University leadership proposes new seal, mission statement putting Christ at the center of Belmont
Change is coming to Belmont in the form of a new university seal, mission statement and vision statement, proposed to faculty in an email Wednesday.
The new media refocuses the university’s public message of Christ-centeredness.
Belmont’s proposed seal features a cross, along with the words “Christ at the center.” The new mission statement also replaces “student-centered” with “Christ-centered” as the priority of the university in a statement that has already been updated on the university website.
Over the next two months, the university intends to seek feedback from students, alumni faculty and staff to “help determine if these statements are the final, best representation of our future together,” the Office of Communications wrote in an email to the Vision.
Belmont Vision Multimedia
Belmont Vision Multimedia
This comes after university president Greg Jones presented the university’s trajectory for 2030 on the continuing theme of “God-sized dreams,” a message he has highlighted since his first Opening Convocation last fall.
The changes were approved by Belmont’s Faculty Senate, the Staff Advisory Council and the Board of Trustees, said the Office of Communications — and the differences between old and new are significant.
While the old university seal shows a decorated ionic column, echoing the neoclassical architecture of the university, the updated design depicts Belmont’s iconic bell tower along with a cross and the words “Christ at the center” on a banner in the middle of the round insignia.
”Purpose,” “character” and “wisdom” fill out the bottom edge of the circle.
The seal will replace Belmont’s current official emblem and will feature on official university documents — including student diplomas, likely starting with spring commencement.
“I think it fits Belmont values,” said junior Marina Crisp. “It looks exactly the same as my middle school jumper’s logo, which I don’t hate.”
For students like Crisp, the seal aligns with their image of the university.
“Belmont’s a Christian school, so that should be in the logo,” said freshman Sven Perrson of the seal.
But for other students, doubling down on the university’s Chirstian identity suggests Belmont is not for everyone.
“I know this is a Christian university, but it does feel sort of off-putting, especially if that’s not your main faith because I know there are a lot of students of Jewish or Muslim faiths here as well as people who don’t follow that,” said freshman Jaxon Mann.
And for senior Jerry Ling, the new seal is simply too much.
“It’s like very, very aggressively Christian,” he said.
Whether the new seal proves to be too Christian or not Christian enough, one thing is certain — university leadership is looking to the future, and they have more than a few “God-sized” plans in store.
PHOTO: The old and new seals of Belmont University. Wikimedia Commons, Belmont University
This article was written by Anna Jackson and Sarah Maninger