Founders at the Founding

By Dr. Ken Cuffey, President

Every Spring Urbana Seminary observes Founders Day.  Next year’s will be April 21st, 2012.  What is this and why do we do it?  It’s a day to commemorate the hand of God in our founding as a school, to remember the people who made sacrifices and gave gifts, who prayed and created and worked.  So for the final blog of the 2010-2011 academic year, I wanted to contribute a Founders Blog!

I reflect on where we were 9 years ago . . . 2002.  In 2001 the board of what was then called the Christian Studies Center and I decided to seek stand alone status and move towards operating as our own entity, rather than as an extension of another school.  In the months which followed, God opened doors to go to new quarters which were a good next step in our growth.  I watched as God’s Spirit brought together a core of people who would teach and administer in a new seminary.

I will never forget April 26th of 2002 however!  This was the crucial turning point.  For on that day I received word that a couple, who by design and for God’s glory remain anonymous, had decided to give a significant gift that would enable the Seminary to launch.  The core of people with a heart for the work thus could come into the employ of the school and begin the process of designing a curriculum, teaching and serving students, and applying to the state board of higher education for approvals.

In the years which followed, a number of key events in the life of the new Urbana Seminary took place in the spring, even in April:  Gifts given, students enrolling, recruitment of faculty, dedicating our new suite of offices in the present location (2004), granting of operating authority by the IL Board of Higher Education (April 5, 2005), graduations of our first alumni.  The spring has marked so many events in our history.

We will launch the 10th anniversary of Urbana Seminary on Founders Day in 2012.  So once again let us stay mindful that this is a kingdom project to train God’s servants for His glory.  And it has his fingerprints all over it.  It is so important that we see this.  And pray that God’s involvement continues and deepens year to year.

Unless the LORD build the house,

The builders labor in vain. 

Psalm 127:1a

If God’s not in it, it won’t get anywhere.  But if God is in it, He will prevail and work His purposes through our human efforts.  Looking back it seems clear that God is in this!  I simply encourage you to join me in praising God that he has established a seminary in such a strategic location for the kingdom and to represent Christ.  And look forward with real anticipation to what He will yet do through Urbana Seminary.

On the Founders theme, remember the Founders Fund Campaign.  A group of men and women who believe in the value of training for Kingdom work are contributing $125,000 to the work of the Seminary in order to challenge the broader public to give to match that amount, bringing the total to $250,000.  Thus far the total has passed $180,000.  We pray that God will provide through His people in order that we can fulfill this campaign.  To be able to do this is essential for the accreditation agency’s evaluation of any school.  And it opens the door for us to grow the ministry in new ways in the future.  All very exciting.  I have given and pledged to the Founders Fund campaign.  Have you?


Ken Cuffey