I am currently a PhD candidate in the philosophy department at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. I earned an MA in philosophy from the University of Toledo after graduating from Cedarville University in 2007. I protest the removal of the philosophy program at Cedarville because the lessons I learned there have been crucial to both my academic vocation and my spiritual walk.
When I came to Cedarville, I was just starting to read and to think critically about the faith I had been raised in; and I believed my faith would not survive my questions. Dr. Mills and the other philosophy faculty exemplified the life of the mind for me and my friends. They showed us how to take on our questions honestly and openly, without setting aside or fearing for our faith. Now, as I teach my own students, I appreciate how rare that ability is.
Recently I visited the annual conference of the second-largest philosophy organization in the United States—well-respected and very difficult to get into. Four Cedarville alumni were presenting their research. Any graduate program in philosophy would be proud to have that many alumni on the schedule. Cedarville ought to take the same pride in the accomplishments of its philosophy graduates.
The philosophy program has always been my best memory of Cedarville University. If that opportunity to think carefully, critically, faithfully about the “big questions” is denied Cedarville students, it will be a great loss for the university. I urge the Board of Trustees to keep the philosophy program intact.