I graduated from Cedarville in 2003 with a BA in Philosophy and minors in Bible, Greek, Music, and Honors. I went on to earn a Masters of Liberal Arts at the Great Books program at St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, and in 2012 I defended my dissertation to complete my PhD in philosophy at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). I currently teach philosophy and Christian thought classes in Saint Paul, MN, serve in my church,and am in my eighth year of marriage and the proud mother of a 3-year-old-daughter and twin 7-month-old boys. As well as being my vocation, my study of philosophy has helped prepare me to serve in my local church, mentor students, understand and respond to non-Christian worldviews as I share my faith with others, and offer the clearest explanations of my faith I can to my three-year-old daughter, who is already asking some pretty hard questions.
I support the philosophy program at Cedarville not only because it has changed my life and thought processes in a profound way, but also because of the way Christian philosophy enables us to be salt and light in the world. I believe we need informed Christian voices in academic and public dialogue on topics from the nature of belief and truth to what it means to be human and find fulfillment in life. Abdicating this sphere of thought to secular thinkers diminishes Christianity’s credibility, enabling skeptics to dismiss our faith as a harmless delusion. The Christian community needs Christian philosophers goading us to think more deeply, as well. To leave our minds under-developed is to have an impoverished faith, to be vulnerable in spiritual struggles and the war of ideas, and to fail to love and honor our God with our whole beings.
I believe that an institution like Cedarville has a unique opportunity to create space for civil discourse on divisive issues, encouraging its students to understand and critically evaluate alternative positions in order to make informed judgments about what they should believe and why. True, there is some risk in exposing ourselves to ideas that some might consider dangerous, but I hold that it is better to do so in a safe environment as a sort of inoculation, rather than leaving young people to flounder through them later on when they don’t have professors and mentors to guide them as closely. There is a reason that philosophy has traditionally been considered a “handmaiden” to theology, and I long to see Cedarville’s philosophy program given the resources it needs to thrive so that future students will benefit even more than I have.