The Servant's Staff
Every college has a student handbook which defines life on campus. In other words, the rule book! At Appalachian Bible College, it's called the "Servant's Staff" because it is a tool—just like a shepherd's staff—to guide you in becoming a more effective servant of God and others.
The standards are meant to be a help, not a hindrance. Finding the right balance is accomplished through compassionate guidance and a constructive approach to nurturing character in light of God's Word. This begins with the Servant's Staff, which is organized around nine biblical character qualities:
- Humility - an attitude in relationship to God and to my fellow man, which manifests itself in a voluntary subordination to the will of another.
- Virtue - the moral excellence and purity of spirit that radiates from my life as I obey God's Word.
- Deference - limiting my freedom in order not to offend the tastes of those God has called me to serve.
- Discernment - recognizing subtle dangers that others overlook and then visualizing the consequences of those dangers.
- Courtesy - expressing through attitudes and actions my high esteem for others.
- Orderliness - preparing myself and my surroundings so that I will achieve the greatest efficiency.
- Stewardship - using wisely that which God has entrusted to me.
- Hospitality - cheerfully sharing food, shelter, and spiritual refreshment with those God brings into my life.
- Responsibility - knowing and doing what both God and others expect from me.
Occasionally, the intense atmosphere of college presents opportunities for counsel as character issues come to the surface. If you violate a standard, the student deans or resident assistants will call your attention to the character issue, as well as the reason and the scriptural basis for developing the applicable character quality. These talks are called "care-frontations" and are approached with compassion.
It is not the goal to point out every flaw in a student's life. Everyone is in the growing process. Not all standards in the Servant's Staff are based on the Bible; some are necessary due to the college setting. Nor are the College's standards equated with God's standards. It is exciting, however, to see growth in young men and women when they are shown from God's Word why He wants them to change an area in their life. Sometimes the transformation is dramatic and life-altering. The hope is that you will leave ABC as an experienced, trained servant ready to be used by God.