The Most Important Task

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Evangel – Fall 2016


Dr. Stan HeltonWhen I was exploring the opportunity to work as ABC’s president, I called every president of colleges and universities I knew (even remotely). I wanted to collect all the wisdom I could from their experiences to gain some sense of what I might be getting myself into.

One president, a life-long friend of mine, gave me this nugget that I have taken to heart. In our conversation, he said (as I remember it), “Stan, do you know what I consider my most important task?” I did not—that is why I was calling him! He answered, “Hiring the staff and faculty that will shape the minds of young people for generations to come.” I took a deep breath; I might have even gasped. ABC's Mission StatementSuddenly the job seemed huge.

When it comes to bringing on new faculty and staff, I’m looking for a number of things: technical expertise (they know their stuff); character formation (they are people of integrity); work ethic (they know how to get the job done); and, importantly, Christian commitment (they have a deep commitment to Christ and his people). But I have found one litmus test that brings this all together: “What kind of people do we wish our students to become?” Then that’s the kind of people we need influencing and teaching them.

ABC Staff Fall 2016

Stan is the current president of ABC, and has recently joined us with his wife, Pat Helton. They have one daughter Rachel, who is married. She and her husband just finished a short-term mission trip to Zambia. Rachel is completing her Masters in Theology through Abilene Christian University. Stan has earned degrees from Oklahoma Christian University (BA), Abilene Christian University (MS, MDiv, DMin), and the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (ThM, PhD). He has served in a variety of ministry settings including New Orleans and Chicago; he taught for six years at Western Christian College in Regina, Saskatchewan where he also served as Dean. Pat is a teacher whose specialty is Adapted Physical Education. She has served people with special needs most of her career, most recently among the urban poor of New Orleans. Stan and Pat are excited to have returned to Canada and seeing what God will do with them next in this mission.