A Year of Growth and Grace

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me” (1 Cor 1510, NIV). The Apostle Paul did not avoid making mention of the improvements in his life that were a result of the gracious intervention of God and a subsequent life of devoted service. Here at New Hope Christian College, we hope to have the same confidence, for the gracious intervention of God in our own lives has/is having a tremendous effect on all that we do here, and we work hard to ensure that we are always improving what we do for the glory of God and the edification of our students through three hardworking offices at NHCC: Admissions and Financial Aid, Student Life, and Academics. 

Admissions and Financial Aid

The year started with a great cohort of new students and our annual Golf Tournament fundraiser. This year the event raised over $80,000 that went directly to scholarships, and we gave out more than $300,000 in scholarships and grants this year! Then we had a record-breaking incoming class in January. These and the new students coming in fall 2024 will receive even more scholarships for 2024-2025!

Student Life

Student Life has had a busy semester with many improvements. Not only did they improve some of their policies and procedures to better serve the students, but they improved the student experience. Under the leadership of Cindy Kenny, teams of students took on the responsibility of Student-Led Chapels. It has been a few years since we have done this, so for many students, this was their first experience of programming, producing, and executing every element of a chapel service. A few students even preached for the very first time! Student Life also improved this semester’s Open Mic event. We added a segment of Bible Trivia. This was never done before, and to encourage a bit of healthy competition, a couple of faculty members donated cash prizes that would go to scholarships. This caught on with other staff and supporters who were there and spontaneously raised $1400 for scholarships that went to the top contestants. Another improvement was a different version of All-Stars. Typically, the faculty, staff, and students gather in the gym on campus for a game of basketball or volleyball; this year, however, we all went off-campus and played soccer on a local turf field. Students stayed for hours and enjoyed a little bit of physical exercise to complement their semester full of intellectual and spiritual exercise. 

Academics

Student Life was not the only department to improve, though; Academics also made some changes to enhance student learning and to ensure the value of the education offered. One of our top students a few years ago went on to earn a Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology and a Doctorate of Ministry in Biblical Studies. While I cannot share his academic records, it is clear that Dr. Andrew McIntyre values the depth of knowledge and skills achieved through rigorous academic study. As our newest instructor, Dr. McIntyre, is teaching NT143: The Contexts and Contents of the New Testament. Student Course Evaluations are coming in, and they show the students appreciate his teaching. Moreover, Dr. McIntyre’s contributions in the review of the Bible and Theology Department this semester proved to be insightful in shaping the scope of various courses so that students leave with not just an overview of systematic theology but also an understanding of how theology has developed within the Bible and through scholars since. 

Another academic improvement was the crafting of a new writing course to better prepare students for leadership opportunities: WR123: Writing for Thoughtful Leadership. This course applies the skills of argumentation to writing for leadership. Students learn to communicate clearly and compellingly through practicing the research and writing process. More specifically, students analyze and evaluate positions then make assertions and advocate for their beliefs on current events relating to the seven pillars of society: 1) Religion, 2) Family, 3) Media and Communication, 4) Government and Law, 5) Business and Economy, 6) Education, Science, and Technology, 7) Arts and Entertainment. 

Perhaps the most significant news this year, though, was having our accreditation reaffirmed for another ten years. The Associate for Biblical Higher Education is a federally recognized accrediting body that examined 150 specific areas of the College through interviews of staff and students, combing through approximately 500 pieces of evidence, and a 3-day site evaluation. While there is still room for improvement, they specifically commended the college in the following words: 

  1. The Team commends the Institution for its exemplary commitment to state-of-the-art communication technology that serves the Institution by providing a laboratory for student learning (Standard 6d: EE 1).
  2. The Team commends the Institution for its academic leadership and spiritually mature faculty who engage in modeling and mentoring relationships that foster a culture of service, as evidenced through the church lab model on campus (Standard 8: EE 5; Standard 9a: EE 1; Standard 5: EE 4).

This summer we will continue to improve the students’ experience through renovating dorms, updating curriculum, reviewing policies and procedures, and preparing for another round of successful fundraising through the 2024 Golf Tournament. Be sure to catch the news through these regular newsletters over the summer to see the progress being made!

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