For many reasons, this has been a great year at Cedarville University, as God has once again blessed us in a variety of ways, but in other ways, this has been a difficult year. We must make the choice on which circumstances we place the most focus. For me, I choose to focus on and remember the many positive blessings that God has given us.
We have successfully achieved reaccreditation, when many schools require follow-up visits or subsequent reports. We will finish the fiscal year in the black again, while many schools send out letters requesting donations to make ends meet. Our numbers for fall freshman enrollment are very strong and about 10 percent higher than most other schools our size. We have good students who genuinely love the Lord. While some students are protesting or looking for safe spaces, our students are changing the world for Christ. We have excellent staff members who exhibit true servant leadership in each division of our University. God has been good to us. Let us praise His holy name.
As I sat and listened to Dr. Clevenger turn a piano into a beautiful extension of his own soul in his farewell concert, I thought to myself, “Lord, how will we ever replace the magnificent people who are retiring or moving into step-down?” We have so many faculty members who have helped build the stellar reputation for academic excellence and the intentional focus on the Gospel near the completion of their ministries at Cedarville.
Sitting there listening, whether prompted by the Lord or my own thoughts, I do not know, I remembered how God has provided thus far. I remembered how Paul Dixon recruited Mike DiCuirci with a resume on the back of a napkin. While we have many big shoes to fill, our God has a plan. Join me in praying that God will send the right people to Cedarville — academically excellent individuals who want to make disciples in this ministry the Lord has so graciously given us.
I am thankful that we are moving into a season where I expect no changes for our executive leadership team. Lord willing, the people we have in place now could serve together for years to come. I am thankful that we can move into a season of long-range planning and putting together a campus master plan to address some of our needs. It feels like a runner hitting his stride to allow for a time of hopeful peace and prosperity, which is my prayer for us all.
Brothers and sisters, thank you. Cedarville is an amazing place. But it is not so much the place as the people that make it that way. Your tireless efforts, your love for one another, your passion for the Gospel, your desire to serve King Jesus well in all things make this place special. I thank you for another great year of service to our Lord. The words of Paul to the Philippians express it well:
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:3–6)
In Christ Alone,