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President Moreno-Riaño and The Tudor Dixon Podcast Discuss: The Breakdown of Civil Society on College Campuses

News May 20, 2024

Recent campus protests have erupted around the nation prompting arrests and graduation cancellations. Concern is growing about the lack of moral leadership and civil order on college campuses alongside a decline in the Christian worldview.

Cornerstone University President Gerson Moreno-Riaño joined Tudor Dixon, host and creator of The Tudor Dixon Podcast, to assess the recent breakdown of civility on college campuses and across America.

“There’s a significant breakdown in civil society, which is really the barrier between government and the individual citizens,” asserts Dr. Moreno-Riaño. “Now what’s happened is that the moral purpose of a university is now adrift.”

For decades, he suggests, universities took a “neutral hands-off” position on developing moral citizens. This is a dramatic shift from the origins of Harvard and the nation’s earliest colleges founded to educate citizens to benefit society from a shared Christian worldview. The pursuit of truth and developing moral character have been rejected.

With Christianity’s decline, the result is an open door to divisive ideologies that are not well understood by students in terms of their origins, history or impact. Overt anti-American and anti-Western civilization curricula and rhetoric taught by a growing number of faculty are contributing factors, according to Dr. Moreno-Riaño. Chaos is spreading across campuses as a result of this lack of leadership and moral clarity over decades.

President Moreno-Riaño emphasized the vital roles of open civil discourse and the Christian worldview to counter today’s growing antagonistic chaos. At Cornerstone University, a Christian worldview and character development are fully integrated throughout the entire student experience from academics, to spiritual life, to campus life, and leadership training as part of the university’s mission and value to society.

Wisdom Conversations was highlighted as a popular non-academic community forum created by Cornerstone to counter incivility and censorship at universities nationwide. National leaders and experts model civility by respectfully exchanging ideas and solutions to challenges students and citizens face in West Michigan and beyond. This fall’s topic: Christianity and American Democracy: Living as a Faithful Christian and a Good Citizen.

Cornerstone University’s mission amid growing drift in higher education: “Proclaiming the beauty of God’s truth in a sophisticated way that prepares students to be influencers in the world for Jesus Christ, to be great professionals, but also great human beings wherever they go,” said Dr. Moreno-Riaño. “And I think the more universities can do that, the more a transformation will happen in our country.”

Listen to the full podcast discussion available today or read the full transcript below to hear more about the dynamics facing college campuses today.

ABOUT THE TUDOR DIXON PODCAST
Tudor Dixon is an American business leader and political commentator who hosts The Tudor Dixon Podcast every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with the biggest names in politics and Conservative media to get you the truth about the issues that affect you, your family, and our American way of life. The Tudor Dixon Podcast is part of the Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Podcast Network. For more visit TudorDixonPodcast.com.

[TD]
Welcome to the Tudor Dixon podcast. While you all have been seeing what’s happening on college campuses across the country, now we see the same kids that had their high school graduations canceled are having their college graduations canceled. And I’ve seen a lot of people, a lot of these political pundits and people like myself, to be quite honest, who have come out and been like, “you know what? Let this happen to these students. They deserve it.” And I have to tell you, I disagree. I think that these are few and far between. These kids on these college campuses. I don’t think it’s as many of the students as you think it is. I think there are a lot of very serious students that are at these universities that are devastated by what’s happening on these campuses. And I would also question how many of these students are protestors who are actually students. And do these presidents of these universities have a handle on who is coming on their campuses?

Well, we have a friend who is a president of a university right here in Michigan, the president of Cornerstone University. It’s a Christian university based right here in Michigan, just recently named the 39th most conservative university in the nation. So we’re very excited about that right here in Michigan. And we have the president, Doctor Gerson Moreno-Riaño, with us today. Thank you so much for coming to join us today. All the way from Cornerstone in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I want to get your take on what exactly is going on on university campuses right now.

[Gerson Moreno-Riano]
Well, Tudor, it is great to be here. Thank you for the opportunity. You know, I echo what you mentioned at the very beginning. We just had our commencement ceremony here this past Saturday. And in my opening comments and welcome, I shared with the students and the audience of several thousand that this is the first graduation—this is the first graduation for these students from Covid. They didn’t have a high school graduation. So I mentioned that a significant number of students just cheer because I know they lost something. And they know they lost something and were able to do this. So I echo your comments that I think there are many, many students on these campuses who are very serious, very committed. They have worked very, very hard and now are at a loss one more time. And quite frankly, a situation that could have been avoided but wasn’t avoided.

My sense is really that our country is unable to have serious, good, difficult conversations at any level of society. There’s a significant breakdown in civil society, which is really the barrier between government and the individual citizen and civil society should allow for conversations and vigorous conversations. But what we have become is a country where everything is zero sum, right? My position is the only one that matters, yours does not. And as a matter of fact, you don’t matter either, right? That’s sort of the way we interpret this. So we have the right to not just defame your position, but defame you, assassinate your character, shut you down, go to your home in protest, smear you, do whatever we can to make you completely irrelevant, persona non grata. Okay, that’s what we have done. And I see all sides of the questions. Doing this is not just one side. Everyone now has become very antagonistic. And that’s really what’s happening now. And you see it on college campuses, which in theory should be a place within civil society where you should be having conversations.

[Tudor Dixon]
It really seems like there’s an effort, though, to not have that conversation, a bigger effort on this particular subject. Because if you look at these universities, this happened very quickly, that suddenly I would say students that probably likely didn’t even know about the conflict with Gaza and in Israel and what was going on, were suddenly very pro-Gaza. Some of these students have come out and say, hey, we support Hamas, Death to America. They’ve said things that we’ve never seen American University students say before. I mean, last night I was talking to my mom and she’s like, I take exception to people comparing this to the 60s, because people were not saying death to America in the 60s, and it does seem like some other force has come in. We see these students praying five times a day. Suddenly there’s this other group of students who had been atheist, who hadn’t been connected to religion at all, are now suddenly strong supporters of Islam, a religion that is not in line with the other things that they’re talking about when they are on college campuses. And I say that because we’ve clearly seen people who are supporting the LGBTQ, community and, and all of these things that do not align with Islam. However, this has come on to our college campuses very strongly. And I, I also would like to question who is funding it, how did it happen underneath the administrators’ noses. But Palestine, the Gazan people are not the only oppressed or attacked people in the world. And they are not. Certainly they are in this conflict where they have chosen their leadership. They’ve chosen their leadership that has decided to attack Israel. There are communities in the world who are truly being attacked, and there is true genocide that we don’t ever talk about. So how did this happen?

[GMR]
Look, I think it’s the outworking of probably decades and decades and decades of miseducation at the family level in society, at the university level. So what you see now, you’re right. It’s much more antagonistic and virulent, against the United States. So what you’ve seen is decades and decades of university education, in essence, sowing seeds in the minds of students that America is a failed empire, that America has gone as a terrorist nation, that America can’t be trusted, its leaders can’t be trusted, that America’s hypocritical, that the West, writ large, is colonial and destructive. So this is what for years and years and years, oftentimes students are receiving in their education in many universities, especially in their general education core curriculum and in other courses. So this has been going on for a long, long, long time. The 60s, the argument was also made as well that because of slavery in our country and just society, now, this has been taken and exploded, expanded to say America is unjust in everything that it does. That’s the argument, not just internally, but supporting causes in other parts of the world are just as unjust and wicked too, and frankly, when students and generations, year after year, decade after decade are taught that and hear that not just in their universities but also in the media, also in popular culture, right. Also influencers, and that’s what they’re hearing that begins, then to resonate for many people. Some then take it even a step further now and say, we’re going to take up arms that we can and destroy and attack and tear down and burn and do whatever we need to, in essence, destroy the institutions of this society and rebuild the new. Others are going to become completely just despondent or cynical about everything in America. So a lot of it has been because of years of those kinds of things.

Number one and two, a lack of real moral leadership, not just at universities, but also throughout our society and in the federal government and state government. I’m a big believer that young people today are looking for strong moral leadership, right? They’re crying out for it or seeking it. And when it’s not provided, there’s a vacuum there. They’re going to find it somewhere. They’re going to look for it somewhere. And when you don’t have it in universities, since we’re speaking about, the universities don’t have a sense of purpose, a sense of direction, then what happens is that students will find it elsewhere.

[TD]
And you haven’t had this happen on Cornerstones campus, which I think I wanted to kind of take what you just said. And the last time I had you on, you talked very clearly about the fact that there is a sense of purpose. There is a message at Cornerstone that you make sure that the students understand. And you actually, when you first came to Cornerstone, were kind of criticized for really being like, no, you know, this is who we are. We are a Christian university. We’re going to live by that. And we want our students to understand that. But look, Cornerstone hasn’t had this happen, has it?

[GMR]
I’m grateful to say it has not. I’m very grateful that it has not. We have a great student body, great faculty, great staff, but frankly, it’s something that you have to shepherd all the time, right? I mean, part of being a leader, a moral leader in any part of society and working with people, you have to be shepherding your people, and it’s a continual process. If you don’t do that, then what happens is that individual societies quickly drift, right? They will quickly drift, and then it becomes a serious problem. So for example, universities today, I mean, as you know, in American history, universities were first founded to educate the preachers in the past to benefit society. That was the original founding of Harvard and Yale and Princeton. All these schools were, in essence, preacher colleges, in some ways, religious institutions that changed. Then universities began to think about how do we educate people who are not ministers and what they need? Then that changed later on, as universities began to look toward Europe for a model of education and German institutions became the model for American universities. We became very focused on research as a public good, right, that that change in those continual changes till now, or universities focus solely on jobs, for example, or careers. Nothing wrong with that. It’s a huge focus. Now, what’s happened is that the moral purpose of a university is now adrift. What is it? Should universities be involved in moral formation? Should they be involved in shaping citizen life decisions about moral people? And no university right now really wants to answer that conclusively. So they come up with very sort of broad statements about what they do, but they are hands off. And you’re seeing it now. Part of the situation is that universities are hands off about these kinds of things. They believe in what is called institutional neutrality. We’re not going to say which side is right and which side is wrong.

[TD]
Well, I would say so. We may see the leadership. But oftentimes we see professors that are pushing students in a certain direction that may be amoral or may be against what the values of this country have always been. And I mean, an example. We recently visited family and one of the family members said, yeah, we sent our child to the university. They were turned against what our family values had always been, and we haven’t spoken in six months. And this story to me is all too common. Is that the traditional American values that we’ve all had that are not wacky, they’re not out of step with with other Americans. Suddenly they go to university and those values don’t hold up. They don’t. They’re not in lockstep with these radical universities. And so I would say that maybe you have a Columbia where the president’s like, hey, you know, we don’t know how this happened. But then if you start to pick apart some of these universities and look at their professors, they’ve been teaching hate, it’s not so much that they are teaching. And in a message or an ideology, it is like exactly what you said. America is bad down with this country. They’re getting this from, in many cases, these universities. And, and I would say for private universities, you know, I guess they can teach whatever they want and they can start to indoctrinate kids. And if you choose to pay a private university all of this money to do this to your children, then I don’t know what you’re thinking, but these public universities where we are taking our tax dollars and putting them into these public universities where some of these professors are making outrageous amounts of money. I mean, I’ve seen anywhere from 250,000 to 750,000 professors walking out of school every day with this giant cash bag. And how can they get away with teaching these things that have nothing – these things don’t have anything to do with a job. This is just an ideology.

[GMR]
That’s been happening for a very long time, as I shared. I mean, you can look at the curriculum at some significant universities for decades where they shifted away from teaching certain things about American history or Western culture and began to shift to other embassies, downgrading this country, downgrading the West. And look, I want to be very clear. No country, no civilization is perfect. Every civilization, every country, has its share of injustices. But one of the problems that’s happened here is that universities have failed to acknowledge the great things, the good things about this society, America and the West, and denigrate the entire thing. Yeah, they began then to insert other things in a cynicism, a suspicion that has really, really wreaked havoc over generation after generation after generation of students. And now we have that. To your point about faculty, I mean, faculty have a very important role in the education of future moral leaders of our country. They do. And if faculty are brought into institutions and are provided with the means and the impetus to actually denigrate and downgrade not just the university, but the country, the society, what is it? What is left for that student? And oftentimes students will look at faculty and raise them on a pedestal. They know so much. And there’s a certain energy when you’re young, as you know, as we all know, when we’re young, we’re really critical of everything. We think we know everything. You add that component to what I call the sophisticated skepticism of the Academy. And it’s a lethal combination because oftentimes universities are…they prize skepticism. It’s called critical thinking, but they don’t prize wisdom or truth. So they release that. They sort of reject the pursuit of truth, the acquisition of truth, the affirmation of truth. Critical thinking is the skill of every university that they prize. But you can’t have that alone. Human beings are moral. We are moral creatures. We’ve been created and designed to be moral people, and consequently we just don’t have critical thinking alone,wisdom and truth matter. So what you see today with these young people and the protests, they are affirming what they believe to be true. They’re affirming what they believe to be just and good. And it shows you a world designed for that. The dilemma is that what they are affirming to be true, just, is, quite frankly, broken. It’s not right.

[TD]
It’s interesting because as we watch these students, we’re like, how can you be filled with so much hate? But you make such good points. I mean, you’re really making me wrap my mind around this in a different way because I take myself back all those years to being at college in a university. My professors, I did lift them up. They were the experts. They were in this position of authority over me, and I was so respectful of that. So I think that if we peel back the layers, we say, okay, wait, these are students who are looking at authority figures and saying, I need to respect what they say and what they’re coming at me with, a source of love. Whereas we are seeing this as a source of hate, but they’re like, oh, you know, these people are so oppressed and, and I’ve learned that there is this great oppression from my university professors. And so I must come to the rescue of these people. So ultimately, I think human nature is that we are good, that we are taking care of others. It’s how human nature can be manipulated. And to your point, right, we have people that are on two different sides of this argument, and there is no easy way of looking at this. It’s not black and white. It’s what happens in the middle that is going to determine what happens in this region of the world. But this region of the world is very important to the rest of the globe, and so it does impact everything. I just have never really thought about it from the standpoint of how I mean, even if I look at my girls now in fifth and seventh and freshman year of high school, when I look at the way they think of their teachers, their teachers are right. They come home and they love to share what their teachers have told them. You know, like I learned this today. And so why would that change? Just because you go from 18 to 19, you know, so if you make a great point that we’re not really considering. But then to go to that point, if you are in a position of being the president of a university the size of a University of Michigan or the size of a Columbia University, how do you know what’s happening in these lecture halls with these professors? And how do you make sure that you’re not radicalizing the next class of students to graduate?

[GMR]
Yeah, I mean, it’s a great question. It’s hard work. I mean, I don’t envy these presidents, being a college president. It’s hard work. You have to implement a number of things. I mean, number one, you have to have a real mission and vision for what it means to educate moral people, moral leaders, right, to educate the whole human person. That’s really, really important. And if you emphasize that alone, I mean, if I were to go through a significant number of what I call curricular, many universities, one of the things they all have in common is critical thinking. That’s almost the emphasis that you always hear… critical thinking. Years ago I did a search, trying to find out if any university prized the word wisdom. I couldn’t find it. I’m sure there were some out there, but rarely. Critical thinking is the key. But critical thinking is one skill. But it’s not the end. If all you and I do are critical and think critically, but we don’t know how to affirm truth, we don’t know how to discern what is true and false, we don’t know how to grasp it and pursue it, then all we’re left with is a skepticism and an end and a moral ambiguity about everything. And so what I see now in this protest oftentimes is a lot of ambiguity no moral reasoning, no discerning of truth from, you know, falsehood and just this passion cry out for justice, but no wisdom as to what that means, how to define, how do we talk about it? How do we discern none of that? There is just a skepticism, critical thinking, ambiguity, and ideology that can’t really explain itself and is not willing to consider, you know, a moral framework. That’s part of the challenge. I think universities that have taken the moral education of their students very, very seriously and develop the appropriate curriculum and guidelines for that in the General Education Core and majors. But I will tell you, Tudor, that’s really hard for many universities to do. I remember years ago, speaking to the director of assessment of one of the top public universities in the country. Okay, I’m not going to name which ones, but from the top five public universities in the country. I called them and I asked them, how do you all do general education at this university? What are the guidelines? What are the outcomes? What are the parameters? He said this to me. I’ll never forget it. He said, “Gerson, we really don’t do that here -what you’re asking us, because it would be, ‘a bloodbath among the faculty’.”

[TD]
Wow.

[GMR]
Which was his way of telling me if they began to speak about parameters and outcomes for what is a poor education, there will be a little civil war within the faculty, because no one wants to agree to what that is. So you leave it open.

[TD]
It’s so bizarre because if you come to work at a company and you have a mission, you all work toward that mission, right? But to think that you can’t have control over the people who are essentially a part of this family, a part of this community, this is a community of educators coming together, it should be a common goal. And whether you are in medical school or in the arts and sciences, you should still have a common goal of having a student prepared for life. And I think that’s something that struck me when I sat down with you and talked about Cornerstone University, is that it’s like we are educating the soul, we are educating the mind. We are preparing them to go out into life and I think that the students that I’ve seen talking recently that are in this radical state of, you know, this is what I believe in, this has to be it. They don’t seem confident in that discussion. They don’t seem calm, they don’t seem rational, and they don’t seem ready to go out and have that conversation. You made a good point. Earlier you talked about the ability to have that debate, to have that conversation. And interestingly, I think that both sides I will even say that on our side recently as school came out and they said to students, you have to debate on the side of Hamas and you have to debate on the side of Israel. And the mother, one of the mothers said, I want my child to be on the side of Israel. And they said, you know, sorry about your luck. This is how it is, and this is how we discuss things, and this is how we teach children to think critically. I mean, it’s not just thinking. You have to actually be able to dig in and like you said, search for truth. And so it has to be more than surface level. And I think a lot of these discussions that we’ve had lately are surface level. We’re not putting ourselves in their shoes. We’re not fully understanding on both sides. And so I think even on the right, there has been a shut down of critical thinking. If we don’t like it, we want it out of our sight. We want to move it away. And that is not helping our young people to actually explore these conversations and open their mind to, okay, why does this side feel this way? And can I argue for that? And what does it make me feel inside? Do I feel like I’m not telling the truth by arguing for that side? But we have become a society that wants to shut down rather than dig deep.

[GMR]
And I think you have to. And look, as I’ve said to you, I’m concerned about critical thinking along with truth. So there are just certain things that are fundamentally wrong that no, no amount of debate should change our mind about how evil they are – murdering innocent people is wrong, right? Sexually abusing individuals in war is wrong, right? Killing innocent people as they sleep in bed is wrong. It is what it is. It’s wrong. And no amount of debate should somehow sway my mind. “Well, it was justified in this one situation.” It never is, wrong is wrong. So I think we have to be able to have these conversations, but also be able to affirm and defend. Certain wrongs are always wrong and there are certain rights that are always right. The dilemma is that in today’s world with students, they’re unable to accept that right. My position is always right. It can’t ever be wrong. Well, that’s just not accurate. So our ability to help students understand that and work through that and perhaps change their moral reasoning, change their worldview, adjust so it’s more true, not less true. Right. We just don’t do that. We don’t spend time with that. Students don’t want that. Here’s my sort of fast food drive through solution to the problem. There it is.

It’s much more complicated. Yeah I think there’s another issue that’s driving this, Tudor. I think that there are, as you mentioned, there are injustices all over the world, challenges and we’re crying out for solutions for all of them. But human history tells us that those solutions are never going to be perfect to these fundamental sins and evils and injustices of the world, and as a Christian institution, we’re committed to the belief that only when in God’s kingdom of eternity in the gospel can real peace be brought, real healing come and real solutions arrive. Until that happens, we are left with trying to find the best solutions that advance righteousness and goodness. I think a lot of generations and young people today don’t understand that and don’t grapple with that reality. We want our solution because we think it’ll be perfect. Okay, it really seldom is. It’s complicated.

[TD]
I think it’s a hard thing for society right now because we have a generation who has stepped away from faith, and we have, I believe, a lot of parents who are fighting to get back. There are a lot of people who have kind of seen that that is moral. That is the way, that is the path. You know, that is how you can get through hardships and how you are led to keep moving forward and how you are led toward light. And I think that there is a movement. I mean, we’ve seen some of these movies that have taken off that have been faith based. And I think there is a movement and I would say almost mistakenly, some people have really pushed for the government to come in and say, I’ll pay for whatever school you want. And I know this is a controversial statement, but I believe that as parents, we need to look at our child’s education and say, where are they getting the same values that they are getting at home? Because right now, at five years old, I’m sending my child, and if you’re in Michigan, it’s going to be even younger that they’re going to try to get your child for eight hours a day. I’m going to send my child away to someone else eight hours a day. And is that person going to be speaking into them? The same things that we are speaking into them at home. And I’ve been a proponent for many years now. If you have values in your family that you think are key to life, the key to success and however you see success, and success may just be having great faith and having love and caring for others. If you have those values, invest in your child’s education. Look at where they’re going to elementary school, middle school, high school. But most of all, do not think my child is 18. They are adults, and now it’s time for me to let them go and not have an influence over what happens to them in the next four years of their education. Really sit down and have these discussions like we’re having today with the faculty. And if the president of your university will sit down with you, sit and talk, go to the meetings and ask these questions. How do you talk to my child about morality? How do you talk to my child about critical thinking? What is happening to the kids that graduate from your university? Because I think it’s so it’s something we hadn’t thought about. We kind of took for granted that it was the best university. It has a great name. It has people getting great jobs out of this university. But what are they like? What is their soul like once they leave these universities? I’ve been saying this for a long time. I still believe that as a parent, you need to sit back and look at what’s happening in your schools, in your universities, where your kids are and say, my greatest investment is them. They are the future. They are what takes the next generation into faith. And I need to make sure they have that built up, that foundation, built up.

[GMR]
I think one of the challenges has been our country, as wonderful and beautiful as it is, is that we speak and prize freedom, but we don’t prize a moral framework that goes with it. It should go with it. And that’s the challenge. So you have 18-year-olds going and they’re free to think what they want to think, learn what they want to learn. And we’re free at a university to teach you anything we want to teach you but for no moral framework, no real guidance about what is true and good and right and beautiful and wise. That’s a significant problem. But the problem also starts farther behind all the way when the children were younger. And last year we did that. We have this wonderful forum here called Wisdom Conversations and we looked at the apparent decline of Christianity within the United States. And there’s a lot of data coming out of the Pew forum that by 2050 or so, Christians may be a significant minority in the United States because of the rise of the “nones” and the agnostic and atheist and so on and so forth, a significant decline, I think, was back in the early 80s, it was 91% Christian, just projected in 2015, maybe 30% or less. Right? A Christian designation here in the US. And one of the top reasons Pew discovered for this was that families are unwilling or just don’t pass on their faith to their kids as parents. So what you’re seeing now, it really begins in the home. It’s easy for us to critique institutions, and we should. I mean, no, we have, as you mentioned, a lot of public funding is going to universities and we need to hold them accountable. But the problem starts much, much, much earlier. You also have the rise now, especially growing and growing and growing, the LGBTQ transgender issues that we’re struggling and wrestling with as a country. The debate about should parents be involved in the sexual identity formation of their kids, with parents saying no, we shouldn’t be, let the child decide. There’s a question in Europe now. It’s a question here. So I think that whereas at the University, education is so important, and I will tell your listeners, please invest in good institutions, good universities. We need your support. It’s not time to leave. It’s time to invest and get into the trenches with us. And let’s build and maintain great universities like Cornerstone and others. We need that, but we also have to look at our homes. I will tell you, because in our homes is where a lot of this begins, when parents are willing to say, let the kids decide. I’ve spoken with parents who say, who are Christian, who will say, we’re not going to share our faith with our kids. Let them make their own decision.

[TD]
Right. Yes, I’ve heard this same thing. And yet, why is your child’s salvation not your highest concern?

[GMR]
So that presents a significant problem because a child without a moral framework, but a lot of freedom will oftentimes go in the wrong direction simply because we as human beings are all significantly compromised morally.

[TD]
I mean, there’s so many times when I’ve seen this in my generation, it’s what, I can’t talk about their health with them, because I don’t want to give them a complex. I can’t push my religion on them. I don’t want to push my politics on them. I don’t want to push this on them. But these are your children. Don’t you want to give them the right path? Don’t you want to lead them toward Christ? I mean, How can you ever say, I don’t want to lead them toward Christ? Because that’s what you’re saying. If you’re saying I don’t want to push my religion on them, you’re saying I don’t want to be the one that leads them to Christ. And that’s fully against the Gospel. That’s exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. I mean, these are the people that you have the most ability to lead to Christ, and then they can lead others. It’s like, these are your seeds. Plant them and watch them grow.

[GMR]
Absolutely. So, I mean, we have something here called Golden Eagle Days at Cornerstone and we bring prospective families and prospective students to campus. And, I mean, we’ve had some great attendance this past year, students and their families will come and we have the opportunity to share Cornerstone with them. And I go through something that we call the CU Promise, Cornerstone University’s promise to you, I speak about the basic core principles that guide our university, and one of the things I share with them is that we’re not nominally Christian, that Jesus Christ and the gospel and the Word really are central to who we are. We will give you the best academics. We want to ensure that when you graduate Cornerstone, you are steps ahead of your competitors and peers who are graduating from other universities. In terms of the body of knowledge you’re learning and your professional competencies and all these really important things that you need to have to be able to thrive in the market. But we say this to them, we are going to integrate a sophisticated Christian worldview in everything we do. In your courses, in your student experience, in athletics and every space of this campus, because the Christian worldview is true, it’s good and beautiful and our country desperately needs it. And that message so resonated with me last year, and I’ve been doing it for many years at other institutions. But Tim Keller passed away last year, and the last piece that Tim Keller wrote appeared in The Atlantic magazine. This is not a conservative magazine, right? But they published his last article, and he passed away a few days after it was published. Beautiful piece. And in that piece he speaks about the importance of the Christian worldview for America. It was a really incredible thing that they published that essay. And in the middle of the essay, he says basically this, the Christian worldview is so important for the United States, not just because it works, because it does work, but because it’s true. And this is why we do what we do here at Cornerstone. So it’s not about the president. It’s not about anybody here on this campus. It’s about proclaiming the beauty of God’s truth in a sophisticated way. They prepare students to be influencers in the world for Jesus Christ. I mean great professionals, but also great human beings wherever they go. And that’s what fuels this place. And I think the more universities can do that, the more transformation will happen in our country.

[TD]
Hmhm no better person to be an influencer than Jesus Christ. Amazing. That’s an amazing way to think about it, is to go out there and be an influencer for the I Am, I mean, amazing, I just want to say before I let you go, we had recently at our school had an auction and there was a Cornerstone basket where it had a Cornerstone water bottle and a Cornerstone sweatshirt. I was sent to the auction from the house with the girls saying, this is your goal. You get this. And so I fought for the basket and I won. And then one of the other moms came up to me, she’s like, you are the one that I was bidding against for this basket. She said, what? I have a kid there. Why did you want this? And I said, because I have four kids and they want to go there. And so I came home successful and they were like, yes, they were very excited.

[GMR]
And there’s an auction on campus to get you to bid on it, because I think it will raise a lot that way.

[TD]
Yes. Yeah. But you should. Yeah. I mean, and that auction night was great. It was so phenomenal. But I want you to know that my oldest said that my oldest, my middle daughter then fought over the sweatshirt like, no, it’s mine, it’s mine. And my oldest won, because she had school spirit week the next week and they had to wear a university sweatshirt. So of course that was what she was representing. So you were well represented at that Christian school here in Michigan, West Michigan.

00:39:06:00 – 00:39:08:21
[GMR]
We greatly appreciate Tudor. Thank you so much for your support.

[TD]
Absolutely. Thank you so much everybody. Check out Cornerstone University. It’s such a pleasure to have you here, Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, thank you so much for being on the podcast today.

[GMR]
Thank you for the opportunity. Thank you for all you do. And thank you so much.

[TD]
Yes, and thank you all for joining us on the Tudor Dixon Podcast. For this episode and others, head over to Tutor Dixon podcast.com. You can subscribe right there or go to the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And join us next time. Have a blessed day!

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