Spiritual Development Plan

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. . . .  Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30, 31).

BE BOLD!

At CCU we provide education that is BOLD (Biblical, Outreach-oriented, Life-changing, and Distinctive).

We are not content merely to be a “faith-related” school.  We want to be “faith-active.”  But for Christ to be the center of our school, He first needs to be the center of our personal lives.  We want all CCU graduates to “have the Bible in their head and ministry in their heart” no matter what degree program they pursue, and we expect all of our students to be on a path toward Christian maturity during their time at CCU.  That’s why we do our best to provide an environment in which they can:

  • Cultivate a lifestyle of personal worship that reflects a sincere desire to honor the Lord and obey Him in keeping with the Scriptures;
  • Develop the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23);
  • Increase not only their understanding of the Scriptures, but also their ability to apply the Scriptures to life;
  • Learn to pray and practice the spiritual disciplines;
  • Be good stewards who can identify and use their belongings and their gifts for ministry, having a spirit of humility and gratitude that overflows in cheerful service to others;
  • Be equipped with a well-informed biblical worldview so they can boldly and confidently communicate their faith “with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15);
  • Develop a global perspective on the mission of Christ and increased competency in crossing cultural barriers to share the gospel;
  • Be positively engaged in the life of the church, the body of Christ;
  • Develop a lifelong passion for loving and serving the Lord.

That’s why a student can expect to find at CCU:

  • Qualified professors who love the Lord, hold a high view of the Scriptures, and take a personal interest in their students;
  • Classes that begin with prayer; and
  • Chapel services and other activities that remind our students and all who work here that honoring the Lord is our top priority.

It’s our objective to offer academic excellence in an atmosphere of faith.  “The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1Timothy 1:5, NASB).

Since 1924, our curriculum has centered on solid Bible-based instruction.  Current students and alumni who attended years ago affirm that they have grown spiritually because of the classes they have taken at CCU, and they express appreciation for the faculty and staff who incorporate biblical values into their teaching and their personal example.  The classroom itself is a place where significant spiritual formation occurs.

Today CCU brings together people from different locations, generations, ethnic groups, and levels of spiritual maturity.  Some of our students have been reared in Christian homes, while others are just beginning their walk with Christ.  CCU is a fitting place to educate Christian leaders to serve in a 21st-century culture that is becoming increasingly diverse.

Spiritual Growth at CCU

Love for God is not merely an “extra” at CCU.  It’s the piece that holds everything else together.   We believe:

Spiritual growth includes outreach to others. It’s not just about “us.”  We want to serve others and share our faith in practical ways with the community around us.

Spiritual growth involves the “heart” as well as the “head.” While academic pursuits are at the core of our educational mission, we are interested not only in “information” but also in “transformation” of life.  We’re called to love the Lord with every part of ourselves, including our bodies, minds, and emotions, and this broad-based spiritual growth happens best in the context of healthy inter-personal relationships. 

One size doesn’t fit all. While requiring participation in the process, CCU provides a variety of options from which to choose and allows freedom for individual decisions based on the student’s schedule, family and church commitments, and areas of personal need. Spiritual growth is a very personal matter.  While our university can provide activities designed to strengthen our students’ faith, no one can force another person to love the Lord, nor can any program replace one’s own personal desire to walk with God.  Our goal is to honor the Lord willingly, motivated by love.

Meaningful times of corporate worship are important for all who study and work here. Chapel attendance isn’t a biblical requirement or the measure of one’s devotion to Christ.  However, chapel is an important part of the overall culture of CCU because it is:  (a) A worship opportunity where we can praise God together; (b) An educational opportunity where we learn from a variety of speakers and guests; (c) A leadership opportunity where our common vision, direction, and values can be lifted up; and (d) A relational opportunity—a time to to celebrate victories, share burdens, and get acquainted with key leaders from outside our CCU family. 

Further, chapel allows us to provide a continued emphasis on the value of preaching God’s Word and a chance to honor those who serve in other areas (for example, through the “Honored Christian Servant” awards).  It provides a real-life laboratory for students engaged in music and worship leadership.  It provides a venue for special events like the preaching festival, “Beyond the Call,” our annual IMPACT event, the Youth Ministry Summit, Junior and Senior Class chapel, and special lectures.  It allows us to highlight missionaries and the global work of the church.  Many of our alumni point to chapel as the setting for some of their most meaningful experiences at CCU.  Robust, well-attended corporate worship experiences are important not only for our individual growth but also for the greater good of the school.

For all of these reasons, we consider our chapel gatherings so important that all undergraduate students, faculty, and staff are expected to make regular chapel attendance a personal priority.  Seminary and CALL students are welcome to attend as their schedules allow, and they can view chapel services online via the CCU website.

CCU is a partner with, not a substitute for, the local church. As an educational arm of the kingdom of God, CCU’s mission is to develop servant-leaders who will serve the church and shape the world.  We expect our students to be positively engaged in the body of Christ.

Steps to Promote Spiritual Growth at CCU

President Faust challenged our faculty, staff, and students to use the spring 2010 semester as a time for prayer, discussion, and reflection upon ways we can improve the spiritual health of our university and put together a plan for continued improvement in the years ahead.  An 18-member Spiritual Development Task Force consisting of faculty, staff, and students from each division of CCU, met together several times for discussion and prayer, conducted online surveys, focus groups and interviews, and researched what other Christian colleges are doing in spiritual development.  The Task Force recommended several action steps noted below. 

To Establish Clearer Goals for Our Students’ Spiritual Growth . . .

  • Our admissions departments will communicate the school’s distinctive mission, vision, and values to every prospective student who is considering coming to CCU.
  • Make CCU’s commitment to spiritual growth prominent and unmistakable on our university website and in all marketing materials.
  • Continue to uphold CCU’s core values and lifestyle expectations, not to be legalistic but to express our genuine desire to honor the Lord.
  • Give each first-year undergraduate student the opportunity to take the DISC inventory and a spiritual gifts test during the Introduction to Evangelism course.

To Be More Engaged in Outreach . . .

  • Integrate our current service learning program with the rest of our Spiritual Development Plan.
  • Encourage involvement in our city and region through extra-curricular activities with an outreach focus.
  • Encourage every student to participate in a mission trip while at CCU.

To Have More “Heart” . . .

  • Include in corporate worship times student testimonies about their walk with God, their experiences on mission trips, teaching Sunday school or helping in local churches, or serving in the Price Hill community.
  • Provide one-on-one mentoring opportunities for our students.
  • Have a “Missionary in Residence” living on the CCU campus who can interact with students on a personal level.
  • Employ a group of “Ministers in Residence” to be available for one-on-one mentoring, small group leadership, and involvement with students on a personal level.
  • Hold “Pray with the President” gatherings throughout the school year.
  • Have small groups meet on Thursday mornings at 10:00, three times per month.
  • Freshman groups led by upperclassmen, trained by a faculty-staff leader.
  • Small groups for upperclassmen led by faculty, staff, and leaders from area churches.
  • Seminary and CALL students are encouraged to participate in groups or serve as group leaders.

To Provide a Variety of Options . . .

  • Offer a “menu” of spiritual growth opportunities
  • Highlight three key areas of spiritual development:  (1) Corporate Worship, (2) Service, and (3) Small Groups.
  • Use technology creatively to enhance the spiritual growth and sense of connection experienced by CCU students.

To Create More Meaningful Times of Corporate Worship . . .

  • Weekly “chapel” services on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.

  • Monthly “convocation” services held Thursday at 10:00 a.m., five times each semester.

These once-a-month gatherings on Thursday morning will be special times for the whole CCU family to come together.  All students, faculty and staff who are on campus on Thursday morning will be expected to participate in these monthly convocations.  (Seminary and CALL students are invited to attend or view the services online.)

  • Other corporate worship opportunities: 

  • Faculty-led “Morning Prayer & Praise,” a quiet devotional service held at 8:30 a.m. each Wednesday.
  • Student-led “Family” mid-week service, 10:00 p.m. Wednesday in the chapel. 
  • CBS graduate “One Hour” services, held occasionally at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday in Foster Hall.
  • CALL “Chapel” services, short devotional times offered occasionally on campus and at extension sites.

To Build Stronger Partnerships with Local Churches . . .

  • Create a Partner Church program to benefit our students and our supporting churches.
  • Communicate to students that regular church attendance is expected.
  • Create one central place on the CCU website to publish all volunteer service opportunities available to students in local churches
  • Ask churches to “adopt” students during their time at CCU.

Watch the sermon when Dr. Faust introduced the BOLD Spiritual Life at CCU.