Share This Episode
The Christian Perspective Chris Hughes Logo


The Christian Perspective / Chris Hughes
The Truth Network Radio
December 24, 2021 9:00 am


The Christian Perspective / Chris Hughes

On-Demand NEW!

This broadcaster has 163 show archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

December 24, 2021 9:00 am

On today’s episode of The Christian Perspective, Dr. Chris Hughes is joined by Dr. Dondi Costin, the President of Charleston Southern University and the former Chief Chaplain of the United States Air Force Chaplain Corps. They talk about the importance of Christian education and how Charleston Southern University works to ensure that their graduates have a Biblical Worldview.


This is Rodney from the masculine journey podcast.

We explored manhood within Jesus Christ your chosen Truth Network podcast starting in just a few seconds. Sit back and enjoy it, share it, most of all, thank you for listening and choosing The Truth Podcast Network.

This is the Truth Network. This show is brought to you by generous Joe's coffee company with the Christian perspective, this is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for a coffee company that gives back to causes you care about. Order your copy today at shop generous Joe's.and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or causes you care about getting ready. It's one of America's most important, influential and respected voices on cultural and political issues and apologist Christian political advocate and author.

Here is the founder and chairman of the citizen for America foundation, Dr. Chris I'm Chris he's welcome to the Christian perspective, holy looking God's word in order to develop a Christian worldview and modern culture. I am so excited about our guest today because to me he's a true American hero. And that's going to embarrass him because he does not see himself that way, but he is a hero not only for our nation but for the church of Jesus Christ, Maj. Gen. Donnie cost and serve the United States Air Force for 32 years and toward the end of his career, he served as the chief of the chaplains in the United States Air Force. Now that is a great job. We can have tremendous influence for Jesus and the entire United States Air Force. And really, during that time.

General cost and was really the senior pastor for around 7000 700,000 Air Force personnel.

So what a great opportunity to reach others for Jesus and in 2018 as he was retiring from the Air Force Gen. Costin and his wife Vicki were looking at what they want to do next. And God presented him with a tremendous opportunity to become the third president of Charleston Southern University which is a Southern Baptist and Christian university located outside of Charleston South Carolina. I love this man. Our friendship goes back really almost 20 years many many many years ago. We met and I'm so excited to have general and now Pres. cost and with us today. Dr. cost, and welcome to the Christian perspective. Thank you Chris.

It's always good to hear your voice and I am honored to be on your program today well lately honors really ours and in him we were going to talk about a Charleston Southern University and what you do there but before we jump into that. I'd like to ask you about the culture and the military because as you know, our our show is really trying to encourage Christians to have a biblical worldview and then take that in the culture where they live, worker, or go to school or whatever and and we hear a lot of stories in the news about what may or may not be happening in the military for Christians and yacht. I think there's a guy I think his name is Mikey Weinberg I'm not sure that had some atheist group is really worked hard to try to muzzle chaplains in the military, particularly the Air Force from being able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't want to get you in trouble with the Air Force but was a culture like it in the military now. Yeah, I'm not. I've been out three to half your point but you know I I I sleep very well at night. Good to be hunted with yeah I mean you know I I see the same news story did you do and I can't speak to all the cultural issues that may be happening. What I can say is that what you what today is I think what's always been true and that is you know those young soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are our raise their right hand or on the front lines are doing what has to be done in Oak Park for the defense of the nation and so I think that currently is the is still happening.

You mentioned that you mentioned chaplains and I appreciate that because you know that at the question I get I get off in many ways based on on those new stories that that you and I both hear what I can say is that Chaplain probably is the most protected person in the military I say that because every chaplain doesn't yet have a commission from the government. Every chaplain also have to have an endorsement from from their domination of their faith group and so any time a a chaplain, not has an issue that that an outside group. You know Mike might might know raise for them or commander might be you might be giving them a challenge.

That chaplain always has the prerogative to go to their endorsing agent and and get help from them because I needn't be endorsing agent, you know, because of the I don't like the phrase, but because it communicate and I know you understand what I'm saying but you are the so-called separation of church and state. The government doesn't decide what logically correct and what isn't. That's where the endorsement comes into play. And so if there ever is that this is about what a chaplain had said or done. Consistent with the know with his theological position and the endorsement of his of his denomination not endorse or stand up note for those causes so the chaplains are well protected.

A chaplain can that can you know live live and work his ministry and he he said he called by God to do so, and there really are no restrictions on a chaplain in the pulpit, there are no no restrictions on a chaplain, you know, sharing the gospel along one on one in his office and counseling situation know clearly that there are no we all have to be whatever our position we all have to be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves and 90 public settings with a chaplain would be a little more cautious about about what he says but really it doesn't have any impact on on who he is what he does and that doesn't have any impact on the pond on the influence that he can have. Among the individual soldier, sailor, airmen and airmen and Marines or that that's great news to know that in in the church services are in their counseling, they can still share the gospel of Jesus Christ and for the listeners. You don't know chaplains are basically I'm kind oversimplifying of a basically word for pastor in the military and in so military bases are kind of like cities were military personnel will even live in. And there's usually a chapel which is like a church in my different denominations are different religions might still use that building, but usually you can find somebody that is close to your faith group that is representing something that you believe all on a military installation, not just in the Air Force Base and they have church services and it's a great way to create community and camaraderie within the military so for general cost and we thank you very much for your service to our country and and for being the head preacher for United States Air Force someone a transition because we really want to have your own today to talk about Charleston Southern University. As you know we have a great heart. It citizens for America foundation to try to impact the next generation of leaders which I know is what you're doing. A Charleston Southern to impact the culture in the world for Jesus Christ so Dr. cost to many of our listeners may not of ever heard of Charleston Southern University so I can you come to give us a history of of who they were and how how it started in, and then became a university and then we want to get into now that you're there. Some of the things you're doing yeah thanks thanks. You know, our universities started in 1964 and as you mentioned in the introduction we are affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist convention, which is is rankly one of the most conservative denominational conventions state conventions in the country and so were very blessed to have university from the very beginning that has been so much aligned with the theological conservatism of our state insult of the South got back to bench and has about 2100 churches and you know where one of the University supported by these churches and and show up at at Charleston Southern.

You know, we are no we are very proud.

You know, started speaking speaking to do the thing thing that year that you're doing today were very proud of the fact that one of our graduate Sen. Tim Scott and so for most of your listeners Sen. Tim Scott you know certainly would be in the conversation for for somewhere down the road you know being one of those who would hold the light of conservatism. These up.

He himself is a theologically conservative guy and he got his start right there at Charleston Southern and so were very proud of that front of the fact that the Charleston Southern are our vision includes the phrase integrating faith and learning leading and serving and that's what we're about, know we're about taking young men and women from all walks of life on some of whom come to our university and don't yet have a relationship with Jesus Christ and I'm I'm very proud in the Lord to say that in a typical year, we have about 100 in the first in the first several months who make professions of faith in Jesus Christ and they as they come to confront the reality of of of the Lord, the realities of their send the reality gospel and that didn't get them started in, and in the right direction so we train, we train people are going to be pastors and we pray we train people to be doctors and lawyers and nurse and in all kinds of professions and the point that we make to them is that whatever sphere of influence, that they may wind up in I'm there going to have to have a biblical worldview, especially in this culture because as as you know, Chris. This culture is increasingly straying from the things of God, and it it it you know it. It comes out universities like Charleston Southern unapologetically a decidedly Christian University who who are not going to go to later culture and instead I get a stay firm to the gospel hold firm to the gospel to make sure that we are standing for the things that God has called us to stand for electrolysis others always been on. Let our students know that when they graduate, and they go to the world their job in their spear of influence is to live for the Lord to glorify God in everything that they say and do and to do what they do for the good of others, and were very kind about what God is doing on our campus that is such a great challenge and it how exciting that Sen. Tim Scott is a graduate of Charleston Southern University, you know, there's a good chance that he may be president one day and that's the really put Charleston Southern on the map of the present United States is a graduate of your university. This tremendous well we we we certainly would would would hope it would happen and you know if you ever go to Canada Sen. Scott Been in there and you can't take a picture with him where he and the most prominent college pennant is the Charleston Southern Huntsville were very excited about that and and so thanks Chris and I don't know maybe your listeners would need to know that you two are graduate Charleston Southern and work only proud of you and proud of what you're doing yet and well when I went to school there. It was called a Baptist college. I think it did sinner Scott graduate 85 is that when he graduated. I think he graduated in 1988, 88 okay so I am older than him graduate 86, but we may have crossed paths back then it and not even realize that what will Dr. Colson.

I know when you went there I was just so excited because I've ever known you for many years. I know that you love Jesus and and that you had just such a tremendous and strong background in education and I know that you brought a lot of new ideas to Charleston Southern. So what are some of the new programs as you've instituted since I go there in 2018 yeah you know Chris is this is an interesting month because this is December now and and add the member. I have had president had ordered one with COBIT then without so I'm not I'm not sure that the badge of honor, but I will say I've had hold out upon the Lord to get us through. It is suited to the very beginning of very beginning of co-that you know COBIT and I sort of descended upon us in market 2020. At about the time that basketball March madness was beginning and so from that point forward, we adopted as university leadership team. We adopted the March madness raise of surviving the band and what we decided that that we had to do as you know we we had to keep moving forward with that with that with the Lord's plan we just published a strategic plan that we just don't get begun to focus on the things that are important to life as a Christian University and we begun to make plans for what God would have pours in ways that yield. These are God and these are not man's plan and if God is for us who can be against us. This show is brought to you by generous jokes. The coffee company with the Christian perspective, this is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for a coffee company that gives back to causes you care about. Order your copy today at shop generous Joe's.and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or not man's eukaryotic auras who can be against us. And so we did. We've done very good job.

Thank thank you God of surviving in advancing so since the pandemic has begun.

We have started a chaplaincy center is one of only two undergraduate chaplain undergraduate programs in in the country.

We were able to bring our staff are retiring Southern Baptist Brig. Gen. chaplain chaplain name Ron Harvel who has just made it his life's work in his life only and so that's something that we're were doing to focus not just on training new chaplains did to cover prisons and hospitals in the military and corporate chaplaincy in all kinds of other places but also to help local churches to develop the kind of skills that that that on both of pastors and volunteers at the church members need to do ministry the 21st century.

We've also begun a brand-new engineering program and so we started in electrical engineering program, a mechanical engineering program and computer engineering program and so we built the building during COBIT to make sure that we had what it took so students can have the kind of atmosphere that they need to go and praying in a Christian environment to go in the engineers who are doing God's work serving serving their communities for the glory of God and the good of those that they serve. We've also begun nine fact Internet this semester we begun brand-new aeronautic program until you can come to Charleston Southern.

You can get a bachelor of fine green aeronautic and we have three tracks.

We have a commercial track for those go to be commercial airline pilot. We having military track for those who want to go be military pilots.

Wells of a missionary. I track for those who feel led by God, called by God to serve as pilots to fly missionary to the end of the earth, so the gospel can be proclaimed and so the interesting thing about being a missionary pilot is as you might imagine if your missionary pilot you have to also be able to fix your plane, because if you're in the middle of nowhere. You can't just call maintenance until we have a relationship with a local technical college which is which train employees for Boeing.

There's also been a train on our missionary pilots and to give them a certificate in aviation maintenance on all along the way we've expanded our Quail Avenue doctoral program. In fact, our first doctoral program in next Saturday. We will graduate the first doctoral event in the history of Charleston Southern Dr. of education leadership in this program we thought we'd have about 20 students a year after now 3 1/2 years. We have 150 students who are in this program training both for leadership in business and in education. We've also whereabouts also began a new doctor of physical therapy program on our first students will arrive in and may have faculty is all been hired. Accreditation is on the way. I am so looking forward to those for students are showing up in an inmate is been a lot of fun.

In the meantime, you know, we've expanded some of our facilities and is looking forward to seeing what God is going to do as he does with only 18 units we say around Charleston Southern.

Often we know that the best is yet to come or you have been busy and coven did not slow you down at all. I want to back up and and hit some of the things that you talked about. You mentioned the chaplaincy program and I'm alleged taught weather because I thought that it was just specifically to train people to service chaplains in the military because I thought it was very unique but you're saying. Also for corporate chaplaincy and in other areas and there is such a need for that. As you know I have a another ministry were we to disaster relief work and plant churches that kind of thing in and during crisis over the years and when there's like a hurricane or storm or something.

There's always a need for chaplains, but it's hard to find a chaplain is truly trained in that area, so I'm excited about this new program and and what your graduates are going to be able to do in and help assure the love of Jesus with people in the coming years and am also upset about this Aeronautics program you are there any other schools or training people to be missionary pilots like you are III don't know specifically if there missionary tractor there may be one other, but you know that the way things go. The pilot shortage globally is so huge that you know we did you get that example of of the of the of the demand, and we thought we and we planned that we would have eight students to start the year and so started this fall dimension and we had for Our class that 30 and already for next fall.

We have what were capping at 30 for next fall as well and we already have.

I think when he five of the 30 slots have already been filled. You know with the pot and so there is such a great. I appreciate the chaplaincy thing just for second. I was in a meeting just last night that the conversation turned to the need for prison chaplain really one of the greatest mission field in our country. Talk about a captive audience. The greatest mission field in our country today are all those who are in prison and jails who really need to hear the gospel and you know Chris and Jesus himself talked about you know that the blessing of those who would go and visit those who are being who are being held. You know those kind of situations I and so were excited because we're going train chaplains to serve in all those kinds of disaster preparedness kinds of issues going to make sure that as many local pastors in and lay person to want to be trained to do that have the skills that they need to show up to assist. Maybe you are some of your colleagues and in those kind of settings so that from day one date they know how to.

You need to to minister on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ. The people who are in the greatest need that probably most of them have ever sent status as such in the values to serve on the board of good news Dylan prison ministry and there are some other great prison ministries across the country and like you said that they are, no pun intended there captive audience in and they're hungry. So many people get saved in prison and go on and do tremendous things. I'm thinking of right now Christopher you want out of you met Christopher.

He's a professor now at Moody Bible college and Christopher was in prison for dealing drugs in one day he was just walking past a trashcan and there was a Gideon Testament there and he did.

He didn't have any interest in it, but he was bored so he dug out the garbage and he read it and through reading that testament he came to know Jesus and get saved in prison and now he has a ministry all over the world as written books in his training other men and women to serve Jesus. So I commend you on that that there such a great need in and am excited about the pilot training program. As you know my son studies aerospace engineering and was an option to go to Charleston Southern to study that went when he went to school but I think you're going to find that is can be a huge program for you University because her such a need in that area, and particularly when you're training missionaries how to fly work on the plane. I would've thought about working on plain tube but that's really needed. Can you share in and were going to probably one at a time here, but you also have and I wanted to share this because a lot of people listening. I think when you think of Christian colleges and universities.

You might not think that your child is getting a great education and I want to tell you Charleston Southern University. If you send your child there they're going to get a world-class education with a decidedly Christian bid and what they're being taught, and in the classes with their little learn great things it in a world-class facility and atmosphere and it's a beautiful beautiful campus. You have a health sciences department that I know covers a lot of different topics and that's another area just like with the need for chaplains, the need for pilots.

We need healthcare workers in our country today. What programs do you offer in your health sciences department. Yeah Certainly a great question and as all of us know you know that we might have as a society we might have taken healthcare workers for granted. Prior to COBIT but that that thing has changed dramatically. So I'm our biggest major unit we haven't we have almost 60 majors undergrads of our biggest major nursing until we have for a long time produced a a a a strong path of nurses every year high pass rate on the national certification exam. The enclaves for nursing and so as as we say to them, and our physician assistant studies at the two-year program bracket program with a common we have right now.

34 students who graduate in that program every year of physical therapy. We have that's coming at the mention earlier, we have a public health program that really has you know Spanish skyrocketed to the top just based on what we seen as part of the of of the pandemic. The way we eat, the way we frame this conversation with somebody talk with about healthcare simply point out that you are our mission statement is producing academic excellence in a Christian environment and we take both of those things very seriously we take academic excellence seriously think certainly a Christian environment seriously and for healthcare workers.

What we say to them is that they are training to work on behalf of the great physician and so everything that they do everything they see on and I are nurses especially have a wonderful reputation. You know in our community and it's pretty easy to tell I'm told, when you're being cared for by trousers of University graduate because they see their healthcare work as a ministry of the gospel and so you know that they are the hands and feet of Jesus. When people are in great need and so just extremely proud of all their faculty and staff tutor to prepare these nurses to touch people with the gospel on the half the Lord Jesus Christ, the great positions in your programs growing you. You offer a master's degree in nursing. Now to write. We do yeah what we do and at the at the at the great program because that you know the program. I can be done really anywhere because the clinicals really happen for a product for active actively serving nurse they can they can do this by extension with Diane in an online kind of format the clinicals are done right in their workplaces setting so they don't have to uproot and move Charleston they can do what they're doing right where they are on YouTube and equip themselves even better to serve the Lord will not accost we really like a minute and 1/2 left but see it.

Charleston Southern is a decidedly Christian institution. He tells real quickly how the Bibles integrated into curriculum.

Yeah, you my most important job is to make your that the faculty we hire are all believers in Jesus Christ do everything the faculty member.

Their last interview is the is with me and I make sure that that they are genuine believers in Jesus Christ. I make sure that they they approached their work as a as an outreach of of and for the gospel. And so every single discipline is is that taught the lands of Richard and with the intent of helping every single student develop a biblical worldview. Until that happens, and it happens on a continuing basis because we have a pretty rigorous training program for new faculty with our faith and learning Institute and so new faculty, many of whom you know I come from secular institutions. They love the Lord, but they don't yet know how to integrate your faith in the classroom and we make sure that every professor does that. And we do this by ongoing education silk if I have every student sent you a parent want to send that suited our way, they can be assured that that they will be given a biblical worldview so they can counter what's happening in the culture against the glory of God for the good of other people not accost a washer website. It said Charleston folks as Charleston Dr. Colson. Thank you. We ran out of time or thank you so much for being here with us today was a real honor to have. Thanks a lot Chris, great talking to you. As always, thank you for joining me today. I'm Chris Hughes and this is a Christian perspective. Please subscribe to micro podcast and share with your friends on social media Ellis to change the culture. Jesus Christian perspective.

Learn more about impacting the culture Christian perspective US this show is brought to you by generous Joe's coffee company with the Christian perspective, this is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for a coffee company that gives back causes you care about. Order your copy today at shop generous Joe's.and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget you love or causes you care about.

This is the Truth Network

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime