Belhaven holds national accreditation in all areas of the arts including dance, music, theatre and visual arts. With stunning arts facilities, a dynamic arts faculty and a gifted community of emerging artists, Belhaven University is now poised to embark on a new level of international influence in the arts. Dr. Colin Harbinson, who served as the Dean of the Arts at Belhaven College, now Belhaven University from 2000-2007, transitioned to lead StoneWorks-a Belhaven University global arts initiative.
StoneWorks-its name taken from the text and context of Isaiah 62:10-will build on and further solidify the College's leadership role in the arts community around the world and will focus on the spiritual and artistic formation of the next generation of Christians in the arts.
Harbinson says, "The neglect of the imagination in life and faith has had a destructive impact on the Body of Christ for centuries. It is time for God's people to weep over our cultural disobedience and neglect of God's good and creative gifts. It is time for the artist and the church to weep together over their mutual alienation. And, it is time for our tears to turn into action."
If the church is to remain relevant in its communication of the Christian narrative to our culture, the arts and the imagination must be recovered.
The time is right for Belhaven University to take a wider leadership role in the spiritual, creative and missional formation of the next generation of artists who will reclaim the world of the arts and the imagination for Christ.
"It is only in the most recent decades that the Church has begun to move toward reclaiming the worship of God through the arts. No one in the world has a better grasp than Colin on the issues, and a vision for how the Arts and the Church need to again be strengthened together," said Dr. Roger Parrott, President of Belhaven University. "He is uniquely gifted to work with the world's leading artists, or at the other end of the spectrum, those who have given up all hope for any redeeming value in the arts."
StoneWorks will be a catalyst for Belhaven University to bring together other Christ-centered organizations, groups and individuals to implement the recommendations of the Redeeming the Arts paper, commissioned by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism-with a focus on the church, the academy, the marketplace and the foreign mission sectors of the Body of Christ.
"It is a new day for the arts within the life and mission of the Church," said Dr. Harbinson, "and Belhaven is privileged to serve on the forefront of a rapidly growing global movement of Christians engaged in the arts-one that will ultimately transform the Church and the culture-to the glory of God."
"Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people.
Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones.
Raise a banner for the nations."