Dr. Franco Gandolfi, a Cedarville resident and associate professor of international business at Cedarville University, recently met with a Christian think tank in Switzerland to discuss the possibility of a Christian university in German-speaking Europe. Photo courtesy of Franco Gandolfi
by Public Relations Office
July 25, 2005
Cedarville, OhioDr. Franco Gandolfi, a Cedarville resident and associate professor of international business at Cedarville University, met with business leaders in Switzerland recently to discuss the feasibility of starting a Christian university in German-speaking Europe.
Gandolfi exchanged ideas with Dr. Fritz Peyer, rector of the Institute for Building of Municipalities and World Mission; Dr. Andreas M. Walker, president of the Academy for Christian Leadership; and Dr. Prabhu Guptara, executive director of organization development at UBS Ltd. (Switzerland`s leading bank). According to Gandolfi, "The group determined that the enduring need for holistic learning at the highest academic level coupled with recent worldwide corporate collapses makes it indispensable and compelling to create a university which integrates academic training with a Christian approach to life."
Gandolfi explained that although theological institutions exist in Europe, most of the liberal arts universities no longer emphasize their Christian roots. According to Gandolfi, "European universities were originally founded upon Christian values and principles and gradually became secularized by the penetration of other worldviews, including materialism, hedonism, modernism, and post-modernism. Significant major historic events, such as the French Revolution and the two World Wars, further accelerated the demise of Christian institutions in Europe."
"Secularism has penetrated the mindsets and value systems of many Europeans," Gandolfi continued. "It is our responsibility to provide a platform to educate future leaders on the issues of leadership, ethics, and moral standards."
Although planning is in the early stages, the university would most likely be located in Switzerland for its central location, political neutrality, social stability, and positive business/industrial reputation, Gandolfi said. The university would cater to Europe`s more than 120 million German-speakers.
Gandolfi noted that the response from the wider European Christian community has been very positive. "It is encouraging to see how European leaders are beginning to realize that the future successes and relevance of Europe will be determined largely by leaders who have a clear understanding of their identity and a sense of purpose and vision based upon a Christian framework," he said.