Introduction of Presidential Charges
Gary A. Miller, Provost and Senior Vice President
The inauguration of a new president is a very special time in the life of an institution, when reflection and celebration go hand in hand. It is also much more than a series of events and tradition of academia. It offers Biola University the opportunity to connect with all of its constituents – many who are here today participating in this ceremonial and historic occasion.
This is a time for members of the Biola community to renew their commitment to the founding principals and mission of the institution, to charge and commission our new leader with the most important presidential responsibilities and to celebrate the future of Biola under the leadership of our new president, Barry Corey, as he directed and lead by our Lord Jesus Christ.
President Corey, today you will be charged and commissioned to uphold the most sacred and core principals of Biola University. May you also receive encouragement and inspiration from these spoken words and responsive participation to lead and to serve us as Biola’s eighth president.
Charge to Servant Leadership
Pete Menjares, Associate Provost of Diversity Leadership
The Gospel of John offers this account of our Lord:
John 13:3-15 -- Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
“No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”
Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.
As we gather on this historic day, this remarkable example set by Christ reminds us of the radical charge of the Christian servant-leader. It is a charge not to seek repute for oneself, but rather to build others up for the sake of the Kingdom. It is a charge not to wield influence, but to submit to the authority of God. It is a charge not to be served, but to serve.
President Corey, as you lead Biola into its second century, we charge you to follow the model of servant-leadership provided by our Lord, who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant.
We charge you to humble yourself continually before the Father, prayerfully allowing yourself to decrease, so that through you He will increase.
Lastly, we charge you to heed the prompting of the Holy Spirit as you seek to walk in love and service, working sacrificially on behalf of the students, faculty and employees whom God has entrusted to your care.
May God bless you and grant you wisdom as you devote yourself to leading – as you have said – not with a scepter, but with a hoe.
Charge to the Biola Community
Dennis H. Dirks, Dean, Talbot School of Theology
On this momentous day, with all of its pomp and pageantry, we who are gathered here must remind ourselves that our role is more than that of spectator. President Corey has been called by God to lead Biola University, but the responsibility for this institution’s success does not fall on his shoulders alone.
Each of us in the Biola community has a role to play. As students, we must pursue academic and spiritual growth. As faculty, we must seek wisdom and knowledge while remaining humble. As staff, we must foster an environment where biblically centered education can flourish. As alumni and friends, we must labor to further the cause of Christ, both on this campus and far beyond its boundaries.
And so today, as we install a new leader, let us take the opportunity to recommit ourselves to the mission and values of Biola University. At this time, I would ask that all students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends please stand, whether here or watching from remote locations. Please raise your right hands.
Members of the Biola community, I charge you to commit yourselves to the truth. As a body of believers, our lives are staked on the inerrant, authoritative Word of God. We pledge ourselves to the study and integration of Scripture, through which we may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
I charge you to dedicate yourselves to transformation. As a Christian community of grace, we long to see spiritual growth and renewal in the lives of those around us. We pledge to encourage one another and consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
I charge you to devote yourselves to testimony. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are called to spread the message of salvation through our words and deeds. We pledge to preach the gospel of the kingdom in the whole world as a testimony to all nations.
Lastly, I charge you to uphold the mission of Biola University. We pledge to support Biola’s mission of biblically centered education, scholarship and service – equipping men and women in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.