Monday, November 11, 2013

College Crisis of Faith

Long-time readers of this blog know that I'm particularly interested in elements of doubt and faith, such as the dark night of the soul. I firmly believe these experiences actually help us develop, deepen, and strengthen our faith. But if we aren't told that they can do that, the experiences can be terrifying.

I've also said in various venues that I'm not liking the trend of discussions about college focusing on careers and profitability. That's not the purpose of most higher education, especially from the liberal arts tradition (which dominates almost all Amercian higher education systems, for the good, I believe). The purpose is really education. Learning about yourself and the world. The critical thinking skills and exposure to the amazing world definitely gives us excellent job skills, but this is quite different than a technical school, which has the purpose of giving you a set of specific skills to implement. The college experience is meant to be an experience that shapes our identities and worldviews, hopefully with the purpose of improving the world around us.

So Andrew Knapp's article on why he thinks it's a good thing for Christian college students to have a crisis of faith is spot on, I think. His points fit precisely within the philosophy of a liberal arts education and the core values of higher education. And we need to remember that it was usually Christians who supported this perspective. If we're confident in our faith, then we also shouldn't be afraid of our students having a crisis of faith.

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