What Continues to Impress Me About Harding University

HUare the people. When I visited Harding back in High School what convinced me that it was the place for me were the people. Everyone was so kind and so real. Harding people impacted me as much if not more than anything I studied there. That continues to be the case. In our time at Harding this past week Missy and I were blown away by how kind everyone was to us. I am not just talking about faculty and old friends. I mean the students. People we hadn’t ever met before. They were kind. They were thoughtful. They were real. We were sitting in the cafeteria at breakfast on Wednesday and overheard three big guys at the table next to us talking about sexual purity. During their conversation they opened their Bibles and began to read scriptures to each other about it. When we left, Missy and I offered them some encouragement, which probably embarrassed them but we wanted them to know how proud we were of them and that they were on the right track.

I could name more things like that but I just thought I would share what a wonderful experience we had there. You can tell Jesus is making a difference on that campus and I am as proud as ever to have graduated from Harding University. It was our first time back in 8 years and we look forward to our next opportunity to be on campus and get the Harding experience.

Last – it made me really wish we had more impromptu Bible discussions…not more planned devos, more Bible studies on the schedule…just people who want to sit down at a random time and talk about what is on their heart, share from scripture and pray for each other. Man, that’s just so real and raw. We need more of that!

4 Responses to What Continues to Impress Me About Harding University

  1. John says:

    I attended Harding in the middle 70s, and I will alway be thankful, not only for my educaton, but for the direction I came to pursue during my time there. It was Ed Sanders who turned me on to Francis Schaeffer, and for a young man in his twenties who had never read a religious writer outside the Church of Christ, that was frightening step. It was then that I started spending afternoons in the library, when I actually should have been studying for my classes, reading back copies of Mission journal, Mission Messenger and Restoration Review. The change in me was exciting, tormentuous and necessary.

    Yet, I do not see Harding ever being much more than the political and cultural landscape in which it sits. Like other entities, it works to survive, and it will need the dollars that surround it. Indeed, I do see a loosening, among some, of certain things such as instrumental music and one’s understanding of baptism. Yet, as much as these may seem to be giant steps to those who come out of legalism, and believe me, I was there, in the grand light of growth and progression, they are still baby steps.

    That said, I look at my time at Harding, my love for Schaeffer, and the jouranals of Mission Messenger and Restoration Review, as coming to a river I needed to cross, and they were the boat that got me safely across in order to continue my journey. May it be the boat toward a grand spiritual journey for all of its students, now and in the years to come.

  2. We were also blessed by the impromptu conversations that broke out at Harding last week, including the one we had with you and Missy: four disciples, at least two different places in our ministries, with more friends in common than we realized even at the time. You refreshed and encouraged us, and reminded us that there is so much more to the body of Christ than what it does together on Sunday morning.

  3. mark says:

    The person paying the piper calls the tune. John, I agree with you about the “baby steps.” They better get ready for the women to want more than just sitting there, because I know ACU has women in their M.Div. program and Lipscomb has women in the D.Min. Program. Unless they are ready to toss their graduates to other group, they need have a serious rethink of their current policy. I thi women should be allowed to speak to a mixed crowd at the Lectureship, but I am sure that here are still some who don’t want it.

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