Christians are being reminded that one of the best investments they can make, when deciding what and where to give, is in making sure the next generation of pastors and church leaders are properly educated.
Evangel University is going through a ten-year strategy, including a merger of their three schools in Springfield, Missouri, and matching size of staff with the student body. But Dr. George Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, tells OneNewsNow that didn't mean handing "pink slips" in large numbers.
"We offered early retirement to a number of our professors and staff," he explains. "So primarily, our reductions in costs came through the offer of early retirement for a lot of our people at the school."
But as Wood points out, that doesn't mean there aren't financial needs. Just as with other Christian schools, he says there's an increasing need to raise funds – including endowments – above and beyond income from tuition.
According to Wood, people often give to charities because of a tug on their hearts – and he acknowledges that they are deserving.
"But one of the most strategic things we can do is invest in the next generation by making sure that we're producing laity and ministers who are going to be effective in the church and in the marketplace in the years to come until the Lord returns," he emphasizes.
"... I can't think of any better investment to make with one's contributions than to support Christian higher education."
Assemblies of God alone has 17,000 students enrolled in its various schools. "They are the future of the church and the Kingdom of God, along with other great Christian universities in our country," Wood concludes.