Open Letter to Those Who May Criticise My Choice to Attend a Christian College

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Ah. So my opinions are invalid because I attended a Christian liberal arts university and am therefore extremely closed minded. I see.

Sweetie, let me tell it to you straight.

At my Christian liberal arts university, my professors were intelligent men and women who were respected in their fields. Most of them had doctorates, and many of them had doctoral degrees from secular universities. I had teachers who were well-recognized professionals in their fields. I had a published novelist as my creative writing teacher. An experienced stage actor as an acting teacher. A linguistics professor who conducted research for her doctorate in a small jungle community where she learned their language and invented a written version based on the language’s phonology. A German instructor who backpacked in Germany. A theater history teacher who attended dozens of acclaimed productions and wrote theater reviews for a newspaper. These professors chose to teach at my university because they loved the students and wanted to do everything in their power to help us become people with firm convictions and hearts made for serving others.

At my Christian liberal arts university, I was assigned to read and evaluate Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Aristotle, Plato, Freud, Derrida, Foucault, Hobbes, Eliot, Ovid, Shakespeare, Woolf, Mansfield, Rabelais, Bronte, London, Hawthorne, Stowe, Barnes (yes, Djuna), Porter, Twain, and Marx…to name a few.

At my Christian liberal arts university, I was encouraged by my professors to seek out people whose worldviews were vastly different from my own so I could learn from them and understand their perspectives. This way I could learn how to get to know a person as a person instead of writing him off because he believes differently from me.

At my Christian liberal arts university, I was required to take classes outside of my specific field of study so that I would recognize the importance of being mentally well-rounded. I took a general science course that taught me the terms and concepts behind areas of science that are the subject of hot debate in the news. I took a computer science course that taught me how to use software I had never explored before. I took an art history course that showed me the progression of ideologies through the ages that influenced areas of art outside of writing.

At my Christian liberal arts university, there was an unusually stringent dress code that fell more closely in line with the dress expected of business executives working in large companies–or the dress code of anyone who is trying to make a favorable first impression. This dress code prepared me for all the of the dress codes I could possibly face in my professional life (because not everyone is lucky enough to work for Google or Pixar or other companies where jeans are allowed). This dress code taught me to dress in a manner that shows I respect others and shows that I respect myself.

At my Christian liberal arts university, I lived in a dormitory where I rubbed elbows with young women from all over the world and from all different family backgrounds. I met and became friends with girls from China, South Korea, Japan, Switzerland, the Bahamas, New Zealand, and Mexico. I was blessed with roommates from different parts of the U.S. as well as different parts of the world. Their wildly contrasting worldviews, backgrounds, personalities, and preferences were as much a part of my education as my classes.

At my Christian liberal arts university, I was told I needed to travel. I needed to leave the country at least once to see how other cultures operate.

At my Christian liberal arts university, I was taught to be kind, to put others first, to be loving, to be forgiving, to reach out, to work hard, to think before I act, to explore what I have yet to explore, to be willing to go and do things I had never planned to go and do. Most of these principles I was taught by example.

At my Christian liberal arts university, I was consistently presented with the same worldview in every class, meeting, production, and function. But I was always encouraged and expected to do my own research, do my own thinking, and come to my own conclusions about what was presented.

But far more important than my education at this Christian liberal arts university was my education at home. I was raised by two fantastic, generous people who loved God, loved each other, and loved me. They always sought to put the tools in my hands that would help me figure out the world around me. Every interest I pursued, they supported 100%. Science? I got a microscope for Christmas. Art? Sets of paints and paper. Writing? Blank notebooks. Literature? Countless trips to the library. History? Trips to museums. They always told me to chase after whatever it was I believed God made me to do. If that was to be a stay-at-home mom, great. If that was to be president, great. I settled on “writer,” and they said “great.” Without their wholehearted investment in my journey, my choices, I would not be where I am right now.

You made a snap judgment about me based on my education, and you’re calling me closed minded?

Fascinating.

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10 responses »

  1. Oh, my dear Beloved Daughter:

    Here, these 23 years later, you are answering the prayer I prayed on my knees before your beloved Mumsie’s womb: “Father in Heaven—make her what you want her to be. And let me teach her to do that, and then let her go.”

    And look at you!

    You articulate the Gospel of the Lord Jesus with compassion and grace, showing the shallow and vacuous moral vanity of those who pride themselves on “diversity.”

    By which diversity they mean, only too obviously: “You are diverse, when and if you agree with me.”

    What a hollow and vain life they lead.

    I pity them—even though they in the short term will seem always to be right. After all, the “majority” agrees with them.

    The majority also cried, “Crucify Him!”

    Keep it up, my dear little treasure.

    You are on the right side of history. Not, to be sure, the history of the damnable of this world–but of that of the Holy One of Heaven, Whose history is, truly, “His Story.”

    Deo Soli Gloria.

    Love,

    The Dadster

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