7 Educational Ideals: A North Park University Booklet of Essays

Dr. David L. Parkyn, President of North Park University in Chicago, Illinois, has written a series of essays describing the University’s seven educational ideals, which reflect the school’s mission, vision, and core of Christian values: Distinctively Christian, Intentionally Urban, and Purposefully Multicultural. The collection of essays are compiled into a booklet entitled Discovering Our Voice: Reflections on Learning at North Park University. The booklet intends to tell North Park’s story, through the University’s “voice” in the community and the world.

The essays continue a theme that Dr. Parkyn first introduced in his inaugural address as President of the University in November 2006, in which he described North Park as an edge habitat, stating: “Because borders meet at North Park this is a place which teams with life, with color, and with complexity.  It is the life of inclusive faith which nurtures the voice of North Park University.”

“I believe a university has a voice,” Parkyn wrote in the booklet. “Moreover, it is imperative that we reflect on our institutional voice – from the language we use to understand our work and life together as a learning community, to the stories we tell to explain our approach to preparing students for ‘lives of significance and service.'”

The seven educational ideals that characterize North Park’s learning environment include:

  • An education rooted in and committed to the Christian faith and its sacred text, the Bible
  • An education that engages Chicago as a dynamic context for learning and service
  • An education that embraces all people and celebrates the richness of cultural difference
  • An education that embraces learning in all its forms – in the classroom and beyond – as a gift, a joy, and a sacred obligation
  • An education that encourages dialogue as a means of learning where open inquiry, integrity, and civility guide life together
  • An education that seeks to form, and transform the whole student
  • An education that values each student for who he or she is, and will become

The booklet concludes with the text of Dr. Parkyn’s inaugural address on November 12, 2006.

Request more information about North Park University Programs.