In founding Trevecca in 1901, J. O. McClurkan exhibited an entrepreneurial spirit aimed at meeting the deepest needs of the people of Nashville. His death was front page news. He was known for his selfless service. The genius of his work was the marriage of a holy passion to serve and practical expertise. His legacy is a school founded to shape Godly servants, true saints.
As this journey begins, we must keep our eyes on why we exist: to be a Christian community providing high quality education for leadership and service. We live in a world of human need, a world that needs us to stay focused on accomplishing our mission. Centuries of education, technology, and religion have not alleviated human need. At times, they have only deepened the pain of our world. As a result, pessimism has become the ruling attitude of our day. The lack of genuinely transforming power has left us with sound bytes, veneer promises, and evaporating idols. The reason we exist is to make a difference in the world through people who participate in the Trevecca experience.
Two things are needed to make the difference–
People who have a God-given, holy passion to serve
People whose practical expertise is transforming.
The marriage of holy passion and practical expertise is a rare commodity. We believe that holy passion is the result of a transforming encounter with God. Such holiness cannot be educated into people, but is the gift of God available to all who encounter the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Without this, service to our fellow human tends to tire or turn selfish.
At the same time, a holy passion to serve without practical expertise may harm the very person we intend to help. God has given us the capacity for great service through honing our skills to the highest level of expertise.
We are now writing the next chapter in this grand story. Ten years from now,
- Trevecca will be a household word in the city of Nashville, known for the Christ-like character and practical expertise of its graduates.
- The Church of the Nazarene in the southeast will be invigorated by graduates who lead our churches into the trenches of human need.
- Students will come to Trevecca because they hear stories of life-transformation. They will stay and graduate from Trevecca because they want their life to matter here and now for God.
- People will want to work at Trevecca because the culture is infected with spiritual depth, excellent service, highest level of trust, and intellectual rigor. People who just want a paycheck will not bother to apply.
- Teachers will be as committed to their students as they are to their field of study and will define success as Christians prepared to serve with excellence.
- Generous donors will see the difference Trevecca is making in the world and will fund the cause with unprecedented gifts.
- Murfreesboro Road will be changed visibly, socially, and morally.
Should we fail, the Church of the Nazarene will flounder in its mission; the city of Nashville will be less just, less peaceful, less neighborly; and a generation of students will be deprived of the most transforming experience of their life. Those who have gone before us insist that we not let McClurkan’s dream die. And we will not.