Words from Wood-Mar
It’s a flat world after all
Our world is changing rapidly.Not only is it becoming smaller, it is also becoming "flatter." These changes allow individuals and businesses from around the world to collaborate and compete in entirely new ways that some people see as opportunities and others view as threats.
For Christian institutions, globalization is not new. The church has long had an inclusive view of the world motivated by our deep commitment to evangelism. Recently I visited with an alumnus who has spent his life in distant parts of the world, including Vietnam, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan. His view of the world is certainly influenced by places he has lived and his commitment to serve poor and needy people.
How does George Fox University respond and contribute to the contemporary view of globalization - the creation of a world that has become both our partner and our competitor? Distances and national borders present new issues that require new thinking.
For a Christ-centered university, this new world brings wonderful opportunities.We continue to be motivated by Jesus’ command to "go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19), but today we have more capability to reach other nations and work with them as partners rather than to come as the "powerful force from the West" as we are too often perceived.
George Fox is working to enhance the opportunities through increased international diversity. We recently hired a Chinese national, Thomas Peng, who has a George Fox master’s degree and a doctorate in cross-cultural communication. He will work to bring to the university a significant number of students from mainland China.We hope this will result in the formation of a Chinese studies center here and eventually a study center in China. These centers will serve our students in business, communication, political science, and ministry.
We are excited about the increased positive, cross-cultural relationships globalization brings. Unfortunately, we also seem to find more expressions of international hatred. As a result, our world needs not only entrepreneurs, but also many servants and healers. George Fox University students continue to respond to God’s call in such capacities, as evidenced by regular serve trips our students take and the missions activities of our alumni, such as Ron Hays (page 16) who has dedicated his life to caring for impoverished people internationally and at home.
The new, flat world is encouraging, but also challenging. This world will require the university to make many changes. But as a Christ-centered university, we have powerful motivation to enter eagerly into the globalization that brings the people of the world together. George Fox is preparing students to serve God effectively and powerfully in today’s changed world.
Dr. David Brandt