Advancing the Mission


For the thirteen years that I’ve been a professor at Bethlehem College & Seminary, the month of June has been fairly standard. May is always intense—finishing classes, administering final exams, preparing for commencement. After digging out from beneath the mountain of papers and submitting final grades, the month of June is a welcome change of pace. There is still work to be done—setting the summer meeting schedule, working on writing projects, cleaning out and reorganizing the office (not to mention coaching copious amounts of little league baseball). Yes, for thirteen years, June has been very typical.

June 2021 has been markedly different. To be sure, all of the typical items were there: grading papers on Shakespeare’s understanding of desire, Tolkien’s depiction of evil, and Dostoevsky’s portrayal of heroism in The Brothers Karamazov; working on some overdue writing projects, and, of course, coaching copious amounts of little league baseball. But in addition to the typical, June 2021 has brought significant changes. Instead of reorganizing my office, I packed up and moved it from our faculty office building to the fourth floor of Bethlehem’s Downtown campus. Instead of isolated writing projects, I’ve spent time developing a rhythm for more regular articles as a Teacher at And most significantly, instead of the typical summer meetings, June has been filled with preparations for a number of key gatherings that will mark the beginning of my tenure as President of Bethlehem College & Seminary. 

The first of those gatherings is happening right now, likely as you read this prayer letter. This weekend (June 25—26), I’m gathering with the Cabinet of the school for a series of meetings to set our course for the next three to five years. More of a Cabinet “Advance” rather than a Cabinet Retreat, our goal is to identify the key strategic initiatives that will guide us as we seek to fulfill our mission to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ by equipping men and women to treasure Christ above all things, to grow in wisdom and knowledge over a lifetime, and to glorify God in every sphere of life. Our hope and prayer is that these initiatives will give us valuable ways to measure our faithfulness and fruitfulness, as we seek God’s help in leading this remarkable school. 

With that in view, I’d like to invite you to pray for me, Rick Segal, Jason Abell, Brian Tabb, and Jonathon Woodyard as we plan for the future of the school. Pray that our love for Christ and his church would abound in knowledge and discernment so that we would recognize and approve what is good, better, and best when it comes to leading the school, all to the glory of God. 

Joe Rigney, Ph.D.


Prayer Requests:

  1. Pray for the continued rest and rejuvenation of our students and faculty.
  2. Pray for the Haines and Greever families as they move to Minneapolis and settle into a new community.
  3. Pray for Jonathon Woodyard and Darcy Enthoven as they continue to shepherd new students towards matriculation in the fall.
  4. Pray that the Lord would be pleased to direct just another $38,573 in generosity before June 30. With this final amount we will have, by his grace, reached for the first time since our founding the goal of raising $2.5 million to support 250 full-time students. Pray that it may be so, and whether you might be used of him in this purpose.