President’s Post: This is what sets Liberty University apart

In the year when King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord sitting upon his throne, high and lifted up, and his glory filled that most holy place. The angels of the Lord said, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3). It was there that Isaiah recognized his sin before a holy God and confessed before the Lord that he was unclean. It was also there that Isaiah was sanctified and set apart for service. The Lord said, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then Isaiah said, “Here I am! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).

What sets Liberty University apart from any other academic institution in the world?

Is it our world-class facilities, our academic programs covering 15 colleges and over 700 degree programs or our athletic programs with competitive teams that dominate virtually every sport? 

I would argue that while all of these things certainly make Liberty University exceptional, they do not set Liberty University apart. What sets Liberty University apart from any other academic institution in the world is our commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ and sending students worldwide to fulfill the
Great Commission.

Our founder, Dr. Jerry Falwell Sr., said, “the world doesn’t need another secular, liberal arts institution; the world needs Liberty University.” This is where Christ is preached and students are sent for the sake of the gospel.

This year, our students have already visited Israel, Romania and Rwanda to minister to local churches, serve refugees and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. Our students also gathered around Lynchburg at the beginning of the semester to serve the city on MLK Service Day. And in the fall semester, our students also took part in disaster relief work in Florida and Kentucky, partnering with organizations like Samaritan’s Purse.

But are you ready to be sent? It is with the same heart of Isaiah that many Liberty students through the years have said, “Here I am! Send me!” I am constantly reminded that our Savior modeled what it means to serve and to be sent. While James and John were looking to make a name for themselves and asking to sit at Jesus’ right and left hand, Christ responded, “You don’t know what you are asking” (Mark 10:38). He later said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

This is what it means to be a Champion for Christ. It is a willingness and a commitment to serve the Lord in all places and in all vocations with excellence, devotion and dedication. True Champions for Christ are champions for service.

Whenever I have an opportunity to speak or preach anywhere, I always want to make the gospel abundantly clear, especially to students and their parents. Only through what Christ has done at the cross — through his death, burial and resurrection — do we have the free gift of eternal life. But that gift is only applied to each one of us by faith. You have to receive it by faith. Our good works do not save us; we are saved by faith.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works so that no one can boast.” How are we saved? We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. But what about service? The following verse speaks to Christian service: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

What separates Liberty University from other universities is that our commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ means that we are devoted to sending and serving throughout the world. So, whatever your professional focus might be, God has called you to serve selflessly, wholeheartedly and sacrificially because of Jesus Christ.

Let us remember the words of our risen Savior, “The greatest among you will be your servant, for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:11-12).

Prevo is the Interim President of Liberty University

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