I am a Ph.D student at Syracuse University studying film and digital culture in the English program. I graduated from Cedarville in 2010 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in English. I protest the removal of the philosophy department.
The philosophy department was critical to my own development as a writer and a thinker. The faculty of the philosophy department are uniquely committed to an intellectual ethic of Jesus; they illustrate that thinking well and thinking humbly are not in opposition to thinking Christ-like. The instruction and friendship of Drs. Graves, James, and Mills were essential to the preservation of my Christian identity in intellectual pursuit. When other Christians would dominate and assert, the philosophy department taught me how to ask questions and converse, to seek truth because that’s where Jesus lives. The faculty of the philosophy department taught me to sympathize with others so I can look at their ideas with grace. They taught me to value clarity of thought so I can express my own ideas and be understood. They taught me that community still holds true among Christians who differ in theology, opinion, and argument.
The dissolution of Cedarville’s philosophy department can only flatten the vibrant intellectual and theological culture which has been developing there. Without the thinkers to warn of us of our blind spots, without the safe spaces to ask the questions that need to be asked, without the classes to push our minds where we would not take them on our own, we inevitably regress into a one dimensional community of Christians.