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Why Christian Colleges Matter

     In David Brooks’ speech entitled “The Cultural Value of Christian Higher Education,” he attests to the importance of attending a Christian institution for schooling. Brooks speaks about the importance of being able to grow as a student and as a person in general.

     “Most universities have gotten out of the business of spiritual and character development, and they’ve adopted a research ideal,” Brooks says. What sets religious schools like Eastern apart from secular schools is the ability to implement religious growth within their curricula.

     In my first year at Eastern, I have seen that Christianity is a part of the structure and curriculum of every class I take. From the weekly readings of the Old Testament to the spiritual book assignments in Faith, Reason and Justice, Eastern has crafted general education courses that can help students grow into godly people. Apart from the required faith courses, I have seen the work of God implemented into the core curriculum. During my first week of classes, my college algebra professor read Luke 13:13. This tale in Luke tells the story of Jesus Christ healing a woman who was afflicted with arthritis. My teacher asked the class of mostly first-year students how this part of the New Testament related to the course we were in. We all looked very puzzled. I  thought this was some sort of trick question. The professor eventually smirked and revealed that the verse related to college algebra because students often feel as though math is sort of an affliction on us. The entire room erupted with laughter. I never thought that religion could be taught through algebra. That is the power of attending a Christian school for one’s higher education.

     Like myself, Brooks sees the impact a school like Eastern can have on its students. Christian colleges allow young people to love the world they are in and to speak passionately about the God that surrounds them. Within a secular school, a passion and drive to learn about God is not needed to succeed and thrive. The process of learning more about one’s spirituality is something that cannot be completely fulfilled at a secular school.

     Brooks  does not have contempt for  secular institutions such as Yale, where he himself has taught, but rather points out that the lack of religion leads to a thirst for spiritual guidance. The students he taught at Yale  longed to hear about Brooks’ religious background and experience. At a secular school the mind is the most important thing in every subject. Getting the education to obtain a degree is seen as the goal in any college setting, but the goal of a Christian institution is for the mind to grow with the  heart and soul.

     As his speech  came to a close, Brooks leaves the audience (made up of mostly college-age men and women) with a purpose: to fulfill God’s work through their attendance at a spiritual college and spread the word of God to those who are hungry to learn.

     “Everyone, religious or not, is on a road to a holy place. You guys have the language. The rest of the world needs it. I hope you’ll be out in the world leading the way,” Brooks says.

     For Eastern students, our mission is quite similar. We have a mission to take the spiritual knowledge this institution has given to us and spread it to all sections of the world. Eastern has opened many doors for its students to do so by allowing them to participate in service learning activities, volunteer-oriented clubs such as YACHT and various mission trips.

     Source: Advance.CCCU.org

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