Pacific Magazine - Volume 26, Number 1

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13 (FPU theme verse for 2012-2013)

President's message: Planning our academic work, working God's spiritual plan

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” –Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)

This proverb has been one of our guiding verses during the strategic planning process undertaken earlier this year and now in full swing. The proverb speaks to two aspects of planning: the "work" of planning committed to the Lord (the process), and the plans themselves (the product). For the past several months everyone in the campus community, including a number of alumni, have been engaged in the "work" of planning through surveys, focus groups and listening sessions.

The process has invigorated FPU and has opened meaningful conversations about who we are as a Christ-centered university; our mission and core values; our unique Mennonite Brethren/Anabaptist, evangelical and ecumenical identity; our distinctive educaiton; the richness of our diversity; and of course, where we are headed. In my opinion, the process of planning has proven to be as important for our community, if not more important, than the actual plan.

One question generated some of the most meaningful insights: "What characteristics or qualities of FPU do you most value and want to preserve as we dream our way into the future?"

The hundreds of replies receive by the Strategic Planning Committee are remarkably similar and consistent, focusing on our Christian foundation and sense of calling, our Christian community, spiritual vitality, the value we place on others, academic excellence, the FPU Idea, our commitment to restorative practices such as peacemaking and reconciliation, and our commitment to restorative practices such as peacemaking and reconciliation, and our commitment to serving the needs of the Central Valley. These wonderful insights reflect our collective dream for FPU and speak to the "soul" of who we are. What an exciting vision of our future!

I am happy to see strategic planning reinforcing the truth that Fresno Pacific University is a very special place. From Bakersfield to Visalia, to North Fresno and Merced, and of course, the main campus in southeast Fresno, this university is loved and appreciated by alumni, students, faculty, staff, administration and thousands of friends and supporters. For this I am grateful. My prayer is that our plans for Fresno Pacific University will continue to be established as we commit our work unto the Lord!

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