maximize efficiency in learning. Students who wish to complete their Bachelor’s degrees in three years will also take two online classes each summer, enabling them to live and work anywhere.
The new structure seeks to strengthen Grace’s competency-based curriculum and heavily emphasizes applied learning. Students will be required to participate in at least 12 credit hours of hands-on learning experiences; this could include, but is not limited to, opportunities such as study abroad, internships, collaborative research projects, and student teaching.
Grace College is an evangelical Christian community of higher education which applies biblical values in strengthening character, sharpening competence, and preparing for service. The academic, residential, athletic, and social aspects of the college are designed to encourage intellectual and spiritual growth in a supportive campus community. The 165-acre campus is located in the historic resort town of Winona Lake, near Warsaw, Ind. It has historically been among the top schools of its size and listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges. The Princeton Review has regularly awarded it the title of a “Best Midwestern College.”
For more information, please visit www.grace.edu/reimagine.