I graduated from Cedarville University in 2004 with a degree in Spanish and minors in Music and Bible. After graduation, I taught in an urban elementary school for two years and then served in Mexico as a missionary for a year and a half as a house mother at an orphanage. In 2011, I completed my Master’s degree in Library and Information Science and am currently working as a children’s librarian.
I protest the dissolution of the philosophy department at Cedarville because the study of philosophy is necessary for scholarly community. Philosophy teaches people how to listen, think, and communicate distinct ideas between individuals. This is essential for a Christian university community where students of different backgrounds live for four years with a common goal: to grow in the wisdom and knowledge that will transform the world for Christ through various vocations. These skills also provide success for Cedarville graduates, living outside of the bubble, interacting with ways of living or thinking that are different from their own.
Philosophy, a beautiful dialogue of questions and answers, parallels rabbinical teaching methods, methods Jesus himself engaged in, particularly in Luke 2:46-52. After which, the Bible says, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52 NIV) There is no better way to be a “Christ-centered” institution, than to teach students to interact with others in the same manner as Christ did, sitting, listening, and asking questions.
If we expect Cedarville students to grow as Jesus did, we need to give them the opportunity to pursue wisdom and love knowledge. The philosophy program and its skillful professors form an integral part of teaching students to “engage their spheres-of-influence.” This program should and must continue to influence lives, both of their students and the people they interact with, as long as Cedarville envisions these goals as a crucial part of their institutional mission.