Building a Student Body Around the Power of One Accord
How Verity Institute is demonstrating true “higher education”
Dr. Kevin McCray and faculty have the goal of making Verity Institute the most outstanding spiritual and academic experience possible. This year, those in the Verity program enjoyed the first week of orientation at the beautiful Northwoods Conference Center in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Surrounded by thousands of acres of rugged natural beauty, they went on a Journey to the Heart, with the goal of helping each student learn how to love God with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength.
As the Journey progressed, the students’ excitement increased. After identifying and removing areas of affection that were competing with their desire for God, they learned how to love God with all of their hearts, souls, minds, and strength. The Holy Spirit’s presence came in greater power as they sought the Lord in one accord.
A Greek word for “one accord” is homothumadon. It comes from the root word homo, meaning “the same”, and thumos, meaning “passion”. A group that is in one accord, therefore, is one that is passionately pursuing the same goal. The passion that all believers must have is to love God with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to have a love for others as an expression of their love for God. When a group of believers achieves this level of one accord, the Holy Spirit is able to come upon them with special power, as the first-century Church experienced. (See Acts 2:1-4, Acts 2:46-47, Acts 4:24-31, Acts 5:12, Acts 8:6-8.)
The oneness of accord among the Verity students brought a moving of God’s Spirit that resulted in a strong desire to connect with parents, clear up past offenses, live honestly, and forsake the world’s negative influences.
“A Focus on God Like Never Before”
Dr. McCray writes, “The spiritual retreat began our school year with a focus on God like never before.” This focus was evident in many of the student’s testimonies:
“During my time in northern Michigan at Journey to the Heart, God opened the eyes of my heart to see again how much I need Him . . .”—Whitney L.
“Before going to Journey, I thought I knew what peace and joy were, but this time I was literally bubbling with both.”—Alisa B.
“Journey was a time of refreshment and delighting in my Father [God], knowing that in my weakness, He is made strong. And as I surrender, I can testify that His grace is sufficient—the most beautiful testimony of all.”—Suzanne F.
Understanding the True Essence of a College Education
Parents often fail to understand that when they send a son or daughter off to a college, they are releasing them to a threefold discipleship program: the lifestyles of their classmates, the philosophies of their teachers, and the presuppositions of their textbooks.
Parents should ask, “Will the discipleship at the college we have chosen reinforce the Biblical standards and truths that we have spent years teaching our sons and daughters?”
Verity Institute is committed to a student body that loves God with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength; a faculty that is living out the commands of Christ; and training that will alert students to the false presuppositions in textbooks.
While not a college that grants credit or awards degrees, Verity does facilitate the acquisition of a fully accredited bachelor of arts or science degree in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of traditional higher education. As the students pursue this goal in a Christian environment, they will also be involved in ministry opportunities that demonstrate living their one-accord love for Christ.
Even the distance-learning program is far more than just “college at home.” It is winning the battle for the minds and hearts of students so that they will be equipped for success.
For more information about the Verity Institute, visit http://verity.iblp.org.