Everyone who follows a Facebook account around this time of the year knows that a new school year has begun! We all smile at the first-day-of-the-new-school-year picture posted by proud parents on social media. Behind the scenes, mom and dad outfit their kids with new shoes, clothes, supplies, and backpacks for a fresh start. Their teachers have been attending meetings for weeks and tidying school rooms. New academic beginnings are exciting--a chance for a fresh start. But what if your kids are in a new school in a new country? And what if dad is a brand-new professor in a university and everyone is getting used to a new home, community, stores, and routines at the same time?
I was pleased to learn recently that the average term of service of a Global Scholars professor is now over eight years! I am delighted with this number, especially given our rapid growth with lots of new scholars. More importantly, we have discovered that this kind of stability is essential. The longer a professor is in a place, the more opportunities he or she has to bless and to share the gospel. While we have many excellent professors with long tenures, one who comes to mind is Dr. Granville Pillar, who with his wife, Ibolya, serves in Central Europe.
Dr. Keith Campbell is Global Scholars’ Vice President of Program Development. A former Global Scholars professor in the Far East, Keith is a creative visionary who wants to reach university students around the world for Christ. I asked him if he would share one exciting development about the Society of Christian Scholars.
Guanajuato City is a lovely city of narrow streets and colorful sandstone buildings 240 miles northwest of Mexico City. The Spanish founded the town in the sixteenth century as a mining outpost. It is the home town of the great muralist, Diego Rivera. It is also the location of the University of Guanajuato with its 17,000 students.
The Society of Christian Scholars is finally here! The Society is a global community of, by, and for missional Christian scholars. It is a fresh way to equip believing scholars for more effective service to students, universities, and disciplines by offering at least fourteen needed benefits.
“If the Christian Studies Program does not start this year, you can forget about it!” That is what the dean of a university in West Africa told a group of Canadian Global Scholars professors who had worked for three years to establish a department of Christian Studies at his institution. The scholars had worked together with representatives of the country’s evangelical minority to design a program that would be a recognized voice for the Gospel in the small nation’s only university.
The new year is a fresh opportunity for many of us to create space to assess the past and plan for the future. Thinking about 2018, I intend to learn from my mistakes. But more than that, I want to see the Spirit’s hand at work in my life, and in and through Global Scholars. What God is doing seems so unusual I cannot wait to share what is on the horizon!
It is with gratitude and thanksgiving that the Global Scholars team wishes you and yours a wonderful Christmas season. Without Christ being born as one of us, there would be no reason to celebrate, for we would have no hope. Nor would we have any reason to take Christ to the nations. The birth of Jesus of Nazareth changed all that!