McQuilkin Honored in Book, CIU Chapel

October 19, 2015

By Melissa McCutchan

CIU Student Writer

To those who know him best, Robertson McQuilkin is nothing less than a spiritual giant. He served as the third president of Columbia International University (then Columbia Bible College) from 1968-1990, as a missionary to Japan, as the headmaster of Ben Lippen School — CIU’s Pre-K to 12th grade ministry, and as an internationally-known author and speaker. But that very brief resume only scratches the surface of McQuilkin’s impact on the Church.   

On Oct. 15, the CIU community gathered with McQuilkin, now 88 years old, and his wife, Deb, to celebrate his life and to dedicate the newly-published book, “Transformed from Glory to Glory.Edited by CIU Intercultural Studies professor Dr. Christopher Little, the book honors McQuilkin’s life and ministry. A number of CIU faculty and alumni contributed to the book, and delivered brief messages during the Chapel.

“I have felt unworthy throughout the whole project,” Little said of his time editing the book. 

The book includes a variety of topics important to McQuilkin, including missions, hermeneutics, the victorious Christian life, and Christian ethics. The authors hope to use McQuilkin’s legacy as a foundation for discussion of important topics in the Church.

“We need others to stand in Robertson’s place, to do the things he did and say the things he said,” Little said.

As the book’s authors gave testimony to the impact McQuilkin had made on their lives, it was clear that he influenced a multitude of people.

“I regard Robertson to be my most influential ministry model and mentor,” said Ralph Enlow Jr., president of the The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) and former CIU provost.  “I can attest that Robertson’s life has borne fruit that nourishes me and many others.”

Though most current CIU students haven’t had much direct contact with McQuilkin, a few mentioned they were impressed with the impact he had on their professors.

“Today's Chapel was an excellent opportunity to see the incredible impact one man of faith can have on a community,” junior Joy Law said. 

After several professors and alumni spoke of McQuilkin’s enormous impact, current CIU president Dr. Bill Jones invited McQuilkin to give a few words. He had only three to share: “This is embarrassing.”

Though McQuilkin may never mention his accomplishments himself, “Transformed from Glory to Glory” offers an overview of this spiritual giant’s overarching goal: to bring God glory.

(Click here to see photos from the Chapel on CIU's Flickr page.)