I am currently a freshman in the philosophy program of Cedarville, with a minor in missions. I protest the the removal of the philosophy department. This protest is not merely a selfish one. I believe all students who so desire should have an opportunity to learn the critical thinking skills that are hard to come by except through philosophy classes. Moreover, I believe it will be extremely difficult to find better men to teach those classes than Dr. Mills and Dr. Graves.
Dr. Mills is a great man. He is willing to wrestle with issues in the Christian faith, but he never abandons it. He teaches his students how to better defend and understand their faith using their God-given reason. I can better use my intellect to understand and defend Christianity as a result of his instruction. Moreover, as my academic adviser, he has helped me greatly to sort through my career options, and I have ultimately come to settle on foreign missions. Unfortunately, I have not had the privilege of taking one of Dr. Graves’ classes yet, as this is only my second semester. However, during my second visit to Cedarville, I visited one of his Intro to Philosophy classes. During the class, I saw in him a man of profound faith and great intellect. In that class he helped the students to work through some troubling problems facing Christianity (namely, why God doesn’t merely reveal Himself outright to everyone so they will turn to him). Even I, only a visitor, came away from that class with a stronger faith. Additionally, my conversation with Dr. Graves following the class helped set me on the path to finding my current career choice.
In addition to my personal history with these professors, I also believe philosophy is an inherently valuable program. Aside form the critical thinking skills, it also prepares us well for graduate work. From the research I’ve done and advice I’ve received from multiple sources, philosophy appears to be the strongest program for those desiring to go into a variety of fields, including religion/theology, law, and even business.
Because I believe both of these men do great service to the university and the students and because I believe philosophy to be an indispensable asset to Cedarville, I protest the dissolution of the philosophy department. I want others to have the same great experiences I have had, and I hope to finish my time here under the instruction of Dr. Mills and Dr. Graves