Editorial

Why Attend an Alliance College?

By

No country on earth features a system of higher education with as much variety and diversification as the United States, and in many ways, the four Christian and Missionary Alliance institutions highlighted in this issue reflect this variety. They are located in four different regions of the country offering study in urban, suburban, rural, and online environments. Their student enrollments differ in size as well as in composition. They offer different programs of study and campus activities. Each college has distinct characteristics that permit it to provide students with a unique educational experience.

jeff-quinn
Jeff Quinn

These differences are so pronounced that a casual glance at these schools might cause one to ask, “What makes them Alliance?” It is a question I am sometimes asked, and it is one I love to answer.

What connects these institutions, what prompts their inclusion in this publication, and what makes each of these schools “Alliance” is not a “what” at all. It is a “why.”

Consider the missions of Alliance colleges.

NYACK COLLEGE was founded in 1882. Why? To carry out its mission of “preparing men and women to ‘take the whole gospel to the whole world.’”

TOCCOA FALLS COLLEGE was established in 1907. Why? To educate “Christian servant leaders who will impact their world with the love and message of Jesus Christ.”

CROWN COLLEGE began in 1916. Why? To provide “biblically based education for Christian leadership in The Christian and Missionary Alliance, the Church at large, and the world.”

SIMPSON UNIVERSITY was founded in 1921. Why? To prepare students for “meaningful work and service in a constantly changing world.”

These four institutions are strongly aligned in the most important characteristic of all: purpose. This purpose is to teach and send forth the next generation of students to share the love of Christ. Nyack College, Toccoa Falls College, Crown College, and Simpson University send their graduates worldwide to live the gospel in nearly all walks of life.

Theologian William Barclay penned one of my favorite quotes: “There are two great days in a person’s life—the day they are born and the day they discover why.” For college-bound students, there are two similar “great days.” The first is the day they decide to attend college. The second is when they understand why they made that decision.

Alliance colleges exist to serve students for whom the answer to the question, “Why attend college?” is answered, “Because I want to share the Person and the love of Jesus Christ in everything I do.” Students who discover that this is their purpose will find that these four Alliance colleges share this purpose and stand ready to serve.

2 responses to Why Attend an Alliance College?

  1. Hello Laurie,

    Thank you for your input regarding the Higher Education issue of Alliance Life. You raise some good points and I appreciate you raising them.

    It might be helpful for you to understand the intent of this particular issue of the magazine:

    1. This was not one of our regular issues. As is written on the top of the cover, this is a special issue and doesn’t adhere as strictly the editorial guidelines for “regular” issues.

    2. The intent of this issue was to highlight our Alliance colleges and seminaries. We don’t often talk about our colleges in many of our communications. Our president, in meeting with our college presidents, felt it would be helpful to raise awareness about these schools and what they have to offer.

    3. The content presented in this issue was, for the most part, submitted by the schools themselves. We gave them an outline of the kind of content we thought would be helpful to our C&MA constituency; but the selection of that content was largely based on what they wanted to say about their schools.

    4. I think it may be a stretch to assume from this issue that The Alliance is “sheltered and prefers to keep Alliance in Alliance rather than looking at Christians for all that they have to offer.” In my 30 years with The Alliance, a have seen countless examples of partnerships we have had with other schools, denominations, and parachurch organizations. In fact, without these partnerships we could not have taken the strides in reaching our U.S. communities and unreached groups around the world that God has graciously enabled us to take. Partnerships are huge in the Alliance. Many local churches partner with local ministries and local government to address shared issues of community concern. Our international workers partner with other missions and parachurch organizations to create synergy in taking the gospel into the remaining unreached corners of our world. And our schools partner with social agencies, local and state governments, and businesses to teach their students how to exercise their faith in the marketplace and make a huge difference where God has placed them. Even here at the C&MA National Office, we employ interns from non-Alliance schools—many of whom we have hired as full time workers. You may not have read much about these partnerships in this issue because it was not the primary intent of the issue to highlight them.

    5. Knowing that we couldn’t possibly include everything people may need to know about our Alliance schools, we were intentional about providing the Web addresses for each of them in hopes that our readers would “dig a little deeper.” In doing so, I believe they would find many demonstrations of fruitful partnerships with a great variety of entities.

    I hope this helps bring clarity. Once again, we sure appreciate your input. Please feel free to share further thoughts. We highly value a diversity of perspectives.

    –Peter Burgo, Editor

  2. I am a member of the Alliance church (but only for the past 4 years or so) and I love the philosophies and ideals of reaching those less fortunate. To shine God’s light on a world of darkness. It aligns with my research as well as I am getting my PhD and focus on human trafficking issues. However – I have yet to figure out why an organization that looks to outreach seems so quiet, sheltered and prefers to keep Alliance in Alliance rather than looking at Christians for all that they have to offer (including the shared love of Christ). Reading this article made me think about, while it is commendable to offer higher education, there was no mention of the schools accreditation, if the schools reach out from a nondenominational perspective. It is the apprehension of some to share why the organization chooses not to work with other Christian groups that raises questions for me. Or maybe it is just the church I am currently associated with. I did attend a different CMA church for a year or so prior to where I am now and they did seem more community focused. With all this said, and being a proponent of higher education, I missed seeing some of those issues addressed in this article which read more like an advertisement (I mean that without criticism). Thank you for any feedback.

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