I graduated from Cedarville in 2005 with a B.A. in English, minors in Bible, creative writing, and honors. After that I did overseas missions work for seven months and then went on to graduate school. Last May I graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a Ph.D. in English, specializing in Christianity and literature, women writers, and literary ethics. I am now Assistant Professor English at St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan and also busy partnering in mission with Josh Wallace, who pastors a local church (and who wooed me with philosophical conversations).
Cedarville was a balm for my parched and devastated soul. And as it has classically done in Christian higher education, the discipline of philosophy uniquely integrated the disparate parts of my academic, social, and spiritual education to allow them to be such a balm, healing and renewing my mind. Philosophy classes and conversations in Alpha Sigma meetings gave me a place to bring together questions of faith and reason, to ponder and struggle and learn to believe. Professors like Dr. Mills taught me to ask my questions, to unflaggingly pursue answers, and also to live in humble awe of God’s greatness and grace, trusting without fear that all truth is God’s. I’m not sure I would count myself a Christ-follower today had it not been for that chapter in my life: CU’s philosophy department is an integral player in my redemption story and in all the lives mine has touched in ministry since.
I also thank Dr. Mills and the MOMM program, along with the dear English department, for introducing me to my vocation. The role these professors played in my life awakened in me not just the deep joy I found in learning, writing, and teaching in response to the world’s cries, but also the desire to offer a similar gift to future generations. Professors are teachers, but they are also scholars and mentors and spiritual guides; they have the opportunity to model a life of discipleship, creativity, hospitality, and intellect. In my new role as a college professor, I consciously pattern myself after a handful of CU profs, and Dr. Mills is one of them. His work, and the work of the philosophy department more generally, is integral to the mission of Cedarville as a Christian institution of higher education, and it has rippled out to beautiful effect far beyond the boundaries of the university: praise be to God for such a gift. May it continue to challenge generations of students at Cedarville to integrate faith and reason in a mature, confident discipleship after Christ.