Looking Forward to 2024
Posted On January 04, 2024
Written by Dr. Stephen Nichols, president and professor of apologetics
The history of celebrating the new year is a long one. The Babylonians had both new year celebrations and their own version of making resolutions for the year ahead. Millennia later, I can say we are looking forward to this new year at Reformation Bible College.
To begin with, we are glad to see more and more students pursuing a minor in Reformed classical education since the program launched last year. We already have alumni serving in classical Christian schools. This new minor significantly enhances the preparation students receive here to follow their calling as teachers. It’s easy to get excited when you think about all of the future classical school students RBC graduates will impact.
We also look forward to some campus enhancements in 2024. This month, we will be installing our new fire pit, dubbed “the arbor.” This beautiful and very useful space was made possible by the gift of an anonymous donor family in honor of their wife and mother. This new space, nestled in a cluster of live oaks and magnolias, is certain to become a beloved spot by students. They already have plans for hymn sings, making smores, and enjoying times of fellowship at the arbor.
In fall 2024, we’ll officially launch our career development program, with a soft launch of elements of it this spring. This program will serve all certificate and degree-seeking students by helping them develop specific personal and career skills, such as time management, budgeting, and workplace communications. Our purpose at RBC is “to produce knowledgeable and articulate students.” We know they are knowledgeable, given the rigors of the curriculum. They are also articulate, possessing skills in communication, critical thinking, and problem solving. This new program intends to help them take the next step to employment and the pursuit of their vocations.
Perhaps what I am most looking forward to in 2024, however, is not something new at all. In fact, I’m most looking forward to more of the same: commitment to our vision established by Dr. R.C. Sproul, commitment to educating students in the truth of God’s Word, and commitment to growing as disciples of Christ.
American higher education has been rather innovative over the last generation, and especially so in the last several years. New ideas and new values continually push out the old. Whole curriculum has been overthrown. I suspect many of these alumni have the experience of not even recognizing their alma mater.
In the 60th year of Princeton, Charles Hodge declared, “I am not afraid to say that no new idea ever originated at Princeton Theological Seminary.” Sadly, you can go back and circle the date on the calendar when Princeton later became enthralled with the new ideas, and the end of its fidelity began. New ideas are never the way forward. The old paths are.
Every time we begin a new academic or calendar year, we hope to launch new initiatives, explore new ways to serve our students, and enhance our campus and operations. But by God’s grace over the last thirteen years, the center of our college’s identity and the core of our mission has not changed. In this new year, let’s all look forward to following the old paths.