On What Should a Christian College Be Grounded? - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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August 27, 2017

On What Should a Christian College Be Grounded?

As I'm on the cusp of a new academic year here at Geneva College, I've been reflecting this Lord's Day (Sunday, August 27, 2017) on this question: "On what should a Christian college be grounded?"

Should it be grounded in "conservative values" as one Christian college's vision statement indicates. Probably not, or the Christian college becomes a GOP college first and foremost and only a Christian college secondarily (or tertiarily).

Should it be grounded in "the values and ideals identified in the Judeo-Christian tradition" as another Christian college's vision statement indicates? Probably not, or the Christian college ends up rejecting an explicitly Christ-centered vision of learning and discernment in favor of some vague moralism.

No. It seems to me that Christian education is, at bare minimum, education that is grounded in a posture--a worshipful and subservient posture that places all learning under the Kingship of Jesus Christ as informed by the inerrant Scriptures. Grounded in that posture, a truly Christian education, for example, critiques both conservative and liberal politics. That critique involves identifying the idolatries that undergird both conservatism and liberalism--and both of these political philosophies do indeed contain idolatries!

And, also, a truly Christian education involves a holy dissatisfaction with the vagueness of an education that is only grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition--a vagueness which will not explicitly affirm Christ's Kingship or the ultimate authority of the inerrant Word of God. So--an education grounded in Christ's Kingship and informed by the inerrant Scriptures challenges the Christian to recognize that Christ says "Mine" to all areas of creation and, as such, He has the right to say something profound about them.

Put another way: Christian education is the act of listening to what King Jesus says about the academic disciplines that He has created and a willingness to worshipfully submit to what He has to say. Well--that's what I'm reflecting on as I prepare to start another academic year.  

Let's get this thing rolling!

- Dr. C. Scott Shidemantle