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Posts from the President Vol 16
2015-02-23

I was put on to a book at the meeting of Presidents of Christian Higher Education Canada last November. Steven Garber wrote The Fabric of Faithfulness in 1996 and published a second expanded edition in 2007. Although it is getting old, I read it at just the right time for me and my work. The book encapsulates his theory substantiated by his research about people who endure in the Christian life. He defines endurance as the weaving together of beliefs and behaviour in those whose lives exhibit Christian character from early on to the end of their lives. He notes three characteristics of such people. First, they develop a Christian worldview that can address the challenges of our pluralistic world. Second, they have a mentor or a few mentors who model this worldview. Third, they unite with a body of people who are committed to living out this worldview.

His (and other's) research shows that these three factors most often develop in people's lives when they are in their twenties, and particularly while they are in their post-secondary education. Some people have called these "the four crucial years."

It seems to me that these three factors define what we are trying to do and be at Providence. We talk about worldview in terms of Christ-centeredness. According to Hebrews 1:1-3 Jesus is the prophet of these last days through whom the definitive word of God is spoken. Jesus is the great high priest who makes purification for sin. Jesus is the king of the universe, the perfect representation of God, through whom and for whom all things are created and sustained. With Christ at the centre as prophet, priest, and king, we address the many issues in our pluralistic world.

Our faculty serve as mentors who adopt and exhibit this worldview. They not only commit to teach from this perspective, they also commit to live lives that exhibit the lordship, forgiveness, acceptance, love, and purity of Christ to students and the world.

Our community also commits to explore what it means to have Christ at the centre. Students, faculty, staff, and Board all agree to live by our Covenant of Community Life. The Covenant calls us to live for Christ and to be witnesses to him by our words and deeds.

I am the first to admit that although we have some measure of success at fulfilling these commitments, we sometimes fail. Nevertheless, we have set our course and we are moving in the right direction.
 

 
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