As I consider the future of Erskine in relationship to its past 175 years it is quite obvious that we have challenges. If I list them in order of importance they would be:
- Our greatest problem is spiritual. There has been a theological battle going on that involves the church and the school. What the church and the school stands for is not unimportant, but how we conduct ourselves in the midst of disagreements is also not unimportant. Years ago John Sanderson said, “the truth, if not spoken in love, is no longer the truth.” Paul said to Christians who could not get along, “you must look like Christ to be the church of Christ” (1 Corinthians 13; Philippians 2:3-10). My prayer is that God will help all who love Erskine come to a place of repentance and forgiveness—and only He can. My model for this is love without compromise.
- We must increase the income to the school from all sources including tuition, endowment, and gifts to the Annual Fund.
- We must retool the school to meet the realities of the 21st century that are in front of us. This will take some time but we should enter this task with expectation and promise as God always promises to lead in the future.
It should come as no surprise that along with the challenges we also have blessings. God is at work at Erskine and I am most encouraged by the interest of the students in the instruction they are receiving along with the devotions I have been able to give at several convocations. I have been a bit surprised, but also pleased, to witness the seriousness and commitment of our student body in dealing with the responsibilities that are before them as they seek, learn, grow, and think.
As we celebrate the 175th anniversary, my prayer is that we will believe that God brought the College and Seminary into being in the 19th century and he will bless us as we move ahead into the 21st century.