Dear TKC, 
I first became aware of you when you occupied the basement of the Empire State Building. At the time, I was a
reporter at The Wall Street Journal. I guest spoke and attended a couple of gatherings held at King’s between 2006 and 2011. A former provost, Marvin Olasky, invited me to start teaching journalism as an adjunct in 2010 and 2011. 
To be honest, I thought the brand name was a bit arrogant. It equated to someone saying they work for or attend
“God’s College.” It was like the Dallas Cowboys (“God’s Team”) of Christian colleges except it was smaller than many Christian colleges. But it was in NYC… and it appropriated a version of Columbia University’s original name (where I attended graduate school)!? The whole thing was deliciously odd like a Weird Al Yankovic song. And King’s lived in its odd brand with a swagger, a confidence, and an ambition. I wasn’t sure what to think. 
As I got to know the students at King’s, I was impressed. I was also convicted. I realized these are the kinds of
people I should be investing time in for teaching and mentoring. Many of them reminded me of myself as a
teenager. I grew up as a pastor’s kid, moving around from South Dakota, Indiana and Canada. At one point in
my early teen years, my family of nine people was living in a double wide trailer church parsonage house in a
very rural part of South Dakota on less than $20,000 a year of income. Yes. That’s below the poverty line. I felt
a debt of gratitude to a string of mentors in college and in journalism who helped me navigate my own future
from that kind of background into incredible educational pathways, the news media business and life. Some students in those early adjunct classes I taught at King’s had been home-schooled or pastor’s kids, like me. They were from a variety of geographies. They were often mature and smart. They dressed well and had a sense of character and responsibility about the world. I felt they brought the kind of spirit, character and background to New York that was often absent or in short supply. Faculty I interacted with at King’s such as Dr. Harry Bleattler also made a good impression on me. 
As I was moving back to the NYC area in 2013 after living in Germany for two years and pursuing academic and professional fellowships, I asked Bleattler for a reference letter for a faculty opening I was applying to at another college in the NYC area. Bleattler started envisioning a visiting faculty appointment for me at King’s for one year. King’s recognized it wanted to do something in journalism it hadn’t really done up to that point. Several stars aligned and a visiting professorship happened, followed by some donors and other factors prompting King’s to keep me on board longer term.
In the last 10 years at Kings - 2013 to 2023 - I’ve enjoyed an incredible chapter of life. We started a journalism
institute in 2013 named after the late John McCandlish Phillips. We created the NYC Semester in Journalism (NYCJ) program, which has grown to 41 partner schools that send up to 15 visiting journalism students to King’s each semester to take classes while interning in NYC newsrooms. We helped launch and support the Summer Academy for high school students. We launched the Journalism, Culture and Society major and the subsequent JCS Program that houses the major. We’ve hosted many events, special projects and conferences on campus with top journalists. We’ve raised more than $3.5 million from more than 20 donors and foundations to support this work of the McCandlish Phillips Journalism Institute. 
Best of all, I see hundreds of students in our various programs now working in the news media and related fields. Many of them are already giving back as mentors to our current students. I believe that I have paid forward the investment mentors made into my life by mentoring and helping others. And I’m glad to see others continuing that tradition. This is the concept the apostle Paul shared with his mentee Timothy: train faithful men and women who will train others also.
Even at a small school with a proud history and, in my view, an unusual brand, we demonstrate that God sometimes chooses the “foolish” or “lowly” or “weak” things of the world to demonstrate wisdom and strength. 
And that reminds us that progress (or failure) is not just about us. It is about non nobis, a short latin hymn used
as a prayer of gratitude and an expression of humility. It goes like this: Non nobis, Domine, Non nobis, Sed nomini tuo da gloriam. In English:
“Not to us Lord, not to us, but to Thy name give the glory.” – Psalm 115:1

Paul Glader
Professor Paul Glader
Professor of Journalism and JCS Program Chair | The King's College | Serving Since 2013
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