I was graduated from Cedarville University in 2008 with a BA in Studio Art. Immediately after graduating I became a full-time live-in nanny until getting married in 2009. I am now a full-time child development expert-in-training (aka: a mom). In the final semester of my CU experience had the honor of taking Intro to Philosophy with Shawn Graves. I protest the removal of the Philosophy department because of the lessons I gleaned from that short experience in philosophy.
That spring semester was one of massive turmoil for me. I was facing spiritual abuse from the outside as well as spiritual transition internally. To say the least, it was a very confusing time for me. For the first time in my life I was being forced to articulate not just WHAT I believed, but WHY I believed what I believed. Philosophy helped me do just that. I was taught how to reason. I was taught how to effectively argue a stance and hold true to that. In fact, I left that class angry that it was not a requirement for every single freshman student. I wished I could have had 4 years of pondering and asking those questions in the safety of the Cedarville environment.
In that class we hashed out hard topics such as “Why does a good God allow evil?”, “Inclusivism”, and many other topics. While we learned, most all students in the class actively participated in discussion. Hard questions were able to be asked. Hard concepts were able to be picked at and broken apart and then put back together.
This was one of two life changing classes for me (the other being Christian Integration with Tim Gombis). Nearly 5 years later I still find myself pondering the arguments and topics discussed in Intro to Philosophy and Integration. The concepts discussed come back over and over again. To be able to look back and say, that of all my time at Cedarville, there were only TWO classes that have truly impacted me continuously is a shame. Not that I didn’t learn many fascinating things in other classes. But only those two continue to affect how I approach ideas and how I look at the world, life, hardship, marriage, parenting…LIVING.
That Cedarville University would even consider disbanding an entire school of thought – Philosophy – that has been prized academia throughout all ages is unthinkable. Paul was able to stand up and reason with the best of them in Greece. Scripture calls us to come and reason together. Students can’t just be told what they should be believing, that’s how most of them were raised to be begin with. They need to have space to understand what they believe, to ask WHY they believe what they believe, and freedom to hash through those hard questions.