The Foundry

Cornerstones of Spiritual Vitality

Cornerstones of Spiritual Vitality

 

From the Preface, by Dr. Jon Kulaga, Provost:

"Every institution undergoing its 10 year reaffirmation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) is required to develop a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The focus of the plan is determined by the institution, but must be comprehensive in scope and is to have been developed through broad-based input from all stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, administration, board and alumni.

In preparation for its reaffirmation with SACS in April of 2009, Asbury College embarked on the broad-based inquiry process in the spring of 2007. A variety of ideas emerged ranging from the development of a chapel curriculum to the implementation of several environmental or creation care initiatives. In a special meeting of the SACS Leadership Team in the fall of2007, in which the top ten QEP ideas had been determined, discussion centered around how to determine "the" best idea that would serve the long term needs of the institution. As the various QEP ideas were discussed, a consensus emerged within the leadership team that all the final ideas were examples of a larger concept - spiritual vitality.

Over the course of the next several weeks, the larger concept of spiritual vitality was explored and the CORNERSTONE PROJECT emerged as the institution's QEP, through which the college would seek to define key elements of spiritual vitality as stated in the institution's mission statement. Four "cornerstones of spiritual vitality" were selected from the college's history and mission that would serve as a foundation for launching several QEP initiatives: Scripture, Holiness, Mission and Stewardship.

At the close of the fall 2007 semester, and, with the four cornerstones of spiritual vitality determined, several faculty were invited to engage in a Cornerstone writing project. Each faculty member was asked to reflect on how each cornerstone informed how he or she approached the activities of research, scholarship and teaching within the various academic disciplines. While the idea of Cornerstones of Spiritual Vitality is new to Asbury College, the values and principles represented by each cornerstone are timeless and inseparable from 'the DNA of the institution. The essays that resulted from the writing project are presented within this volume and exemplify the way in which the faculty are engaging in the initiatives of the Cornerstone Project.

The book is divided into three sections. The opening five chapters comprise the first section and provide context for the entire volume as the institution's Wesleyan approach to mission, theology, scholarship, and spiritual vitality are clarified. The second section of the volume consists of 14 chapters, each representing a different aspect of the institution's academic program. The last section brings closure to the work as the Wesleyan theological distinctive of "holy love" is presented as the integrating center from which our spiritual vitality emanates.

John Wesley taught his followers that they were to engage the whole world for Christ because the whole world was their parish. Cornerstones shows how academic excellence and spiritual vitality are integrated into the spectrum of learning environments at Asbury College, in answer to that same call, through graduates who love God with a whole mind and a whole heart."

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