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Trinity Celebrates the Inauguration of David S. Dockery

Inauguration


Written by Mark Kahler, vice president for university communication

Trinity International University celebrated the inauguration of David S. Dockery as its 15th president with a series of events Oct. 20-24 that focused on “Heritage and Hope.”

Drawing on that theme, Dockery’s inauguration address Oct. 23 examined the origins of Trinity, its faithful history and future opportunities. After tracing the history of the institution since the founding in 1897 as the Swedish Bible Institute, he noted that Trinity now has students, alumni, faculty and staff with ties to 70 nations.

“A small school with Scandinavian roots now evidences global outreach,” Dockery said.

Building on that heritage, Dockery said Trinity has a strategic opportunity to help lead the way in multifaceted outreach for the larger evangelical world. He encouraged his new colleagues to model virtues in the tradition of Kenneth Kantzer and Carl F. H. Henry, two stellar Trinity leaders in the latter half of the 20th century.

“We do not seek to relive that period of time, but to learn from it, and build upon it,” Dockery said.

As Dockery presented a vision for Trinity’s future, he observed that a commitment to Trinity’s confessional framework would be needed to guide the journey.

“A renewed appreciation for unity on the Trinity campus, within the evangelical community, and across the Christian movement would not only strengthen our commitment to Trinity’s distinctive mission, but would help provide the context that would encourage a fresh commitment to biblical orthodoxy, a historical Christianity shaped by the pattern of Christian truth, a faithful intercultural, multi-generational, multi-ethnic, and transcontinental evangelicalism that stands or falls on first-order issues,” Dockery said.

Dockery invited Trinity faculty, staff, students, administrators, and Board members to give of themselves with a new and willing enthusiasm to the conviction that all knowledge, all truth, and all wisdom find their truth in God, as well as to the distinctive confessional commitments, mission, core values, and sense of community that represents the best of the Trinity heritage.

His inaugural address concluded with an appeal to the broader Trinity community.

“Join us on this hopeful and hope-filled journey to Trinity’s future,” Dockery said. “We celebrate this new chapter in the life of the Trinity community by giving thanks together for the wonderful heritage that is ours. Please join with us, learn with us, pray with us, and walk with us in confident hope as we serve together in this place for the good of the Trinity community and ultimately for the glory of God.”

Former presidents H. Wilbert Norton, Ken Meyer and Greg Waybright participated in key aspects of the installation of the new president. Norton, who is 99-years-old, was president from 1957-64. The new Norton Welcome Center will be named in his honor.

“The spirit of the Lord is here,” Norton said. “May it convict us!”

Also delivering remarks were several current presidents at other institutions, including Phillip G. Ryken of Wheaton (Ill.) College and Gregory A. Thornbury of The King’s College in New York City.
Thornbury served in the leadership of Union University in Jackson, Tenn., where Dockery was president from 1996-2014. He watched as Dockery led the school to recovery after one of the worst natural disasters in the history of U.S. higher education — a tornado touchdown that did more than $40 million in damage to the campus.

“You are now on Dr. Dockery’s team,” Thornbury said. “And you will see amazing things happen.”
In all, 73 institutions were represented with delegates at the inauguration, and many more colleges and universities sent words of greeting and congratulations. There were 21 inauguration-related events, bringing guest artists and speakers to campus from across the country.

A few highlights of the week:

John M. Perkins, sometimes called the father of racial reconciliation among evangelicals, delivered one of three inaugural chapel messages. Perkins spoke from Psalms 23 and asked his listeners to answer a call to be agents of reconciliation in a lost and hurting world. “Justice is a stewardship issue,” Perkins said. “It’s how we steward God’s creation and our call is to deliberately not overlook the poor.”

During a “Prayer, Praise and Renewal” worship service, Fellowship Memphis Lead Pastor Bryan Loritts preached from Psalms 63 and described the mood of David following the king’s removal from the throne. “David said to God ‘nothing in this life satisfies but you, and my identity is to earnestly seek after you,’” Loritts said. “Will all who serve and study at Trinity reach that same conclusion David reaches?” Travis Cottrell, worship pastor at Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn., led congregational hymn singing and also performed several solo selections.

Timothy George, founding dean of Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School, presented an inaugural chapel message from I Corinthians 13, asking his audience to think clearly about faith, hope and love from a biblical perspective. “Faith, hope and love come like a bridge over troubled waters, predicated on divine grace,” George said. “Pass it on unvarnished.”

Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, moderated a panel discussion on a variety of topics, ranging from the future of evangelicalism to cultural engagement. His panel included Trinity faculty members such as Don Carson, Peter Cha and Paige Cunningham, as well as Pastor Tom Nelson, Loritts and George.

Cherie Harder, president of The Trinity Forum in Washington, D.C., delivered an inaugural chapel address focused on recapturing a sense of calling within the workplace. Her historical example was William Wilberforce, a British statesman who used his talents and relationships to slowly erode the foundations of slavery. She challenged Christians to move forward with the same resolve in modern times. “The more we invest in a Christ-centered community, the more we become the people God calls us to be,” Harder said.

Hymn composers and musical performers Keith and Kristyn Getty concluded their fall tour with a free concert to mark the start of inauguration week at Trinity. The couple and their band performed for two hours and hosted a separate Christian Music Symposium earlier in the day.

Trinity also dedicated two new renovations during the week.

The John and Susan Woodbridge Reading Room in the Rolfing Library features more than 200 books written by Trinity faculty members. It is named in honor of John Woodbridge, who has been a faculty member in the divinity school for 44 years.

There was also a dedication of the Henry Van Dixhorn Arena, which provides upgrades to facilities for athletics and large convocations in the Meyer Sports Complex.

Wednesday of Inauguration Week Recap

Wednesday continued the celebration of Inauguration Week at Trinity, which will culminate in the installation of David S. Dockery as the University’s 15th president.

Events included the following:

  • Inaugural Chapel with John M. Perkins: “A Good Journey of Faith: Living the Christian Life as Agents of Reconciliation”
    Starting with Psalm 23, Christian civil rights giant John Perkins brought the Word of God to bear on our every day lives—exhorting all in attendance to live up to the call to be agents of reconciliation in a lost and hurting world. “Justice is a stewardship issue,” said Perkins, challening the notion that it’s all about some pie-in-the-sky hereafter. “It’s how we steward God’s creation, and our call is to deliberately not overlook the poor.” That was, in a nutshell, the conviction of the early church—to preach the gospel and remember the poor.He went on: “The gospel is the power of God to bring Jews and Gentiles together in one body,” and the church is to live out that mandate each day. It is precisely because we are “justified before God Almighty and that Christ intercedes for us at the Father’s right hand” that enables us in our work to this end. “I don’t think we know what we have,” Perkins said.
  • Prayer, Praise, and Renewal Service
    Wednesday’s inauguration festivities concluded with a prayer, praise and renewal service at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort.Bryan Loritts, lead pastor at Fellowship Memphis, delivered a message titled “Stirring Your Affections while Developing Your Mind.” His text was Psalms 63, in which David has been removed from his throne and is fleeing his son Absalom. Loritts said David, who stood in the desolation of the desert in Judah, reached a solemn conclusion.

    “David said to God ‘nothing in this life satisfies but you, and my identity is to earnestly seek after you,’” Loritts said. “Will all who serve and study at Trinity reach the same conclusion David reaches?”

    Travis Cottrell, worship pastor at Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn., led congregational hymn singing and also performed several solo selections.

Check out our twitter highlights of the day’s events. Also, be sure to watch Perkins’ chapel address if you missed it (along with the previous chapels) at stream.tiu.edu (by clicking the “On Demand” tab).

Tuesday of Inauguration Week Recap

Tuesday continued the celebration of Inauguration Week at Trinity, which will culminate in the installation of David S. Dockery as the University’s 15th president.

Events included the following:

  • Inaugural Chapel with Timothy George: “Faith, Hope, and Love—These Three”
    Timothy George preached from the classic text on love found in 1 Corinthians 13 and exhorted everyone in attendance to think clearly about what exactly faith, hope, and love are from a biblical perspective. “Faith, hope, and love come like a bridge over troubled waters—predicated on divine grace,” noted George. And he went to challenge Trinity as a “Christian community, trustees of the gospel truth; pass it on unvarnished as such.”
     
  • Ed Stetzer hosts Roundtable Conversation
    Along with special guests Don Carson, Peter Cha, Paige Cunningham, Timothy George, Bryan Loritts, and Tom Nelson, Stetzer moderated an insightful discussion on topics ranging from the future of evangelicalism and cultural engagement.
     

Check out our twitter highlights of the day’s events. Also, be sure to watch both events if you missed them at stream.tiu.edu (by clicking the “On Demand” tab).
 

Monday of Inauguration Week Recap

Today marked the beginning of Inauguration Week at Trinity, which will culminate in the installation of David S. Dockery as the University’s 15th president.

Events included the following:

  • Inaugural Chapel with Cherie Harder: “Community and Calling”
    Cherie Harder challenged everyone in chapel today to recapture that sense of vocation as calling and what it means to be called by God to do so in our every day jobs. She held up William Wilberforce as the quintessential example of one who embraced his work in politics as a calling to bring glory to God, and, as a result, he changed the entire British landscape.

    She also went on to describe what it is like to be a part modern-day politics in Washington, D.C., where in community with others she was part of changing the conversation on Hollywood’s marketing of violence to children: “The more we invest in a Christ-centered community, the more we become the people God calls us to be.”
     

  • Keith Getty Worship & Christian Music Symposium
    In this symposium on modern hymnody, Keith Getty started with the premise that “God’s people learn their faith in large part through what they sing.” A few Getty hymns were sung as he provided several bits of advice to all those present who are involved with congregational singing in the church.

    He went on to remind us that “the holy act of congregational singing is exactly that—a microcosm of heaven on earth.” And he challenged all in attendance to think critically about modern ways of worship: “We think hymns with multiple stanzas rich in theology are too deep, and we wonder why our congregations have a shallow view of God.”
     

  • The Gettys in Concert
    Keith and Kristyn Getty ushered the Trinity community into a time of praise and celebration as they wrapped up their fall tour.

 

Trinity graduate named new president of the University of Florida

W. Kent Fuchs, a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, has been named the 12th president of the University of Florida. Fuchs completed a Master of Divinity degree here in 1984.

A news release from the University of Florida said the appointment from the UF Board of Trustees still must be ratified officially at a meeting in November, and that Fuchs (pronounced Fox) would officially assume the presidency on Jan. 1.

“The entire Trinity community is pleased to join with me in offering our heartiest congratulations to President-elect Kent Fuchs as he begins his service at the University of Florida,” Trinity President David S. Dockery said. “Dr. Fuchs has established himself as a distinguished leader in the world of higher education. As a Trinity alum, we are truly grateful for Dr. Fuchs. We salute him and wish God’s best for him and his family in the days to come.”

Fuchs comes to Florida from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., where he served as provost. In addition to his graduate degree at TEDS, he brings an extensive background in electrical engineering and computer science, with an undergraduate engineering degree from Duke University and graduate degrees from the University of Illinois.

Inauguration Week

Heritage&Hope

Inauguration Week is the result of the collaborative work and coordination among many faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends. While the program is being guided by the Inauguration Committee, it is the hard work of those who are giving time and energy so generously that will make the Inauguration Week possible.

Inaugurations traditionally use the symbols of the past while envisioning a path for a preferred future. Throughout the years, inauguration ceremonies honoring Trinity International University presidents have offered opportunities for the Trinity community to celebrate its past and its vision for what’s next. The inauguration of David S. Dockery, Trinity’s fifteenth president, is no exception.

Over the course of its existence, the Trinity community has grown to embody a faithful, generous, and orthodox evangelicalism, committed to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of Holy Scripture. Being a part of this academic community is deeper than just the common experience of pursuing knowledge. The Trinity connection is one of kinship and shared values—all of which are shaped by the pattern of Christian truth.

HERITAGE & HOPE
, our inaugural theme, reaffirms Trinity’s wonderful heritage while looking forward with hope toward a blessed and God-honoring future. During the week of October 20–23, we will come together to celebrate the installation of Trinity’s fifteenth president and the best that the University represents, not as an end in itself, but as a pointer to a God-blessed and hopeful trajectory for Trinity in the years to come.

We look forward to seeing you throughout the week!

Here’s the week at a glance:

Fall ’14 Issue of Trinity Magazine Fresh Off the Press

TrinMag Fall '14 Cover

The fall 2014 issue of Trinity Magazine is hitting mailboxes, both real and virtual. Here’s a taste of what’s inside:

    • “TEDS at Princeton: Proclaiming the Gospel at the Ivy League”
      —It turns out that there’s a sort of nexus of TEDS grads deeply impacting the Princeton campus. Communication Assistant Andy Koenig (BA ’14) reports on the who, what, and why.

“There is a certain assumption on these campuses that religion and intellect are mutually exclusive, an assumption that if you’re intellectual you have to leave this religion and Christianity stuff behind.”

~ Matt Bennett (MDiv ’01), President of Christian Union, p. 13

 

    • “Academic success at Trinity”
      —Attending a university is an exciting and challenging time. Finding and experiencing academic success is a necessary component of this endeavor. For those with learning problems and other disabilities, the challenge is even greater. What does Trinity have to offer in this regard? Assistant Professor of Education Peter L. Wright walks us through the answer.

“My accommodations helped me feel secure and confident as a student. For the most part, I did not feel treated differently by professors or students because of them. In fact, most professors were grateful to provide a better way for me to succeed in my studies. … God bless Trinity for seeking to provide ways for students with learning disabilities to succeed in college!”

~ Naomi Sorenson (BA ’14), p. 15

 

    • “Bike4Solution: 2,500 Miles. 4 Dudes. 1 Cause.”
      —Trinity 2014 graduates and former Trojan football team members Tommy Kenney, 23, Dan Johnson, 22, Jono Mullins, 22, and Dustin Alewine, 23 set out on June 14, 2014, to bike from Deerfield, Ill., to Mission Viejo, Calif., with a mission to help raise awareness for girls trapped in human trafficking.

“At the end of the day, we’re asking men to step up with us,” Alewine said. “It comes down to supply and demand. If there continues to be men who are willing to pay for sex, this issue is going to go on.” (p. 17)

 

    • “The Christian Law School: Negative, Neutral or Nurturing?”
      —Advisory Board Member of Trinity Law School Jefferey J. Ventrella challenges the common assumptions that studying law from explicitly Christian perspectives can be anything but nurturing.

“To be most fully human means living coram Deo, that is, before the face of God. If we desire to study law to maximally cultivate human flourishing by promoting justice, we must do so intentionally under Christ’s lordship: fully exploring how the law—the standard—can be known and applied, in and to our very lives.”

~ Jeffrey J. Ventrella, p. 20

 
Check it out below: