“A philosophy of Christian Higher Education affirms the intimate relationship between the supernatural and the natural, between God and human, between the body and the soul.”
Philosophy of Christian Higher Education
Alexander Granados, ThM, PhD
My faith journey, education, and experience inform my philosophy of Christian Higher Education. A philosophy of Christian Higher Education affirms the intimate relationship between the supernatural and the natural, between God and human, between the body and the soul. It draws from the truths based on divine revelation and human reason. I affirm the education of the total person: the intellectual, physical, affective, social, moral, aesthetic and spiritual. Therefore, its role will never be limited simply to offering Bible courses.
Christian Higher Education Affirms the SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
The uniqueness of Christian higher education begins with an understanding that there is an infinite-personal God. This God has created all things for His glory [Col 1:16]. The Christian worldview affirms God’s existence and His activity in the world. Christian scholarship begins with the recognition of God’s existence and His sovereignty over creation, including man and his intellectual pursuits [Ps24:1]. The knowledge of God is the beginning of all learning [Prov 9:10].
Christian Higher Education Affirms the LORDSHIP OF CHRIST
Christian higher education is Christ-centered education. It recognizes the lordship of Christ over all of life, including every academic discipline. It affirms that all Christian scholars must bow the knee to Him and that every thought must be brought captive to Christ [2 Cor 10:5; Col 2:8]. The lordship of Christ affirms that all scholars will one day give an account for their activities, including those of an intellectual nature [Phil 2:9-11;Js 3:1].
Christian Higher Education Affirms a DISTINCTIVELY CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW
Recognizing that all scholarship begins from a theoretical base, namely the scholars’ worldview, Christian higher education affirms the metaphysical, epistemological, and axiological distinctives of a uniquely Christian worldview perspective. This worldview must permeate teaching and scholarship.
Christian Higher Education Affirms an EPISTEMOLOGICAL FOUNDATION
The foundation of Christian knowledge is grounded in the Scriptures. The Bible is truth [Jn 17:3] and as such provides the Christian scholar with confidence that truth is knowable. The pursuit of truth has particular meaning for the Christian scholar who has the authority of the Word of God as a foundation and basis for knowledge. The Scriptures provide epistemological certainty against the relativistic flux, non-rationality, and theoretical changes within the frameworks of our academic disciplines.
Christian Higher Education Affirms a COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE
The Christian scholastic community bears a special responsibility to model excellence in our teaching, research, and service, to the broader academic community as ambassadors for Christ [2 Cor 5:20]. If our motivation for scholarship and teaching is doxological, then excellence must follow. The Christian scholar bears the responsibility to demonstrate this excellence in their academic vocation [Mt 5:16]. Our scholastic activities must bring glory to God through both the pedagogical articulation of our Christian worldview and by demonstration of professional quality and excellence in our work. The apostle Paul’s engagement in Athens at Mars Hill is especially illustrative of this principle (Acts 17:16–34).
Christian Higher Education Affirms the DEPRAVITY OF HUMANITY
Christian higher education affirms the dignity and greatness of humanity as created in the image and likeness of God [Gen 1:27] and that creativity and rationality, which are essential to higher education pursuits, are both bound to the imago dei. However, mankind has fallen in revolt against God [Gen 3]. The fall has affected the totality of humanity and all aspects of personhood, including the intellect. Humanity, both corporately and individually, is in need of regeneration, restoration, and reconciliation with God. Christian higher education affirms that redemption occurs through the finished work of Christ alone, not educational betterment.
Christian Higher Education Affirms the PILLARS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
The foundational trilogy of American higher education – teaching, research, and service – has special bearing on Christian higher education. The pursuit of truth and quest for knowledge (research), the dissemination and acquisition of scholarship and research by the individual, both theoretical and practical (teaching & learning), and compassionate application of truth (service & ministry), all have special meaning to the Christian scholar. The Christian academic community shares particular responsibility in light of these realities.