Dr. Roderick C. Meredith (June 21, 1930–May 18, 2017), the founder of Living University and Presiding Evangelist of the Living Church of God, served as the chair of the Board of Regents of Living University and as a senior faculty member. Below is a statement of his vision for the University and its students.
Over the last century, the colleges and universities of the Western world have become increasingly secular. With few exceptions, they have not retained God in their knowledge. Their focus is on expanding students’ knowledge of the material world through application of the scientific method, and on preparing them to live and work in the pluralism of a global society. The faculty in these institutions infuse young men and women with in-depth secular understanding, goals and ideals. Students in these institutions may learn how to earn a living and to navigate the political realities of the world, but do not learn how to live in a godly sense.
Charles H. Malik, former president of the United Nations General Assembly, once said:
In his distinctive style, Dr. Malik captures the heart of the raison d’être for Living University. His words yield a strategic vision for the future. They set a challenge for a new institution of higher learning that is uniquely Christ-centered.
At Living University, where “The Word of God Is the Foundation of Knowledge,” we encourage our students to learn and apply in their lives the true, eternal values revealed by God in His written word. We seek to instill in our students a sense of purpose and to enable them to achieve a values-based education that meets their immediate and lifelong needs. This includes opportunity for personal and spiritual development, as well as formal preparation for career success.
Jesus Christ said, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4; cf. Deuteronomy 8:3). At Living University we encourage all of our students to do this. The Apostle Paul taught that the people of God would be “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ...” (II Corinthians 10:5). Accordingly, we believe there is primarily one place to look to find the answers for successful life―within the revealed word of God.
At Living University, in all we do, we challenge each other to fulfill our motto, “Recapture True Values,” by demonstrating our core values of leadership, service, commitment, integrity, excellence, culture and creativity. These values are embedded in God’s Way of Life as detailed in the Bible. Now does this mean that we reject advances in knowledge, ignore the arts and humanities, isolate ourselves from society, hold our culture in contempt and eschew the sciences? Of course not.
We live and function in an interdependent world. Accordingly, we believe that a university education should include not only developing a personal understanding of the underlying purpose and meaning of human life, but a mastery of needed secular knowledge and development of critical thinking skills as well. The foundation to do so, however, necessitates internalizing the worthwhile values, wisdom and understanding embedded in the Bible—the missing dimension in education.
A higher education that enables students to live happily and successfully, and assists them in preparing for careers, does not ignore engineering, mathematics and the sciences. These are not mutually exclusive, irreconcilable quests. Realize, however, that the branch of human knowledge that we call science deals with physical phenomena and the natural world sustained by laws which God created.
Science is confined to a study of the material universe and can never arrive at absolute truth. Understanding the things of God is beyond the scope of scientific inquiry. Science does not distinguish moral from immoral, nor good from evil. Science cannot determine whether or not God exists. It cannot explain God’s nature or the purpose of human life. However, that vital information is revealed in God’s word—the Holy Bible.
This, then, accounts for the founding of Living University. The University exists to educate men and women in the skills, concepts, and values that lead to success in life, while helping them prepare for successful careers, leadership and worthwhile service to God and humanity. It is a university which, as Dr. Malik stated, seeks to “enable Christ to bless it and act and feel perfectly at home in it.”
—Roderick C. Meredith, Th.D.