What does it mean to go to a Christian liberal arts university?
November 9th, 2014 | Laura Prosapio
When I was a senior in high school, I applied to eight colleges and researched many more. I knew I wanted to go to a private Christian college, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to narrow down my choices from there. I decided to make my final decision based upon which school had the most engaging Psychology program, and out of the eight schools I applied to, Evangel’s was my favorite. Thus, I started the Psychology program at Evangel, as well as the liberal arts program included in the comprehensive curriculum at the university.
It is an amazing privilege to attend a Christian liberal arts college. Though I previously didn’t consider this concept or regard it as very important, it is now something that not only motivates my academic study, but it also motivates my pursuit to see God’s truth in every class I take.
Through interdisciplinary courses I’ve taken the past few semesters and through recent conversations with my boss and academic advisor, Dr. Diane Awbrey, I have gained tremendous insight and “light bulb moments” about the power of encountering God in every class and in every moment. I’m realizing that while I previously compartmentalized my learning of God to traditional Biblical Studies courses, I now am able to learn about God and seek His truth in every class I’m taking. Whether I’m studying Renaissance art, classic literature, biology, psychology, or even statistics, I have the opportunity to encounter God’s truth and His love through His creativity and wisdom. I’m beginning to consider the grandness of God that exceeds even my own expectations of how He can reach me.
Evangel’s university seal contains a “TRUTH” insignia set upon a cross and a Bible.
This concept of truth is woven into Evangel’s spiritual, residential, and academic life. Within Evangel’s four Frameworks classes (Order, Humanity, Culture, and Pentecost), the statement “All truth is God’s truth” is often mentioned. The first time I heard these words, I wasn’t exactly sure what they meant. I had often restricted God’s truth to the words I read in my Bible or the words spoken from my pastor on Sunday mornings; I never really pondered the concept that God’s truth could be revealed to me through every area of study. However, taking these Frameworks courses opened my eyes to God’s pervading presence through the foundations of classical history, literature, and culture.
During President Carol Taylor’s recent inauguration speech, she referenced the following quote by Abraham Kuyper that I believe sheds light on the presence of God’s truth in each academic subject and discipline:
“No single piece of our mental world is to be hermetically sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’”
By encouraging its students to encounter God through these many fields of study, Evangel emboldens its students to bring this truth of God to these many fields of study.
Ultimately, I’ve realized that Evangel’s purpose is not merely for its students to encounter God’s truth exclusively through its offered Biblical Studies courses. On the contrary, Evangel recognizes that God’s truth can be encountered by glorifying Him with our souls, our minds, and our heart’s passions—whether we are pursuing accounting, marketing, anthropology, or nursing. We can witness the grandeur of God’s handiwork through studying the complexity of neurotransmitters, the order of geometric proofs, and even the art within musical compositions.
By encouraging its students to encounter God through these many fields of study, Evangel emboldens its students to bring this truth of God to these many fields of study. By seeking God’s truth in all these fields, Evangel graduates become equipped to allow the world to greater glimpse the beauty of God’s truth.