APU’s 2019-20 University Passage Offers Encouragement, Guidance

by Brendan Fretwell

A standing tradition at Azusa Pacific University is the selection of an annual university passage, a chapter or section of Scripture that serves as a focal point for the spiritual development for the year. The 2019-20 university passage, John 14, provides a sense of comfort in times of difficulty as well as a message of trust in Christ. “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)

The Importance of the University Passage

“The university passage is an opportunity for APU to emphasize our commitment to prioritizing Scripture as central to our lives,” said Coba Canales, Ph.D., dean of spiritual life. “It also connects us as a university as many departments, offices, and regional campuses have incorporated the passage into their programming, curricula, and team devotions,” said Canales.

The university passage is selected yearly by a committee, taking into consideration the campus climate as well as current events. “The committee reviews the passages selected from the last several years in an effort to draw passages from various books of the Bible, including the Old and New Testaments,” stated Canales. “The committee also prayerfully considers our local, national, global, and university concerns in the recommendation and selection process.”

Incorporating the Passage at APU

While the university passage is most commonly discussed and presented in chapel services, the passage is shared and experienced throughout campus in many forms, from student-created artwork to faculty devotionals and more.

“It is not uncommon to see the passage printed on T-shirts and written on banners around campus,” said Canales. “Inspired by the passage, video testimonies and written devotions by faculty and staff are also shared to encourage our community.”

The Message of John 14

John 14 centers on empowerment and guidance, with emphasis on Jesus’ direction through dark times. In John 14:1-4, Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.”

John 14 calls us into a deeper relationship with Christ and serves as a reminder of the path that He wants us to take, even in times of discouragement or stress. For students navigating the ups and downs of college, this passage offers support and encouragement.

“[College] is a season where we need to be reminded to trust in Jesus regardless of our circumstances,” said Canales. “He goes on to share promises from the Father, the coming Holy Spirit, and continued encouragement for them. I look forward to hearing about the ways in which John 14 grabs hold of us and guides us through this year.”

Brendan Fretwell ’22 is a double major in sports journalism and communication studies and an editorial intern in the Office of University Relations.