So often the gifts that are closest to us and most familiar are also the ones that are easiest to take for granted. That’s why I am happy to have this opportunity to share about one of the remarkable entities California Southern Baptists are blessed to have.
I don’t live in California, but two of my children have attended California Baptist University (CBU) and I have developed a deep respect and appreciation for how the school pursues the highest academic standards without compromising biblical values.
For young people who continue their education beyond high school, college is one of the first steps into adulthood. It’s a time of increased independence. It brings greater academic challenge. And our years in college greatly influence the future direction of our lives.
Understandably, it’s a time of mixed emotions for parents sending a child off to school—excitement, relief, and anxiety. We feel a deep responsibility to help our children make a wise decision about where to attend. With so many choices—many of them very good—determining the best fit for a child can be overwhelming.
That’s why I am grateful for schools like California Baptist that bring together an emphasis of spiritual growth, academic excellence, and community service. It’s a combination that powerfully shapes the lives of students on their path to adulthood.
I have had the opportunity to spend some time with Dr. Ron Ellis, CBU’s president, and have great respect for the godly leadership he brings to the school. He has made it a priority to keep spiritual development at the forefront of what CBU is all about and has recruited a faculty that reflect the same in their own lives. At the same time, he has cultivated a climate of academic excellence that gives students an outstanding education as they prepare for their future vocation.
Today, our next generation is faced with a cultural landscape that is cluttered with competing beliefs. Christian values are under attack as never before in my lifetime. That’s why it is so important that schools like CBU are helping young believers develop a biblical worldview while at the same time, equipping them to be salt and light in a world that has such great need for spiritual direction.
I also appreciate how CBU elevates the importance of mission. Each year students have dozens of opportunities to serve the local Riverside community or to go further throughout North America, serving those in need and sharing Christ. At the North American Mission Board, we have been privileged to partner with CBU in giving students opportunities to serve with Send Relief, the compassion ministry we conduct in partnership with IMB.
All of these elements combined—academic excellence, biblical values, mission-mindedness—combine to produce young adults who are prepared to enter the world of work and ministry as the people God created them to be while at the same time bringing godly integrity to a culture that desperately needs it.
With the direction Dr. Ellis has provided, CBU has become a leader among Christian institutions of higher learning and serves as a launch pad for thousands of graduates each year. California Baptists are truly blessed to have such an incredible resource so close to home.