A Philosophy of Christian (Baptist) Higher Education: True of False

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    To all who seek truth through knowledge:

    Dr. Paul Corts, President of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities gave the prestigious H.I. Hester Lectures to the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities this past summer.

    I have read a quote from him I think bears quoting here. It is set in the midst of all of the "Baptist Wars" context with all of the once Baptist traditional schools (can you say Southern Baptist schools) that have "left the fold" as it were, and amidst the other issues facing Christian schools on the wider cultural landscape. He said:

    "Six Tasks for Christian Higher Education Leadership" are:
    First, we should focus on mission with laser like intensity and a fierce commitment.
    Second, we need to be sure we know what we mean when we say our insitutions want to transform lives.
    Third, we need to indentify what it is that we are doing at our schools that contributed to the fulfillment of the "transforming lives" mission.
    Fourth, we must answer the question "Are we graduating students whose lives have been transformed?"

    How about some dialogue and feedback?

    "That is all!"
     
  2. Havensdad

    Havensdad
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    O.k. Comment>

    All of those goals are too man focused. Our focus should be on God, and his word. That means we focus on theological instruction, knowledge of God and His word, etc. I believe classes like "Mission" and "discipleship" classes, are some of the most useless, fluff garbage that seminaries have. These classes put the "cart before the horse," teaching earthly ways of doing these things, rather than study of scripture which leads to God's direction.

    Seminaries and Bible colleges need to focus on Biblical literacy and Theological accuracy above all else. If that is done, the rest will fall into place. "It is the word of God which is at work within you..."
     
  3. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    HD Reponse

    Hello HD,

    I should have clarified. This speech excerpt was taken from an address to the Baptist group, the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities.

    That should help contextualize and frame the discussion a bit better. And for the record, I only posted 4 of the 6 he mentioned. I thought that would be a help also.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    "That is all!" :smilewinkgrin:
     
  4. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    I'm privileged to chair the trustees at a Baptist University. Within the school we have the Baptist College of the Bible, where one may obtain a theology degree in preparation for a life of ministry. Then there is the Baptist College of Arts and Sciences, the liberal arts division of the university.

    A third division is the Adult Education division, which is an accelerated degree program (business-type degree), mostly off-campus in several locations throughout Kentucky. And just recently, the school (Mid-Continent University in Mayfield, Kentucky) began offering a Masters in business.

    All coursework is undergirded by a Biblical world-view, and the inerrancy of scripture. This worldview must be incorporated into each course, and each professor must outline in writing how that is to be done. And it must be consistent with Baptist faith and practice.

    Not all of our students are believers, or even Baptist. But all are required to take a number of hours in Christian studies. Every class begins with prayer, every athletic event begins with prayer. And every student will repeatedly come under the sound of the gospel.

    Our believing students (as well as faculty and staff) are encouraged to be personal witnesses. Each semester a number of our students publicly confess Christ as Lord and Savior.

    Our president views the university as a mission field to reach lost students. And, to encourage believing students to be salt and light wherever their life's work takes them.

    Does the Mid-Continent succeed in the goal of transforming lives?

    Ask the students. But I have seen it with my own eyes.
     
  5. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    Tom B. Response

    Tom,

    Thank you very much. This is the type and caliber of dialogue that I wanted. Were you there when the address from which I quoted was given? I know that you know Dr. Corts and Dr. Bob Agee and those involved in the Baptist college and university consortium. I am proud to teach in a school that is aligned with such a fine organization.

    Thank you for your lifelong work and contribution to the SBC world of education. I am proud to have co-edited a book with men like Dr. David Dockery of Union University, and a man of such educational insight as Dr. Bob Agee who is President Emeritous of Oklahoma Baptist University, and to have graduated under the Presidency of Dr. Al Mohler of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and who also wrote a Foreword for a writing project I was blessed to be a part of; and I must not forget Dr. B.Gray Allison the Founding President and President Emeritous of Mid American Baptist Theological Seminary.

    I hope I can live up to the blood, sweat, and tears they have poured into those noble institutions and hopefully that some of it trickled down onto and into me while I was there as a student.

    May God's name be praised, for eternity will only know what these, and all Baptist institutions, have contributed to the Cause of Christ.

    "That is all!"
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    Roger, Dr. Bob Agee and I were classmates at Union University a half-century ago. He has been a friend of Mid-Continent University, and has been on our campus several times.

    Let me expand on my earlier comments about MCU's philosophy of Christian education.

    Our bylaws require that every trustee hold to inerrancy. So must all the faculty in the Baptist College of the Bible. We have a smattering of professors in the College of Arts and Sciences who are not Baptist, but even they must agree not to teach contrary to the Baptist Faith and Message. And they must still incorporate the Christian world view into their courses. We've had some professors to visit our trustee meetings to demonstrate how they do it.

    Here's how serious we are about our mission. Our by-laws state that if the university no longer holds to inerrant scripture, it will be shut down and the assets disposed of.

    I know, I know, somebody who reads this will say, ah hah, one of those right-wing, fundamentalist bible schools. Conservative, yes, and unashamedly so. We are what we are, and we're not subtle about it.

    And have you ever heard of this?: Our president, Dr. Bob Imhoff, requires his athletic team coaches to recruit some unchurched kids for their teams. He wants to get them onto the campus, where they will be exposed to the gospel at every turn--and for some of them, it will be the first time. And some will confess Christ as Lord. Remember what I said about the campus being a mission field?
     

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