Up to this point in my life and ministry I have been involved in Word centered ministries. I moved from a pastorate to a church based bible institute to a church based seminary to a bible college to a local church pastorate to a liberal arts college. In my current liberal arts assignment I have had to think deeply about the value and the use of this type of education. This task was and is complicated by the fact that many question the place of a liberal arts education in a market focused on a skill sequenced education.
In the process of my reading I was tremendously helped by three resources.
- Carson, Donald A. “Can There Be A Christian University?” Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. 1:3 (1997): 20-38.
- Fant. Jr., Gene C. The Liberal Arts: A Student’s Guide. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012.
- Morrow, Jonathan. Think Christianly: Looking at the Intersection of Faith and Culture. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011.
Recently, the Council of Independent Colleges announced a campaign for the liberal arts. George Nugent, President of Kenyon College and Chair of the CIC Board of directors will lead this initiative. You can read about this campaign by clicking on this link.
In the following blog posts I will journal my journey into the liberal arts and reflect on how my thinking has been shaped. Along the way I will invite some Clearwater grads and faculty to share their passion for a liberal arts education.
The Clearwater Christian College Deliverable: Liberal Arts Education
The Mission of Clearwater Christian College: The College exists to provide an excellent liberal arts education centered on God’s Word, with a focus on challenging students to love God wholly, to know Him intimately, and to serve Him fervently; educating men and women to minister faithfully and humbly with evangelistic zeal as they impact eternity for Jesus Christ in every avenue of life.
Historically, a liberal arts education consisted of a group of academic disciplines that contributed to a broad education that prepared a student for life. The original group of disciplines included grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, astronomy, music, and geometry. It is more common today to see a Liberal Arts education built around the Social Sciences, the Natural Sciences, the Humanities, and the Fine Arts.
A liberal arts education seeks to prepare, to shape, and to equip a person with well-rounded foundational study so that they have an aptitude to learn and the flexibility to adapt to a constantly changing market place. A liberal learner thinks critically, empathizes sincerely, and discerns common connections in the created order.
The market place in the global neighborhood needs liberally trained individuals who can compete and perform at the highest levels. The staggering opportunity of Clearwater Christian College is the occasion to prepare men and women for a gospel driven life with the educational tool of a Christ-centered liberal arts education.
A gospel driven life is a life distinctively marked with knowledge of and affection for the Lord Jesus Christ, His Word, His Grace, and His Church. Gospel Driven liberal learners will be missional with their life. They will creatively use their well-rounded education in the market place of the global neighborhood in the arenas of ministry, of business, of education, and of the sciences to advance the great commission and to build a strong and healthy church.