Championing Every Kind of Diversity—but Christian

Championing Every Kind of Diversity—but Christian

In light of recent regulatory actions, several Christian universities have applied for a government-established exemption from Title IX.  Most of the issues deal with gender identity, mission-fit hiring, and expectations regarding sexual behavior. Universities that apply for the exemption are being targeted by media and accused of doing everything allowable under the exemption.

According to the press, these universities are denying admission to pregnant mothers, expelling out-of-the closet students, and being homophobic to the Nth degree. I know a lot of Christian university presidents. This is neither the practice nor the desire of the ones I know.

So why are schools applying for the exemption?

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Update on The 2015 Big Idea: Reducing College Student Debt

Update on The 2015 Big Idea: Reducing College Student Debt

Last year I shared that my big idea for 2015 was to put a dent in college student debt. We have made a small beginning.

This past fall, 45 students became our test group for the Trevecca iWork program. To date, we are retaining all of them into the spring semester and they have paid $61,000 on their college bills as a group. In addition, each student has received basic training in workplace habits. All of our supervisors have been trained to mentor students toward workplace success. We will be adding more students to the test group this semester before aiming at 200 jobs this fall. We have companies lined up to provide jobs for our students.

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College Students: Reclaim Dating Rituals That Build Great Marriages

College Students: Reclaim Dating Rituals That Build Great Marriages

Several times each school year, I speak to our college students at Trevecca during a chapel service. Today, I’d like to share excerpts from one of my talks last year. It’s on a topic that’s near and dear to my heart—the future of Christian marriages and Christian families.

Today’s young people live in a culture that prefers “hook-ups” for casual sex to committed dating rituals that require sacrifice from each person and help lay the foundation for solid Christian marriages. Last year, I wrote a book, Human Sexuality, which explored this subject.

It’s my prayer that college students, young adults, and singles everywhere will heed the call to abandon the world’s idea of “relationships” and return to lives of integrity and the pursuit of great, biblical marriages.

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Wearing Color for Mental Health Awareness

Wearing Color for Mental Health Awareness

I’m getting my color functions mixed up. People are telling me that pumpkins painted blue on a front porch at Halloween are a signal that the candy being distributed to trick-or-treaters is gluten free and additive free.

We all know that pink accessories on massive football players during the month of October indicates support for the battle against breast cancer, and the colors of the rainbow are a sign of support for same sex marriage. A black suit prompts the question, “Who died?”

Purple and white means “Go Trevecca.” Purple and gold means “Go Olivet.” (I suppose you might say they are royal and rich; we are royal and pure.) Lighting your house or landscape with green bulbs means that you support veterans.

But I’m also hearing that wearing green is a signal that you support mental health awareness.

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Worship

Worship

One of the nagging dilemmas I face as a university president is faculty attendance in chapel.

We require the students to attend 24 chapels per semester. They often ask me why many professors do not attend.

And their logic is pretty good. “If we are a Christian community, and we believe that worship is formative, and we believe that the need for worship does not end when you get a degree, why don’t professors attend chapel?”

I remind them that many do.

Ok; some do.

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They Call Him “Hoz”

They Call Him “Hoz”

I think I just saw the finest example of classroom instruction that I have ever seen.

The room had no chairs but about 25 standing students. No desk, but a piano. No heavy technology, but a simple white marker board.

Mark Hosny, affectionately known as “The Hoz,” was teaching a group of music students. They were working on the practice of conducting a choir or musical rehearsal.

From the opening second, they were moving, exercising, breathing like musicians do, singing, responding to targeted questions, remembering what they had worked on before, stepping into the limelight and demonstrating a practice with the choir. They were performing at a remarkable level.

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Against the Odds – Why a Christian University in the Heart of Nashville is Thriving

Against the Odds – Why a Christian University in the Heart of Nashville is Thriving

As we go into the fall season, I am grateful for the strength of the university that I serve. We are seeing triple digit growth and are breaking all-time records for freshman enrollment, undergraduate enrollment, and total enrollment. The high-water marks of last year will soon trail the new numbers for this year.

Why? If you read articles about colleges, you’ll recognize that this pattern is not the norm. The pundits predict the demise of private Christian colleges. Tennessee has made community college free. Yes, we are competing with free. Everyone says tuition is skyrocketing and is out of control.

Church support for the Christian mission of a university is down. States are trimming funding for college. Many are declaring that a college degree is not worth what it costs, especially in terms of the number of years it takes to pay back a college loan. Liberal arts degrees are under attack as “too general” and “too vague” to offer a skill set that is marketable.

I read this stuff all the time. Most of it has been challenged statistically (and correctly) in studies done by the Council for Independent Colleges (CIC).

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Trust

Trust

The essence of biblical covenant relationships is found in the Hebrew word, chesed. When people enter covenant, chesed—which is often translated as “loving-kindness” or “steadfast love”—is established between them. Trust is implicit to the covenant relationship and suggests that we intend to behave in certain faithful ways toward each other while expecting the same in return. The beginning assumption is peace, not conflict; trust, not suspicion.

The church today needs a greater degree of trust in at least three different areas.

Generational Trust

An older generation needs to trust the missional spirit of a younger generation as they seek to reach their changing world. The pessimism about the younger generation is not valid. Our youth are in touch with the same God who found us early in our lives and dreamed through us the church as it became under our leadership.

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You Can Afford a Trevecca Education

You Can Afford a Trevecca Education

Summer means vacation and camps and family reunions. If you’re the parent of a high schooler, it may also mean touring college campuses in order to find that home away from home for your child.

I hope you’ll consider Trevecca Nazarene University. We offer academic programs based on Christian values that promote scholarship, critical thinking, and meaningful worship for students in preparation for lives of leadership and service to the church, the community, and the world at large.

“But,” you may ask, “Isn’t a private Christian university education expensive?”

Actually, I’m pretty sure you can afford a Trevecca education; it’s more affordable than you think. I love this video that explores three common myths about paying to attend Trevecca.

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My Top 10 Events in the Last Two Weeks

My Top 10 Events in the Last Two Weeks

Sometimes you have a stretch of events that just makes you glad to be alive and doing what you do. The past two weeks has been that kind of stretch. In no particular order, here’s my list of:

The Top 10 Events in the Last Two Weeks

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