Advancing a Pathway into the Future: The Fresno Pacific Idea

Advancing a Pathway into the Future: The Fresno Pacific Idea

The Fresno Pacific Idea is the university’s interpretation of what it means to be a Christian university engaged in the interpersonal dimensions of faith, learning and service. By engaging in this way we nurture a vision of wholeness, justice and reconciliation which, in turn, builds and extends the Kingdom of God. Our Strategic Map identifies five overarching goals for the next three years to assist in maturing the FPU community in the aspirations of the Idea. The goals are as follows:  

Grow

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back, lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes…Do not be afraid, you will not be put to shame.”

Isaiah 54:2,4

We have broadened our borders from Merced to Bakersfield. Now, how do we become good stewards of the ground we have gained? The FPU Idea challenges us to extend the influence of the Kingdom of God through our students. One way of extending that influence is increasing our student population. In a time when colleges are closing and merging, we are growing by the grace of God. As we are intentional about growth, we should ask to what end? Growth will help sustainability, but more than this, growth will broaden the work of the kingdom through placing more students throughout the Central Valley and the world. Yes, we need the numbers for financial stability, but more so we need the numbers to carry out our mission and the vision of the university.

Engage

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10

A second way to extend the influence of the Kingdom of God is by corporately and collectively engaging the cities in the Central Valley, with strategic partnerships outside the region. We need to be intentional in our outreach to the faith community, educational, social, health care, the arts and business communities. As an educational community, we provide expertise in numerous areas of need and broaden opportunities for our students to learn and celebrate the wealth of clinicians and practitioners willing to partner in enriching the educational experience of our students.

Innovate

“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”

Proverbs 24:3,4

Since 2016 over 170 colleges have closed. Another 37 have merged. Christian and private colleges all over the country are struggling to meet enrollment goals. Most businesses that endure over time are successful because they are flexible; not changing their mission but changing their methods to adjust to the needs of constituents. They empower those who work for them to think outside the box, to pursue non-traditional approaches to solving problems and to develop new initiatives. The real question is how do we become more efficient and effective in transforming lives for service? How do we educate innovatively? Our vision is to produce innovative programs consistent with our mission and the Idea. Integration of faith and learning is core to that delivery, but methods of integration should broaden the possibilities for our students.

Serve

“Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.”

Matthew 20:26-28

Service learning is not an option in Christ-centered higher education. Serving beyond our comfort zones or our convenience is the real challenge in washing others’ feet. Our service reflects the spiritual vitality of our learning community. We do not introduce new programs because it is just a good idea; we assess, analyze and anticipate a need, then find our place to serve. Our responsibility is not just preparing students for leadership and service, but modeling and teaching how to serve with love. Perfect love cast out fear, so we can boldly serve without recognition or reward.

Transform

“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2

We have failed if we do not create a transformative environment in our seminary and on all our campuses. We are not here solely to educate in a discipline, but to introduce peace, mercy, reconciliation and justice through faith in Christ. Some change will come through knowledge, but wisdom combined with knowledge is transformative in students, their families and friends. We will be intentional about empowering faculty and staff to grow in grace, model mercy and walk in love in and outside of the classrooms. We are charged to be examples for believers in our word, conversation and deed, as we become lights to the world. We will therefore explore better ways to become a just community characterized by peacemaking and reconciliation.

The full DRAFT of the Strategic Map can be found here.

Connections

Joseph Jones, Ph.D.

University President