I graduated from Cedarville in 2006, with a double major in English and history and minors in Bible and the Honors Program. After graduation, I commissioned in the Army and have served two tours in Iraq. I am currently studying Arabic at the Defense Language Institute, which will be followed by graduate school and then a position teaching international relations at West Point.
It saddens me to hear that the board is considering removing the philosophy program at Cedarville University. I’m worried to think Cedarville is becoming insular and satisfied with only talking amongst ourselves, instead of seeking engagement with the world around us, taking every thought captive for Christ. So much of what I cherish about Cedarville comes from the willingness of my professors to be biblically relevant, genuinely seeking to challenge those who are outside the faith in the world of ideas.
At the personal level, I’m saddened because of the enormous influence that the MoMM program and Dr. David Mills had on my life during my years at Cedarville. I still remember the first few classes I had with Dr. Mills, and the two points he instilled in me that affected (and still affect!) my studies: all truth is God’s truth, and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
I can also state that the English major and Honors Minor were integral to my past and present work in the military. I felt well-equipped to handle the challenges and stresses of my work in Iraq not only because of the Lord’s constant presence, but because He had equipped me through the English major and philosophy classes of the Honors Program with so many of the skills needed in counter-insurgency work: balancing our needs with those of our Iraqi partners, being able to understand the different viewpoints of complex issues, communicating clearly, sifting through reams of sometimes contradictory information and thinking critically about the salient points, and being able to consider the short and long-term consequences of tough decisions–among other things! The humanities matter, and it’s my hope that Cedarville will acknowledge this not only in word but in terms of having the funding and organizational framework for those who wish to pursue them.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my thoughts in this matter. I am praying that the board will consider the long-term implications of this matter, as well as the message it will send to its students and alumni, as it makes its decision.
Captain Brandon Colas
Class of 2006
2010 Young Alumnus of the Year