Rebirth of a Legacy

Criswell College trustees approve curriculum expansion, consider new location

By staff

DALLAS - In a historic transition, trustees of Criswell College voted to approve a recommendation to expand the school’s current college curriculum to a university model and to consider adding a residential campus during its trustee meeting, Oct. 4. 

The transition marks an “expanded vision” of W.A. Criswell and not a redirection of the school’s legacy in biblically-committed Christian education, Criswell President Jerry Johnson noted at the Dallas meeting.

“For over 40 years, Criswell College has trained biblically-passionate men and women to lead in church ministry and denominational service,” Johnson said. “Next year, we will introduce an expanded curriculum that will bring full-circle W.A. Criswell’s dream of equipping leaders of all vocations to carry out their chosen profession or ministry through the Word of God, a Christian worldview, and a strong Christian witness.”

Johnson said the expanded curriculum, which will be initiated by the faculty and approved by the board, will enable the school to educate more men and women for “real-world ministry.”

“Our vision is to train biblical leaders in strategic disciplines and charge them to impact every area of life with the teachings of Jesus Christ,” he said.

In addition to its undergraduate and graduate ministerial programs, Criswell will offer professional degrees in business, law, communication, and education.   

“We will continue to do what we’ve done best – preparing leaders for the church. But with an expanded curriculum we will be able to prepare leaders for the world - for the world of journalism, for the world of communications, for the world of politics,” he explained. 

To facilitate the curriculum expansion, trustees also considered adding a new, residential campus. A committee selected by Johnson and Board Chairman Jimmy Pritchard will present trustees with a final site selection by the 2013 fall board meeting.

“We believe we must do more to strengthen our churches to confront secular culture with the profound truth of the Word of God,” said Criswell’s Academic Committee Chairman Thomas Hatley, noting the school’s hard-earned reputation of producing biblically-committed pastors during a time of denominational upheaval. 

“In the same way we had to stand in the gap to train men to be great leaders of our convention during the conservative resurgence, we now we want to train leaders who can lead our nation in some of the key areas of life,” Hatley said. 

“An expanded curriculum and new residential campus will allow us to fulfill Criswell’s original vision, bringing similar biblical revolution to the work place and to secular environments.”

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