I graduated from Cedarville University with a BA in Philosophy in 2008. I also minored in Honors and Greek. In 2011 I received my MDiv from the Corban University School of Ministry (formerly Northwest Baptist Seminary). I just finished applying to PhD programs for the fall of 2013, and I aspire to teach theology and/or church history on the college level someday. I urge the trustees of Cedarville University to retain the philosophy program if at all possible.
I can honestly say that being a philosophy major at Cedarville changed my life. It strengthened my faith to the point that I have no doubts about the basic truths of Christianity (and I can articulate why). At the same time, I learned to think critically about how I was forming my beliefs on the basis of Scripture. I learned why others have thought differently, especially at other times and in other places. In short, I began to learn humility. (That’s still a work in progress.) I also learned to love God with my intellect. Some of the most emotional moments in my spiritual journey have been those in which I came to the end of my understanding and realized that comprehending God and the wondrous world He had made was still far beyond me. Only then could I fully appreciate what God had said in Isaiah 55:9: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than you ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Anyone who has not been amazed by God in this way needs to study philosophy at Cedarville University. (Do you think they’re going to get that at Ohio State?) Although Dr. Mills and I still do not see eye-to-eye on some issues, he has been one of the greatest influences in my life for good.
Academically, I could hardly overstate how well the philosophy major prepared me for studying theology in seminary. Of course most seminary programs cannot incorporate much philosophy, yet Christian theology is greatly strengthened and enriched by philosophy carried out in faith. I was often the only student in my theology classes who understood what the professor was saying because I was the only one who had studied philosophy. Thus seminary was more valuable to me because of my philosophical training. In addition, some of the PhD programs to which I just applied require a background in philosophy as a basic prerequisite. If Cedarville is going to continue to prepare people for seminary, the school must maintain the philosophy program. I recall that a good number of the students in my major classes at Cedarville were in fact preseminary Bible students. Yet without a philosophy major in place, most of those courses could not have been offered. If a philosophy major simply cannot be maintained financially, let it be restructured into a philosophy and religion major. At the very least, a philosophy minor must remain.