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August 2013

Dear friends,

With the annual staff retreat beginning this coming Tuesday the relaxed pace of summer is coming to an end! The summer has offered a lot of benefits: sabbatical (for rest, study, and family time), the availability to preach twice in my home church, lots of time to connect with volunteers and local leaders, and a ton of work done on our campus by work teams (so much has been done, in fact, that I am a little bit like "a kid at Christmas", waiting with anticipation to see how the students react!)

We have some HUGE things to celebrate as we move into the Fall:

Staffing--Our policies call for an "Administrative Council", the President and Vice-Presidents, to be the leadership team of the school; we have not been able to really use this council effectively in the past. With the coming of our new Academic Dean (Kevin; who is doing great!), however, the school is able to fully use this group. The first day of our staff retreat next week will be just the four members of the Administrative Council.
With the addition of our new librarian (Barbara) we at 10 full-time staff members; this means we are basically fully staffed and positioned for growth!

Accreditation--We continue to prepare for making application for accreditation by the December 1st deadline. If we are accepted, it would be the fulfillment of about 20 years of desire and preparation!

Christian Ministry Certificate--IBC has offered different forms of "extension studies" over the years but has never sustained a continual program. After about four years of development, trial and error, and establishing valuable relationships, we are finally "rolling out" a comprehensive and multifaceted program that includes online, extension site, and summer term offerings. This is a very exciting development! If you'd like to learn more about it, you can check it out at http://www.indianbible.org/CMC.html.

Being a "real" president--Three factors are all combining this summer to offer me the chance to have more focus on being a president and more balance between family and ministry:
          1. Having an Academic Dean in place--many weeks during the school year I have functioned more as Dean than as President. Trying to do both of these roles made most weeks 50-60 hours long, which is too much time away from my wife and four small kids.
          2. Having a "removed" office space--with our new office nicknamed "The Barn" (you can see why at http://goo.gl/maps/yc8Gz), The new office is just three houses up the street from "The Resort" (the new men's dorm, our expansion property from two years ago). My office is upstairs is much more "classy". This separation from the main campus is allowing me to have a lot more control over my scheduling.
          3. Having an administrative assistant--one of our returning students (Mary Lola from Alaska) will be spending 8-10 hours a week as a student assistant for me. She helped me with a few projects last year and proved her capability to assist in a more ongoing way.

Please pray:

  • That the staff retreat next week would be a rich time of bonding as a staff (with TWO new staff members), planning, and praying. It is a shorter time overall this year, and so we have more pressure to get a lot done.
  • For 15 new freshman students; including 5 that want to be pastors.
  • Also for 4-6 students for our new online classes. A lot of applications are in the works right now, and we have no idea how many will result in actual students.

Thank you for all your prayers and financial support; we couldn't do any of this without you!

Jason

P.S. If you like listening to podcast sermons, the two messages I gave out of Colossians this summer (7/14 and 8/4) are at http://www.northpnt.org/10155/blog/blog_id/22704/Listen-Download-Message.


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