Sunday, November 9, 2008

MACU Update

Steve, our neighborhood Mailman, delivered an interesting package yesterday. It brought personal greeting from President Fozard of Mid-America Christian University. It provided an update from MACU’s Trustee’s, and it included two recent publications: MINUTE MOTIVATORS FOR STUDENTS (Toler) and MAKING SENSE OUT OF SPIRITUALITY (Sanders).

I learned that MACU hired Worden Associates for marketing purposes. Dennis Worden, John Maxwell’s former Director of Marketing, helped expand Injoy Ministries and the “Million Prayer Partners of Pastors” initiative.

Worden will now lead the charge in increasing MACU enrollment and advancing both the Toler Leadership Center and the Thomas School of International Studies. While general enrollments are down in Oklahoma, MACU experiences a 5% increase in headcount--909 total students.

Of personal interest was confirmation on a rumor floating about. Helen, the widow of Dr. James H. Curtis--friends over the past 50 years-- will be honored with a Doctor of Divinity honorary degree.

I’ve never placed a lot of value on honorary degrees, for academic reasons. However, I applaud this action. Helen represents a host of women that have served the church so faithfully; Helen and Jim ministered to the church, and on behalf of MACU for many decades. We need ways of saying “Well done thou good and faithful servant!” to some of our extraordinary leaders.

I rejoice with the progress of the Thomas School of International Studies, named after Donna and Chuck Thomas and directed by Henry Cepeda. I remember when Cepeda became a student and how he went on to distinguish himself in Hispanic Evangelism.

I see great promise in the Toler Leadership Center, directed by our respected friend Stan Toler. We have family involved in Stan’s local church and my wife loves to visit at Trinity. Toler’s goal of training 100,000 church and community leaders by 2014 is noteworthy; to date they have trained 55,000.

Especially exciting to me is the vision for MACU Press and the hope of republishing some of the great out of print Holiness Classics. I would certainly hope one of those will be Asbury Lowrey’s POSSIBILITIES OF GRACE, of which I have an original from 1884.

Although an alumnus of Warner Pacific, I have been privileged in several ways to enjoy a close relationship with MACU from its beginnings. It has overcome earlier stigmas and become a dominant player in training leaders for the Church of God, and I would wish for it a greatly expanded ministry - especially in the context of the Wesleyan Holiness traditions.

Toler’s book, MINUTE MOTIVATORS, is Stan at his best. Published as a promotional piece for student recruitment, it offers quips, quotes, and stories that will not fail to motivate every reader toward a more excellent life.

MAKING SENSE OUT OF SPIRITUALITY, by Dr. Cliff Sanders, cuts through our mistaken, muddled thinking and reveals a worthwhile relationship with God. I acknowledge “Dr.” Cliff remembering him more as a young whippersnapper, one of those “preacher’s kids”, you know the kind I mean J .

I crossed paths with the Sanders family years ago in West Texas. Cliff‘s Grandmother would have been deliriously proud of him. She knew little of theology and doctrine, but she was a woman of prayer. We shared some hard days together and I loved to hear her pray. When she prayed, we felt God’s presence.

Dr. Sanders may well have spiritual roots far beyond the academic regurgitation we often endure--even beyond his understanding. Madge’s sons, Paul and Marvin, are longtime friends and Cliff is Marvin’s son. We owe gratitude to Spirit-filled people like Madge Sanders.

I rejoice in the successes of President Fozard at MACU. While we rejoice in their progress, let us give thanks for the sturdy contributions added by each of our several educational institutions. They contribute heavily to the well being of our local churches.

No comments: