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Opinion

September 19, 2011

In Their Own Words: Faithful leadership for the common good

The following is excerpted from the text of Gordon College President D. Michael Lindsay inaugural address delivered Friday, Sept. 16, on the college's campus in Wenham.

I have spent the last eight years interviewing senior leaders in government, business and nonprofit life. My research seeks to explore how senior leaders use the resources at their disposal to advance human flourishing and to serve the common good.

My very first interview was with Dr. Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, in 2003, and I conducted the final interview with Harvard's president, Drew Faust, two months ago.

In between, I logged 400,000 miles traveling from Bar Harbor, Maine, to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. I interviewed presidents, titans of industry, celebrity icons and chief executives of the nation's largest firms.

Yet as I began to analyze the data, I realized that over half of all these interviews took place on the short stretch of land along I-95 from Washington, D.C., to Boston. This is what we sociologists refer to as the "power elite" corridor. It's home to the political, financial and intellectual capitals of the Western world.

Now that's significant to what we do here at Gordon because, as it turns out, we are the only nationally ranked Christian college on the I-95 power elite corridor. To the extent that Christian colleges can make a difference in the halls of power, Gordon College is uniquely placed to do precisely that.

Did you know that when Gordon's chapel services are held, it is the largest evangelical gathering in New England? Gordon is the largest evangelical employer in the area and for nearly 125 years, working with our colleagues and friends at Gordon-Conwell Seminary, Gordon College has produced tens of thousands of leaders for the church in New England and around the world. In sum, we are the flagship evangelical institution in the global capital of higher education.

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