“Four Shared Core Values” featured article in the Johnson Magazine, David L. Eubanks, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer, Johnson University Florida identifies four core values both Johnson University campuses share.
Since I have been in Florida as the chief operating officer of Johnson University Florida, I have been reassuring the students, alumni and supporters of this institution (formerly Florida Christian College) that the founding principles that gave this institution its identity have been preserved and, I believe, strengthened by its merger into Johnson University. As I see it, there are four core values that both FCC and JU shared at the time they became one.
The first is reflected by the motto of Florida Christian College, “Strong in the Scriptures.”
Both institutions have been known for having a strong Bible faculty. Both institutions have required a Bible major in all undergraduate academic programs, regardless of the professional field of service. Both institutions have held firmly to the inspiration and integrity of the Bible and have required faculty commitment to that principle. This core value will continue to define Johnson University Florida.
A second founding principle that both have shared is a commitment to the education of students for vocational Christian ministries.
Johnson Tennessee continues to have approximately 40% of her male undergraduate students enrolled on one of two preaching programs. The fastest growing curricular program in percentage of student increase is the Intercultural Studies (formerly Missions) program. Education of students for vocational Christian ministries will continue at Johnson University Florida, even as academic programs are offered in areas with less traditional ministry focus.
A third core value that both institutions have held in common is a firm adherence to the principles of the Restoration Movement, now called the Stone-Campbell Movement.
Faculties of both institutions are expected to hold to these principles, not as equal with scripture, but as what Walter Scott called our “polar star” that keeps us on course in the murky waters of relativism and rejection of biblical authority. This core value will remain a watchword of Johnson University Florida.
The fourth core value that marked both institutions uniquely is “family.”
I started hearing that word from students, faculty, staff, and alumni the minute I walked onto the campus of Florida Christian College. Jokingly (halfway), I told them that Johnson “wrote the book on family.” Johnson was established on a farm with students working on the farm to help pay their fees, living together, studying together, worshipping together, and growing together. Even today, most of the full-time faculty, staff, and students live on campus. Perhaps that is one of the reasons the spirit of Johnson alumni is envied by those of other institutions. So I have assured those who love and revere FCC that this core value will remain a vital part of Johnson University Florida.
Dr. David Eubanks holds A.B. and M.Th. degrees from Johnson University and B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Tennessee. He served as the minister of the Woodlawn Christian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, and as a professor at Johnson University before becoming president in 1969. Serving as president for 38 years, he retired in 2007 but continued to represent the University as president emeritus. In 2013 Dr. Eubanks came out of retirement to help guide the process of the merger with Florida Christian College and begin the new chapter of Johnson University Florida as their chief operating officer. He has served as officer and board member of several national educational and church association agencies. Dr. Eubanks has traveled and spoken worldwide, serving and encouraging missionaries, churches, and alumni of Johnson University. His writings include numerous historical, biblical, and devotional articles, as well as a Bible study on the book of Hebrews. He and his wife Margaret have three children: David Jr. (Kim), Philip (Nancy), and Linnie (Mark) Kearns, and five grandchildren.