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Grand Canyon University is a private institution located in Arizona. It was established in the year 1949 as an influential Christian University. Its ability to offer high quality education in varied programs online is recognized in the whole region. Grand Canyon University has various colleges where it offers masters, bachelors and doctorate degrees in varied fields e.g. the Ken Blanchard College. Some of the programs offered include education, nursing, health sciences, fine arts and production together with liberal arts. It stresses individual attention for both traditional and the working groups of students.
Grand Canyon was set up at the end of the world war two as a dream come true for the small groups of Baptists who were referring to Arizona mission frontier as their residence. Their mission started way back in 1946 when the Baptist conference of Arizona resorted to start a college. They established a board of directors and after sometime they found out an abandoned building in Arizona which became its first college. Their mission was to prepare learners to be worldwide citizens who posses the ability to make wise decisions, communicate effectively and posses admirable leadership qualities. This could be achieved through offering a tough curriculum founded on values from Christian traditions. Its vision is to provide knowledge to people so as to be able to take leadership positions and provide the required services. Grand Canyon University has a curriculum that is designed to give students necessary knowledge and skills which are looked-for in the work place (Grand Canyon University, n.d.).
Today Grand Canyon University is one of the leading bible training institutions in the United States. Their mission statement goes hand in hand with the thoughts that the founders had when they put up the institution. First, they aimed at training its students to acquire various skills and be able to acquire international recognition due to their skills of critical thinking, communication and leadership. Its curriculum has been designed to enable individuals to develop their personal values. The culture of Grand Canyon University is defined through reflection of the relationship that members have with Christ. This is in consistence with the founders who were a group of Baptists (Balmer, 2004).
The curriculum entails the teaching of Christian values which forms the basis of living a good life. They believe in Socrates idea that states that a life that has not been examined is not important to be lived. To continue the principles of its foundation, they have a university statement of faith that defines faith as the fountain of their Christian tradition. It therefore does not matter the denomination that one comes from but what is considered important is faith that one holds to. They are therefore living as a community united by their common belief in Jesus Christ just like the community of the founders (Leavengood, 2004).
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There are also four pillars that form the guiding principles. The first pillar is Academic advancement which guides students on academic matters. It encourages students to expand knowledge and skills that enables them to live in a competitive world. The second pillar is Christian camaraderie which specifies the relationship that exists between students and the entire community. The third pillar is extracurricular excellence which details the importance of engaging in extracurricular activities that enhances student interaction. The fourth pillar is wellness & well-being which emphasizes the importance of healthy living. These pillars enable them to live in peace with people from other denominations. They are focused on academic achievement, becoming a Christian community, engaging in extra curricula activities and living a healthy life. These are also in accordance to the founding community.
Some of the values that I hold to as an individual include living in harmony with the group of people that you are together in a place. The ability to respect an individual's opinion in a group is of great importance and the ability to recognize individual differences. The university's statement emphasizes the importance of living together as a community which agrees with my values. The other value is being able to accept different individuals and their abilities (Peterson's & Snider, 2009).
The university values disagree with my principles; especially when they put more emphasis on the belief in Christ and that the community is based on the belief one has in Christ. One quality that an individual must posses before being admitted is having faith in Christ. To reconcile this I understand that there are individual differences and therefore I have to respect the belief that an individual has.
I believe that I am able to fit into the culture and traditions of the GCU community, since I value how they are able to accommodate different individuals from different denominations and live together in unity. Though there are few differences with the values that they hold, I believe I will be able to cope with their traditions.
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