A president with a mission (continued)
|President Phipps (pictured here with fellow College administrators) looks forward to the future of Messiah College and the chance to "seize creative opportunities" for the development of the College.
As you work with faculty to address Christian vocation initiatives sponsored by a grant from the Lilly Foundation, what has most impressed you about this initiative, the benefits to students, and our faculty’s involvement?
The campus conversation around the idea of Christian vocation has been very rich. The Lilly grant has enabled us to be more intentional about preparing students to think about how they incarnate their faith in all the different roles they’re asked to fulfill and master. We do this through chapel programs, cocurricular student activities, and our new core course, Created and Called for Community, for first-year students.
Faculty and staff have also engaged the concept of Christian vocation as it applies to their own scholarship. The research I conducted and related conversations I had during the planning and implementation of the Lilly Initiative helped me to frame my own thinking about vocation and informed my decision to apply for the College presidency.
As we look forward to our Centennial anniversary in the 2009–2010 academic year, what most excites you about Messiah’s future?
I’m excited about the possibility of providing the Messiah College experience to more students in new contexts and venues. But, as I think about the future, what also excites me is the unknown. In Messiah’s history, there have been many moments when our predecessors seized opportunities that have tremendously enriched our institution. In the early 1960s, for example, Messiah president Ray Hostetter and his good friend and fellow alumnus Ernie Boyer seized an opportunity to develop a unique collaboration with Temple University—a decision that grew into a partnership that has benefited many Messiah students who have enrolled at our Philadelphia Campus. It is my hope that by dreaming together and being very diligent in our planning, we will be able to seize creative opportunities when they arise, even if today we can’t fully envision what they will become.
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