Welcome Message from the President

Dear Prospective Student,

Why should a prospective student choose Belhaven University? This is a critical question that deserves much more than a feel-good answer.

There are about 4,000 colleges and universities in the country. Among that group, 900 define themselves "religiously affiliated" in some way. But only 104 of all these schools are intentionally "Christ-centered" institutions where our Christian faith is a guiding factor in the school. So which school is the right one to invest your future?

One study of higher education found that prospective students determine if they like a college within seven minutes after coming onto the campus. Obviously, keeping the grass mowed is important because the physical setting of the campus is more of a determining factor than it should be for some prospective students.

Other students choose a college because friends go to that school, because of assumed prestige of an institution or because it is an institution where parents attended. But friends and interests tend to change dramatically during the college years, prestige is not worth your soul, and often, parents don't realize how dramatically the classroom of their alma mater has shifted in an era when most schools value "tolerance" (except for Christian ideas) at all cost.

I believe there are two critical, bottom line, questions in deciding what school to attend:

1. Are these people I would want to be like? The nature of education is that students will tend to be molded into the values, priorities and lifestyles of the people with whom they go to school. So one of my highest priorities in hiring faculty, coaches and others is to determine if this is someone I would like my own kids to be like. Credentials and experience matter little if Belhaven people are not effective mentors and do not have the characteristics our students should pattern in their lives.

2. What does this school require of all students? The answer to this question will show you what the institution values most, because requiring every student to do one thing is a big deal on a college campus. The core values of a school shine through brightly in what they require. Or, if they don't require anything, that tells you what is important to them as well. At Belhaven we have four requirements of all students:

1. Using Godly Gifts - Our Master Learner course for freshmen helps students discover their gifts and understand how to use their God-given talents to be successful.

2. Biblical Worldview - Our worldview curriculum is a one-of-a-kind, two-year course of study focused around thematic topics and arranged on a historical timeline, which helps students understand and contrast a Christian worldview with the marketplace of history's ideas.

3. Worship - Our weekly chapel service brings the entire campus together to sing, pray and learn from some of the best ministers in Mississippi and the world.

4. Success at Home and at Work - Our "Kingdom Life: Family and Workplace" capstone course applies the biblical vision of the Kingdom of God, especially as it relates to family and the workplace.

What Belhaven University, or any school, requires is the best way to know what is behind the glossy pictures in the recruitment brochure and begin to understand how a student will be shaped during his or her time on campus.

In His Service,
Dr. Roger Parrott