Dear alumni and friends,
Change is not something I especially appreciate. I love life when it is stable, predictable and orderly. But living in a fallen, broken world means that change is the norm and instability, temporary dysfunction and re-orientation more frequent than we desire. Grace University is undergoing one of those periods of change and instability. David Barnes has resigned as president and the Board of Trustees has asked me to re-engage with Grace. I retired nearly four years ago and have developed a number of ministries in which I am deeply involved. In addition to my adjunct teaching, I am on staff at my church part time and intensely involved in teaching four Bible studies throughout Metro Omaha. I am also engaged in several writing projects and in a mentoring ministry. However, I love Grace University, having devoted a significant portion of my adult life to this ministry. So, I have agreed to advise the Trustee Board and assume a leadership role in development at Grace.
The faculty and staff of Grace University remain deeply committed to the mission of Grace: To develop servant leaders for the home, the church and the world through excellence in biblically-integrated education and through life change in a personal, discipling environment, all for the glory of God.To sustain this mission, the Board has embarked upon a significant re-structuring and re-organizing of the University, and has also launched a critical analysis of nearly every aspect of the University. For example, the Board is assessing Grace’s entire athletic program, which grew significantly over the last three years. Further, the Board is analyzing the scholarship and discounting-of-tuition program at the undergraduate level, which has also grown over the last three years. The Board strongly believes that significant changes need to occur in each of these areas, which will necessitate additional adjustments and the re-allocation of University funds.
As President Emeritus, I remain deeply committed to Grace’s mission, to the faculty and staff, and to the students, both undergraduate and graduate. I have continued to teach at Grace as an adjunct professor and have led mentoring groups with some of the men at Grace. In dependence on the Lord, the future of Grace is bright. We are graduating 97 students this year, who will be change-agents for Christ. Graduate and adult-learner enrollment for fall looks strong as do key undergraduate programs. Over the years, through your prayers and your gifts, you have demonstrated support for the mission of Grace University. I am asking you to heighten that support. We need you to partner with us in meeting the financial needs of Grace for these upcoming summer months. Our need is quite significant and I am inviting you to do two things for me:
- Commit to praying for Grace daily this summer. Pray for the Board as they analyze and reorganize each aspect of the University. Pray for our faculty as they teach, prepare and invest in our students. Pray that God will provide out of His abundant grace the funds needed for the critical summer months.
- Commit to a sacrificial gift to Grace University to sustain the school during these summer months. I am asking you to be as generous as you can possibly be to meet this need.
Thank you so much for your prayers and your financial support of Grace University. We are doing important and eternally significant Kingdom work at Grace. Your partnership with us in this ministry will yield eternal dividends for God’s Kingdom work at Grace University. Thank you.
In His mighty grasp,
James P. Eckman, Ph.D.