Friday, May 23, 2008

the ironies of christian education

In the following four-part series, I will attempt to question, observe, have fun with, and confess my own ill doings with that which is “Christian Education”.

Being a graduate of a christian college and especially living in a small city with three christian affiliated universities, the juxtapositions of faith combined with education are glaringly obvious.

All are welcome to join in with comments of your own observations, or just blast my opinions. I don't care.

My definition of the term christian education: any general, non-bible specific field of study within a school that contains some form of christian charter. Like getting an ordinary business degree from a christian university or attending 4th grade at a christian private school, etc. What I DO NOT (necessarily) mean by christian education is 1) any blatant study of the christian faith such as seminary, etc and 2) obtaining a degree in order to work in a church-related field (getting a bible degree to become a preacher, etc).

Part I: debt

Would Jesus really endorse your enrollment at a christian university if it meant to graduate with a debt that can’t be repaid with any realistic means or time frame? Who knows. And I’m sure advocates of christian higher education would say who the hell cares, sucker.

We’re talking these days like...$80,000 upon graduation?!? And THAT’S for a flipping UNDERGRAD degree. Damn. Skip school and just buy a house with that money. At least in four to five years, you could come out ahead.

I mean, we claim to follow a guy (Christ) that had little or nothing in the material realm. Or so says every shred of evidence written. Why do you have to be freaking rich (not me) or stupid (yup, that was me) to go to a christian school?

Somehow I don’t see jesus being allowed admission.


mike said...

i am not sure any undergrad ed is worth that much. especially christian ed.

what is really sad is how many folks i know who went to christian colleges and didn't learn anything. anything. i am talking about basic geography, math, history. and they sure as hell didn't learn to think critically.

sure there are people who graduated from christian schools who know their shit. but of all the folks i have met from christian colleges i would say about 80% of them are ignorant of the things they should have learned in college. do folks graduate from non-christian colleges and not learn anything, sure, but they don't pay as much. and if you want to compare the two, shouldn't a christian college be a place where you DO learn? what with the christian's claim to know the truth and all that jazz.

i think college is not worth it for most folks, given how worthless the degree is compared to the cost. i have a couple of degrees and i would have been better off starting off in the trades when i got out of highschool. did i learn anything? yeah a shit load. does anyone care? nope. but at least at the "godless secular" university i went to i got a good liberal arts education. i can't say that for most of the christian college grads i have met.

and you said you are not talking about seminary but i have to add this bit. if the church believes that to be a good pastor you have to go to seminary, they should put their money where their mouth is and pay for it.

Agent B said...

Hey - that's a topic I haven't even thought of. Maybe there should be a part V...

But really, my alumni university prides itself on being a top quality education and so forth. That's up for debate I'm sure. From my limited perspective, the music department was comparable to that of any state funded school, just smaller in size.

But I do know of a person or two who wasn't "college material" at all and no real college would have had them. Yet they were students at my school - primarily because the school was getting money from them (ie: student loans). That, I thought, was very un-jesus like.