Students and alumni may be at different stages of life, but they have more in common than one might think. Students are building memories and alumni reflect on memories, but both actively hope to make a difference for the Kingdom of God.
By: Jim J. Adams, Ed.D., LPC President
Most of the responsibilities of a college president require taking a bird’s-eye view of the institution as a whole - sometimes from the 30,000-foot vantage point. While I enjoy processing leadership from that perspective, there is nothing that resonates in me like getting back down to earth, rubbing elbows with students in the classroom, and spending time with alumni of Foursquare colleges.
For 20 years, I have enjoyed teaching a class in organizational research, introducing graduate students to quantitative and qualitative research methods. Beyond the mere facts and processes, the course inspires students to think deeply about details of life that others take for granted.
I teach the class now as part of our Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership program (MASL), and help students initiate their final capstone project hoping their research will bring healthy innovations to the organizations they serve. For some, what they learn will influence networks of leaders, churches, and organizations.
For many of these graduate students, our first acquaintance will be during a residency week as they begin their MASL program. To date, 250 students are active in or graduates of the MASL program, with the Cascadia cohort, our most recent, launching this summer in Beaverton, Ore. In January, we will launch our first official global cohort in Singapore!
"I deeply appreciate the longevity and fruitfulness of our alumni. I am particularly moved by the recent phenomenon of alumni from different generations and locations coming together under the Foursquare banner, one body of alumni, to celebrate the advancement of Foursquare higher education." - Dr. Jim J. Adams
I am happy to say, I enjoy meeting every student. We shake hands, share pleasantries, and enjoy a meal together, laying the foundation for a two-year relationship with the program, with LPC, and their professors. These are students actively involved in ministry and the workplace in the U.S. and around the world. They work through challenges and overcome obstacles. Finally, they celebrate successes when they arrive at the “ah-ha” moment that will make a difference in their leadership and their organization.
On the other end of the relational spectrum, I deeply appreciate the longevity and fruitfulness of our alumni. I am particularly moved by the recent phenomenon of alumni from different generations and locations coming together under the Foursquare banner, one body of alumni, to celebrate the advancement of Foursquare higher education.
At our recent alumni reunion in a newly renovated LPC-Ignite facility in downtown Christiansburg, Va., we welcomed alum from Life East, Mt. Vernon Bible College, Life Bible College, Life Pacific College and LPC-Ignite as well as an alumna from Pacific Life Bible College in Canada. My cohost for the gathering in Virginia was LPC-Ignite President Dr. Mike Larkin, and I’m sure he would agree that we would not trade that precious time for anything.
"It’s true that students and alumni enjoy different stages of life. Their common bond, however, is a shared desire to make a difference for the Kingdom of God." - Dr. Jim J. Adams
As we meet and spend time with alumni, sometimes for the first time, I hope they feel our deep appreciation for who they are, where they have come from, and the lives they have surrendered to the Lordship of Christ. I hope they are gratified that their Alma Mater, whether east coast or west, is still relevant and on the cutting edge of biblical higher education. I hope they know how important they are to me personally, and to our entire institution.
As additional alumni hear about our reunions, I trust we will welcome other friends to our alumni family – people with personal stories to share of the faithfulness of God – with a common passion of extending the cause of Christ around the world.
It’s true that students and alumni enjoy different stages of life. Their common bond, however, is a shared desire to make a difference for the Kingdom of God.