The theme for 2023-2024 is
“Therefore, put on the full armor of God.” 
- Ephesians 6:13

The Apostle Paul admonishes believers to “stand” like a warrior poised for spiritual battle against the evil of this world. While in prison, Paul was surrounded by Roman guards fully arrayed with military regalia. Paul uses the important pieces of the military armor to explain how believers are to engage in the spiritual war waged against them. Just as Roman soldiers are prepared, Christians are to put on spiritual armor that equips them for spiritual war (Ephesians 6:10-13).

A Roman soldier would never consider leaving off one piece of his armor. His helmet, chest plate, belt, sandals, shield, and sword were all vital to victory over his enemy. Likewise, truth, righteousness, the Gospel, faith, salvation, the Bible, and alertness in prayer will ensure victory over our enemy!

While we champion excellence in education, we are reminded the success of our students cannot be solely measured in terms of enrollment, graduation, and career accomplishments. We must prepare them for a life-long spiritual war. To that purpose, let us admonish our students to put on the full armor of God.

Past Theme Verses

Each year William Carey University chooses an annual theme verse which focuses the university on a biblical concept.


1 Corinthians 13:13
"There remains faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love"

In a world of confusion, violence and dissention, we need to remember that the love of Christ can sustain us.


Psalm 46:10
"Be Still and Know.."

The world has been a chaotic place over the past year, and beyond. The need for reflection and introspection is felt by many. Our theme lends itself to the diverse needs of individual students, faculty, staff and administrators. Socrates expressed the need for self- understanding; “man, know thyself.”  We are God’s creation and the  search for self cannot be separated from the search for God. In an academic setting the emphasis is on knowledge and understanding of a vast array of material.  Quiet reflection will lead to the realization that there is a connection between today’s preparation and tomorrow’s success.


Joshua 1:9
"Be Strong and Courageous"

Following the death of Moses, Joshua became the leader of the Hebrew nation and faced the daunting tasks of entering and taking possession of the Promised Land. God’s word to Joshua was a word of encouragement: “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and of a good courage.  Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Strength and courage are sterling virtues essential for faith and success. At Carey, students will be encouraged to expect great things and to attempt great things with an unwavering faith in God.


Philippians 3:10
"Desiderium Sciendi"

For the past eleven years WCU has selected an annual theme to focus our attention, as a university, on a unified purpose. From the very dawn of human history, mankind has had a God-given quest to know. WCU believes that all truth is given by God, and all truth points to God. St. Paul states in Phil. 3:10, “My goal is to know Him…” This is our desire for all of our students.


1 Thessalonians 5:11
"Build Each Other Up"

In the very first extant writing to the Christian Church, Paul recognized the importance of encouragement and support for one another. While Christians have a personal relationship with God, Christians are also one part of the Body of Christ. Christianity was never meant to be lived in isolation nor to be kept merely private. We as a university are stronger, more accountable, and more effective together. Rebuilding from the tornado has further demonstrated the reality that we need each other and the importance of “building each other up.” Because we were encouraged and built up, we encourage and build up others. At Carey, faculty are not just instructors who communicate information, faculty are mentors who build up students and give them the tools to answer God’s calling.  Further, in the present climate of negative news and criticism, we emphasize the guiding principles of reverence for God, respect for self, and regard for others.


Psalm 46:1-2, 11
"Carey Strong – God is our Refuge and Strength"

In the early morning of January 21, 2017, as a tornado tore through Hattiesburg and across our campus. It shattered windows, splintered wood, and demolished buildings, but the pulpit Bible in Bass Memorial Chapel remained open to Psalm 46, boldly proclaiming, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

The strength of Carey is not found in buildings, it is found in the Carey family which is grounded in scripture, rooted in faith, and driven by mission. This year’s annual theme, “Carey Strong,” and Psalm 46 speak to more than recovery, they inspire the university to prepare students to face storms and challenges like the wise who build their lives on the rock.


2 Timothy 3:17
"Equipping for Every Good Work"

This passage demonstrates the importance of Scripture in equipping the believer. As a Christian university, part of Carey’s purpose is to equip students to answer the calling God has placed upon their lives.  As Moses learned, in spite of his fear of inadequacy, God equips those whom He calls (Ex 4:10-12).  God uses Carey not only to equip students for a variety of careers, but to equip students to be disciples and “for every good work.


Matthew 5:41
"Going the Extra Mile"

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus describes the attitudes and actions expected of Christians. As William Carey University provides quality educational programs within a caring Christian academic community, this theme motivates the university and its students to go the extra mile in service, discipleship, and in the pursuit of education.


James 1:22a
"Acta Non Verba"

Acta Non Verba which is a Latin phrase meaning "Action, not words." This concept is similarly expressed in James 1:22a which states, "Be doers of the word, and not hearers only..." In the Sermon on the Mount, both the fool and the wise man heard the words of Jesus, but it was only the wise man who put the words of Jesus into action (Matt 7:24-27). Students at Carey will be challenged to put their education and faith into action.


Luke 6:48; I Corinthians 3:11,
"Building on a Firm Foundation."

In Luke is found the teaching of Jesus about building one's life on a strong foundation, and in I Corinthians the Apostle Paul wrote, "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."  Students at Carey will be challenged to build strong lives on the foundation of faith in Christ.


Hebrews 6:1,
"Let us...go on to maturity"

The writer of the Book of Hebrews says, "Therefore, let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity." WCU students will be challenged to grow toward full maturity in all areas of their lives.


Romans 12:2,
"Transformed by the renewing of your mind."

This theme supports William Carey University's emphasis on challenge to the individual.  The full passage from Holman Christian Standard Bible reads:  "Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God."


Matthew 20:28
"not to be served, but to serve"

This theme supports William Carey University's emphasis on campus and community service.  The full passage from the Holman Christian Standard Bible reads: "You know that the rulers of the gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them.  It must not be like that among you.  On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave;  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life - a ransom for many."

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