Monday, April 7, 2014

The need for Christian higher education

For the past 15 or so years I've been privileged to be a member of the Church Relations Council at Campbellsville University in Kentucky.  Last week we had our two-day Spring meeting on campus.  I currently serve as the chair of the Academic Committee so we heard reports from the various deans on campus about what is happening in their various schools.  It was exciting to hear about new degree programs that are being implemented and others that are being considered.  The President's report discussed the continued growth of the university both in numbers of students and in the new facilities that are being built and planned.  It is obvious that Campbellsville University has a clear vision of where it is going and has the plans in place to get them there.

The ultimate goal of the university is to prepare young people to be Christian servant leaders regardless of what careers they may enter.  The university seeks to accomplish this by integrating faith and academics in everything they do.  I believe it is that goal that encourages so many young people to pick this school over other possibilities.  These are young people who want more from a college education than just a degree.  They want to be leaders in their fields.  Maybe they don't know much about being a servant leader when they begin their studies, but by the time they complete their four years they will have learned that being a servant leader is the highest form of leadership there is.  Not all students who come to this campus are Christians when they arrive, but within a very short period of time they will be exposed to the gospel from their fellow students and in their chapel services, and many of them will come to faith in Jesus Christ before they leave the university.

One of the facts about Campbellsville University that always amazes me is the number of international students who attend this university located in rural Kentucky about an hour from Louisville.  A significant percentage of the student population come from overseas with 43 countries currently represented.  This provides the university with a great opportunity to provide a Christian witness to persons who may have never heard of Jesus Christ.  Some of the students will become Christians while on campus and then return to their homes and share the gospel with their friends and family.

On many university campuses today all truths are accepted as equally valid unless one proposes that there is such a thing as absolute truth.  All philosophies and religious beliefs are considered equal unless one is a Christian.  Christian values, beliefs, and morals are considered fair game for ridicule and outright contempt on many university campuses.  Christian young people who attempt to take a stand for their beliefs are often the targets of ridicule from their instructors and fellow classmates.  The toxic atmosphere on such campuses is not conducive to receiving a quality education nor learning how to be a leader.

This is why I continue to serve on the Church Relations Council of Campbellsville University.  I believe in the value of Christian higher education.  I believe there is value in a young person having his or her beliefs challenged, but I believe it should be done in a way that does not demean the person or the beliefs that are held.  If our beliefs are never challenged we may never know exactly what we believe and why we believe it, and I believe knowing the why is just as important as knowing what we believe.

Christian higher education begins with the premise that there is such a thing as absolute truth and begins to seek to learn what that truth is.  This enables a person to have a moral and ethical foundation upon which to build his or her life which is going to lead to greater success.  As mentioned before, Christian higher education combines faith with scholarship that produces the servant leaders that our nation and our world so desperately needs at this time.

If I was a Christian parent with high school age children I would want them to at least look at Campbellsville University when they begin to think about where they want to pursue their education.  This school is consistently rated in the top schools in the country by various publications that do such rankings.  It has a very successful athletics program, a beautiful campus, numerous degree programs to choose from, a low 13:1 student to faculty ratio, and leaders and faculty who truly care about the young people who attend the university.  Even more important, in my mind, is the fact that it has a clear vision about where God is leading it in the future and the quality education it offers to help your young person develop into a Christian servant leader.  You can check out the campus at  You may also contact me if you have any questions, and I will try to answer them or direct you to the person who can.

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