CCCU President Corts Hosts 31st Annual Presidents Conference

February 08, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Roughly 85 presidents from Council institutions around the world gathered at the CCCU's 31st Annual Presidents Conference in Washington, D.C. Feb.1-3, 2007. Participants hailed from dozens of U.S. campuses as well as campuses in Canada, Indonesia, Australia, Bolivia, Ghana, The Netherlands, Uganda, United Kingdom, Austria, Russia and South Korea. For many, this was their first opportunity to meet and hear CCCU President Paul R. Corts since he took office in June 2006.

"The President's Conference reminded me of the wealth of developmental assistance and student opportunity offered by the CCCU to its members,"says Dr. Henry Smith, president of Indiana Wesleyan University."As an emerging institution, IWU has so much to learn from our brothers and sisters who serve with us in Christian higher education. I returned from this year's conference and have told anyone who would listen at Indiana Wesleyan University that we must find increased ways for involvement in CCCU programs and activities."

Prior to the official start of the conference, the board of directors met and resolved to accept two new affiliates: Multnomah Bible College in Portland, Ore., and Kabarak University in Kabarak, Kenya. This brings the CCCU membership to a total of 182 campuses. In addition to 105 member institutions, there are 77 affiliates including 32U.S. affiliates, nine Canadian affiliates and 36 international affiliates.

Keynote addresses were given by Paul Corts, CCCU President; James F. Manning, Acting Assistant Secretary for Post Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education; Paul McNulty, Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice (listen to McNulty's address); and Tony Hall, former Congressman and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Another keynote session was an interfaith dialogue titled "Abrahamic Ambassadors"between Marc Gopin, director of the Center on Religion, Diplomacy & Conflict Resolution at George Mason University, and Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies & Professor of International Relations at American University. This session was moderated by Gaylen Byker, president of Calvin College (MI). (See The Christian Post's coverage of this session.)

"The opening address by President Paul Corts was magnificent," says Dr. David Dockery, president of Union University (TN) and immediate past chair of the CCCU Board of Directors. "He communicated clearly the realities and challenges that we face as an organization and as institutions, while at the same time offering a vision for the next steps we can take together. The address was filled with passion and energy and helped re-focus all of us once again on the mission of the CCCU. I think we all were encouraged to keep the main thing, the main thing.'"

Workshops covered topics such as compensation, international networking, legal and judicial realities, the intersection of faith and culture, soul care, financial viability, adult learning, the millennial student and international hot topics.

The following awards were presented during the conference, as well:

"There were three high-water mark programs for me," says President Corts. "They were the luncheon with the Philanthropy Award presentation to Walter and Darlene Hansen and the wonderfully buoyant remarks of Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty; the banquet on Saturday evening presenting the Leadership Award to Tony Hall along with the presentation of the Andringa Award for Racial Harmony to Biola University and its president, Clyde Cook; and the stimulating and challenging program on the 'Abrahamic Ambassadors.'"

Other highlights of the conference included special sessions for new presidents [link to story]; devotionals by Barry Black, Chaplain of the U.S. Senate and Pam Pryor, vice president of We Care America; spouse sessions and outing to the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery & Museum of American Art; and a screening of the film Amazing Grace, to be released Feb. 23 nationwide.

During the annual business meeting held in conjunction with the conference, new leaders were elected to the CCCU Board of Directors.

The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of 182 intentionally Christ-centered institutions around the world. There are now 105 member campuses in North America and all are fully-accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities with curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. In addition, 77 affiliate campuses from 24 countries are part of the CCCU. The Council's mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help its institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth.