June 20, 2024

Photo of Dr. Rebekah Pinchback
Dr. Rebekah Pinchback, dean of RCU’s School of Business and Technology

by Dr. Rebekah Pinchback
Dean, School of Business & Technology

In 2022, Rochester Christian University explored its heritage in the Churches of Christ and the Stone-Campbell Movement thanks to a grant received from the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education, a collection of 300 colleges and universities that supports and enriches vocational exploration and discernment among undergraduate students. 

I  was honored to chair a steering committee made up of faculty and staff to oversee this effort. Our goal was to paint a picture for our community so they could see their story inside of RCU’s story, and to see how that relates to God’s greater story.

An interfaith community committed to the way of Christ

RCU is an interfaith community with many different denominations represented, and we are committed to the way of Christ. My faith heritage is not in the Churches of Christ. I’ve been at this university for more than 15 years, and I’ve learned so much more about RCU’s story during this project. 

I relate the work of this committee to one of my favorite practices in the Bible — building up Ebenezers, stones of remembrance from Samuel 7, where after defeating the Philistines, Samuel raised his Ebenezer and declared that on this spot God defeated the enemy. I look at Rochester Retrospect as helping us look back and remember the things that God rescued us from and the blessings he has given us. 

This effort has included a collection of essays, publication of a book, symposiums for employees, chapel talks for students, and a couple of videos to share our story visually. 

Moving forward purposefully

Dr. Mark Love, director of RCU’s master’s degree in missional leadership, served on the committee, and he said we wanted “to engage our Church of Christ heritage not in order to go back to some golden past but to go forward purposefully carrying only the best parts that serve the future that God is calling us to.” 

As we build toward our future, we remain committed to being open thinkers and to continue serving God and others. My colleague, Dr. David Greer, a committee member and professor of history, said RCU is built upon a “lineage of open thinkers. We’re pulling out the most wonderful moments in our heritage and we’re using that to fully serve what we’re doing and then influence where we want to go tomorrow.” 

I hope you’ll follow along with us as we share summaries of these essays in future blog posts so that you can see how our story — and your story — fits into God’s story. 

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