Former White House official to speak at BJU

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Former White House official to speak at BJU

Before being rebranded as the presidential leadership series when Steve Pettit became president of BJU, the event was called a convocation.
Photo: Derek Eckenroth

Tim Goeglein, the vice president of external and government relations at Focus on the Family, will speak to the student body about failure and the dangers of pride at tomorrow’s presidential leadership series at 7 p.m in the Founder’s Memorial Amphitorium.

Goeglein will draw on his past experiences as a special assistant to former President George W. Bush and as the deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liaison to share a personal story of failure driven by pride.

“It’s so tempting to talk about success, about achievement, about career paths—but I’m going to talk about how faith and failure are more related than we think,” Goeglein said. “And I’m going to talk about the toxicity of pride, and I’m going to talk about the power of humility.

Goeglein spoke in 2016 at a previous presidential artist series event.
Photo: Submitted by Goeglein

Gary Weier, BJU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the presidential leadership series forms a crucial part of BJU’s Christian liberal arts education. One key benefit of hearing from fellow believers who are established in their careers is to learn more about how a person lives by faith in the workplace, both in ordinary daily circumstances and in big moments or key decisions, he said.

Randy Page, BJU’s chief of staff, agreed, calling the event a great opportunity for students. “It really is a chance to broaden perspective and to bring in people who students might not have the chance to ever hear their story,” he said.

Page suggested students stay for the optional question and answer session after the main speech. “You get to actively participate in what he has to say, but then to ask a question of someone who’s had that experience,” he said. “That’s not something you get to do every day.”

Goeglein also sees value in the lecture series. “I think it’s worth connecting with, hearing from a fellow Christian who has had great success but also failure,” he said.

Describing himself as “an inveterate optimist,” Goeglein said he believes college students can make a difference in their world for God’s glory. “Our role as Christians is not just to absorb the culture and be a cog. … Our role as Christians is to help shape and give scope and focus to the culture.”

As students prepare for life after college, Goeglein urged them to prioritize their spiritual walk. “The most important thing is not talent or ability,” he said. The most important thing is personal character and integrity.”

Goeglein, who looks forward to speaking at the University, asked students to prepare for his message. “Please come prepared to give me the greatest honor you can possibly give me, which is your time,” he said. “My prayer is that it will be worth your time.”