Defining Belhaven University – “Purposeful Stewardship”


In June, I was locked in a conference room for two days with our Administrative Team, the Directors of Admission and Integrated Marketing, and some incredibly gifted marketing consultants.

Our time together was for one simple task – to articulate exactly what Belhaven University does that distinguishes us from all other colleges and universities.

You’d think that assignment would be easy – but it wasn’t. And fortunately, we had Liza Looser and the Cirlot Agency, one of the country’s top marketing firms, leading us through this analysis – a gift of their time given to Belhaven, worth far more than we could ever afford, had we hired their council like other clients for this analysis.

We were charged with distilling everything special about Belhaven into one or two words. If you had only one or two words to describe everything that is unique about us – what would you say?

I’ve suggested to the campus that “Christ focused” would be those two words, and while true, we were quickly convinced in our session that those words didn’t articulate what made us different from every other evangelical school.

Well, it may not be the perfect answer, but to summarize the nature of what distinguishes Belhaven University from all the other 4,168 schools in America we chose the words: “purposeful stewardship.”

Not too catchy for a billboard is it? Yea, we didn’t think so either, but it’s the truth, and we’ll find some good ways to explain it.

It comes down to this idea – we have a drive and culture ingrained in Belhaven that seeks to get the best out of everything that God has given to us. We are purposefully good stewards of whatever the Lord entrusts to us.

If we take all the complexities and distinctives of this University, and distill them into this core idea of “purposeful stewardship,” everything we do boils down into three critical stewardship callings given to us by God:

1. Purposeful stewardship of teaching an unchanging biblical
worldview

2. Purposeful stewardship of valuing every student
.

3. Purposeful stewardship of honoring God-given opportunities.

_______________________________________________________________________
Dr. Roger Parrott
President, Belhaven University
1500 Peachtree Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39202
(601) 968-5919 voice — 352-1911 fax

Blog:  http://blogs.belhaven.edu/president/
Home page:  http://www.belhaven.edu/

Belhaven University – Our Standard is Christ
Be strong and courageous! … The Lord your God will go ahead of you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 …. Belhaven University 2010-11 Verse of the Year

— the importance of graphic design gets lived out every day

There may be no more important way to reach the world for Christ than through images.  As Christians our words matter a little, our actions matter most, but it is the images of communication that grip people if they are to consider ideas outside their familiar turf.  In this age, graphic design may be one of the most important evangelism and discipleship tools available to us.

It is contrite to repeat the old saying, “a picture is worth 1,000 words” – today, the right picture, with the right headline, presented in the right way speaks volumes.  And to me the importance of graphic design gets lived out every day:

  • I just published a book, and we spent more time getting the cover right than I did writing chapters, because if entirety of the book’s message doesn’t come across on the cover, the book will never be opened.


  • When we print our magazine for Belhaven, I spend as much time working with out team about the graphics as I do about the words.  I know the recipients of our magazine may or may not read the story, but I know they will all see the graphics.


  • When I write even a simple email to the campus, I know that how it is laid out will determine how well it is read.  The words don’t change, but the presentation can make the words be heard rather than lost.


I hope our students will become the best – for business, graphic design firms, and ministry organizations. And I hope they will be people with a calling from God to not be satisfied with just showing us razzle-dazzle of creative designs.  Whether selling a product, shaping an idea, or sharing a ministry focus I pray we will have graduates who “serve rather than be served” – which means in graphic design that the goal must be to meet the needs of those to whom you are communicating, not just boost the designer’s ego so they are able to win awards.

I’m thrilled we’ve started this graphic design major. With the thousands of images that come at us every day, and the short attention span of people, it is the graphic designers who have more opportunity to set the cultural agenda for the world.  The good ones will be heard.

_______________________________________________________________________
Dr. Roger Parrott
President, Belhaven College
1500 Peachtree Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39202
(601) 968-5919 voice — 352-1911 fax

Blog:  http://blogs.belhaven.edu/president/
Home page:  http://www.belhaven.edu/

Belhaven College – Our Standard is Christ
He led me to a place of safety; He rescued me because He delights in me.

Psalm 18:19 …. Belhaven College 2009-10 Verse of the Year