CHICAGO, May 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As higher education institutions across the globe pivot from in-person to online campus communities, what's essential at the core is their mission. For North Park University (North Park), the mission is to prepare students for lives of significance and service.
Distance learning, virtual commencement, remote workforce – these sweeping changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic can challenge a campus to maintain its sense of community. At North Park, however, a nearly 130-year-old Christian mission in higher education binds the campus community together, even when its members are apart. Every decision, reflecting an ability to adapt to change and innovate for the future, rests upon fulfilling and projecting that mission.
"Our mission and identity are more important now than ever – to our students and our world," said Mary K. Surridge, President, North Park University.
As a faith-based institution, Surridge says Christian higher education is a vibrant and relevant option for students to process new realities, form their thinking, and prepare themselves to act. "North Park's Christ-centered environment, urban location and intercultural student community is here to educate, mentor, and help students discover truth," said Surridge.
Preparing students to serve and influence in fields that address new global challenges aligns with its mission. "We have the profound opportunity to model a Kingdom vision and we must be a leader," said Surridge.
While the global public health crisis presents a variety of uncertainties, the University stands together, united with its deep-rooted mission. As caretakers of its mission, North Park is making plans to protect the institution and its future.
North Park's mission serves as a reminder to help students during times of crisis, and support faculty and staff to adopt a mindset of innovation. "Protecting the institution does not mean maintaining everything just the way it was before – it means focusing on our core strengths and doing everything necessary to sustain our mission through what we know will be a period of challenge and uncertainty," Surridge said.
Adapting to new realities is part of North Park's plan. For the good of the students and University, "we are building with creativity, hope, and vision," Surridge said.
ABOUT NORTH PARK UNIVERSITY
North Park University is a city-centered, intercultural, and Christian university located in Chicago.