Going to school can offer many experiences. We are taught that we should do well in school so we can graduate, continue on to college, and from there have a job. But what if we went to college where the scholastic dream meant more than just attending your typical classes? What if you not only found yourself, but you found your spiritual path as well?
Looking at colleges and finding the right one that offers what you need to succeed after graduation can be a time-consuming task. There are many colleges now, and they all offer something different. Times have changed so much that we can now attend college online. When reading Arthur F. Holmes book, The idea of a Christian College the four main themes I found were; understanding the student life, how liberal arts applies to life, how a Christian college can inspire other parts of your education and the results of education with Christian liberal arts.
College Life as a Student
According to Arthur F. Holmes’ book The Idea of a Christian College, many young people attend college or university, and their parents encourage them, without any gripping sense of what college is all about, beyond tentative vocational goals or questionable social aspirations. (Holmes pg 3)
Many students are attending college because they have been programmed that way. They show up for class day in and day out, not very sure of the purpose or meaning behind it all. College students in this economy need to have a college education to get a job. Most students become misguided by outside influences of college life and end up partying away their tuition money. The social scene becomes more important when the focus is lost. There is a lot of stress put on a new college student from the beginning of the registration process all the way to the classroom. So how do you choose the school and stay on track for success?
Looking into a Christian college, you might think, “Why choose a Christian college over a secular college?” Its distinctive atmosphere should support an education that cultivates the creative and active integration of faith and learning, of faith and culture. (Holmes pg 6). With the idea of a Christian college, we have God-given, God-preserved, God-restorable potential, a potential to be developed, disciplined, and invested in response to God.
In a Christian college gaining our education, we are more than just becoming the future job; we are already molded and placed here for a reason, a reason that God knows and one we journey for self discovery. If we do not work on the entire being while we are expanding our minds and stretching the muscle, then how do we expect to become that person that God has placed us here for. We need to not only focus on our education but on the entire being from the spirit within. Why doesn’t this all come easily since we are all made in God’s image? It’s because we are all human and given free will.
The foundation of the theological mandate for Christian involvement in higher education can be focused on four concepts: creation, the human person, truth, and the culture mandate. (Holmes pg 13) Following what God’s will has for us and not to misuse them, value what he has given to us. Truth, if we confess that God is, the all-wise Creator of all, then he has perfect knowledge of everything we ever sought to know or do. All truth is God’s truth, wherever it may be found. (Holmes pg 17)
Liberal art teaches you to think. We are taught many things in our education that may not have anything to do with our career directly. These other classes allow our minds to grow and stretch in all areas of real life. Vocations and jobs are made for people, not people for vocations and jobs. The question to ask about an education is not “what can I do with it?” but rather “what is it doing to me as a person?” (Holmes pg 25) When we go off to college, we are going with fresh minds to be taught and molded into our future career. Liberal education is an open invitation to join the human race and become more fully human. (Holmes pg 35)
Understanding liberal arts and how the purpose of it will enrich our lives further within our career goals is very helpful in succeeding in the world. The most embracing contact between Christianity and human learning is the all-encompassing world and life view. The contemporary university tends to concentrate on the parts rather than the whole and to come away with a fragmented view of life that lacks overall meaning. (Holmes pg 57)
The Result of an Educated Person
What would a well-rounded, educated person look like, be like, and know? To train specifically for just one job and not allow yourself the freedom to educate your whole being will only limit you in the future. To cover and explore a range of capacities that help you feel part of a whole human race, develop yourself — not just into a farmer or a physician or a businessman, but as a human being. Be reflective and moral in everything you do. Become a thoroughly responsible agent; that is the mark of an educated person. (Holmes pg 101) Fostering morals and virtues, believing in the quality of life, and applying those in our education, as well and learning from our experiences will enlighten us as humans. Taking the gifts that God has given to us and by his freeing us from the bondage of sin, we move forward with realistic hope. Faith, love, and hope bring to life purposefulness, expectations, and humility. (Holmes pg 102)
After reading this book I have found that there is much more to having an education. I have focused my attention on just one thing — becoming a nurse. My life experience of working in the hospital is to have core values such as understanding, honesty, faith, and openness. When Arthur Holmes writes “Not just verbal skills and powers of communication but grace and eloquence therein as well, the ability to say the right thing in the right way at the right time,” it reminds me of my blessings. (Holmes pg 103). If we put god first in our lives everything else will fall into place for us such as, work and school. By going to a Christian college I found I am learning how to educate my spirit.