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October 31, 2006

Centurions: a call for the few and the brave

I affirm all that my colleagues, Jeff and Diane, have said about the Centurion Program experience. As they have indicated, the Program was a Kairos moment—a juncture at which my passion for worldview met with a vision of how that passion should be directed and fulfilled. Up until the Centurions, I had studied worldview from an academic perspective without any real consideration of how a Christian worldview should inform my thinking and action in every aspect of life.

As Jeff and Diane warned, the program is demanding--it will stretch you. At the same time, it is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be mentored by a world-class staff and to be networked with a select cadre of individuals committed to make a real difference in our culture.

In addition to the reading and writing assignments, daily devotionals, movie reviews, worldview observations, regular teleconferences and three residences in DC, you have immediate access, via a dedicated website, to your fellow centurions—brothers and sisters in Christ who will challenge you, encourage you and inspire you to reach to your highest potential.

This program is not for everyone. But if you are among the “few” and the “brave” with a passion to teach, advocate and apply Christian worldview for the shaping and renewing of culture, Centurions will uniquely prepare you in 1) understanding the philosophies and agendas behind the forces driving our culture, 2) incorporating the Christian worldview at home, work, church and the public square, 3) promoting the Christian worldview with confidence and in an effective, winsome way, and 4) equipping others to do the same.

For you who feel the call: on the horizon, there’s a storm a brewin’—join me, and the hundreds of others, in taking it on!

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Joe Carson, P.E.

Hi Regis,

I have a question for you or anyone else who thinks I should consider spending the time/money to pursue Centurion Training:

"Should Christian engineers, to any degree, collectively and intentionally influence their chosen profession of engineering, to ascertain and advance God's will in and through it and them?"

Right now, as before, there is no such thing, there is no theology that addresses whether it should exist or not, there is no organizational vehicle to facilitate its development and expression.

And the engineering profession and its 20 million degree members around the world, hold the "built environment" as much of the natural environment in their hands. How does that connect to any "kingdom of God" that exists as more than private thought?

I daresay lots of graduates of the Centurion program have engineering backgrounds. So where are they in their profession?

Or is it just because being a "fool for Christ" in one's profession could, in fact, have tangible consequences in one's personal economy and what could be more important than that - "talk is cheap, money talks."

So, show me something, protagonists who believe the Centurion program merits my time and money - show me how the "worldview" you espouse is relevant to the profession of engineering, its purpose of creating and maintaining the built-environment, its code of ethics, etc. Please do not tell me about how I can then better witness to other engineers. That's irrelevant to the purpose of engineering profession, it's a dodge to make the personal piety the issue because you have nothing to say about the real issue.

So, please tell me about God's place for the engineering profession in His economy and how the Centurion program is relevant to it. If you have nothing to say, then have the courage to say that.


Joe Carson, P.E.
President, Affiliation of Christian Engineers
president at christianengineer.org

Regis Nicoll


Thanks for the question. It’s a good one, and one that is at the heart of the Centurion program. First off, yes, Christian engineers should influence their profession to “advance God's will in and through it.” It follows directly from the Cultural Commission (Genesis 1:28) and Paul’s teaching on work (Col. 3:23).

That said, regardless of whether a Christian is an engineer, mayor, educator or checkout clerk, his duty is to be God’s partner in restoring, shaping and enriching culture--not just 40 hours a week in one’s profession, but 24/7/365 at work, home, community and church.

Having worked as an engineer myself for over 30 years, I realize that bringing God’s glory to bear through our profession has its challenges, as I’m sure you know, like: standing for what’s right because it’s right rather than because it’s expedient or profitable; holding ourselves and our companies to the highest standards of ethics; determining the proper balance between technological benefits and ecological costs, to name but a few.

While Centurions does not specifically address how a Christian engineer would handle those challenges in his profession, it provides the framework for viewing our professions as part of the seamless fabric of out-lived Christian faith. And for that reason, it represents a radical departure from the compartmental view of work all too common in Christian circles.

Additionally, while not a structured part of the program, Centurions offers the opportunity for affinity groups to form around common interests and passions. I believe that in my class (2004) one group formed around “education.” And the online community of Centurions is a great vehicle for floating ideas and strategies among men and women gifted in discerning Christian worldview applications.

Hope that helps answer your questions.

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