I’ve just started reading Restoring the Soul of the University by Perry Glanzer, Nathan Alleman, and Todd Ream. In the introduction they state, “Redeeming the Christian university’s soul starts by recognizing that if we are made in God’s image and the world is made by God, we must first know God if we are to truly know who we are and what the world is.” (p.10) As I reflect on this quote and the title of the book, I am thinking about both in the context of Belhaven University. What I see reassures me that, at least at Belhaven, there is no need to restore the Soul to the University, for Belhaven can truly sing “It is Well With My Soul.” You no doubt have heard of the upcoming retirement of Dr. Dan Fredericks, our Provost. Due to his efforts and, many others, the Soul of the University has been carefully strengthened and nurtured over the years. The emphasis on fully incorporating a Christian World View into every aspect of Who and What Belhaven is has impacted lives, and through our graduates, their communities and the world.
For us, it is not about restoration. Instead, it is about maintaining and enhancing the ground already gained. This is the charge for all of us in the roles God has called us to play here at Belhaven. For Faculty, you nourish the Soul of Belhaven through your interactions in the classroom: teaching, counseling, and modeling what it means to be called of God and saved by grace. Your faith, your commitment, your discipleship are a reflection of His love into the lives of our students and our University. We cannot rest on the past, as Paul writes, “I focus on this one thing; Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Phil 3:13b,14) I am excited to see what God has in store for the future of Belhaven University.