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.