Preparing the Way:The process of transition

Interim President John D. Yordy

Goshen College hosts many guests on campus each year – visitors who share perspectives on a range of topics and issues,

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Heart, mind and soul journey: Spiritual formation on campus

Rachel Lapp, director of public relations

It's a common notion that college will challenge students' faith. Indeed, exposure to new perspectives and world views inevitably causes us to

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Working with the enemy: pizza, guerrillas and miracles

Based on a sermon by Doug Schirch, Jan. 7, 2005; Edited by Jodi H. Beyeler

When Associate Professor of Chemistry Doug Schirch '82 was working with the ecumenical Christian organization Witness for Peace (WFP) in Nicaragua during the late 1980s

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Bridging traditions: organ music connects generations of worship

By Anna Groff '06

Walking into Rieth Recital Hall, curious about a new kind of music resonating off the high ceilings, one is easily overwhelmed by Opus 41.

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Solving Bach's temperamental puzzle

By Jodi H. Beyeler

Bradley Lehman '86 has solved the centuries-old mystery of what appeared to be an arbitrarily scribbled design on an original copy of one of J.S. Bach's compositions
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Bulletin cover 2005 March issue
Heart, mind and soul journey: Spiritual formation on campus

March 2005

Preparing the Way:The process of transition

Interim President John D. Yordy

Goshen College hosts many guests on campus each year – visitors who share perspectives on a range of topics and issues, lead us in Christian worship, relate unique experiences, introduce new information, inspire us and reveal other cultures. We also welcome groups that come to advise campus leadership, like the Parents Council and Alumni Board that gathered in March.

john YordyAmong this semester’s visitors is another group that will also listen and advise, continuing an important relationship for the college that began more than 60 years ago. Shortly before you received this copy of the Bulletin, a five-member team of external evaluators from North Central Association (NCA), the accreditation agency for Goshen College and other institutions, visited campus as part of a comprehensive re-accreditation process that occurs every 10 years. As part of this external review process, the intention of the visit is to examine evidence to determine if Goshen College is achieving its mission of educating students for service in the church and world – in essence, if we are practicing what we preach.

As you know, the outcomes of Goshen College’s mission are organized around five core values: our commitment to be a community of faith and learning that encourages students to become Christ-centered, with an active and reflective faith; passionate learners, achieving academic excellence; global citizens, understanding and valuing all peoples of the world; compassionate peacemakers, working for reconciliation in many settings; and servant leaders, actualizing leadership skills for the common good.

These core values are as relevant for current students as for Goshen College alumni through the years. I was reminded of this when board of directors member Tom Bishop shared a devotional with the board at its February meeting. Tom is a 1969 alumnus from Denver, Colo., who is a business executive at an investment firm and has served with the board for 12 years. He closed his devotional time by reflecting on Goshen College and about his personal path in spiritual growth, which includes the following observations:

  • I used to rush through time – now I try to savor the moments.
  • I used to want more things – now I live in gratitude with what I have.
  • I used to need a rational explanation for everything – now I recognize an element of faith in all things.
  • I used to see God almost nowhere – now I see God almost everywhere.
  • I used to hope for eternity – now I know there is eternity.
  • I used to think I was alone – now I know we are all connected.
  • I used to think I made all my decisions with my head – now I know that my heart comes in to play on many decisions.
  • I used to think we should be the quiet in the land – now I believe we should be the light of the world.

Tom Bishop’s Goshen College experience was an important step in beginning to shape both his professional interests and his values. The home and church in which Tom grew up, the family he and his wife Trinda established and the congregation where they worship are also part of the journey that has shaped his faith.

As it was for Tom, we expect the Goshen College experience for each of our students to be a very siginificant step towards meaningful work and a life informed by Christian faith commitments. The NCA visiting team members come to our campus to look for evidence that we are doing what we say we are doing: providing an excellent education in the context of our core values that will enable students to lead and serve in their communities and churces and around the world. It is to this end that faculty and staff work and serve at Goshen College to help create formational experiences as part of transformational learning. It is because this journey is unique for each person that our campus, rooted in our core values, is richer for each person that joins our community of faith and learning.