Mission & Strategy
Eastern University is a Christian university dedicated to the preparation of undergraduate, theological and graduate students for thoughtful and productive lives of Christian faith, leadership and service. The mission is confirmed and celebrated when graduates believe their way into knowledgeable action that influences the world in substantive ways.
Eastern University is dedicated to ideas, inquiry, and the development of people of faith who will enhance the quality of society and the church. Toward that end, Eastern will continue to expand its formative role in the world as a university in which knowledge and wisdom are imbued, Christlike engagement is inspired, and stewardship is modeled.
Eastern University is dedicated to the following foundational commitments:
To excellence in scholarship and teaching:
We maintain a high priority on excellence in teaching within the context of exemplary scholarship and research. Guided by our faith in Jesus Christ, who is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6), we believe in the unity of God's truth, whether supernaturally revealed or humanly discovered; we value the search for knowledge and understanding in all areas of life. Thus we desire to foster an environment in which:
- Students develop intellectual curiosity, passion, and agility, valuing the life of the mind and life-long learning;
- Students develop their critical thinking, reflection, analysis, and communication skills;
- Students develop knowledge and competencies in the arts, sciences, and professions;
- Faculty are supported in and recognized for scholarship of discovery, integration, application, and teaching.
To the whole Gospel for the whole world through whole persons:
We recognize the Bible, composed of the Old and New Testaments, as inspired of God and as the supreme and final authority in faith and life. We submit ourselves to carrying out our mission under its authority and seek to apply biblical principles to all facets of human aspiration and action, including the centrality of personal transformation. We affirm the importance of calling all persons everywhere to personal faith and faithful discipleship in following Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, including living out the whole Gospel in a needy and lost world. Thus we seek:
- To enable students to develop a Christian worldview, grounded in the Scriptures;
- To enable students to discern the ethical consequences of decisions and actions;
- To foster an environment in which all members of the campus community desire and participate in their own Christian formation;
- To develop a campus community where all give witness to a Christian worldview, through action and voice, motivated to explore faithfulness to Christ through Christ-centered study, work, and living.
To justice, reconciliation, and transformation:
In our commitment to sharing the whole Gospel to the whole world, we acknowledge with sorrow the brokenness of the world at personal, national, and international levels. Thus we seek to work for Christian transformation, justice, and reconciliation, in all areas of life as these are grounded in our understanding of Christ's calling to us. We particularly seek to work with and for the poor, oppressed, and suffering persons as part of our Christian discipleship.
Thus we seek:
- To provide educational opportunities and financial aid as best we can for those with few or no financial resources to attend a private Christian university;
- To motivate students to assume responsibility for justice and to show a transformative influence — especially regarding social, political, and economic justice;
- To enable all members of the campus community to participate in opportunities for meaningful service, demonstrating love for God and neighbors and working towards justice.
To responsible leadership and stewardship:
We believe that our complex society needs leadership in all institutions that is intelligent, informed, insightful, ethical, strategic, and just. We are dedicated to graduating students whose wisdom, Christian values, and skills enable them to lead and manage such institutions, including those that are the most influential. Similarly, we commit to excellence in the leadership of Eastern and in the stewardship of University resources. Further, we believe that we are to care not only for people throughout the world, but also for creation itself as responsible stewards of the environment and other physical resources.
Thus we seek:
- To prepare students to live in an interdependent world, aware of societal and global problems and committed to engage in solving them;
- To engender the wisdom and character necessary for sound Christian leadership;
- To inspire all members of the campus community to care for creation as responsible stewards and to model that care in the use of University facilities and resources.
To Christian community:
Our commitments lead us to work towards shaping a campus community that embodies values of Christian witness, caring and compassion, justice and integrity, competence and affirmation. We wish to treat each member of the campus community with fairness, dignity, and respect, seeking a spirit of unity and harmony as we join together to achieve our common mission. Thus we seek:
- To foster genuine community, where individuals show compassion and friendship towards others in the spirit of Christian love;
- To help students increase in self-awareness and in their sensitivity towards others and others' needs and situations;
- To foster an environment where diversity is appreciated and reconciliation is practiced;
- To equip all members of the campus community to live well with one another, honoring, supporting, and affirming one another.
- We are Christ-centered and holistic in all of our programs. We seek to fulfill our motto, “The whole Gospel for the whole world.”
- We are committed to high quality in all areas, whether academic, spiritual or service oriented. In particular, we look for creative ways to be effective in the classroom, embracing innovative methodology as an important adjunct to traditional pedagogy.
- We are student-centered — the primary focus of our work is the intellectual, spiritual and psychological development of students. We care about the whole person, seeking to provide a variety of student services, learning experiences and service opportunities that support emotional, spiritual, professional and physical development.
- We are committed to a discipleship model of education. Faculty give themselves to students — life on life — resulting in a deep impact. We want our education to be life transforming and incarnational, acquired through relationships as well as information. Unlike much in the culture around us, we will not divorce competence from conscience. We have a passionate desire that the Kingdom of God be experienced and embraced by people who live out their faith in their lives.
- We want to change lives. In a culture that tends to value the credential or degree rather than the person who receives the degree, we seek to educate and develop men and women of intellectual ability, strong character and deep Christian commitment. We seek students who are serious, teachable and invested in their educational experience, so that we can have maximum impact on their intellectual and spiritual formation.
- Within the unity of our faith, we seek to be an inclusive Christian community. Held together by our passionate commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of all, we are enriched by persons of different ethnicities, ages, academic programs, nationalities, gender, economic backgrounds, political views and ways of understanding the Christian’s place in the world.
- Eastern aspires to be a leader, not a follower. We want to change the shape of Christian higher education and the world. Our entrepreneurial spirit makes us willing to be innovative and take appropriate risks for the sake of carrying out our mission in the world.
- We know that our impact on the world is a direct result of our impact on the lives of our students and graduates. We want to equip men and women to make significant contributions wherever they are in life or in the world — in their communities, with families and friends, through their businesses, governments or churches. In all that we do, we seek to avoid parochialism and self-centeredness in the service of Christ and his Kingdom. With strong vision, new technology and more flexible accreditation standards that allow experimentation, we are a small school that really can make a big difference in the world.
- We are learning to be highly resourceful, wisely using our time, energy and resources to make things happen. As part of our resourcefulness, we will increasingly focus our resources and attention on a limited number of areas where we believe we can have the greatest impact.
Strategic Imperative #1
Eastern University will be known for excellence in teaching and learning.
Our mission is to help human beings thrive through transformative education. We will pursue this imperative by strengthening our academic culture and by aggressively pursuing new expertise and competence in teaching and student learning. The result will be students who succeed academically and who are prepared for success in life.
Our majors, grounded in the liberal arts, faculty and learning outcomes, will be pegged to the best Christian universities in the world.
Strategic Imperative #2
Eastern University shall reaffirm its commitment to the Christian faith, reason and biblical justice through our curricular and co-curricular activities.
Eastern University is a Christian university related to the American Baptist Churches/U.S.A. Our theological vision is expressed in our doctrinal statement and grounded in the historic orthodoxy of the Apostles’, Nicene and Chalcedonian Creeds. True to our historical roots, our sole and final authority for faith and practice is the 66 Canonical books of the Old and New Testaments.
Eastern University seeks students, staff and faculty who sense a call to serve and learn in this type of intentional Christian learning community.
Strategic Imperative #3
Eastern University will help students identify and cultivate their God-given talents.
Every student is created in the image of God and endowed with unique gifts and talents. Our students will understand these exciting capacities and, as graduates, will flourish in vocations that employ their talents. As part of our theological and educational mission we want to help our students recapture a sense of call, vocation, spiritual gifts and talents. Research commissioned by George Dehne & Associates discovered that more than 30% of those surveyed said a college that teaches you how to get the most out of your special talents would greatly increase their desire to attend. This strategic imperative links our theological vision to admission success and vocation aspiration.
Strategic Imperative #4
Eastern University will optimize the stewardship of its financial and physical resources.
Eastern University will be an effective steward of its resources through fiscal prudence and the deliberate care and strategic expansion of its buildings and grounds.
We are committed to increasing margins to support and expand mission.
Strategic Imperative #5
Eastern University will recruit and retain a diverse student body that thrives at the University and flourishes as alumni.
We shall consistently use best enrollment management practices and empirical data to identify, recruit and retain students who will thrive at the University.
Strategic Imperative #6
Eastern University will commence a comprehensive advancement campaign shaped by our academic, student life and theological vision.
Based on our academic quality and palpable sense of Christian mission and community, we shall inspire existing and new donors to philanthropic heights never attained or reached. We shall finalize our master campus plan that includes priorities for new construction and best uses for renovating existing facilities. We shall have excellent advancement staff that will build growing networks of alumni, parents and donors.
All fund raising areas—the annual fund, general endowment, endowed scholarships, capital projects and estate plans—will increase exponentially.
Strategic Imperative #7
Eastern University will recapture its historic position as a leading innovator in the delivery of Christian higher education.
Eastern’s history testifies to the power of imaginative thought and innovative action in the service of its distinctive mission. Eastern faculty and administrators will collaborate on strategic responses to opportunities that align with Eastern’s commitments to excellent, accessible higher education characterized by faith, reason and justice.
Strategic Imperative #8
Eastern University will be a great place to work, distinguished by its commitment to unity, community and effective communication.
Eastern University will recruit, select, retain and develop employees who are committed to its mission, dedicated to customer service, and equipped with God-given talents suitable to the needs of the University. Employees will be compensated equitably and reasonably, supervised with dignity and love, celebrated for job successes, and held accountable with evenhanded grace.