Radical | President’s Blog

June 27, 2022

Houghton has undertaken some important and exciting work over the last year. We have implemented some structural changes intended to create greater efficiency in the organization. We have continued important progress with the collection and strategic use of data to inform decision making across the organization. We have a revised and renewed focus on the development and growth of Houghton Buffalo and Houghton Online. Each of these is an important change and an element of progress that will lead to short- and long-term improvements and outcomes for Houghton. We are only beginning. There is so much to do to ensure that Houghton remains an outstanding option for students who want the best of a Christ-centered, academically challenging education that equips them extraordinarily well for careers, continued study, ministry and life.

While I am pleased with the initiatives and continued improvement efforts underway, I don’t consider any of them to be revolutionary or radical. Whether financial, academic or organizational, much of the important work we are doing involves aligning our policy and practices with Houghton’s mission and promising practices in higher education policy and practice. Important and necessary work, but not earthshattering.

Houghton is, however, one of the most radical places in American higher education. Why? Because we continue to believe the Word of God is true. Not only do we believe it, but we continue to align who we are and how we operate with the Word of God—including our decision making in personnel, finance, curriculum, instruction, residence life, student activity and athletics.

There is not an aspect of who we are or what we do that is not subject to measurement and correction based on scripture. That, my friends, is radical.


We believe every human being has been formed, intentionally and on purpose by God (Psalm 139) and that God has known each of us, even before we were formed in our mothers’ wombs (Jeremiah 1). We believe the Lord requires that we act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with Him (Micah 6:8). We believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and that no one goes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). We believe, for each of us, our first calling as Christians is to make disciples of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19).

Hands raised in the air with a cross in the distance.

Relating specifically to Houghton, we believe our beloved institution was planted in 1883 by our founder acting on the inspiration of God to establish a Christian school for the poor boys and girls of Western New York. We believe the Holy Spirit has and continues to guide our planning and our steps as we seek to fulfill God’s purpose, not ours, through Houghton. We believe our battles are not against people “but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). We pray continually for wisdom and guidance as we believe the power of God alone is sufficient for battling the evil one, who is busy day and night, stealing, killing and destroying (John 10:10).

We find daily that believing the scriptures are the fully inspired and inerrant written Word of God, containing sufficiently all doctrine necessary for eternal salvation, is more and more radical. It is radical for us to continue believing the Word of God does not change with season and era and that even the most enlightened thinking of humanity is not of greater value than the eternal wisdom of God. So, radical we shall be. We will continue to stand on the Word of God, loving and respecting our brothers and sisters who believe differently yet completely uncompromising in what we know to be the truth of God. Students should not have to choose between living and learning in an intentional, loving, Christ-centered environment and receiving a world-class, academically challenging education. Houghton has historically provided both for our students, and we will radically continue to do so, now and always.

President Wayne D. Lewis Jr.

About the Author

With 20 years of experience in education, higher education leadership is a calling for Wayne D. Lewis, Jr., President of Houghton University. He is recognized as being a champion for students; focusing on improving educational access, opportunities and experiences for students, including those who have historically been underserved.

Read More about President Lewis