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Initiative 6

Bring Christ to the world through deepened faith, selfless service and compelling Christian witness.

IN FOCUS:
church

92% of students attend a local church at least once a month

elevate bar graph

72% increase in number of high school students participating in Elevate Leadership Lab since 2015

bible

23% increase in the number of Gordon students engaged in small groups since 2015

Spiritual formation remains a critical component of the Gordon experience, evidenced through an increasingly robust Chapel program, DEEP FAITH Week, Day of Prayer, Spiritual Life Groups and other mentorship and outreach opportunities. Inside the classroom, Gordon has implemented metrics to ensure that the Core Curriculum promotes clear faith-learning integration across disciplines. We also strengthened connections with Christian secondary schools through  the development of meaningful outreach and experiences—namely summer programming (Elevate Leadership Lab doubled their enrollment; the College absorbed Compass, which was previously run by Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and introduced Equip, the NEXT conference for heads of Christian schools, and the Faithful Leadership book award).

Over the last decade, the College has seen 88% growth in participation in College-sponsored missions trips. The College also inaugurated the A.J. Gordon Missions Fellowships and established first-year fellows programs for incoming students (originally named for seminal figures in Gordon’s history) to deepen their Christian commitments through entrepreneurial leadership (James Forrester Fellows), justice and urban community engagement (Richard F. Gross Fellows), leadership (Martha D. Frost), ministry, missions, and worship (Nathan R. Wood Fellows) and professional and vocational development (James Higginbotham Fellows). The College also created pre-collegiate programs to engage high school students in classical education, ministry, and vocational discernment.

The College additionally developed Gordon Vision Day as part of a larger Christian workplace initiative, the first-of-its kind among faith-based organizations and sponsored the Women in Leadership national study of evangelical organizations and launched the Women IN program for undergraduate women on campus.

Compass program

Deepened faith
Spiritual formation remains a critical component of the Gordon experience, evidenced through an increasingly robust Chapel program, DEEP FAITH Week, Day of Prayer, Spiritual Life Groups and other mentorship and outreach opportunities. Inside the classroom, Gordon has implemented metrics to ensure that the Core Curriculum promotes clear faith-learning integration across disciplines. We also strengthened connections with Christian secondary schools through the hiring of Sharon Carlson, director of school relations, and the development of meaningful outreach and experiences—namely summer programming (Elevate Leadership Lab doubled their enrollment; the College absorbed Compass, which was previously run by Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and introduced Equip).

20+
schools participating in the Grapevine Consortium
2x
impact of the Office of Church Relations in strategic recruiting regions, exceeding the goal of 20 within the first year
72%
increase in number of high school students participating in Elevate Leadership Lab since 2015

THE STARTING POINT: ORIGINAL GOALS

  • Develop an interdepartmental initiative to help students grapple with the most common challenges to their spiritual life, including doubt, addiction, and the like
  • Develop a metric for measuring external church involvement, and work to increase the percentage of students actively involved in a local church community
  • Enrich the chapel experience with elements that create a positive impact on the spiritual development of students
  • Maintain high participation in meaningful service opportunities (one-third of the student body participating annually) within the Office of Community Engagement
  • Ensure that 25 percent of the student body will have participated in one or more missions trips by graduation
  • Increase the opportunities for all members of the campus community to cultivate a thriving personal relationship with Christ that equips them to articulate the gospel in a pluralist society
  • Assess the number of departments currently offering a capstone course in which articulating integration of faith with the discipline is a significant component, and increase this number by 20 percent
  • Develop and implement an on-going assessment process that ensures that the Core Curriculum is coherent and promotes clear faith-learning integration across disciplines
  • Form at least one international partnership through the Office of Church Relations for hosting regular (annual) church relations events/activities
  • Double the impact of the Office of Church Relations in strategic recruiting regions
  • Strengthen connections with Christian secondary schools through development of meaningful outreach and experiences
  • Host PRAXIS ACADEMY, and through this and other events (such as the Social Venture Challenge) position Gordon as a leader among liberal arts colleges for developing thoughtful entrepreneurial students

STANDOUT ACHIEVEMENTS

  • DEEP Faith Week, which reaches not only students but also all faculty and staff
  • Day of Prayer
  • Growth of Spiritual Life Groups
  • Strengthened connections with Christian secondary schools in multiple ways
  • 88% growth of College-sponsored mission trips
  • Creation and expansion of first-year Fellows programs
  • Gordon Vision Day and additional investments in our people

DISAPPOINTMENTS

  • Participation in service opportunities have not been as strong as we would have liked
  • Limited success in partnering with churches for recruiting undergraduate students