Month: October 2019

Homecoming Weekend Was a Reminder of God’s Faithfulness

Students standing by rock painted with homecoming 2019

Earlier this month, we experienced Homecoming and Parents Weekend at Cedarville. Alumni came from all over the United States and the world to renew friendships and remember their life-transforming Cedarville experience. From the 26th annual cardboard canoe race on a beautiful Friday afternoon, to the Legacy Banquet where we honored outstanding alumni and friends of the University, to the homecoming parade and Saturday evening’s finale, Living Water: A Worship Experience, it was a weekend of thanksgiving as we recalled all the Lord has done and continues to do through His people at Cedarville. Watch a video to see Homecoming and Parents Weekend highlights.

Trustees Name Future Business Center, Approve New Faculty, and Increase Scholarships for New Students

Students walking on sidewalk

At its October 3 meeting, the Cedarville University Board of Trustees approved the naming of the new Lorne C. Scharnberg Business Center, reviewed and updated new student scholarships, and added three new members to the Board. They also approved 10 faculty hires and authorized construction of a storage warehouse. We are grateful for the service of our Trustees and their commitment and investment in the future of the University. Read the full report…

The Sword and the Trowel

Continuing in our Faithful sermon series, Monday we came to Nehemiah chapter four, where we discovered ridicule, contempt, criticism, hostility, adversity, and fear. Has anyone else ever felt those? Have you ever had someone question your abilities to accomplish a task? Have you ever been overwhelmed with self-doubt? We’ve all been there, just as Nehemiah was. Perhaps no other Old Testament passage is more applicable to our lives than this one.

But like Nehemiah, from this passage we discover that in times of trial or opposition, we don’t have to be afraid. We must keep pursuing the Lord’s will while finding strength in our great and awesome God.

We find four key applications in this passage:

  • Agitation (1-6) – You don’t have to do something wrong to make enemies. When we stand for God’s Word, we will face opposition.
  • Intimidation (7-9) – Nehemiah was being attacked from all sides. His response: “We prayed to our God.”
  • Dejection (10-14) – External pressure magnifies internal problems. If we are pursuing God’s will, we should never be afraid or let the hard times derail us.
  • Determination (15-23) – How did Nehemiah respond to times of trials or opposition? He returned to work with the people around him. If we’re going to accomplish anything great for the Kingdom in our day, we need to do it together.

Like Nehemiah, we face opposition. We face criticism from the world around us. We face doubts from within ourselves. But also like Nehemiah, we can lean into God during those times of adversity. Read His Word, spend time with Him in prayer, and find your strength in Him.

Join us as we discover what it means to pursue God during adversity.

Cedarville University Receives Record Gift

Dr. Thomas White and Lorne and Mark Scharnberg in front of sign announing new business buildingCedarville University received the largest financial commitment in its 132-year history on Friday, October 4, when Mark Scharnberg, a 1997 graduate, on behalf of his family and Katecho and Surmasis Pharmaceuticals of Des Moines, Iowa, pledged $10 million in honor of his father, Lorne C. Scharnberg, a faithful dad, beloved grandparent, innovative business owner, and tireless advocate for Cedarville.

I was privileged to announce the gift as a surprise to Lorne Scharnberg during my annual State of the University chapel address in the Dixon Ministry Center on October 4. Lorne was in attendance to receive Cedarville’s prestigious Medal of Honor, celebrating his significant contributions to the institution and his 25 years of service on the Cedarville Board of Trustees. Lorne is just the 14th recipient of the medal, the last recipient being Rev. Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse and son of the late Billy Graham, in 2012.

Following the awarding of the Medal of Honor, I was able to reveal the $10 million gift and announce that the new business building — one of six major building projects in the University’s 10-year campus master plan — would be named in honor of Lorne Scharnberg.

Our new School of Business Administration building will be named the Lorne C. Scharnberg Business Center. For years to come, there will be a stone of remembrance on this campus to celebrate all that Lorne and his family have done to further the mission and vision of Cedarville University. For years to come, future generations of business leaders will be trained to use their gifts for God’s glory, the good of mankind and for their joy.

“My father is passionate about Cedarville’s vision to transform lives for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ,” said Mark. “What an honor to be a part of providing a facility that will equip future business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals to use their career as a platform for ministry. This is how my father has lived his life, and we are thrilled to continue his legacy through this gift to Cedarville.”

Lorne served three terms as Chair of the Board and one year as Vice-Chair. He joined the board in 1994 and served until moving to emeritus status in 2018. In 2007, Lorne was recognized as the Honorary Alumnus of the Year for his faithful service to Cedarville. He has also served on the Business Advisory Council for the School of Business Administration (SBA) and was named the 2005-06 executive-in-residence of the SBA.

Lorne and his late wife, Kathi, founded Katecho, Inc., a medical manufacturing business and a world leader in the manufacturing of hydrogel, in 1984. They also started Surmasis Pharmaceuticals, a contract pharmaceutical manufacturer. Kathi served the company as its Chief Financial Officer until her passing in February 2018. Lorne remains the Chief Executive Officer for Katecho.

That’s Not My Job

As we continued our walk through Nehemiah in our “Faithful” series in today’s chapel, we came to chapter 3, which, if we’re honest, is the kind of chapter we may typically choose to skip over. There are a lot of small details and a lot of big names that are hard to pronounce. We know every word of Scripture is inspired by God, but do you ever wonder why He included a passage like this?

In all those details and big names we learn that God’s people had a God-sized task to accomplish, restoring the wall that protected His chosen city. And, as we dive into the text, we discover a principle that is still very relevant to us today: God uses normal people to accomplish His purposes for His glory.

As we read through the passage, we find the text divided into three parts:

  • Repair the Wall – God used people from all walks of life to come together to accomplish a big task.
  • Refuse to Serve – There were some who refused to help, whether from pride, fear, laziness, apathy, or distraction.
  • Recognizing Others – When God uses us to accomplish His purposes, we should not brag but should share the praise with others and, ultimately, give the glory to God.

So how does this apply to us today? Just as the Israelites were called to build a wall to re-establish God’s glory, we are called to be engaged in furthering the Kingdom of God on this earth. What has God called you to do? Whatever it is, remember that He is faithful to use you to accomplish His purposes for His glory.

Join us as we walk through Nehemiah 3.

Dr. White preaching on the chapel stage

Enjoy Chapel on Your Smartphone With New CU Chapel+ App

Phone with Cedarville's chapel app discplayed

Chapel is the heartbeat of Cedarville University, and now this iconic campus experience is available for our alumni, parents, and friends through the CU Chapel+ App. Through the app, you’re able to watch chapel via livestream (plus other Cedarville video on demand), stream live events such as Homecoming and Community Christmas Concert, preview upcoming chapels, save chapels you’d like to watch for later viewing, and share meaningful chapels with family and friends. The CU Chapel+ App is available in the Apple app store and the Google Play store.

The State of the University: Blessed by a Faithful God

It was a joy to welcome many guests to chapel Friday as part of Homecoming and Parents Weekend: our Board, alumni, parents, retired faculty and staff, and many more. We were blessed with their presence. As is customary for this weekend, it was also my privilege to deliver the State of the University address. To sum up our state: we have been blessed by a faithful God. Cedarville University has never been stronger.

While we celebrate God’s graciousness to us as a University, we do not do so with pride. We recognize that God is faithful in the challenges as well as in prosperity. We give Him the glory for all He has done at Cedarville and celebrate with humble thanksgiving.

God has been so kind to us, showing His faithfulness this year in many ways, including:

  • Fall Bible Conference – 50 students made professions of faith, and 200 more made other decisions for Christ.
  • Chapel – God has brought incredible speakers to campus, and our students are engaged and eager to hear God’s Word.
  • Enrollment – We celebrated another record enrollment this fall.
  • Finances – We have retired all internal debt and are working hard to retire all external debt, Lord willing, by next fall.

As we look ahead, we have set the following goals for this year:

  • Pursue becoming a more prayerful campus
  • Select architects and began developing plans for the next phase of the campus master plan
  • Launch the quiet phase of the 1,000 Days fundraising campaign

Much of what we celebrate at Cedarville we owe, in part, to the men and women God has brought to serve here. It was my privilege to honor one of them. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I was honored to present Trustee Emeritus Loren C. Scharnberg with the Cedarville University Medal of Honor in recognition of his 25 years of faithful service to Cedarville.

To further honor Loren and his contributions to Cedarville, his son, Mark, on behalf of the Scharnberg family, was on hand as we announced the family’s $10 million gift to Cedarville, the largest gift in the University’s history. Our new building for the School of Business Administration will be named the Loren C. Scharnberg Business Center. It will be a stone of remembrance for years to come of all God has done through this faithful servant.

God has indeed been faithful and incredibly gracious to us, more than we could ever deserve. Our God is good, and our God is faithful. You can trust Him.

Join us as we celebrate His faithfulness.

Thomas white speaking in chapel

9Marks Pastors Conference Coming October 29-30

9Marks slide with Church Discipline Theme

Cedarville University will host the seventh annual 9Marks Pastors Conference on October 29–30 to challenge, strengthen, and encourage ministry leaders as they serve their church and community. The conference will host eight speakers, including University trustee Mark Vroegop, who serves as Lead Pastor of College Park Church in Indianapolis; Jonathan Leeman, Editorial Director of 9Marks; and Dr. Jeremy Kimble, Director of Cedarville’s Center for Biblical Integration and Associate Professor of Theology. The conference is $80 per person, and there are Cedarville alumni and student discounts available.

Gettys Coming for SING! Ohio on October 28

Kristyn and Keith Getty

Keith and Kristyn Getty will be on campus October 28 for the SING! Ohio conference and concert. The Gettys, known for their popular, modern-day hymns, including In Christ Alone, are long-time friends of Cedarville. Keith will speak at a free leadership summit from 12-2 p.m. in the Dixon Ministry Center Recital Hall. Attendance for the summit is limited to 180 people, so make sure to register early. Then they will perform their only Ohio concert on this tour at 7 p.m. in the Jeremiah Chapel. Tickets are available for $12-30. I am excited for their return to campus and their inspirational worship of King Jesus.

© 2019 Thomas White

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