A Successful Student Takes a Village

by Rev. Nathan Huguley, Student Success Advisor

As the student success advisor to all of the diploma and masters-level students in our English programs, I spend a lot of time thinking about what the concept of “student success” looks like in Central’s context. Some obvious measures of it might be quantifiable like GPAs, retention rates, graduation rates, and placement rates. However helpful these numbers are for improving our students’ success rates, I do not believe that they are ultimately the most important markers for our students’ success. Instead, I believe that student success is tied more deeply to the calling of our institution.

“Central Seminary prepares leaders for seeking God, shaping church, and serving humanity and all creation.” That is our mission, and I believe that student success should be measured against that vision. In that sense, then, those of us on the student success team are not the only ones who spend most of our time focused on student success. The whole Central community works together toward student success: wise and learned faculty, hard-working staff, faithful board members, generous donors and benefactors, tireless volunteers, visionary administrators, loving churches and ministries that provide learning environments for our students, and even the students themselves who offer support and encouragement to one another. All of these different aspects of our community work together to form a vibrant ecosystem where the present and future leaders of the church come for their formation.

Each member and group in our community has a key role to play in this great work to which we are called. While some of us are focused on the quantitative data to continuously improve student success here, all of us work together to make our students successful in life, in scholarship, in leadership, in ministry. Thanks be to God for such important work for us to do.

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