As we begin a new semester, I have been reading from the Book of James, about how perseverance and wisdom is essential as we lead and teach students this semester and beyond, and I was again struck by this familiar passage:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. -James 1:2-5
I wasn’t the only one drawn to this particular book right now. Dr. Barry Corey also reminded the entire Biola community recently that “the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17).
Our circumstances are indeed challenging, but they are no surprise to our Lord, who has provisioned us to be agents of both change and peace. So, regardless of our current circumstances, here at Crowell we persevere in our mission to be a center of biblically integrated business education, scholarship and service, equipping women and men in mind and character to impact the world for Christ through business as ministry.
I hope you will track our progress in fulfilling our mission and vision by staying up-to-date with Crowell School of Business’s blog — Business. Ministry. Life. In the midst of a difficult season, we’ve been encouraged by how God has provided in the following ways:
- Growth in our online programs: Over the past five years, the Crowell School of Business has added an online B.S. in Business Management, online options for both our MBA and MM Nonprofit Management programs, and cost-effective online business education via Biola Learn. We continue to see growth in these online courses and programs and new highs in enrollment as we enter this semester. The pandemic has been a catalyst as we expand these online and remote offerings to make a Crowell education accessible to even more students.
- Donations have been coming in for student scholarships for the Master of Management/Nonprofit Organizations program. This online and in-person graduate program — launched in 2018 — is growing, and with these scholarship funds we will be able to attract and assist more students who are already working in the nonprofit sector. Thank you to all who are generously making these scholarships possible.
- Donations are also coming in to build Crowell’s Business Analytics Lab. We are so thankful for supporters and donors to this project that will serve our Business Analytics students, as well as students studying finance, marketing, computer science and math.
These donations are an encouragement to me, not just because they allow us to continue to do the work set before us, but because they are a reminder of the love that you have for us and for our students.
Love is not something that shows up in most business-school newsletters, but it permeates this place. I have seen how our faculty pray fervently for our students, both before and throughout the semester. I would encourage you to read our student stories, and see how our alumni and current students love God, love this place, love their professors and love each other.
You have encouraged me; please allow me to now encourage you. A natural reaction to our challenging circumstances is to be confused, angry, opinionated, divided and self-protective. Yet God reminds us, through James, to push back against all that and to instead be full of His wisdom, which is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
Most of all, love one another; Jesus said that will be the greatest witness we can have to the world:
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
Please keep us in your prayers, as you are in ours.
Dr. Gary Lindblad
Dean, Crowell School of Business