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Prayers for the new President

Dr. Bill Jones: "I look forward to serving you." (Photo by Noah Allard)

January 23, 2024

By Bob Holmes

“A personal friend and a mentor.” That’s how Columbia International University Interim President Dr. Rick Christman described CIU’s incoming president Dr. Bill Jones as students, faculty and staff gathered for a special President’s Chapel two days after it was announced that Jones, who currently serves as CIU’s chancellor, would return to the president’s office. Jones previously served as president from 2007-2017.

“I have learned much from his leadership, and much from his wisdom and knowledge and guidance,” Christman said of his time as interim president through most of 2023.

Meanwhile, CIU Professor Emeritus Dr. Bryan Beyer, who served alongside Jones in various capacities for 35 years, also addressed the Chapel. Beyer, who is a new member of the CIU Board of Trustees, said Jones is a leader who doesn’t care who gets the credit. While listing many of Jones’ accomplishments during his first term, Beyer added, “but never did I hear Dr. Jones take credit for any of that.”

“He was quick to commend what the team members did and celebrate what the team did,” Beyer said. “Now ultimately, he does want someone to receive the credit — he wants the Lord Jesus Christ to receive the credit, and the honor and glory for all that happens in and through CIU and our graduates.”

Dr. David Croteau, dean of the Seminary & College of Counseling, also took the stage calling Jones a servant leader.

“There are probably three to five people in my life, that just being around them, makes me want to be more like Jesus. And Dr. Jones is one of those people.”

As for Jones, he noted CIU’s recent 100th anniversary celebration in 2023, adding that he has been thinking a lot about what a privilege it is to be the first president, of the second century, of CIU’s history.

“For one hundred years and two months, CIU has not varied from its mission of educating students from a biblical worldview so we can impact the nations with the message of Christ,” Jones said. “I look forward to serving you.”

Christman then invited as many of the students, faculty and staff who could fit in the front of the Shortess Chapel stage, to gather around Jones and pray for him.

“As he leads us into the next 100 years, we pray that you will allow him to have the vision and the clarity that comes only from you,” Christman prayed. “And may everything that we seek to do, may it glorify your son, Jesus Christ.”  

Jones begins his tenure as president Feb. 1.

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