STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 11/21/2011
Community, Compass and Concern
I am loving my role at Gordon. One of the things I have enjoyed the most over the last several months has been the opportunity to meet with all of the departments on campus. As I have listened to my colleagues, I have learned many things about Gordon, but three are especially noteworthy—community, compass and concern for our students.
Community: Our unique community is one of the first things mentioned whenever someone talks about Gordon. This is a first-name campus, an intimate place where we know and trust one another. The STILLPOINT subscription list itself is a representation of the global Gordon community. Our connection through Gordon and our common devotion to Christ bind
Compass: This community has flourished, in part, because Gordon has a strong sense of “grounding” in Christ but also a good bit of “elbow room” (as one person put it) to explore topics and to get things done. Unlike many other campuses that claim the name of Christ, Gordon does not place unwieldy restrictions on the people we engage or the material we teach. This compass is, of course, located deep within the framework of our shared Christian faith. But rather than create additional restrictions, our grounding in Christ gives us even greater scope for creativity and innovation, for play
Concern for our students: Gordon maintains much of its spirit and vitality because we remain focused on students. They are our mission. A college, with the continual investment of wiser mentors into younger protégés, is Christian discipleship writ large. If this discipleship model remains at our center, I am confident we will continue to do good work. We are striving every day to improve our students’ time at Gordon; these include strengthening the first-year experience, providing opportunities for undergraduate research, and tempering the financial cost of a Gordon education with scholarships and financial aid.
All of these things—our community, compass and concern for students—are good things. And they are not found everywhere. They are only limited aspects of Gordon’s identity, but reveal, as a part of the whole, how we model Christ. We can take great pride in Gordon as a place that effectively serves students and the wider common good. There is no need to be embarrassed—in Christian or non-Christian circles—by who we are or what we do. We are actively fulfilling the mission to which God has called us, and that is the most exciting thing we can do.
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