At a time when Christian colleges and universities are under intense pressure, students at Biola University a private Christian school in Southern California, will soon be offered courses on how the Holy Spirit works in the world today.
"I believe this center will play a critical role in strengthening Biola University in the midst of the challenges we face in a rapidly changing, secularizing context," said Biola University President, Barry H. Corey. "We need to tap into the Spirit's power in our own campus and celebrate His movement in the wider world. Christian higher education demands not just intellectual development but spiritual formation, not just rational inquiry but supernatural encounter."
According to the school's website, the soon-to-be-established, "Center for the Study of the Work and Ministry of the Holy Spirit Today," will be a training ground for students and faculty who want a great infusion of the Spirit's enablement to be more effective in evangelism, global mission, praying for the sick, bringing deliverance to the oppressed and defeating the power of sin."
"Biola wants to learn from the extraordinary ways that the Spirit is working globally and for our students to experience this empowerment to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ," said Clinton E. Arnold, dean of Talbot School of Theology.
He added, "We believe that this may indeed be a place where God pours out his Spirit in palpable ways that call us to bolder lives of obedience and service and evangelism."
The center will also be a home for biblical scholars who wish to provide greater attention to not just theology of the Holy Spirit but also the awakening and empowering of the Holy Spirit.
Anonymous donors for the new center noted Biola's long tradition of teaching the importance of God's word.
They were motivated to fund the project to balance the study of God's word with a renewed emphasis on the empowering work of the Holy Spirit.
Meanwhile, Biola's leaders hope the new training facility will make a difference in today's hostile and anti-Christian culture.
"We would be so bold as to pray and plan that through this project Biola would be a place where God would begin a revival the likes of which we have never seen and the impact of which would be globally felt, advancing the gospel around the world," the center's proposal document states.
The center is set to launch in the fall.