Declare the Word! President powerfully unveils ‘21-‘22 theme

CIU President Dr. Mark Smith
August 20, 2021

Declare the Word!

That was the action call to Columbia International University faculty and staff from President Dr. Mark Smith just ahead of the 2021-2022 CIU school year. That is also the theme for the year.

At the faculty/staff workshop just days ahead of the arrival of most students, Smith urged the gathering to make three commitments.

“Submit to the Authority of Scripture,” Smith said in reference to the first of CIU’s core values.

“The Bible is the ultimate foundation and final authority in every aspect of our lives,” Smith said. “It gives us truth that we affirm, the attitudes that we assume and the actions that we adopt.”

Smith also encouraged daily devotions.

“The only way we stay true to the Word, is to know the Word, and study the Word and understand the Word.” Smith said. “Do you take time? Or do you read your English book or your economics text or your counseling journal?”

Finally, there was also a challenge to every employee to embrace every student and teach them the Word.

“Every student that comes into your classroom, who walks into your Financial Aid Office, every student who calls IT, every student that works in maintenance — the power of the Word changes lives!”  

Also, at the workshop, the faculty and staff were reminded in a devotional delivered by Assistant Dean James McCall that God’s Word does not return void, and CIU Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Andre Rogers said that God and His Word bring unity to the Body of Christ, no matter the color of our skin.

“With 17 nationalities represented at CIU, this is a place for all of God’s children,” Rogers said. Referencing CIU’s motto, he added, “This is a place where you can ‘know Him and make Him known’ because we’re in a sweet spot together.”  

Meanwhile, Smith, who had a cancerous kidney removed two years ago, gave an update on his health. He said a biopsy on a mass that was recently discovered in his remaining kidney indicates a suspicion of cancer, and more consultation with his doctors will follow. But he told the assembly not to worry.

He assured the employees, “I am at rest. Prayer and the Word of God has brought me to that point.”

LATE NOTE: A few days after the Faculty/Staff Workshop, Smith publicly made known that the mass in his remaining kidney is cancerous. Your prayers during this time are appreciated for the Smith family and Columbia International University.

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