So…what does it mean to be Thriving Spiritually? When I speak about it publicly, I often will say that we believe that college is a time when your faith should be built up not torn down. As a Christ-Centered Higher Education University, Jessup is making a commitment to be about Jesus, about His Word, and about His work in the world. The mission statement for Jessup that I am hoping to have the Board endorse is a slight editing of our existing statement…”In partnership with the church, Jessup University exists to equip students to transform their world for the glory of God.” I believe that transformation stands at the center of all we do; personal, organizational, and cultural. Romans 12:1-2 tells us that transformation happens when we present ourselves to God as an act of worship, and it occurs through the renewing of our minds by the power of His Spirit. God’s will gets lived out and proved by us when we are in submission to Him. What does that look like for us at Jessup? Here are a few “markers” that I look for:
We are men and women who are passionately in love with Jesus. We are devoted to Him more than any tradition, denomination, or tribe. We are His. He is Lord of our lives.
We are deeply committed to Biblical Authority. Jesus is the Word incarnate, Scripture is the Word given by inspiration of God for us (see 2 Timothy3:16). We recognize that Jesus loving and Bible believing Christians disagree on some matters of interpretation, but the core of the faith is unquestioned. We believe in absolute truth and proclaim it boldly.
We are in partnership with the Church. We recognize that the Church is the Bride of Christ and because of that we are unashamedly pro-church. We also recognize the local church, made up of people like us, is fundamentally flawed. Therefore, we live in humility and grace with one another and are committed to a local body of believers where we can love, grow, serve, and manifest the life of Christ in our local communities.
We are committed to transformation, to leadership, and to Biblical justice. As such, we recognize that there is a constant call for us to be servant leaders and learners in our covenant community. As faculty and staff, we are entrusted with the stewardship of the lives of our student learners. We are committed to serving one another and our world in a way that models Christlikeness for the world around us.
The heart of God is redemption. Therefore, we live and work as redemptive people. We are always looking to share the life giving message of hope in Christ and are consistently seeking to walk as Jesus did; full of grace and truth. We think the order of those words, “grace and truth” is significant. There is no diminishing of truth among us, but we lead with grace. We are seeking to point people to Jesus, and not to us.
When I share the vision of William Jessup University, it is a great joy to point people to our amazing heritage. The Restoration Movement itself historically, the founding of San Jose Bible College in 1939, the move to Rocklin in 2004, and our present experience all powerfully speak to the working of God in our midst. It is my prayer that we and our students will Thrive Spiritually as we continue to walk humbly and faithfully with our God.
John Jackson, Ph.D.
WILLIAM JESSUP UNIVERSITY