by Clem Boyd, Communication Content Manager
Who gets a judge’s gavel as a graduation gift? Probably someone who God has set aside for a career in the field of law. In this case, that would be John Hart, General Counsel for Cedarville University. And yes, he did receive a gavel from his parents for high school graduation. It is a prized gift, inscribed with his life verse, Philippians 2:16: “I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain” (NKJV). He keeps it in his office at Cedarville’s History and Government Center.
Hart is a 1981 graduate of Cedarville, who initially worked in admissions for the college. During his time working for the University and interacting with churches and Christian schools around the country, he learned of different organizations facing legal situations. “I already believed in the value of what they were doing,” Hart shared. “I saw this as a great opportunity to combine my interest in the law and representing the interest of ministries.”
Hart earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Dayton School of Law, then worked at UD for 27 years before returning to his alma mater eight years ago.
Throughout his career, Hart has seen a divine calling in his vocation, not a secular and sacred divide. His role at the University allows him to combine the two: represent Cedarville well in legal proceedings and do so in a winsome, kind, and professional manner.
“The lawyer on the other side of a case may not be a Christian or their client may not be a Christian,” he said. “I want to advocate and represent the University in a way that is God-honoring.”
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More to the Story
When John was a student, he performed in theatre productions. When his daughter Madison, a 2016 alumna, attended Cedarville, he enjoyed a full-circle experience of watching her perform on the same stage in Alford Auditorium where he had acted. She and her husband, Jordan, are living in New York City pursuing careers in acting.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,380 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including our Bachelor of Arts in PreLaw program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.