The First Word: Faith in the Future

To teach is to put faith in the future.

No educator — a teacher, coach, counselor, chaplain, or student advisor — in any school ever knows what the outcome of their work will be. Nonetheless, we give it our best because we believe in the future—our own future, certainly, but especially the future of our students.

North Park’s short mission statement points in this direction. For nearly 125 years North Park has had a single focus: “to prepare students for lives of significance and service.” Those of us who educate students at North Park actually believe this can and will be accomplished in each student.

And we have evidence that this does happen. Each graduate identified in this issue of the North Parker — some younger and others older — and every graduate living today around the world gives evidence that lives are molded at North Park.

But there’s a deep mystery in this. However excellent a teacher, coach, counselor, chaplain, or student advisor may be we are never certain at the moment that our work with students will be effective. We will know this only in the future, a future in which we place a deep and abiding faith.

This holds true whatever the age of the student. I’ve been a college educator for over 30 years and in recent years my students seem to have gotten younger. I suppose this really only means that I’m getting older.

Yet getting older has its rewards. My special recent rewards are pictured here relaxing with their “buelo” while on vacation this past summer. Whether in educating college students or in loving grandchildren, we put faith in the future.

You also put faith in the future of North Park. Your prayers for our students, your words of encouragement for our daily work, your gifts to support this mission — these express to me and to all faculty and staff at North Park your abiding faith in the future of North Park University and of all who study with us.

Next Steps

Read more from the Winter 2013 North Parker.

President David Parkyn and his grandchildren