The dream was hatched in 2006. Dr. George Grant, Matt Vest, and Greg Wilbur met together to begin charting a path for the creation of a new Christian liberal arts college in beautiful Franklin, TN. Three years later, on August 24, 2009, the dream became a reality when New College Franklin welcomed its inaugural class of twelve students for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
Ten years later, 80 students have enrolled at NCF from all over the U.S. and Canada with over 30 graduates who have gone on to serve in the fields of finance, medicine, design, business, journalism, politics, education, church ministry, and missions.
One of the things that excited me about returning to Franklin in 2010 to plant Cornerstone was the additional opportunity to partner with New College Franklin (NCF). I joined the faculty of NCF the year we arrived and taught Moral Philosophy and an Introduction to Southern Literature. Since that first year, I’ve taught a smattering of electives and core classes, mostly in theology and literature, and it’s something I look forward to doing every year.
My involvement, however, is hardly worth mentioning compared to that of our own Greg Wilbur. Greg is the Dean of NCF as well as a senior fellow of the college. More than anyone, Greg is responsible for the carrying forth of the vision of the NCF. It’s hard to imagine the success of NCF without the faithful attention and care of Greg Wilbur.
Though institutionally separate, the Session of Cornerstone sees NCF as an extension of our own mission to be and make disciples—to see the next generation trained in love and service to Jesus Christ. This is why we’ve joyfully opened our facility to NCF since 2011 and are eager to have many of the students and faculty plugged into Cornerstone. And boy do they plug in! From nursery to elementary Sunday School, from Youth ministry to music ministry, from Women's and Men's ministry to Home Fellowship Groups, the students of NCF are part of the lifeblood of Cornerstone—and for that we are so very grateful.
If you’ve not already done so, or if it’s been a while, take time to visit NCF’s website. The web address is www.newcollegefranklin.org. Click through the vision and mission statements, ponder the philosophy of education, and peruse their program of study. I’m pretty sure you’ll be encouraged. For right underneath your nose, a great work of Christian education is taking place, and we—Cornerstone Presbyterian—get to be a part of it.