The CCU Symposium, two days of all-campus lectures and workshops on a topic of urgent concern, held annually in the fall since 2009, addressed “Compassion for the Poor” in this year’s sessions on Oct. 11–12.
Major speakers included Robert Woodson, Andrew Romanoff, Lawrence Reed, and Paul Cleveland. CCU alumni working overseas in areas of extreme poverty reported by Skype. A showing of the documentary film “Waiting for Superman” pointed up the lack of educational opportunity as a critical factor in America’s poorest neighborhoods. A program review is here.
CCU President Bill Armstrong, an experienced business executive, longtime evangelist, and former US Senator, opened the Symposium on Tuesday morning with a survey of the human face of poverty around the world—including over a billion people who live on $1 a day—and a review of the biblical commands to help the poor, climaxing with Jesus’ promise and warning in Matthew 25.
Armstrong closed the Symposium at noon Wednesday with his own personal 10–point commitment for more active engagement with this burning issue. The points, on which he pledged to report again next Feb. 7, include:
- Pray regularly myself for the poor
- Urge others to pray for the poor
- Devote time at weekly CCU Cabinet meeting to prayers for the poor
- Open every CCU class for the next 7 days with prayers for the poor
- Engage CCU more fully with programs of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise
- Place CCU students in CNE Alabama internships
- Engage CCU students with the Mercy Ships ministry
- Form a CCU administration working group on serving the poor
- Double my financial support of charities that serve the poor
- Travel soon to Africa and Latin America to see extreme poverty firsthand