My warmest welcome to all of you! Gratia Christian College has been founded on a vision of developing servant leaders with professional competence and Christian love to serve the community. We are thankful for the willingness and sweat of dedicated colleagues over the past 6 years. The third batch of graduates were delivered this July. It is more heartening to find almost all of these graduates prepared for serving the society whereas our students currently enrolled readily enter the mentality in alignment with the tertiary education setting. Proactive in offering services to wherever they are needed, these students through serving in such manner have unwittingly realized Gratia’s vision of developing servant leaders. My heartfelt congratulations, in particular, go to the two graduates in our third cohort who have excelled in their studies and hence come out with a First Class Honours degree.
Apart from the afore-mentioned, nine other Gratia students received from scholarship under the Self-financing Post-Secondary Scholarship Scheme for 2020/21 of the Education Bureau. Whilst finding the award conferment for our students elating, we choose to take hold of the purpose and direction these scholarships point us to rather than sit back and remain dazzled by the halo and applause these have brought. It is genuinely rewarding and consoling to witness our students getting energized to continue their pursuit of the values core to the College’s vision and mission – the virtues expressed as mutual support and complementing each other. These not only help forge a warm and cosy atmosphere within the College, but also shape the characters of the students concerned for greater achievements and common good.
In Gratia’s pursuit of becoming an independent private Christian university for providing quality education, we have embarked on a plan of re-developing the existing campus with a view to providing a learning environment, better equipped and more spacious. Having approached relevant government departments and submitted an initial application last year for re-developing the current campus site, we prayerfully await the Lord’s will and guidance in this matter.
Irrefutably, the physical campus has its role in supporting students’ learning. Nevertheless, over-emphasis on the tactile experience afforded by the concrete would inadvertently self-impose considerable constraints on our way of thinking. Being small is beauty. Through the College’s smallness, students and staff have fortuitously been given multiple chances of getting closely knitted together with individual students’ needs attended to. Lots of chance has been opened up for students’ participation, serving, and practice to lead. Gratia, though humble in size, offers staff and students plentiful possibilities and opportunities for creative, worthwhile exploration. We have thus been encouraging and facilitating our students to learn and equip themselves beyond the physical boundaries of campus by way of experiential learning, service in the community and participation in various activities. This perspective, as an echo to the thought put forth in the following extract by Su Shi (蘇軾), a great, accomplished poet and writer as well as politician of the Song Dynasty, should not be taken as self-consoling or imaginary:
Through such, they widen their horizons. With this mindset, the city and the world we are in have virtually become our classrooms.
On the threshold into its seventh year of operations, Gratia is prepared to give a warm welcome for our new crop of students. I earnestly pray that our current students can go from strength to strength and grace upon grace for unearthing and polishing the servant leadership qualities within. It has been my yearning that you, as elder brothers and sisters, would associate and work closely with our freshmen that the torch of zeal and love would grow and glow. And we pray that the College would become a haven for each incoming student, where their potentials can be unleashed and realized. Similarly, it is also my craving that the new joiners would readily be integrated into Gratia, making their learning endeavors and pursuits fruitful during their sojourn here.
In addition to the existing diversified programmes (3 degree, 4 higher diploma and 1 diploma), this year, we have successfully launched a new degree programme, Bachelor of Christian Ministry (Honours). I long to see all diplomates successful in articulating to degree programmes offered by Gratia or other tertiary counterparts.
Under the context of a knowledge-based economy, the foregoing arrangements in Gratia are conducive in enabling our students to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for reciprocation to the society in future. Gratia is stepping up its efforts in increasing internship opportunities and effective measures of equipping its senior-year students with updated, appropriate techniques to enhance their employability upon graduation. By the grace and blessings from our Heavenly Father, we feel assured that we can push many cognitive frontiers further back with our students afforded more application opportunities. Let me wish you all most satisfying and rewarding experience in your stay with Gratia!
Dr. H.S. Chui, JP