Dr. Robertson McQuilkin, one of Columbia International University's longest-serving presidents, has been selected to receive the 2010 Lifetime of Service Award from the nation's largest evangelical mission organizations.
The Mission Exchange and CrossGlobal Link, which together represent nearly 200 evangelical mission groups in the United States and Canada, tapped McQuilkin for the award in honor of his service to missions, and was scheduled to present it to him Friday night during the North American Mission Leaders Conference held in Charlotte, N.C.
Past recipients of the Lifetime of Service Award include Dr. Wesley Duewel, president emeritus of One Mission Society; Dr. Ralph D. Winter, founder of the U.S. Center for World Mission; and George Verwer, founder and former international director of Operation Mobilization.
"In presenting this award we celebrate the faithfulness of God as evidenced in a lifetime of service to the cause of global mission," said Steve Moore, president and CEO of The Mission Exchange. "Dr. McQuilkin gives us a real-life portrait of what it looks like to finish well."
McQuilkin, who was a missionary to Japan for more than a decade and CIU president for over two, is a recognized authority on biblical ethics and world evangelization as well as author of seven books.
He is also known for his commitment to his late wife, Muriel, who passed away in 2003. McQuilkin's wife suffered from Alzheimer disease in the latter part of her life and McQuilkin made the difficult decision of stepping down from his post as CIU president in 1990 to care for her. McQuilkin's act of devotion, which he said stems from the promise to care for her until death separated them, prompted other couples who heard of the story to renew their marriage vows.
It was during McQuilkin's time as president that CIU changed its name for Columbia Bible College to Columbia Bible College and Seminary. The South Carolina Christian school later changed to its current name in 1994.
The only man to serve longer as the school's president was McQuilkin's father, Robert McQuilkin, the school's first president.
McQuilkin's father served as president three years more than his 22 years.