University Anchor Points
Dr. Milo Rediger served as Taylor’s President from 1959 to 1960, and from 1965 to 1975. He is widely regarded as Taylor’s most revered and consequential president. During his long service to the University he authored an article describing the foundational principles upon which the University has operated since its founding in 1846 and to which it remains committed. These principles, then and now described as Taylor’s Anchor Points, remain descriptive of the University’s educational philosophy, program, and aspirations. Taylor’s Anchor Points, as first identified by Dr. Rediger, are listed below:
- Biblically Anchored
- Christ Centered
- Faith Learning Integrated
- Liberal Arts Grounded
- World Engaging
- Whole Person Focused
- Servant-Leader Motivated
The Staley Foundation had just given funds to Taylor to underwrite the cost of the Staley Distinguished Lecturer Program (Spiritual Renewal Week). With his receipt from the Development Office, Mr. Thomas Staley received a copy of Anchor Points, an adaptation of President Rediger’s newspaper editorial that won him a Freedoms Foundation Award. It so happened that about the same time Mr. Staley received a printed address by a valedictory student at a major Eastern university. The contrast between the two messages, one of negativism and despair, and the other, Dr. Rediger’s Anchor Points, prompted the executive to send another gift to Taylor: 1250 shares of common stock valued at $36,875.00 to permanently endow the lecture series. Deeply moved, Mr. Staley commented to his wife, “Here’s the question in one hand and the answer in the other. I’d like to make this answer visible to as many campuses as I can.”
Dr. Rediger's Anchor Points is included below.
Imagine yourself in the Apollo 15 Moon landing ship, Falcon, dropping toward Hadley Rille. At 150 feet you see a little dust. Then one hundred feet farther down the “little” becomes a cloud, closing in like a thick blanket. The rest of the way you are on IFR—Instrument Flight Rules.
The IFR approach functioned smoothly as we know. Yet society today in the dust, fog and smoke of a difficult period foolishly abandoning its IFR in far more serious matters, scrapping verities and virtues, the very focal points around which we might build vital solutions. What a mistake! If, as its critics charge, our generation has failed, it has failed exactly in the measure that individuals, homes, churches, and other institutions of society have failed to advocate, illustrate and demonstrate in life-styles the positive absolutes we know are essential.
At Taylor University we are deeply concerned about what we can do to change some of the trends and stop some of the erosion of values. We are committed to building on anchor points, which have to do with faith, with learning, with behavior, with the satisfying experience which we know as meaningful self-fulfillment.
We make no bones about it. At Taylor we are committed to helping young people develop a sense of morality and a set of values. We declare for respect for authority. We believe that authority should be identified and proper attitude should be restored. We reject the voice that loudly justifies admittedly miserable means by alleged enlightened ends. We do not believe that violence is necessary to attract attention.
We believe that clear moral and spiritual absolutes based on divine revelation must always be anchor-points if we are to enjoy the favor of God and the confidence of men. A world in which anything goes will ultimately be a world in which nothing goes—and today’s society has moved far down the road in that direction.
This does not mean that we at Taylor think living can or should be reduced to formulae. It is oversimplification to call every area of life either black or white. Reason, understanding and honest discussion must be brought to bear on these broad and complex areas of non-absolutes. This is true Christian education as contrasted with indoctrination which is neither good teaching nor good Christianity.
We see morality as vital to human behavior, discipline as necessary to self-development and hard work as essential to self-fulfillment. Ultimately it is the individual himself who must reject a weak and destructive permissiveness in relation to sex, drugs, the destruction of property, the belief that the way to achieve one’s ends is to generate personal pressure.
We are looking for young people who are willing to stand up and be counted for God. We acknowledge Him as Creator and Sustainer of the Universe and Jesus Christ, His Son, as Savior of sinners. Granted, faith alone is not enough. Yet a proper view of God, a belief in the Bible as the Word of God and a willingness to flow through the implications of His sovereignty are a very solid foundation. It can and must be the first step in regaining something that the American people have largely lost in an age of permissiveness, affluence and worsening of human relations.
Therefore, the religious, the Christian, is basic to the Taylor pattern, the Taylor concept. Notice we do not say the Taylor mold. It is not our purpose to force anyone into a mold. But we do challenge every newcomer to our campus to understand and participate in the Taylor concept.
Our aim is to express these emphases with a minimum of rules and a maximum of life-style and example. We are convinced that building relationships—with God, with peers, with professors and with oneself—is basic to whatever goals a students may need or wish to achieve. All our efforts are geared to helping the student establish these relationships.
The properly functioning university is a catalyst, not a cataclysm. In this context we seek a healthy, purposefully functioning community where ideas are aired and shared in a spirit of respect between faculty and students.
Freedom to voice opinions and ask questions bears fruit in a rational, thoughtful approach to life’s concerns rather than in anti-intellectual disturbance on the one hand or inertia on the other. Such freedom thrives in a climate of mutual respect, concern, and interest in opportunities and obligations of the present.
Visit Taylor University, however, and you will find a keen awareness of the lessons of history. As someone has pointed out, even a pygmy can see farther than a giant if he is standing the giant’s shoulders. One of the flaws in the mood of the present is the assumption that the past should be destroyed to make way for the future. This is a mistake. The only future we will be able to live with is one that is shaped with present wisdom and dedication out of the lessons of the past.
By this time you have concluded that Taylor is concerned for people as individuals. This is true. Ours is whole person education—academic, spiritual and social. Educators who have taken the position that they are only interested in the mental development of their students have abdicated a major pattern of their institutions.
Though we look for the best, the most promising, the most deeply committed, we are not interested first of all in how intellectual or intelligent a young person may be. Rather, we are concerned with how wise he can become in the use of his talents to meet the needs of the world around him.
Thus within a framework of Christian anchor points we invite and challenge a select group of young men and women to join what someone has called the new adventurers. They are not necessarily the activists joining marches and carrying banners with slogans. They look much the same as you and me. But they have the guts, (drive and will) to accept and develop the discipline by which knowledge becomes discipline and study becomes competence. These new adventurers are not mere technicians. They know their business, but they are also aware of how much more they need in an age where knowledge is expanding at incredible speeds. They are not a new breed of smart elite, but they believe that what one person does with wisdom and commitment can in fact make a great deal of difference. They are usually modest people, yet wherever they are, somehow, even if only by small increments, things are usually moving toward the better.
Such are the young men and women who move into the stream of Taylor preparation. To those with whom these anchor points, these goals and approaches strike a responsive chord, we say “Come join us, too! Make Taylor your commitment, your opportunity, your vision. Write your book, climb your mountain, add your unique something within the once forgotten framework of the great anchor points of the Christian faith!”