Andrews University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with nonprofit Buckner International. The collaboration, which will formally launch in September, will offer professional development as well as graduate study and degree options for Buckner International’s professional staff, and it will offer Andrews University students the opportunity to learn and serve in the context of Buckner International’s mission-driven outreach to vulnerable and needy children, family, and seniors.
This joint venture has the purpose of developing leaders according to the “Leading with a Servant Heart in a team environment” model articulated by Buckner International, and it will be based on the unique philosophy of the Andrews University School of Leadership, which is biographically anchored, service-driven, individualized, and competency-based, providing participants the opportunity to reflect on their practices from a Christian perspective.
The School of Leadership has a strong emphasis on lifelong learning, biblical ethics, and a commitment to service to God and the community. Furthermore, it is anchored in the latest scholarship, preparing leaders to make research-based decisions and helping them develop into leaders from inside out as they fulfill the Andrews University mission to Seek Knowledge, Affirm Faith, and Change the World.
Bordes Henry Saturné, chair of the School of Leadership, notes that the start of this new collaboration coincides with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Andrews University Leadership program, whose alumni serve with distinction around the world in faith-based organizations, the healthcare industry, school districts, universities, nonprofits, government offices, and various private businesses.
Buckner International is a ministry dedicated to the transformation and restoration of the lives we serve. It is a Christ-centered organization with the mission “to follow the example of Jesus by serving vulnerable children, families, and seniors.” Buckner was launched in 1879 when Robert Cooke “Father” Buckner founded Buckner Orphans Home in Dallas after seeing the needs of hurting and orphaned children in post-Civil War Texas.
Andrews University was established in 1874 in Battle Creek, Michigan, as Battle Creek College. It later moved to Berrien Springs, Michigan, where it was renamed Andrews University in 1960. It is now one of the most internationally and ethnically diverse national universities in the country.
The collaboration between Buckner and Andrews was formalized in May and was signed by Andrews University representatives Christon Arthur, provost, and Alayne Thorpe, dean of the College of Education & International Services (which houses the School of Leadership), and by Albert Reyes, the sixth president and CEO of Buckner International.
Reyes earned his PhD in leadership at Andrews University in 2009. He has authored two books, “The Jesus Agenda: Becoming an Agent of Redemption” (Believers Press, 2015) and “Hope Now: Peace, Healing, and Justice When the Kingdom Comes Near” (Iron Stream Books, 2019). Reyes said he is “so excited to launch this program” and he is “looking forward to great things via Andrews University.”