Do you desire to serve the Lord in some kind of ministry of the Word? Perhaps your interest is youth ministry, or maybe you are contemplating pastoral work and a ministry of teaching and preaching, or maybe you want to serve as a missionary. So where do you go to prepare? How do you prepare? What do you need to be prepared? Why not consider a Christian liberal arts college for your preparation? Let me give you my perspective on the benefit of this choice.
First, it is important that you know that I did not go this route for my training. After I trusted Christ in my high school days I was burdened to serve the Lord full time and prepared by going to a Bible college and then seminary for masters and doctoral work. I have no regrets about this.
Second, I am not trying to make a case against a Bible college education. I have a deep appreciation for Bible colleges. I was trained in one, I served in one, and I have no problem with students who make the choice to purchase such an education.
It is now my privilege to serve a Christian liberal arts college as its president. So, why is this educational venue an exceptional place to prepare for ministry?
1. The liberal arts is an ideal setting for biblical training. Why? Liberal arts education was purposed to explain how the universe is ordered and functions as well as how to use language to communicate with others. The goal was to prepare a student for life. Liberal arts eduction is “a well-rounded educational approach rooted in the arts and sciences.”
The purposes and desired outcomes of a Christian liberal arts education are quintessential for biblical training. The student who desires skills in the biblical text and skills to interact with people will learn in a rich cultural context that is committed to the integrity of the biblical text and that is theologically sound. The liberal arts context brings a special appreciation for aesthetics, general and special revelation, and opportunity to interact with specialists from a variety of educational disciplines to the biblical studies student.
2. The liberal arts is an optimum context for character development. A liberal arts education aspires to prepare you for life. With this in mind, the Christian liberal arts approach is designed to prepare you for a life informed by, shaped by, driven by the most liberating good news, the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Christian liberal arts is more than a content dump of information about the arts and sciences. It seeks to transform thinking and being. Biblical training is relational and transformational and thrives in a liberal arts context.
3. The liberal arts and pre-professional degree student body nurtures the people skills and marketplace perspective of a biblical studies student. The student body ethos at a Christian liberal arts college is diverse, multi-cultural, and multi-perspective. A healthy Christian liberal arts student population heightens one’s awareness that we are part of a global society and that students are preparing to live and work in environmental settings of all kinds. The biblical studies student learning in this educational setting will develop a wholesome cultural empathy.
4. The liberal arts and pre-professional degree options offer the biblical studies student marketplace credentials for bi-vocational living. The changing dynamics in politics and within the economy are creating a new normal for ministry leaders just like for the marketplace labor force. It is not uncommon for one man or woman to juggle multiple jobs in order to earn a living. The liberal arts and pre-professional degree setting offers the biblical studies student skills, credentials, and certifications that prepare for a missional life in an uncertain marketplace.
At Clearwater Christian College our Bible department is the hub of a Christian liberal arts education. We are committed to equipping you as a person with the life and ministry skills you need for gospel work and marketplace success.
Source Consulted: Gene Fant, The Liberal Arts: A Student’s Guide.