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The Next Chapter for Gordon: Retaining a Commitment to The Liberal Arts

Gordon College’s Administrative/Faculty handbook is not only a guide to protocols and policy, but also an articulation of the Christian liberal arts education distinctive. What is the future of Gordon College? Who are we becoming? We are standing on the shoulders of the long-standing values and vision of the institution in order to interpret a Christian liberal arts education for the needs of today’s learners.

A few excerpts from the Handbook, which has guided our budget process and future planning:

Page 3: Liberal education, then, was intended, above all, for preparation for service to God both in the Church and in society. If the Gospel was to reform culture and society as well the Church, a solid education in the arts and sciences, under God, was necessary. Both the education and the life of service to follow were seen as extensions of the redeeming work of God among us and through humanity. The practice of the liberal arts was to be conducted with reverence as a deeply spiritual exercise of the whole person. For members of the learning community, uncommitted neutrality in matters of faith was inexcusable. Every member of such an enterprise was called upon to submit to the sovereign reign of God. Today the Christian liberal arts college must recapture this same breadth of mission and intensity of divine calling.

Page 4: The Christian liberal arts college takes as one of its major goals the identification of the interpenetrating and mutually dependent relationships of revelation and the findings of all arts and sciences. Among the tasks of the Christian educator, none is more important than that which seeks the integration of faith, learning and living. 

1.4 (opening paragraph): At Gordon the curricular and the cocurricular programs emphasize that the integration of who one is, what one knows and what one does is vital to the College’s mission. 

The union of intellectual maturity and Christian character is essential to prepare graduates for lives of servanthood and leadership. This is developed as the community is challenged to:

  • Pursue truth as revealed by God in Christ, Scripture and creation
  • Develop a Christian worldview as a basis for both informed reflection and a reformation of culture
  • Practice spiritual disciplines to promote lives marked by virtue
  • Begin a journey of lifelong, faith directed learning
  • Grow in intellectual curiosity through foundational studies in the liberal arts and specialized studies in a field of knowledge
  • Cultivate a frame of mind that embraces critical thinking, discernment and perseverance
  • Communicate with clarity, conviction and humility
  • Build strong and caring relationships among families, friends, congregations and communities
  • Commit to a life of physical and emotional health while balancing time spent in work and recreation
  • Become a responsible world citizen whose love for God expresses itself through the wise stewardship of creation, care for the weak and vulnerable, and respect for the uniqueness of individuals and cultures
  • Respect the heritage of the Church and serve the Body of Christ with commitment, fidelity and self-sacrifice
  • Acquire a sense of vocation and calling before God
  • Proclaim and live out the gospel as an agent of reconciliation and transformation in all dimensions of life