Alum Honored during Christian Higher Education Month

Fri, 2012-07-27 08:59 -- univcomm
The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) mission statement is “to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth.” One Anderson University alumnus, John Pistole, Deputy Director of the FBI, has personified this statement and recently received the honor of outstanding alumni from the CCCU during Christian Higher Education Month. Applicants were nominated from the 105 member institutions. From that pool, 21 were chosen in five fields of expertise: government and law, arts and entertainment, community and society, science and technology, and business. Each alum attributes his or her success to the experiences at a CCCU higher education institution. Research indicates that in addition to experiencing quality scholarly training, 90 percent of CCCU alumni believe their college helped them develop a sense of purpose in life. CCCU first designated the month in 1999 to celebrate the impact Christian campuses are having on their students and on society.

“We are honored that John Pistole is being recognized as an outstanding graduate among the faith-based colleges and universities of this country,” said Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University. “John is among our most accomplished graduates contributing their skills and abilities in significant ways on behalf of our country. I often ask our graduates in various graduate schools around the country, ‘How are you doing? Did we prepare you well for your next challenge?’ And I most often hear, ‘I've been well prepared.’ Of course, the lives of service across the years tell the success story of the Christian college mission.”

Since joining the FBI in 1983, Pistole was appointed to the agency’s “number two” position in August 2004 and recently took over for retired Deputy Director Bruce J. Gebhardt on October 1, 2004. Pistole position is the highest level an agent can attain within the Federal Bureau of Investigation without a presidential appointment.

“Anderson’s program instills and fosters a sense of service,” said Pistole. “Anderson encouraged the idea that we should be doing our work for a higher purpose.”

Throughout Pistole’s career, he has led FBI training, worked for the Counterterrorism Division and was the Executive Assistant Director for Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence. Pistole has also increased staffing in FBI’s counterterrorism from less than 200 staff to more than 1000 today.

An alumnus like Pistole is the reason the CCCU began acknowledging October as Christian Higher Education Month because he is one of many examples of students and alumni across the nation who has made an impact in society.

"We established Christian Higher Education Month to raise awareness of and increase recognition for the vital role that Christian higher education plays in the process of transforming culture," said CCCU President Dr. Robert Andringa. "It's time to highlight the contribution our member campuses are making in the world around us."

Founded in 1976, the CCCU has grown into an international association of Christ-centered colleges and universities. The Council has 105 members in North America (three in Canada) as well as 69 affiliates in 24 countries. Members are fully accredited, four-year comprehensive institutions with curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. CCCU campuses are intentional about helping students understand the world from a faith perspective.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, there is about 4,000 degree-granting institutions of higher education in the United States alone. Approximately 1,600 of those are private, nonprofit campuses and about 900 of these colleges are self-defined as “religiously affiliated.” However, only 105 intentionally Christ-centered institutions in the U.S. have qualified for membership in the CCCU.

With 65 employees and hundreds of volunteers, the CCCU provides more than 100 programs and services to fulfill the association’s mission and to meet the needs of Christian colleges and universities.

Anderson University—a member of the CCCU—is a private, liberal arts, Christian institution of approximately 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, the university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs of study in theology, business, nursing, and education.

--Writer Stefanie Kinstle is a studetn assistant in the Office of Media and Electronic Communications