by Elizabeth Clarke
Louisiana Christian University President Dr. Rick Brewer spoke passionately at the annual Founder’s Day Chapel last month, offering the framework for a Christian University.
“Clearly, the passion to transform human culture into the Kingdom of God is the driving genius of the evangelical tradition, and it is precisely this vision that sustains the life of the mind in Christian institutions of higher learning,” Brewer said. God is the author not only of our faith, but also of every facet of the world in which we live. And because all truth is God’s truth, all learning should be integrated into a coherent understanding of reality, informed by explicitly Christian convictions.”
Brewer said it is incumbent upon evangelical educators to integrate explicitly Christian convictions into every branch of learning and to discover those common Christocentric threads that transform all fields of learning into one coherent whole.
“The goal of Christian education — for 2000 years — has been the integration of faith and knowledge,” Brewer said. “The starting point for this integration has rested on the foundation of the words of Jesus’ Great Commandment and the wisdom literature of the Hebrew Scriptures, which reminds us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding (Proverbs 1: 7, Psalm 111:10, Job 28:28).”
Learning shaped and formed by faith results in living that is shaped and formed by faith. The integration of faith and learning forms the foundation of Christian higher education and shapes its purpose and goals.
Victoria Watson, a junior journalism major from New Iberia, said Louisiana Christian University has been instrumental in preparing her to answer her call to be a journalist.
“I believe there is a need for Christian leaders in the world and Christian influences and having an institution that teaches in a biblical worldview is essential in creating those leaders,” Watson said.
Brewer reminded faculty, staff and students that LCU must create an atmosphere of excellence both inside and outside the classroom and the athletic arena.
“At the heart of the academy is the role faculty play in shaping the hearts and minds of its students,” Brewer said. “The spiritual battle for the hearts and minds of our students will be fought and won in the classroom led by an intentional Christian faculty member.
Dean of Students Brian Manuel agreed with the importance that environment plays in allowing Christian students to flourish or flounder. Students will rise or fall depending on what is allowed and condoned in their surroundings— inside the classroom, in athletics and in all extra-curricular events.
“LCU must create an academic environment where students are challenged to think critically, learn continuously, and serve creatively,” Brewer said said.
LCU should prepare each student to become a world-changer no matter what career path he or she is called to, Brewer said. The university can accomplish this initiative by drawing students into an integrated experience of intellectual challenge, spiritual growth, and leadership development.
“There is no room for anti-intellectualism in Christian higher education,” Brewer said. “We are to have the mind of Christ, and this certainly requires us to think and wrestle with the challenging ideas of history and the issues of our day.
Junior, Lexi Rachal, of Baton Rouge, said she thought it was great to be able to hear about the importance of Christian higher education.
“Dr. Brewer explained to us that learning shaped by faith will result in living that is shaped by faith, and I think that statement is really impactful,” Rachal said. “We see that concept every day at LCU. The faculty and staff constantly pour into our lives spiritually while also giving us the knowledge we need to succeed in our future endeavors. Our university cares about our future here on Earth, but more importantly our eternity.”