The Gordon IN Boston program exists to::
"It is easy to think that the social justice, change, and peace initiatives I am passionate about are impossible goals when I am in my books and not in real life. But when there are present, living examples speaking in my classes and doing work right before me in the city I live in, those goals are not some idealistic dreams I have, but are part of what is already happening." (course evaluation comment)
History of the Gordon IN Boston Program:
The idea of specific Gordon-sponsored program in the city of Boston goes back to 1990, under the auspices of history professor, Dr. Diane Blake, director of Off-Campus Programs.
By 1995, the ad-hoc Urban Presence Committee of the faculty, led by Economics professor, Dr. John Mason, wrote
“We recognize that God’s people, both in the city and at Gordon, have been given a diversity of gifts and perspectives which are meant to work together to build up the body and advance the Kingdom. We further acknowledge that unless we take an active role in developing the ties between the different parts of the body and allowing these diverse gifts to bring us all to maturity of faith and to works of service, we are prone to the sterility of scholarship without action or to the dangers of zeal without knowledge. We therefore seek to maintain a strong urban program in order both to guard ourselves from these errors and to be part of God’s work in and care for the city.”
Eventually, out of this mission sprang the beginnings of the Gordon IN Boston program (then called the Boston Urban Semester, or BUS program). It was first initiated in 2000 by then Provost, Mark Sargent and ran continuously through the fall of 2011(with the exception of spring 2011). In total, the program served 175 students, mostly (<80%) from Gordon College. Dr. Craig McMullen was hired in 2002 and served the program as its full-time director until June of 2010. It was largely because of the loss of Dr. McMullen’s leadership, (coupled with an important self-study report in March of 2010,) that the program was “suspended” in 2011.) The GEO, with the support of the Provost and other Gordon administrators have “re-crafted” the Boston program options to address critical issues in ways consistent with the original mission.
We also seek to work closely with the Office of Student Engagement (OCE), under the direction of Val Buchanan and her staff, and with the Chapel Office to partner in ways that provide opportunity for urban engagement in co-curricular ways.