CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW: INTEGRATION OF FAITH WITH LEARNING AND LIVING
AUGUST 25, 2017
The mission of Christian higher education, in the ultimate sense, is to assist students in developing a Christian worldview. All people, whether they know it or not, conduct their lives on the basis of their view of the world. They have a picture in their minds of how things work; how things relate to each other; what those things mean; what is most important, and what constitutes duty, loyalty, citizenship, faith, family, meaning, and hundreds of other ideas in the lexicon of human experience.
"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:7) Most do not have a name for their worldview, and many have cobbled together a philosophy of living that is based on crisis, survival needs, whims, and various family, religious, and political values. Sadly, many Christians live lives largely uninformed by theology, the Bible, and the wisdom of the ages.
On the other hand, Christian colleges and universities must teach students to integrate their faith and learning with the way they live their lives, to formulate a Christian or biblical worldview. This starts by affirming that the Bible is the center of all academic programs. The Scriptures are not only the core of the curriculum, but they must be the subject matter of all courses. Knowing that all truth has its ultimate source in God, it must be pursued with honest, open, and thoughtful inquiry. This type of integration takes place through classroom instruction and through practical leadership and through srvice opportunities. Students need to be encouraged to make sound judgments in matters of life and conduct. They need to be taught to think, act, and even react from a biblical worldview. The goal is not to indoctrinate students, but to set them free in a world of ideas and to provide a climate in which ethical and moral choices are made and convictions are formed.
Making connections between faith, learning, and living is the raison d' etre of Christ-centered higher education. Faculty, staff, and students make these necessary connections by establishing and maintaining relationships. The result is more than academic process; it is more than sharpening professional skills; it is more than earning a degree that will lead to gainful employment. It is learning how to relate one's faith in practical terms to others so that there can be a conscious influence for Christ in the world.
Larry J. McKinney
Higher Education Consultant