I am a 9th-Grade English Language Arts teacher on the Laguna Indian Reservation in New Mexico through Teach for America. I graduated from Cedarville in 2012 with a double major in English and Philosophy and was President of Alpha Sigma (the Philosophy Org) for 2 years. I object strongly to the termination of the Philosophy department at Cedarville.
The critical framework I learned through Graves, Mills, James, and all my other Philosophy classes is something I will use for the rest of my life, not just in my career and not just in my academic pursuits—this critical framework is integral in the political, social and cultural decisions I make every single day. I believe what I believe not because I have strong feelings. I believe what I believe because this major has encouraged me to contemplate, examine, consider, and research until I can say confidently I have reasons for my beliefs. No other discipline/field can dedicate itself so purely to this pursuit and practice of critical thinking, logic and reason like Philosophy can.
Finally, one of the most significant, life-changing things my Philosophy major taught me was to see no divide between academia and ethics. The Philosophy major taught me that all knowledge and all philosophical thought has an ethical component and the best thing I can do with knowledge is use it to make the world a better place. Mills and Graves taught this not only through the bookwork: they showed me what this sort of life looks like. I saw them serve the disadvantaged, literally with the coats off their backs, invite everyone into their homes and give past a level of comfort. The world is a better place because these professors teach at Cedarville and I am ashamed that Cedarville would consider ridding itself of a program that has changed and will continue to change so many lives.