Serve Courageously—And Never Give up

Serve Courageously—And Never Give up

When I first was introduced to the idea of writing about one of the five thematic goals encompassing FPU’s pathway forward—GIEST—it was several months ago, and COVID-19 was just something many of us had heard about in the news. For most of us, our daily lives were still going on as planned with the fall semester wrapping up and preparations for spring well under way. At that point, I never would have imagined that we would all be sheltering in place, working from home, teaching solely online and connecting day in and day out via technology. For a community that values togetherness, this certainly has been a shift as we redefine what it means to gather together.

What has not changed is Fresno Pacific’s mission to serve. We do not just serve in a lackadaisical manner, but rather we serve courageously. Serving students and each other is at the heart of what we do every day. I know of no one that has entered the field of education for any other purpose than to help students succeed; but for Fresno Pacific, serving courageously is at the core of who we are because we are called to do so by God. We are grounded in the words of Matthew 20:26-28, “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…” During these unprecedented times, the need to serve is greater than ever and the need to think innovatively about how we serve is even greater still.

Since last summer, the School of Business has been partnering with Reedley College on efforts to bring the power of a four-year degree to the Reedley community. Reedley College president Jerry Buckley, Ed.D., has shared that many of the students in Reedley lack transportation. While a 30-minute commute between Reedley and Visalia or a 45-minute commute between Reedley and Fresno may seem like nothing to many of us, to many Reedley College students this is an insurmountable hurdle that stands in the way of a bachelor’s degree. With a heart for service, the School of Business is stepping in to fill this gap by bringing our faculty and our courses to the Reedley community. Launching with the fall 2020 semester, we will begin delivering our B.A. in Business Administration coursework in an accelerated modality onsite at the Reedley College campus. This is a prime example of one way that we are engaging the cultures and serving the cities.

In addition to this undergraduate opportunity, our MBA recently received approval to launch in a fully online modality. This launch will afford us another outlet by which to honor God and serve those seeking a Christian business education around the globe. By expanding our MBA offering to online, we seek to serve a new type of student, one from outside the Central Valley that previously would not have had access to our Fresno Pacific community.

There are many additional opportunities with our education and business partners that I hope to share with you in a future Connections article. However, for now, I pray that you find strength to continue God’s work through education. “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded” (2 Chronicles 15:7).

Connections
Katie Fleener, Ph.D.

Katie Fleener, Ph.D.

Dean, School of Business