EDITOR'S NOTE: Tuesday, September 19, Mr. Herbert Armstrong took the Forum to speak to the students of Ambassador College. He rehearsed how Ambassador came to be founded for a definite purpose. He explained once again that he is not against higher education, but that there is something essentially wrong with the education of this world. God's college, therefore, of necessity had to be different — truly unique. Unlike other colleges, Ambassador College was designed to "Recapture True Values."
Mr. Armstrong explained that in order to really understand the purpose for Ambassador College, one needs to go right back to the beginning. He reviewed how Lucifer rebelled against God and then later wasted no time in the Garden of Eden. Adam cut himself off from God and all of Adam's progeny has followed blindly in Satan's ways. Man's mind, cut off from God and His Holy Spirit, is confined to the physical and the material. Thus higher education is based 100% on the carnality of human reason — tempted and deceived by Satan, the god of this world. Man's system of education is therefore cut off from knowledge of the spiritual things of God. The huff and puff and vanity of this world's limited, physical, material realms has no place in God's college which is to be a bastion of spiritual truth, true values and God's way of life in Satan's darkened world.
Immediately following are excerpts from that part of Mr. Armstrong's talk which deals specifically with his plans to make God's College a four-year institution. Mr. Rader also spoke to the students for a few minutes after Mr. Armstrong concluded his message, and so we are also including his brief, but interesting comments.
My son wanted accreditation. I didn't. He kept after me and kept after me. I said, "This is God's college. It will not be if we get accredited and if the world speaks well of us. God says, 'Woe be to you when the world thinks well of you.'" But he said, "Dad, we can get accreditation and still keep this God's college." And he kept saying that and saying that. Finally I said, "Well, look, if you can do it and keep this as God's college, okay." Now he says to the public press I wanted accreditation. That is not true! I never did want it. He wanted it. I finally acquiesced and let him go ahead with it.
So they started loading this college with PhDs from other universities who had all this very thing this college was created to be different from, and to cast out and to see that it never crept in. But it crept in and it came to the place where this was no longer God's college.
Now this year I have had to start all over with one freshman class, like we did in 1947 — one freshman class. Now we're going to teach you things that God revealed. That's what we're going to teach and hope that it will make sense to you. If God does not open your minds to understand it, I can't help that.
But we've had to start all over. You can't take something that is ruined like this college was and turn it around with the professors that were in here who didn't believe what we believe and didn't believe what God believes and teaches, and who don't believe God. Maybe they believe in God. That's something else again. That's believing there is a personage. But believing God is believing what He says, and obeying what He says.
God is back in this college and it is not like other colleges. The way of life in this college.is different and going to stay different.
Now we haven't been able to do it all at once. Perhaps some of you students having come right from high school may still want to go along with this world. But you have come to a college that is not of this world, and is not going to be of this world! We're going to, as far as possible; enforce God's way in this college. On the other hand, we're not going to come to the place where you have to get permission to go to the prayer room and someone keeps tabs on how many minutes you spend in the prayer room, or where you have to get permission if you need to go to the toilet. We're not going to legislate quite that far, if you know what I mean. But this is going to be God's college. And we've had to restart it with the one freshman class only.
The only reason I originally needed a college was that God had called me into His Work. I was holding evangelistic campaigns up in Oregon and Washington six nights a week and very often for six whole weeks in a campaign. Some of them were shorter. But in every case, God (well, shall I say in Bible language) gave me "fruit" — there were converts. And I baptized people. Now perhaps I baptized some that weren't as thoroughly converted as I thought. Maybe I didn't understand it as thoroughly then as I do now. Nevertheless, I felt they were converted and they certainly accepted the truth. So I tried to form them into little churches, but there was no local minister to take care of these people. And not one of those churches ever lasted more than about six weeks. Most of them didn't last that long. I came to see that we had to have a school to train not only ministers, but also to have an educated personnel for all of the administrative jobs that were becoming necessary in a fast-growing Work that has now grown worldwide — a great worldwide Work.
Did you know that the sun never sets on the offices of this Work? Somewhere there are men in our employ at all hours of the day and night because where it's night here, it's day somewhere else such as in the Philippines, in South Africa or in some other part of the world where we have an office. It has grown into a very great Work.
Now then, you are the "pioneer" students. And a whole lot of what goes on from here depends on how well you students do this year. If you still love the world, if you still love Satan's way, and if you still want to go that way, you would probably get expelled before the year is out anyway. And I mean business. Don't think I don't now, because I tell you, I'm not pussyfooting around and kidding any longer. On the other hand, we're not going to rule with such an iron fist that we try to legislate character into you. You have to develop your own character.
Here's what I want and what we will have, unless you students want to go ahead in the wrong way. This would be just another college like they have in the world if you won't yield yourself to God's way. But this college is going to be built God's way unlike any other college on earth — totally unique. There is no college on earth like this college.
Now then, I'm going to give you a little shock. I'll tell you what I have in mind, if you students do well.
Ambassador College started in 1947 with one class — the freshman class. In 1948, we added another freshman class, but the freshman class of 1947 then became a sophomore class. The next year we added another freshman class. Now we had three classes. And the first students then became juniors. And then the next year they became seniors. Then we added more. Starting out with only four students, I was able to build a college God's way. Now we have over a hundred of you that are freshmen this year and I don't know whether we can do it or not. It depends on you. There are some things I cannot force you to do. But there's one thing I can do. I can close this college down 100%, completely!
Now one professor in the barbershop the other day told the barber, "Well, if this thing doesn't go right, it can't be God's college and Mr. Armstrong will close it." He continued, "Well, if one man has the power to close the whole college that is wrong." You, see he had been educated in the colleges of this world where no one man could have that power. Well, God has given me that power and let me tell you, Jesus Christ has that power and delegates it to me. I can close this college down. Now that isn't what I want to do. So I'm going to show you what I hope we can do.
I hope that next year we can add another class and you who are now freshmen will then be sophomores. The year after that I hope we can add another freshman class and we'll then have three classes just like the college in the early years. I hope we go on till this is a four-year college once again. But it must be 100% God's college. And I'm determined that Satan is not going to be in this college. If you want to go along with Satan, you have to get out to be with Satan because he's not going to be in here.
Let me give you just a little outline of what I hope we will be able to have in the way of possible courses. One is speech. We need a speech course. One is journalism, but I tell you, the journalism of this world is absolutely wrong. It will have to be the kind of journalism that God has shown me. I know a lot of them don't think I'm a very good writer, but when they write, nobody pays any attention to what they write. They write and nobody answers. I write and there are results. Now I think that's the proof of the pudding. It's in the eating.
We need a course in home economics or domestic science. Now we happen to have, I think, the best home ec. teacher in the world available to us. And we need a course in history, especially connected with biblical history and with the prophecies of the Bible. We need to get back to that once again. And we are well equipped with those who can teach it from that point of view.
We need a course in international relations. And we happen to have a man here who understands the ways of God, who understands what is wrong in the world, but who devotes his time to keeping up with what is going on in the world — as an observer, not a participant, but an observer and who has the teletypes clicking away 24 hours a day just like in any newspaper office or television news departments. We have the big three — AP, UPI and Reuters. We have the news coming in right here on campus just as quickly as any newspaper does. We have a man, Gene Hogberg, who is a real genius in that, and he understands God's way too.
Then we need a course in practical psychology, but one that's totally different from the psychology they're teaching in this world's universities. (I'm going to inspect that one myself, although I know I can't teach it.) But if I can't get the right kind of a course and someone that can teach it from God's point of view, we won't have that, but I hope we can.
Then I want a course on a survey of the arts. But one that looks at it from God's point of view. It should address what are the arts in the world and how much of them is right in God's sight and what is not.
Then we ought to have something on health, diet, and nutrition. That's something that I would say very few know much about. A few years ago, a doctor who was one of the pioneers of the local church here in Pasadena said, "Well, we doctors have been so busy curing people that are already sick, we haven't had any time to study foods and diet or the causes of what makes them get sick in the first place."
Well, now, for about the last ten or twelve years or so, doctors have been studying diet and nutrition to some extent. My personal view of it is they have not progressed very far. I don't know of anybody who is an authority on it, frankly. And doctors still don't generally believe in anything like fasting. And yet God has put fasting as one of the things that He has taught us that we ought to do. Jesus Christ did fast. Daniel and others fasted. (There are two reasons, of course, for fasting. One is spiritual and the other is physical.)
Now I want to start a chorale once again, and a music department. We had a fine music department and I worked with that department for many years. Then we need to teach basics in business and law.
We don't have physical education this year. We want to have it again, but competition is one of the things that Satan introduced, so we are not going to have intercollegiate competition. I never was for that in the first place, and until my son was taking over and he wanted it, we didn't have it. That's out and it's going to stay out.
Foreign languages: I don't think we will try to have a major in Spanish or French or German, which will be the three languages that we probably shall teach, as we have in the past. We're coming to the place that we might even give consideration to Japanese too. But in any event, a minor in language should be available.
Then natural science: I have wanted the basic sciences taught (such as physics and geology). We should make this field cover as much as a layman ought to know to be a well-educated person. But Ambassador will not train on a major scale in the sciences.
We need something adequate on family relations, too.
Well, those are some of the courses that I am hoping to add and that I want to see. That is what I am outlining for the future. If you have not read one of the older catalogues get one and read the Foundational Policy written by me (I don't think that's even been in the catalog in the last year or so — it came to the point they didn't believe in anything that God believed in). I believe God established these guidelines, but others wanted to take that educational philosophy out. Get one of the older catalogues containing "the missing dimension in education." Read those things, if you haven't done so already. I'm giving that as an assignment to you students.
Now you're on trial — just as man has been on trial, just as angels were — to see if Ambassador College can go on. You will have to be the backbone. If we're going to have a college next year, you have got to take the new freshmen in and steer them our way instead of going that other way. Ambassador College will never go Satan's way again, I promise you that. And if I find it tending to, I will close it down.
Now here we have been recognized as the most beautiful campus in the United States for two years running (which is the limit that they've established). We have received the award for being the most beautiful, best-landscaped, and best-maintained campus in the United States of America. And I'll tell you, if they ever had such a thing in England, we would have gotten that over there, too. I would say that probably the second best is the campus in Big Sandy, Texas. And some might even put it first because it's altogether different from this and has many, many acres down there, whereas we're right in the city here. We have a totally different setting over there.
I don't get to talk to you too often, but I'm going to try to get here for these forums once in a while this year. These forums were originally begun so I could talk to the students in order to keep this God's type of college.