Grace University will cease all academic operations at the end of the 2017-2018 academic year. This decision was extremely difficult, and one that was not reached without fervent prayer in seeking God’s will for Grace’s future and before exhausting all attempts to address the University’s financial challenges. We are confident that the decision was necessary at this time to ensure, to the extent possible, the successful completion of the current year and to provide sufficient time for the necessary transition planning for all those affected by the closure. The economic difficulties Grace has encountered over the past several years were due mainly to declining enrollment while initiatives to grow enrollment were unsuccessful. The financial impact of those issues reached a level whereby the amount of cash required to continue operations beyond the current year could not be reasonably attained without putting the University at significant risk.
We thank the administrators, faculty and staff who have served the University so faithfully over its history. We especially thank our current students who, despite the recent institutional challenges, have supported GU by continuing to pursue their educational goals with us. We are also grateful for the many donors whose generosity has also assisted the University over the years. While there must be necessary grieving and sadness with this decision, the Board urges all to balance that with the joy of Grace University’s 75-year legacy of developing thousands of servant leaders for the home, the church and the world. During the remainder of this year, the Board will be exploring other ways in which the legacy of GU can continue through other means.
In the days ahead, the Trustee Board remains committed to the current mission of Grace University and pledges its full support to the administration in the critically important efforts to assist students, faculty and staff through this period of transition. A teach-out plan that will allow students to complete their degrees through specific arrangements with other institutions or through normal transfer procedures is under development. More details on the plan will be forthcoming pending approvals by the Higher Learning Commission and other regulatory agencies.
While this decision has been extremely difficult for the Board and all who are connected to Grace University, we are confident that our God will walk with us and before us though the remainder of this year and beyond. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” In Philippians 4:6 Paul writes, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Grace University Board of Trustees
The announcement was made Monday, March 6 that Grace University will be moving to the former Dana College campus in Blair, NE, May 2018. Students react to this exciting news in the video below. Continue reading “Students React to Grace University’s Move to Blair, NE”
As some of you may be aware, Grace University has been in discussion with representatives of the owner of the property previously occupied by Dana College in Blair, Nebraska. The purpose of these discussions has been to explore the possibility of Grace University relocating its main campus operations to that property. I am very pleased to announce that Grace University has agreed to the terms in a Letter of Intent to relocate to the former Dana College site in Blair, Nebraska. Other organizations will be occupying owner developments adjacent to the campus on the 150-acre plot. Continue reading “Grace University’s Next Chapter in Moving Forward”
The summer months are normally quiet months for academic institutions—but not so at Grace University. The Trustee Board has taken decisive action to reemphasize Grace’s historic mission and to “right the ship” of Grace financially. To that end, the Board has appointed Dr. John Holmes as Interim President. John has been a professor at Grace, served as Academic Vice President and is a gifted teacher and communicator. John is a breath of fresh air in terms of leadership. The Board has also asked Bill Bauhard, a retired Omaha businessman, to serve in the role as Chief Executive Officer, overseeing personnel, finance and operational issues at Grace. Bill has served on the Board of Trustees and also as Grace’s Executive Vice President. Bill brings a sharp mind and proven skills, so necessary in dealing with the financial challenges facing Grace. It is exciting to see two such gifted men assuming these crucial roles at Grace. Please be in prayer for both of them.
One further note: The Board has also begun re-organizing and retooling itself as the governing board of Grace. Carlon Tschetter, Grace graduate and senior pastor of Covenant Community Church near Oklahoma City, is the new chairman of the board. Carlon brings a passion for Grace, for its mission and for its future. Please also be in prayer for Carlon and the rest of the Board.
Finally, you, our partners in the mission of Grace University, also play a strategic role in “righting the ship” of Grace. As I mentioned, please pray for these leaders and for our faculty and staff in this time of transition. We all need God’s grace and enablement. Would you also pray for our students, both returning and those newly enrolled at Grace? The faculty is as committed as ever to pursuing “academic excellence and life change” with our students. Your financial support is an essential component in all of this. Please be as generous as you can with your financial support. On behalf of our leadership team, our faculty and staff, and our students, thank you for your eternally significant investment!
In His mighty grasp,
James P. Eckman, Ph.D.
President Emeritus, Grace University
Dear fellow classmates, former students and friends:
I am excited to let you know that during the recent Board of Trustees meeting the Trustees voted unanimously to appoint me as the interim president of Grace University. I accepted the position with eager anticipation. You may be aware that we are undergoing a period of transformation at Grace. But you are not aware of the many things that God is doing behind the scenes to launch us into a stable future. More on that later (but it is really exciting). We are not just looking to survive in the difficult landscape of Christian higher education, but our goal is to thrive.
Many of you have sat in class next to me, been taught by me, or served with me. Some of you have been backpacking and/or rock climbing with me. You know my commitment to Christ, His amazing grace, this school and my passion for its mission. The past few months have been challenging at Grace University and we have been blessed to see God move in what I would call specific and unusual ways. Chuck Swindoll once said, “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” We truly have a great opportunity before us as we analyze and restructure the University so that we can continue to train and develop the next generation of servant leaders.
Over the next few months, you will be receiving updates from Dr. Jim Eckman, president emeritus, and me asking for your support in tangible and intangible ways. I ask that you serve, pray and give as the Lord moves. When Paul spoke to the Church in Corinth, he reminded them “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58). Paul’s words are relevant to us today. As you hear news from Grace, can I count on you to stand firm with us in our mission and continue with us in the kingdom work that we have been faithfully engaged in for the last 73 years?
I am optimistic about our future. Our leadership team has responsive hearts, the technical skills, and history with the school to serve our historic mission well. The students I have had in my classes recently have been great examples of the servant leaders we seek to produce. I am humbled and excited about the task set before us and thank you in advance for your support and prayers. This ministry has been going strong for almost 75 years, and I cannot wait to see how God moves in the next 75 years (even if I’m not around to witness it).
For His kingdom,
John D. Holmes, Th.M., Ph.D.