- Why leaders need to hire based on character and not just competence
- How CCU is equipping the next generation of bold Christian leaders
- Why a shrunken vision creates a shrunken purpose
- How Dr. Sweeting faced the biggest challenge in modern education
About the guest:
About the host:
- Principled Profits: Outward Success Is an Inside Job,
- True North Business: A Leader’s Guide to Extraordinary Growth and Impact
- The Freedom Paradox: Is Unbridled Freedom Dividing America?
Pause and Reflect
- Do you hire based on character or competence?
- How does the vision for your organization drive your purpose?
Related, Articles, Videos, and Podcast Episodes
- Build God’s Kingdom Through Giving with David Wills
- How To Change an Industry For Christ with Brent Dusing
- Smile More With These 5 Goal-Setting Tips
- Your First Step to an Extraordinary New Year
- A Mindset to Accomplish Your Dreams
- 5 Tips to Accomplish Your Goals
Transcription of Episode: The “Higher” In Higher Education
To better serve you we are offering a transcription of each episode. The transcription is automated and therefore has mistakes. However, we hope that it serves your community.
It’s a mark of him becoming wise. And it’ll help you navigate all that change. But if you don’t learn those things, if it’s all up for grabs, and you’re a fool, yeah, I mean, it’s the biblical name for it. It’s a very, it’s a sad name, a tragic name, but it’s a name of a person who’s completely lost because they’ve got nothing to hold on to.
Howdy and welcome to the true north leader Podcast. I’m Bobby Albert. And we’re here today with Dr. Donald Sweeting. He is the chancellor at the Colorado Christian University. Don, welcome to the show. Got it. Great to be with you.
You know, Don, and I have had a great time talking before we started the recording here. But I am so impressed. I think you will too, at the story about Colorado Christian University. And so don, tell us a little bit about you. Because you’ve lived a very wonderful life and what you and and Colorado University is doing.
Yeah, I was a pastor for many years, Bobby, so in Illinois and in in Colorado, and while I was a pastor, I would be teaching at seminaries and university. So I was always I always had my foot in the academic world. When I came to Colorado, I got on the board of this university I really didn’t know much about because I was a new Colorado and Colorado Christian University.
It was right at a time where they had a new president man named Senator Bill Armstrong, who is a US senator committed believer. He stepped out of the Senate. He really turned this university around and put a whole new foundation under it. And I had the privilege of serving as a trustee with him and watching this take place. What do you say, Well, what did he do?
Well, CeCe was a Christian liberal arts college pretty much and it was getting broader and broader to the point where they they really were getting sloppy in their hiring and, and they were bringing in people that didn’t quite agree with what that school stood for. In other words, it was it was drifting. And Bill brought it back and he put in place a some strategic objectives for the whole university, and rebranded the university I talked about values driven leadership,
You know, we are going to be thoroughly Christian, we’re going to be conservative, we’re going to be excellent in the educational products that we we offer, we’re going to be totally committed to Jesus Christ, we’re not going to waver or drift. So he started to rebuild about
A number of years ago, he got cancer, and the Lord took them home. And we missed him greatly. And the Board of Trustees came to me and they said, You need to start praying about coming back to Colorado, and praying about this particular job. Well, one of the passions of my life had been I’m a Christian educator, a pastor educator. So I have a heart for the church and the gospel. But I also have a heart for learning. And those two things came together very much. So in my last two jobs, I was president of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, and then became president of Colorado Christian University. So it was a school like so many schools that kept getting broader and broader. There was a turnaround. So I’ve been a part of that process.
So what, why do you feel passionate about what you and the university do? Because I know in talking with you, you are very passionate, and you’ve got you.
I’m just, you know, you and I talked about before just looking at the about page on your website. It’s contagious. So tell.
Tell it just talk with us a little more. Tell us a little more about your about to your university. All right. Well, CCU is a university. It’s a evangelical University. It’s unapologetically Christian, conservative, and substantive. What I am passionate about I ultimately is Jesus Christ, who I believe is the light of the world, the the living word, of the Eternal Word of God made flesh and
our number one objective as a university is to honor Christ and share the law
Have a Christ on campus and around the world.
You say, Well, isn’t that just being a little churchy about higher education? The answer is no. Because it was the Christian impulse that gave birth to the Western University, Oxford, Cambridge, Paris,
Harvard, Yale, Princeton, the list is endless. It was that impulse where the where the gospel went, the academy followed. There’s a reason for that. That’s because Christ is not only the the word, the one in whom all the wisdom, the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden, but he commissioned his followers to teach. So that gave birth to the schooling movement.
And I believe that’s the, that’s the the kind of nuclear reactor at the at the heart of the of the great at Western education. If you take that away, the thing starts to get darker, and the energy starts going out, and it starts to look very different. So we’re, we’re living in a time where schools have cut themselves off from the Christian foundation that they had, and they’re pursuing, you know, different versions of secularism, and they’re being influenced by Neo Marxism and all kinds of things and given to nihilism. It’s, it’s not producing what it used to produce. Yeah. Because because the light’s gone out.
I’m excited about Christian higher education, because it begins with Christ, it believes in wisdom, it believes there’s something worthy of transmitting to the next generation, it believes there’s a foundation for truth and reason. It believes we have a common human nature, we have a better version, and vision of what it means to be a human being. That’s so so you get more at a convictional Christian school than you get, I think, at the, at the secular universities, now you’ll get you’ll get incredible technical training at the schools. But yeah, the overall vision has been, we were losing the higher and higher education. schools like ours are trying to put the higher back in higher education, if I could put it that way. Yeah, I love it. I love that statement.
Getting the higher back into higher education. One of the things I noticed when I was reading your, you know, like you emphasize, Hey, you are getting an education. But one of the things that it looks like is that you’re teaching students about
having a personal relationship with the Lord. And, and how, you know, that transformation, because can spill over to when they get out of school. And it’s it, they’re there to get an education. But there you are, it sounds like and I may be putting words in your mouth, like you’re developing them as a person to become more like Christ in every step of the way, am I? I know, that’s absolutely right. And we think, you know, like the Weizmann you build your house on on a rock and the rock is Christ, you want to build your school on the rock.
So our educational model, I tell people, it consists of competence, character, and price centered faith that’s at the core competence, we want them to be great. And whatever they’re studying. We want them to learn it with excellence to be the best in their field. We want them to get a great broad background, a core curriculum that will be helpful in numerous jobs, character, we also want them to become people of integrity, people who want to pursue a good life. Yeah. And then the foundation of everything is Christ centered faith. That used to be the model of the great universities, by the way.
So that’s a strange model. But as you know, first of all, they checked out the Christ center part. And they got more vague and vague. And then they threw the god part out altogether. They kept the character and the competence part. And then, in the 20th century, so many schools just gave up on the character part. Then the Harvard and the leaders of Harvard are very open about this. It’s not a secret. It’s not just my opinion, there’s they’re saying, oh, we can’t teach character because we can’t really agree what what you’re supposed to do. So so all they’re left with is competence and
Again, I don’t want to sell them short on technical things, in focused areas, you can still become competent. And in the education you get for many schools, but you’re getting less, you’re getting less because a true education is meant to give you more is meant to give you not just
to be really good. And in what you do. I mean, golly, you think about,
like, my background is German, but the German nation in the 1930s was the most educated nation in the world. And yet, they went in a direction that was absolutely crazy. So if you don’t have the character part, look out, and then we believe that the foundation of character is ultimately the Lord Jesus Christ. Yeah. You know,
you know, over the years, you’ve had experienced a lot of harm, you know, hiring a variety of people. And you one thing we mentioned about the competency and character.
For many years, I would hire people based on only on their level of competency. I would look at the resume, they had the right degree or, you know, background experience, work experience. I’d hire them. Then I’d end up finding, oh, I didn’t hire the right person.
It got ridiculous that how poorly I was at hiring. A guy that was mentoring me, I finally turned to him because he was he was a lot better just here named Paul. He really surprised I asked him, Look, we need to hire this, this leader of a certain area of our company, would you mind just doing the interview? Let me just watch what you do?
Well, Don, this is back in the days where people hand carried a resume into the office, you know, you didn’t get it online, you know, and all that kind of stuff. So this person came in handed the resume gave me a copy, gave mentor a copy. But my mentor, never never looked at the resume. He just laid it very, you know, lightly on the floor. And he was very kind and gentle. But he started asking some extremely high quality discovery questions. And Dawn, they were things like, tell me.
These are the type of questions when you were in elementary school. Who do you remember your favorite teacher? Oh, you know, I mean, like, most people were can even remember back in the elementary school, who’s their favorite teacher? He said, Well, tell me why. Why were they your favorite teacher? Oh, man, they were just 123. This is a reason why.
He would ask those kind of questions through their education. Like maybe in high school, they played a sport. He would ask, well, who was your favorite coach? You know, oh, well, it was so and so well, why was what were they your favorite Co? Well, they can list out why they were favorite coach. He said, Well, who was the worst coach that you were under? Oh, man, it was so and so and they list but with the person being interviewed never did realize that he was because he was taking notes. He was uncovering their character qualities, because the things that he liked in seeing in these other people or didn’t like, told him a lot about their character.
That’s that’s so true. I know, we have a lot of executive leaders listening. And I think others have said the same thing that the character character character, when you’re hiring is probably the number one thing you want to look for. We’ve had employers around the university and they’ll say, we want to we want more of your students. We’ll say, Well, why? They said, Well, we know they’re Christian, but they don’t steal and they’ll, they’ll work a full day and and they’re better and employees.
It’s it’s really interesting. And so and not to mention that they they can read and they can articulate Oh yeah, you can communicate and and they’ve learned leadership skills and things like that. So I think there’s there is a hunger for that and and again, that the old model of education was competence, character, Christ centered faith, and there are schools
CCU being one of them, that still is fixed on that model. And now again, what’s happening? I mean, in the, in the second university, they they’ve got a shrunken vision and a shrunken purpose. And again, it’s not that nothing good can happen, but it just you get, you get less. And then students come out many students and they, they despise their past. Because you know, what a terrible history we have they deplore their present, we’re victims, and they despair their future, we’re all going to fry with global warming.
So when you put out students that they are grateful for their past, they think critically, but they’re grateful. Then they don’t think of themselves as victims, but they, they’re entrepreneurs, and often, you know, optimists and yes, and they’re hopeful because they they have the gospel in their hearts. Well, it’s that student like, that looks very different. They haven’t been coddled, you know, they, they, they haven’t been sidetracked by Critical Theory. They, they, they have a mission in life, they, they have a sense of calling, this is not their job, this is their calling that they’re gonna, yeah, you know,
if I can elaborate, if I can take a moment and elaborate something that you said, I had another mentor, 35 years ago, I sought out the world’s most renowned mentor. I was able to connect with this mentor. And over the years is, I’ve developed such a strong relationship with this mentor. And I, what always shocked me is this mentor, whenever I had a need, I could call that mentor and not by the way, I met with this mentor, talk to this mentor, every single day for 35 years, except one day, when I was traveling.
What was fascinating to me, whenever I had a need, I could call that mentor anytime. They would drop what they were doing just to talk with me.
This is this world renowned mentor, that people would pay me 1000s of dollars to get the wisdom from this purse, and that person was Jesus Christ.
That 35 years ago, is when I started having a daily quiet time.
Don, you know, you’ve been a pastor, you know, you’ve been the president of this university, and now you’re the chancellor. But the I have over a year ago, I just started praying, Lord, what, why is it? Because it’s a passion for me? Why is it that I’ve got to have my daily quiet time with you.
I mean, I’ve prayed months and months and months. Finally, he shared with me, he said, Bobby, when you This is in my spirit, this is what I sense that he was helping me understand, Bobby, whenever you come to me, you want to know me more in a relationship.
The other part of this was I was praying is that, you know, Lord, I’ve, I’ve got close, you know, mature Christian friends, they have started and stopped, started and stopped start and stop having a daily quiet time. So I was asking, what’s the difference? I mean, you know, what’s the difference and what the Lord was helping me understand was that when they come to have that quiet time, they want to learn their motive is to learn more about him.
There’s a big difference between knowing him more and wanting to know more about him. And the more I thought about it, I started observing the teaching style. You know, you’re, you’re you’re in the education area is when they would teach a large group or Sunday school, whatever name in the church is. They’re teaching the class more about God. The people walk out and they don’t know God more. I’m in a relationship. I was coaching with an Executive leader.
Actually, it was last week, and they were really struggling. I was sharing about my quiet time.
One of the other things, you know, I’ve always underline a word or so in my Bible and make notes and things. But little over seven years ago, I started underlining every word. Now, I don’t like underline all the way across the page. When I say underline, I mean, I’m a underline only one word, two words, not too often it’s more than three words at a one line.
I was sharing this with this executive Christian executive leader, and they were having an understanding so Well, Bobby, they couldn’t understand why was underlining and you know, those kinds of things.
But that he challenged me so much, I finally figured out a way to express deeper why underlining the words is that when I’m underlining the words, my motive is to hear the voice of the Lord breathed on me God’s Word.
Now, that’s a big difference. It because it’s, I’m, it’s like, I’m there to have to listen and have this conversation with the lower with the creator of air, you know, everything.
I mean, I feel so overwhelmed that I can have this personal conversation. Yeah, yeah. Well, isn’t that the wonderful blessing of knowing there’s a reasonable Lord, and he’s still around and, and you don’t have to do life or business or church or university on your own? You know, I think sometimes
professionals and I’ll put university presidents in that category. You know, we have our degrees and everything. And we we look kind of like selfmade people, but I was just want to underscore what you’ve just said, Jesus said, Without me, you can do nothing. And we can make such a big mess of things.
Look at look at university presidents and what they’ve done with so many schools, and drift and our hearts drift, and I believe everything runs down. That’s just the nature of life. And so the only way to get things where they should be is, is you need to be reawakened and restored and renewed and revived and whatever our word you want to use, but, and that comes with getting nearer to Jesus. And so for me, daily time, in prayer, and in His Word is is such an important discipline because like you, it’s a meeting place to meet the Lord, and to be rebuked by him sometimes, which I need to be rebuked and corrected. Or refocused.
Do I tell you during the COVID crisis, it was the biggest crisis in higher education in 100 years. I mean, it just threw everything up in the air. And we had to know a lot, a lot of moments where, Lord, what do we do now? We don’t know. And here’s what everybody else is doing, Please guide us. And the good news is that he He guides us. I remember hearing the story of Ronald Reagan, who said, when he became governor of California,
he, you know, he had been an actor and the head of the actors guild and, and he said, all of a sudden, I sat behind the governor’s desk, and they started bringing problems and they were just so much bigger than I ever had dealt with before. He said, I didn’t feel smart enough to figure this out. The only thing I could do was to look up and say, Lord, help me. Yeah. TThen he said, and he does. He did. It’s true. I know you’re saying that’s true. I’m saying that’s true in my line of work, and, you know, he’s, he is man doesn’t live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Yeah. Well, I’m just reading about Colorado Christian University.
is out. I sense that I was picking up that when students come to school they’re, they’re not just getting information. They’re getting transformation. Amen.
When I shared a while ago about I’ve got friends that, you know, they’re teach that man, they’re scripturally, their sound they teach there. They know a lot about scripture, but their teaching style is to really give you information, but their class are not being transformed. It’s kind of like the difference between being secured by the Holy Spirit but not being filled by the Holy Spirit. Yeah, yeah. I just sense I know that, you know, every student, you know, is different. But I sense that the develop, coming back to developing the character, helps a student be transformed. That’s the reason why you got people that are, you know, outside, you know, in other organizations say, you know, send us more.
Yeah, our mission is Christ centered, higher education, transforming students to impact the world with grace and truth, to and today, just a little while ago, I was in the cafeteria, and I, I met with a soccer coach, and head soccer coach. I said, I want to meet with you, because a few weeks ago, I sat at a table, I often will go in and just sit at a table with students and just find out who they are. This was full of soccer players. They started telling me how, you know, how seriously, we’re about following the Lord and, and how they were growing into maturity and, and learning what it means to be a man and to be a man of integrity and all these things. I was just so impressed.
who is his coach? Well, I knew he was, but I got to talk to him. So I really I was thanking him today. And I just said, your vision. I mean, they have this incredible privilege of playing NCAA Division Two, soccer and, and yet, you know, that their careers are gonna be over after, after this privilege. And you’re giving them something more, you’re giving them a vision for life. You’re discipling your guys.
To see that be caught by the, by the athletes. Yes, really exciting. That’s what it’s about? Well, you know, you touched on in running our company. I was like the chief development officer. What I was, you know, we had training that’s, you know, learning about skills and knowledge about how to do your job and things. But my big emphasis was developing the people to who God wanted them to be. When I would do development, top training,
way men didn’t probably education, maybe as a better word there. But the the, I was thinking beyond their job, I’m thinking about them being a better mom a better dad, a better grandma better granddad, a better friend. You know, I’m thinking beyond the workplace. Yeah. I think, over time, that there was a sense in our place of the culture of our company, that this CEO, this company really cares for me. That’s, you know, and that I really belong here.
That’s kind of I think that’s what you’re describing there. Yeah. I mean, that’s, that’s part of the culture, isn’t it? Yeah. Corporate culture, which many are saying is so important. We’ve we’ve neglected that. Then that’s, you know, it’s interesting when you think of a university,
Many people think of just classrooms and, and they think traditional classrooms, you got to think online, because there’s a whole big online world. But then there’s the whole structure that makes it work. There’s faculty staff, we have about 1400 employees. So that’s a lot of people and now they’re spread out all over the country, because many of them are here in Lakewood, Colorado, but many of them are living in other places, because they’re teaching online. And so the the challenge is to create a corporate culture that even extends to them. It’s a big challenge. It’s not easy, but I think you started out earlier today just talking about the importance of
I said something like values decide culture, having a very clear set of values, a clear brand of who you are, what you stand for, and then trying to diffuse
that into the, into the whole organization, however crazy your organization looks, that is so important. That’s been one of the keys to CCU success, we have a very clear brand. We are trying to, you know, it’s part of our DNA, but we keep bringing employees back to it, to keep training them in it, so that it washes over them continually. Yeah, we would shut down our company, actually four times a year company one.
three times, three of those times was what we call in our comp, we call it a state of the company. And it was a shorter, you know, like an hour and a half. But
we would also shut down the company for our whole half a day. And, but Colossians, 323, and 24 was our foundational verses in our company. What you know, what it says is, whatever you do,
work, you know, and to me what when it says, Whatever you do, it’s exactly whatever you do, ever. Yeah, if you’re at the convenience store, you know, at you mentioned soccer out on a soccer field, watching, you know, a son or daughter play, are at walking through Walmart or Target, whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, and to me, it’s like that’s excellence, and as working for the Lord, not man. Our people clearly understood, they came to work for a higher purpose, other than make Bobby Albert more money, and sit and then at the end of verse 24, it says, To Lord Christ, you are serving. And so our employees clearly knew that when they came to work, every day, they didn’t come to work for Bobby Albert, they came to work for the Lord Jesus Christ.
so it created a culture in our organization, that it’s almost like I could not out serve, because I kept giving back, extraordinary results in profitability of our company, and which eventually let us sail to publicly traded company. But if I, if I can make another comment, you mentioned some ivy league schools just a moment ago, earlier. I wrote my third book was called the Freedom paradox.
I talked about the founding of our country, and you kind of touched on it, you know, our country was founded on free, you know, the core values were, through all my research was freedom and responsibility. That’s personal responsibility. That’s right, which is biblical.
The, of course, you know, that this leads to our purpose, while we existed as America back while we even came about, and it was religious freedom. And when those universities that you few of them that you mentioned that
were created, you know, they were Christian universities, and through my research, and you understand this, you know, being at a university, they had an A student handbook, that both of them said about the same thing is, which sounds counter to what you know about them today, is that the students were required to read their Bible every day.
But yeah, the Bible was a key part of their education. It was, it was the central text of Western civilization, and, and it influenced them in so many different ways. Now, we’ve, we’ve thrown that out, were too sophisticated for that, you know, in the modern, postmodern culture, but actually, we’re not to surface it, we desperately need it. Because it’s the story. It’s not only a story of our, that underlays our civilization that’s shaped it, but it’s, it’s the story that God gave to us to help us get our bearings as human beings. So it’s when schools walk away from that, or when nations why I mean, this is what we’re dealing with in our culture, right, that our nation has
walked away from that the Bible was hugely influential in the founding of the United States of America. And it was influential in our culture up until the 1940s. We we walk away from that, and we’re falling apart. Yeah. And we need it, we desperately need it, and schools need to go back to it. Our, our nation needs to go back to it, and families need to go back to it to get our bearings. Yeah, exactly. Right, that, um, one thing that I hadn’t thought it well through, but regardless that you mentioned there about, you know, of course, the school, the, you know, the university, our families, our country, if it was a any type of organization, that employees are working there, there’s something about having a rock.
I think you understand, like, you know, the rock of salvation, which is Jesus Christ.
There’s something in us, I haven’t quite figured out, I’m not smart enough to figure it out. But hopefully I will. But there’s something that we need something that never changes, with all the other things that are changing around us. And yeah, I mean, that and that’s the, that’s the issue, the central issue in higher education right now. Because when and in our nation, really, because when you get rid of those permanent things that never change, everything is up for grabs. Yeah, gender is up for grabs. What is a human beings up for grabs, university education is up for grabs, the humanities are up for grabs it and it all goes kind of chaotic. And, again, Western civilization, the universities,
our country was built. This comes from a Judeo Christian heritage, that there are permanent things that are transcendent realities. We would go further and say, it’s the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who does not change, and he is a rock that you and, and if you leave him, you’re, you’re gonna be ever learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth, because the rules change, you know, everything’s always changing.
He’s the Still point. Attorney world is TSLA the Great. Well, you know, like Jesus said, The Way truth and, and the lie, and live, you know, so it’s, you know, in fact, he lives near you in Boulder, Colorado, Jim Collins, who wrote, you know, he’s mainly known by the book, Good to Great, but I was part of a group of 550 of us that spent a day with him a few years back, and he’s got one thing that’s in one of his books, I don’t remember which one, but it’s, he shares, preserve the core and stimulate progress. So it’s very,
actually, if you’re familiar with a guy named Bob Buford of halftime, he was the one that got these 50 people together. “It’s very Biblically sound, because we need that unchanging, you know, preserve the core, there’s a couple of things that never change. You know, he’s a researcher, besides being an author. He found in these great companies that outperform the average stock market over many, many years. 15 times. I mean, that’s almost like, that’s unheard of.
The good companies, the research was outperformed two times. Yeah. But you would love to be invested in those, but these few that were outperformed. That’s what he found from the founding, they was the core values, and the purpose never changed. But everything else was on the table for change, you know, compensation, organization, structure, products, services, you know, whatever was constantly changing, but they could deal with the change as long as the exactly right it helps you deal with change if you if you know, those things that never change, and that’s a mark of when you look at the book of Proverbs, a mark of wisdom is you you know, the permanent things, you know, the moral order that God built into the world
Not the created order. And this is what the young man in Proverbs is supposed to learn. It’s a mark of him becoming wise. And it’ll help you navigate all that change. But if you don’t learn those things, if it’s all up for grabs, then you’re a fool. Yeah, I mean, it’s a biblical name for it. It’s a very, it’s a sad name, a tragic name. But it’s a name of a person who’s completely lost, because they’ve got nothing to hold on to. Exactly, yeah.
Before we close, could I maybe ask another question here? Would you mind sharing a story that that illustrates how an obstacle really challenge you and your team, you know, have played some different roles? I know, they’ve been probably a lots of challenges. But you’d be mind sharing one there. How did you overcome that? Well, you know, the biggest obstacle in in recent times was COVID. Again, you have this pandemic, that that just shuts everything down, including universities, universities have never shut down like that.
I mean, they may have with the Spanish flu, but I don’t know if it was as extensive as what we, we saw, we didn’t know what we were dealing with at first. So we appointed a, I appointed a team and had a great leader of this team, that when we met every week from through the whole pandemic,
and we met, asking the Lord’s first, you know, give us with the wisdom to navigate this, not in fear, but you know, in faith and wisely as good stewards. So, this is kind of interesting, because there was so much fear driving everything during Oh, no. And in higher education, Bobby, it was terrible, because I talked to other presidents of schools in Colorado, and, and they say, well, our faculty don’t don’t want to come back at all.
This is linked into the pandemic, if any student is not vaccinated. Well, you know, we all knew that not every student was going to be vaccinated. So they’re basically saying they’re not going to work. And this is what many public school teachers and the unions did do with, with with children. Because of the kind of faculty and staff that we hire, who are price followers. You know, they’re normal human beings. And some of them have fragile health conditions, and we add a way for them to, to stay isolated. But we, we started asking the students, what do you want, and the students told us and their parents says, we don’t want to put our future on hold.
they said, you know, we, we don’t, and the studies revealed this, you know, we generally don’t get COVID. And when we get it, we don’t get it bad. So we don’t, we don’t want to leave. Seems to you like every school, we shut down for those first few months. And then as we’re entering the summer, we prayed and said, Lord, you know,
we’re willing to do whatever. And we really felt led after looking at all the data and, and all the the, the factors to, to open up in the fall. We were, we’re an outlier that because most schools were not opening. And we would have protocols and things like that. But what we found with our faculty is they, they feared God more than this disease.
There’s a there’s an Assam, Bobby Psalm 34, which says, you know, I sought the Lord and He delivered me from all my fears. The fear of the Lord shrinks other fears. And so we found a certain fearlessness with our faculty and staff that we didn’t see in, in the wider culture. They were willing to come back, you know, again, using protocols but to give themselves to students, so we, we, we didn’t miss much of a beat, we came back, we had a great fall, everybody had to innovate, the students learn how to be resilient, you know, which is what the psychologists say they need to learn. And then we stayed open ever ever since.
But that that was a massive obstacle, and our team faced it and my staff was just incredible, because they exhibited amazing leadership and we tried to serve our community, in the process, opening our doors for healthcare workers and everything now. It was, it was an adventure. It was wild. You’ve, you’ve touched on it. It COVID revealed the good, bad and ugly in your head, and not only our personal lives, but also you know, in any organization and and so, yeah, there’s a lot of truth of what you were what you’re
shared there. By the way, I do like to ask one more question if it’s okay with you, looking toward the future, what is one potential opportunity or obstacle that you see on the horizon? And why does that need to be talked about? Yeah, great question. The opportunity is, come back to what I said earlier, it’s the massive opportunity for convictional. Christian, substantive, higher education.
There are lots of challenges, but we have something that others don’t have an and it’s, it’s Christ and the gospel and, and God’s word, as a, as a foundation for for learning. And we need to go back to the basics. That’s the opportunity because there’s light there. And when there’s light, there’s life. And, and as culture gets darker,
the light needs to get brighter. The obstacle, the biggest obstacle, in my mind, is the challenge of religious liberty, the challenge of, of really, it’s the radical left, trying to
take, take the religious liberty away to redefine it. So that schools are compelled to follow the LGBT XYZ agenda, and transform us into something that we’re not we don’t believe in, but they they want to shut us down, they want to take our accreditation away. They want to take government funding away and, and the battle is huge. And so my word to your listeners is, please stand up for the religious liberty of faith based schools or faith based schools. And that includes Christian schools, high schools, colleges and universities, we are on the front line, and make sure that your senators do not buy into the nonsense that the Senate has going to have before them in the coming days.
They got this bill from the house, there’s misnamed restoration of Marriage Act. In the old one was the Equality Act these, these will decimate Christian higher education. Please stand up, speak out, push back. Yeah, we were fortunate to have an organization slug, personal liberty and alliance for defending freedom that are defending religious freedom for people and they are incredible allies we depend upon them to but they have their job. And they’re mainly fighting the legal battle brilliantly. But what my appeal is to people, because the problem can come from the courts, but it can come from the legislatures, it can come from governor’s office can come from the state assembly, it can come from the accreditors. So we have to be involved. And we have to speak up. Yeah, yeah, we need to we got
you know, one of my daily prayers is just pray that it’s the Lord’s will to remove the influence of false teachers and the platforms that they stand on.
Because they’re doing the work for Satan, and it’s very harmful. Well,
Don, man, I’ve just really enjoyed this conversation we’ve had today. So where can people go to connect with you and learn more about Colorado Christian university? Well go to ccu.edu. That’s our website. And let me tell you that we have three educational vehicle. So we have a traditional residential campus here in Lakewood, beautiful Colorado, and the campus is being rebuilt. It’s gorgeous. If you’re looking for if you’re out of high school, and you’re you’re looking for a great liberal arts education, that’s what you pursue.
But as you know, we live in an online world and so we have huge online opportunities, and undergraduate and graduate education. That if you go to that website, you can also plug into the adult, the College of adult and graduate studies, and you can work on a certificate or a bachelor’s or, or a master’s or we have one doctoral program in nursing now, and we’re going to have more so so you have that opportunity. So you have the traditional residential, you have the online undergraduate and graduate and recently we just started an academy. That’s for high school students. It’s online so that if you want to, especially if you’re homeschooling or
If your students in any kind of school want to get ahead, you can take courses get college credit, it’ll knock down the cost of of college when you go to college. It’s transferable. And it’s taught by CCU faculty. So you’ll get people who, you know, have a convictional face to whatever they’re teaching. So there are three great educational opportunities firstname.lastname@example.org online? Well, I’ve got to share with you just talking about the academy. All three of our sons and daughter loves their home school.
I need to share, we’ve got one grandson that will be entering entering high school after another year, so I’m gonna pass that on to him to think about that. So and by the way, earlier, you mentioned about Psalm 34.
In my quiet time, I just read that song just a couple of days ago. So thank you for sharing that. You’re exactly right. So, hey, Don, thank you so much for being on this podcast show and I hope someday I have a chance to get to meet you personally. Well, great privilege. Thanks. Very nice to meet you and grateful for what you do, Bobby