Considering College: A Christian’s Perspective

This isn’t a topic I normally get onto myself, but with everything I’ve said about college thus far, this is something that I felt that I should add to it. In an interview with Rick Ostrander, the author of Reconsidering College: Christian Higher Education for Working Adults, Inside Higher Ed asked for his perspective on college education as nontraditional adult Christian college student. Being a Christian myself, the consideration of whether or not I should go to college takes on an interesting new dynamic.

Whether you’re traditional or nontraditional, denominational or nondenominational, the question is all the same: “What importance does college have in regards to my faith?” In the interview, Rick points out that if we really believe that this world we live in was created by a personal God, then that should give us all the reason to learn more about it. Take C.S. Lewis for example, who applied much of what he learned to his apologetic writings, drawing logical conclusions that point to God’s existence. Or creationists such as Ken Ham and Jonathan Sarfati, who take their knowledge to explain why the earth and everything on it couldn’t have formed just by chance.

Now one doesn’t necessarily have to be an apologist to take appreciation in God’s creation. Whether it’s studying human nature or horticulture, any Bible-believing child of God can obtain a better understanding of our Creator through what He’s put together. A lot of us get the misconception that our faith and religion are separate from science and the natural world we live in. This is in part due to a lie propagated by our school system that science and evolution go hand-in-hand and that anything that points to a Designer has no part in the overall scheme of things. But this is really beside the point.

Because of what we’ve been told, we tend to want to put a hedge around Christianity, not realizing that much of the natural world really does point to a Designer and that the evolutionist model of historical science is no more correct than the creationist model. In the end, science is science, and we can gain and learn much more about the world we live in presently than anything in the past.

But I really don’t think you’re here for me to rant on about why learning is important. I’d just be wasting your time, as well as my own. The real question here is, should you consider going to college?

I certainly think you should consider it, but whether you should go, period, would be a better question. I originally wanted to go for a degree in Information Technology since it supposedly had good job security, I could possibly get good money in it, and I honestly had no clue as to what else I wanted to do. I pursued a Bachelor’s in the degree, but continued to pray about it until God made it perfectly clear that that wasn’t the path He wanted me taking. I moved out of my parents house, dropped out of college, and taken up the hobby of writing. I can tell you  that I’m much happier doing what I’m doing now, even without a degree, than I would be if I were still pursuing a degree that I didn’t like and most likely wouldn’t be successful in.

College isn’t for everyone. In Rick’s interview on Reconsidering College, he stressed that some Christians should go to college, but not all. If you truly aspire to be a doctor, a lawyer, or even a psychologist, you need to go to college. Maybe not now, but some time in your life. But many occupations don’t require a degree. As someone who enjoys writing, I don’t need a piece of paper saying that I’m qualified to write. With all the information that I have at my disposal and the workshops and other opportunities that are available to me, I can become a more proficient writer without having to go through menial lectures while spending tens of thousands of dollars in the process. Writers don’t get paid that well anyway.

With all that being said, I must get back to the point. Whether you pursue a college education or not, as a Christian, you must understand that you’ve been given a specific set of skills and talents, designed for a specific purpose. You’ve been given aspirations for that very reason. For instance, I aspire to write. I enjoy creating stories and arranging words in ways to create a specific emotional response. As I learn more, I can appreciate more and more God’s creativity and in allowing us the ability to communicate that through written language. And in the whole scheme of things, the more we learn about His creation, the more the Creator becomes real to us.