The Call to Engage and Serve
The Call to Engage and Serve
As members of the Fresno Pacific University community, we are called to “Engage the Cultures and Serve the Cities.” This calling is one of the key factors that led to my decision to join Fresno Pacific as an employee in 2018. What good is it to do any job, if the work of that job does not impact and edify others in a meaningful way? I was drawn to Fresno Pacific as a university system that collectively seeks to influence the Central Valley for the glory of the Kingdom. In the last year that I have worked at Fresno Pacific, I have been touched and impressed by the manner in which each department across the university seeks to fulfill this calling through its respective area of responsibility.
The calling to engage and serve is the heart of the mission and vision of the Career Development & Experiential Learning Center (CDELC), where we seek to equip, encourage and empower students and alumni to excel in whatever vocational path they choose. This CDELC mission connects to the broader goals of the university, as we all seek to produce graduates of high ethical values and moral character to enter ministry or the workforce.
This is a critical and urgent mission; indicators across our local, state and national society at large demonstrate a world that is in need of believers who are salt and light to others. A recent article from Christianity Today asserts that Christian colleges are now needed more than ever: “A specifically Christian liberal arts education investigates how the good God is connected with the everyday aspects of life.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the average baby boomer has had at least 12 different jobs during her of his lifetime. Members of Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z are expected to hold an even greater range of job titles and functions across the span of their career. A Christian liberal arts education prepares students not simply for a job, or even for a career, but for vocation—the wisdom that hears God’s call to respond with the whole self to produce meaning and purpose in the world.
Colossians 3:23 states: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” As I observe Fresno Pacific students transition from education to career, it is evident they embody Colossians 3:23. Fresno Pacific graduates are highly sought after among employers across the Central Valley due to the outstanding ethical standards and moral character they bring to the workplace. Within the Career Development Center, we experience an ongoing, steady stream of partnership requests from employers eager to recruit Fresno Pacific students. A recruitment representative from one of our core employer partners has often stated [paraphrase]: “I’d rather hire two students at Fresno Pacific than 200 from other universities, because I KNOW that FPU students will be the highest quality new hires to bring into our organization. They are honest, dependable and hard working. They hold themselves to a higher standard and that reaps many benefits for our organization.”
This employer’s feedback makes my heart sing! It demonstrates that we really are fulfilling the mission and vision of CDELC operations. Through this employer’s partnership with the CDELC, two-three students are hired into internship or employment positions each year. Many of them have had their hard work rewarded with opportunities for promotion and career growth, including one alumnus who started out as an intern and has risen through the ranks and now holds a senior position within the human resources division.
The CDELC does not function or succeed in a silo; we are just one cog in the wheel of the university organization. The career success that each student and member of the alumni achieves is testament to the fact that the CDELC is working in concert with the full Fresno Pacific community in our efforts to make an impact for the Kingdom. As the only faith-based university founded in the Central Valley, Fresno Pacific’s opportunity to impact the local community for the Kingdom is proportionally massive. Our students and alumni carry a tidal wave of ripple effects as they each “Engage the Cultures and Serve the Cities” through their vocational calling.