Volume 7 | Issue 2 | Summer 2011
Every six months I record my sons’ height and weight on a door in our kitchen. My mom did that when I grew up, and I’ve continued the tradition. I like seeing how they have grown, and I secretly enjoy watching them compare their stats with each other.
Measuring something like spiritual growth is more difficult, but incredibly important. At CCU, we expect all students to be on a path toward Christian maturity, and the Spiritual Development Plan implemented in the fall of 2010 encourages that. Since then, a number of spiritual growth spurts have occurred at CCU, not shown by any physical markings but by the changed relationships, changed attitudes, and even the changed lives we see on campus.
Through participation in D-groups students develop deeper relationships with other students, have a place to share their thoughts and struggles, and gain encouragement. Students discuss chapel topics, complete community service together, and build community. For freshman Andrea McClung, her D-group has been “a great place to share thoughts and challenges in a safe environment.” She said it was useful to hear other points of view on chapel topics, and she appreciates the leadership and insights of her group leader.
The chapel theme for this past year, “Shape Your Story,” challenged students to make spiritual disciplines a part of their everyday lives. Student involvement has played a big role through leading worship, performing dramas, and running sound and lights. Upperclassmen Brian Harris, Kevin Lloyd and Brian Walker say attitudes toward chapel and D-groups have been better this year. “Both chapel and D-groups have been highly promoted and well-organized,” they said. “The involvement has been easier and more enjoyable.” Students see community service as more than a graduation requirement—service is a way of life. After this year’s annual Community Service Day, junior Josh Kugler said, “we—as members of this school—have the chance to go out and represent Jesus Christ in this city, which is something we should never quit desiring to do.”
Some lives have grown in ways that are easily noted, as in the case of Tyler Simmons. Tyler came to CCU for the Christian education and because he loves sports. Tyler had not committed his life to Christ, but he was ready to investigate Christianity more deeply.
During the fall semester Tyler got involved in a D-group with other freshmen guys, attended chapel faithfully, and was actively involved in community service. Positive experiences with professors, classmates and teammates also influenced him. Tyler came to a decision: he believed what the Bible says about Jesus and wanted to become a Christian to follow Christ’s plan for his life. On March 29th in the chapel at CCU, Tyler was baptized into Christ in the presence of 75 people including his team, coaches, classmates and professors. His life has been changed.
We pray that each student who comes to CCU will “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). That looks different with each student, but it is a worthy goal, and one we will continue to pursue.
by Dan Burton