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Basic assumptions about education guide every instructor. These assumptions include the goals of education and the means to achieve these goals. Based on these assumptions, the instructor develops course objectives and chooses instructional methods to accomplish these objectives. This document discloses instructional assumptions for use at a Baptist University.
  • A Baptist University is a type of Christian University.
  • Goal of a Christian University education: The progressive restoration of the image of God that was marred by our first parents’ fall into sin.
  • Means of achieving this goal: A Christian liberal arts education.
  • The liberal arts: Academic disciplines inseparably bound to fundamental questions about reality. Consequently, students of the liberal arts learn specific content, and they learn how to learn. In other words, they develop the ability to think critically, or ask appropriate questions.
  • A liberal arts education stands in contrast with indoctrination.
  • First point of contrast: A liberal arts education requires the fair presentation of all sides of an issue. A fair presentation is one that is made from the point of view of one who holds the position and in a way that is deemed satisfactory by one who holds that position.
  • Second point of contrast: A liberal arts education, particularly a Christian liberal arts education, recognizes (more…)
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This “Vision for Christ-centered Higher Education” is an extended treatment, from a different point of view, of the same subject treated in “A Philosophy of Christian Liberal Arts Education.” “Vision” was first published in 2007, when I was employed as the Academic Vice President at Cedarville University, Cedarville, Ohio.

Cedarville University is a Christ-centered learning community equipping students for lifelong leadership and service through an education marked by excellence and grounded in biblical truth. This mission affects our philosophy of education, including the way faculty members conduct research, practice collegiality, and carry out instruction.

As a university comprised of multiple schools, containing a variety of academic disciplines and areas of research, Cedarville will carry out its mission through a conversation involving a mutual sharing among the various disciplines, both on Cedarville’s campus and within the academy at large. For example, those engaged in biblical and theological studies will gain hermeneutical insight to exercise more critical discernment for biblical interpretation and theological reflection from conversation with those involved in the study of human communication within and across cultures and social strata, the study of artistic expression, and the study of literary forms and theories. Furthermore, those preparing students for professional careers such as those in nursing, business, and education will seek to educate their students as complete persons through collaboration with colleagues in the humanities and social sciences.

As a Christ-centered university with a commitment to the authority of Christian Scripture, we recognize the following principles: (more…)

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A prominent Christian College affirms in its mission statement that it is “a Christian community of the liberal arts” that “remains dedicated to” “education, not theological indoctrination” and to “scholarship which is integrally Christian.” This statement complements its tagline, “Freedom within a framework of faith.” These affirmations aptly describe Christian liberal arts education. By exploring this description, the attractiveness of this education becomes clear.

Education and scholarship focus on furnishing the mind. By contrast, training focuses on developing skills for performing a job. Education may exist apart from training, but training cannot exist apart from education. Education, then, must be a priority at any college, but especially a liberal arts college. (more…)

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