Grand Canyon University was the recipient of a 20 million dollar gift from Steve Green, owner of the hobby retail chain called Hobby Lobby. In a story I covered a couple of months ago, Steve Green made it public that he wanted to give D.L. Moody’s Northfield Seminary in Northfield MA. away for free to a ministry that could prove they could maintain and use it according to D.L. Moody’s original vision.
Why Did Grand Canyon University Receive This Gift?
Over 100 different organizations expressed interest in the Northfield campus. These organizations ranged from culinary schools, TV ministries (of course! LOL) and many others. It was eventually narrowed down to either Grand Canyon University and the North American Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
After looking at what it takes to maintain and run the Northfield seminary, including 1 million dollars in utility costs, the Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention decided that it was just not feasible to use it in a cost effective manner. That left Grand Canyon University the only viable candidate that had the ability to run and operate the seminary and keep with the vision that D.L. Moody had.
Who is Grand Canyon University and what do they believe?
Grand Canyon University is the first Christian University that is run as a for profit corporation rather than a private university. It was founded as a private university in 1949 but ran into troubles financially in 2005 and was saved by a group of Christian investors which have turned around the university and made it a model for being a profitable institution of Christian higher learning that is publicly traded on Wall Street.
It’s goal is to provide affordable Christian college education. It is able to do this because of the large amount of online students. It offers tuition at roughly half of the national average of private Christian institutions.
What does Grand Canyon University Believe? I took a second to look up their doctrinal statement and find it to be right in line with the beliefs of Evangelical Christians. This is what it says.
WE BELIEVE that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe in God the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
WE BELIEVE in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God. For us and for our salvation He came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. Being fully God and perfect man He performed miracles and lived a sinless life.
WE BELIEVE Jesus Christ suffered a vicarious and atoning death through the shedding of His blood. He was buried and on the third day was resurrected in His body; after which He ascended to be seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
WE BELIEVE that mankind was originally created in the image and likeness of God, and free from sin. Through the temptation of Satan, they transgressed the command of God and fell from their original righteousness, whereby all people have inherited a sinful nature that is opposed to God, and are thus under condemnation. As soon as they are capable of moral action, they become actual transgressors.
WE BELIEVE that for salvation of lost and sinful people, the regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life. We believe that the Holy Spirit is fully God and is worshipped and glorified with the Father and Son. He divinely inspired the scriptures, convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, leads Christ’s Church in truth and is the Teacher and Comforter sent by Jesus Christ.
WE BELIEVE that salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone; that salvation involves the redemption of the whole person and is offered freely to all who exercise faith in Jesus Christ. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; those who are saved unto the resurrection of the living and those who are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
WE BELIEVE in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ as one holy catholic and apostolic Church, Christ’s Body and Bride ministering reconciliation to a lost world. As ambassadors for the Kingdom of God and the Church, we affirm that evangelism and engagement in societal issues are both part of our Christian duty; both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and humanity, our love for our neighbor and our obedience to Jesus Christ.
WE BELIEVE the message of salvation proclaimed by Christ’s Church is an indictment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, denouncing evil and injustice wherever it exists by lovingly ushering in the good news that Christ reconciled the world to Himself.
What part does Christianity play in Grand Canyon University? The college provides these Christian activities for it’s students.
Grand Canyon University is an interdenominational Christian university that welcomes students, faculty and staff from a variety of backgrounds. Although most spiritual activities are optional, there are a plethora of activities, including:
- Twice weekly Chapel services
- Numerous weekly Bible studies led by faculty, coaches and student leaders
- A four-credit Christian Worldview course required of every student
- Mission outreach activities in the community
- A scholarship program for students graduating from Christian high schools
- A College of Theology that offers programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels
- Training for all faculty members with the expectation that they will integrate a Christian Worldview where appropriate in course materials
- A Christian concert series, along with high-profile
- Christian speakers, held on campus and open to the surrounding community
- A chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes
What is Grand Canyon’s vision for D.L. Moody’s Northfield Seminary?
The school plans on spending between 100 and 150 million in renovations, infrastructure, and other improvements at the campus. They plan on starting to have on campus students beginning in 2014 and hope to have at least 5000 of those on campus students by 2018. They will also start with 50 staff members and believe that will grow to 600 staff members by 2018.
They plan on getting all the credentials and accreditation’s necessary to offer degrees all the way up to doctoral degrees.
They college believes that they are continuing D.L. Moody’s vision because it was Moody’s vision to provide seminary education to those that could not afford a Christian education and Grand Canyon will be providing an education for just over $7,000 dollars per year after scholarships. This in fact, makes Christian education affordable to almost anyone.
A personal note:
I would just like to commend Steve Green and the people who made this possible. It looks to be an excellent choice for the D.L. Moody campus. They seem to have used sound judgment and gave it to a group that can both afford it and who will carry on the dream that D.L. Moody had for this seminary.