Dear Emmanuel Community,
I want to bring you up to date on the latest College news. My last announcement indicated that Slate Church was looking to purchase the property at 100 Fergus. The purchase will be completed by the end of June. Emmanuel will continue to operate as an independent residential college on the property, and Slate will join with our existing partners in helping us train Christ-followers for effective service. I want to be transparent; this change comes with a sense of promise and hope and with fond memories of the past.
Let me first address the past. A degree of sadness accompanies, for many of us, the memories of what was. We remember the former buildings and treed property. We fondly reflect on the celebrations and events that took place here and the lifelong relationships and ministries that began here. There are also those whom we remember with great warmth and love, whose fingerprints and footsteps are all over this place.
Additionally, COVID-19 has forced change and adaptation on all of us. We have witnessed impacts on our families, our local communities, our country, and the entire world. Because I am a musician, song lyrics often come to mind as I go about my day. One line that has played in my head during the pandemic is R.E.M’s “It’s the end of the world as we know it.” This could have been the theme song for the last few years! However, another song has been far more embedded in my heart: “Great is Thy Faithfulness, O God my Father. There is no shadow of turning with Thee. Thou changeset not. Thy compassions, they fail not. As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be. Great is Thy Faithfulness!” (words by Thomas Chisholm). That great promise can give us strength even in dark times.
With those beautiful lyrics in mind, I turn to the sense of promise and hope for the future. Upon the sale of the property, we will receive a significant sum and will no longer have the responsibility of a mortgage. This will give us the ability to allocate funds more directly to the three objectives mentioned in the January/February newsletter: (1) address the leadership deficit in evangelicalism, (2) prepare students to thrive in secular colleges and universities, and (3) keep the cost of education down. These three objectives are oriented toward our students and the church. We have now created a new, internal goal that is oriented toward the College itself: we are working to rebuild our enrollment. Specifically, the goal is to increase our student body from 60 to 85 in the 2022–2023 academic year and then to 100 or even 110 by the 2025–2026 academic year. We are also continuing with our existing plan of attracting new donors who see the great need for solid biblical education.
Previously I shared with you that two years ago Zack Thornton, now the lead pastor at Paisley Missionary Church, read from Haggai 2:9 at our graduation service: “‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace’” (NIV). Zack said that he believed this could be true of Emmanuel, and I took his words to heart and made them my prayer. We believe that in the last few months God has been opening a pathway forward for Emmanuel that will bring Him greater glory.
The theme for this time of rebuilding is “deeply rooted, growing forward.” We are, and will remain, firmly rooted in the Bible and in the evangelical tradition. From this trustworthy base we will seek to grow the College, particularly its enrollment and impact, as we offer in-person and online education. This is an exciting time, but even though we see opportunity in front of us, we are not able to coast. The future is by no means guaranteed. We still must strive vigorously, under God’s direction, to meet our budget and to connect with potential students so that we can increase our enrollment. We cannot do this without you—without you praying, without you talking to others about the College, without you making a financial gift. Will you join us in the exciting challenge of growing Emmanuel and shaping the incoming generation of leaders? Please take a few moments to respond to us by clicking the button below and filling out the form.
Dr. Neil Cudney
We now have a referral program that we will use to thank people in our community for referring others to Emmanuel. For more information, click the button below.