It’s Official: The Adkins’ family will be a Lancer family.
This article is not so much about our boy, although he is the reason for its genesis. It is more about how impressed our family has been with our experience engaging with CBU, via its administrators, professors, and staff.
Canon, our youngest son, and gifted musician, will be graduating high school in a few days. After being accepted to 20+ schools, he has decided to “take his talents” to Southern California to become a part of the Collingsworth School of Performing Arts at CBU studying Music Composition for Stage and Screen.
He has already written and performed the score for a short film that won the Louisiana Film Prize Jr, Grand Prize at last year’s event. And he is currently working on scoring a few other short films. The boy knows what he is doing and what he wants to do with it.
As we were looking into options for Canon we found some really great Christian affiliated music schools. Belmont in Nashville is one of the best-known music schools around and then there is University of Mobile down here on the Gulf Coast. A powerhouse music school itself. We weren’t just considering Christian schools. In fact, 2 of our top 4 weren’t Baptist/Christian affiliated schools at all.
Like his older brother, he had the privilege of growing up here in the New Orleans area and the lagniappe benefit of splitting time between two high schools during his young academic career. He has attended the Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy and the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts where he studied jazz. Suffice it to say, he is a gifted musician.
We systematically narrowed down college options over the last few months to what has become the clear winning choice. The purpose of this article is to point out something special we found along the way.
Through the suggestion of a few friends, we were encouraged to check out California Baptist University in Riverside, California located just to the east of Los Angeles.
And… Holy Cow! CBU!
When we were in Anaheim last year for the convention, one morning Canon remarked, “Man, I could live here with this weather!” Little did we know what the future would bring.
That week we saw much of CBU being represented around the convention hall as they were not only an important sponsor, the school also provided the ambient music for the annual meeting. Not being on our radar, we didn’t go visit the campus. In hindsight, we should have.
We did a lot of investigation into CBU the next couple of months and grew more and more impressed. Impressed enough that we decided to make an official trip back out for a campus visit and did so in October.
I put out a short tweet that Canon and I were headed to check out CBU and asked for some thoughts. We received a slew of positive responses. I even received an email from a couple of CBU administrators, who are a few of the most gracious institutional leaders with which I’ve ever engaged.
Just a word here for those parents helping their kids with college decisions. Between our two boys we have had significant interaction with over 40 different colleges and universities in the admissions process at one level or another. And, I am not joking here, our interaction with CBU has been the most impressive engagement we’ve had and there is not a close second.
I know you might think this is hyperbole, but that is not the case. I could give you example after example as to how quick, professional, and thorough their staff has been at answering questions, guiding us through processes and navigating all the things a family must navigate to make their child’s college dreams come true; and at every point CBU has been exemplary. Honestly, to the point where it has seemed unreal from time to time.
Our On Campus Visit
I’m not even sure where to begin in expressing what we experienced on the campus.
The school opened September 18th, 1950 and was founded by, get this, the Los Angeles Baptist Association of Churches. I love that. So, the campus is not very old. In fact, it feels like a new campus with some of the most beautiful and well-kept facilities I’ve ever seen.
The grounds were immaculately manicured. The buildings are inviting and although there is a prevalent, wonderful, Spanish-Mission style architecture, the arrangement of the buildings bring together the best of new styles and old. There are many things I could compliment regarding housing, academic programs, campus life, student support, food options (which are amazing) and the spiritual component of the school, but for our family, the most attractive aspect was the Collinsworth School of Performing Arts. The facilities were great, with 51 Yamaha grand pianos placed around the campus, including 26 of them in the practice rooms of the impressive Hawkins Music Building.
We even happened upon some of the music faculty who are music professionals themselves with accolades such as having played on the soundtracks of numerous movies and with all sorts of other famous musicians. They’ve even put together an incredibly impressive music advisory council which includes names like, Vinnie Colaiuta, Shelia E, Alan Parsons, and Nathan East, all well-known names in the music industry. As well as names like Travis Cottrell, Anthony Evans and Mike Harland from the church world.
As a drummer myself, I couldn’t believe that one of the greatest living drummers, Vinnie Colaiuta, does clinics there at CBU.
Seriously, parents of music students out there…. You HAVE to check out CBU. And I’m not even addressing their fantastic Music for Worship Arts and Ministry programs they have. It’s just all so amazing.
Check out some of their stats…
When the current president, Dr. Ellis, took office in 1995 CBU had 808 students. Their most recent enrollment numbers put them at 11,496 students. Friends, that makes CBU the largest SBC affiliated Baptist school in the country, by far. (Liberty is in a different category)
They have 108 Bachelor’s Degree programs, 40 Master’s Degree programs and 7 Doctoral programs.
Here is a link to an article that was published about a year ago which talks about CBU being ranked as one of the fastest growing colleges in the US. https://calbaptist.edu/news/cbu_ranked_among_nations_fastest_growing_colleges_in_new_report
I’m just not sure how God has worked it out for our family to get a front row seat to such a great story of God’s providence in a Christian institution who is killing it in every way.
This school is helping to create highly credentialed professionals who exude excellence in their career fields, while also providing a strong Christian-based academic atmosphere that prepares our young people to navigate the secular world with a strong faith and a bold witness.
If you are beginning to consider college options for your son or daughter, do yourself a favor and investigate California Baptist University. I promise you’ll be glad you did.