Anchored and Unbounded, Part 2: Gordon is More Adaptable

The fall 2021 issue of STILLPOINT, the magazine of Gordon College, spotlighted the completion of a wildly successful Faith Rising campaign. The Bell shares the highlights in a three-part series, “Anchored and Unbounded.” This is part two.

Faith Rising built new pathways to education 

The changing landscape of higher education requires schools to be both agile and inventive in order to meet the emerging needs of new generations. “Adaptable education is student focused,” explains Vice President for Academic Initiatives Dr. Jewerl Maxwell. “It still prizes the residential experience but doesn’t rest on that as a singular option—knowing that both the students of today and the future may not squarely fit the traditional model.” Faith Rising has enabled vital enhancements to the College’s academic model: shorter completion times, concurrent education and expanded digital opportunities, all while retaining Gordon’s commitment to the core values of a Christian liberal arts education. 

Preparing to pivot (pre-pandemic): Online offerings for undergrads and adults 

For several years, Gordon has been working to bolster its resources and readiness for online learning, most recently under the leadership of Dr. Kate DeMello, director of digital learning. DeMello’s work and Faith Rising’s investments in digital technologies meant that Gordon was providentially well-prepared for the pivot to online learning even before COVID-19 (quickly) rendered it necessary in March of 2020. Just a few months later, at a time when many colleges were paralyzed or even shuttering, Gordon announced an expansion: The addition of a fully online adult education program, led by Dr. Ivan Filby, a former college president. Providing support for faculty during a season of change was the Falcone Center for Teaching and Learning, named for Rev. Dr. Charles “Chip” Falcone ’95 and Dr. Aimee Falcone ’99. 

Excellence through endowed professorships 

An endowed professorship or chair is a mark of excellence in education—the premier academic honor granted to tenured faculty, reflecting the highest levels of peer-reviewed scholarly achievement. At the start of Faith Rising, the Lothlórien Distinguished Chair in the Fine Arts (held by Bruce Herman) stood alone. Now, Gordon has fully funded four additional endowed professorships: Dr. Sarita Kwok, Adams Endowed Chair in Music; Dr. Jennifer Hevelone-Harper ’92, Loring-Phillips Endowed Professorship in History; Dr. Daniel Darko, Wilson-Ockenga Endowed Professorship in Biblical and Theological Studies; and Dr. Priscilla Nelson ’74, Richard F. Gross Endowed Professorship in Education. 

Putting Gordon on the map

Wenham, Massachusetts | 2021
Gordon charts its course to add a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Public Health in fall 2024 and 2022, respectively. 

Hamilton, Massachusetts | 2020
With a grant from the Kern Family Foundation, Gordon partners with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary to offer an accelerated five-year B.A./M. Div. program called the Dokes Ministry Scholars. “As future clergy-workers, my cohort and I are preparing to serve as spiritual and practical guides. Together we are building emotional intelligence, practical leadership skills and personal growth,” says Chia-Chun Hu ’23.

Milton, Massachusetts | 2019
Gordon partners with Curry College to launch a nursing dual-degree program that blends the Christian liberal arts experience with technical training. “I get to finish two degrees in four years, study under some amazing physical therapists here on campus as my professors, and learn real, applicable knowledge about working with patients,” says Luis Villalta-Santana ’23.

Washington, D.C. | 2020
Under the newly configured School of Education, the Margaret C. Wright Memorial Alumni Award honors the legacy of the late Margaret Wright ’17, a kindergarten teacher in D.C., by annually providing a Gordon graduate who teaches among an underserved population $10,000 for themselves and $10,000 for their school. “Margaret cared deeply for underserved populations and sought to bring equity and justice to children through education . . . I share these same convictions and am dedicating my life to do the same,” says Jessica Cochran ’18, inaugural Margaret C. Wright Memorial Alumni Award recipient.

Atlanta, Georgia | 2019
The Master of Arts in Leadership program adds its first satellite cohort, based in the Southeastern United States. 

Orlando, Florida | 2019
In partnership with Orlando-based Wycliffe Bible Translators, Gordon launches the Bible Translation Program to equip students to support the work of Bible translation in a variety of roles. 

San Francisco, California | 2020
Gordon partners with Pat Gelsinger of Intel, Ted ’88 and Sara Lucas, and Dante ’80 and Melanie ’82 Rutstrom to develop the three-year Bay Area Initiative that includes internships, career expeditions and an intensive summer program. “Through the Bay Area Initiative, I have learned how my passion for business and calling to ministry can intersect to bring about God’s redemptive work through social entrepreneurship and impact investing,” says Tytus Moen ’21.

São Paulo, Brazil | 2020
The Master of Arts in Leadership expands again to launch a joint Christian education program with Centro Presbiteriano De Pós-Graduaçao Andrew Jumper of Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo. 

Orvieto, Italy | 2021
The Master of Arts in Leadership expands for a third time, with a new track for classical Christian school leaders, including an intensive residency in Orvieto. 

Accra, Ghana | 2021
Gordon partners with Central University in Ghana to offer a 2–2 degree.