Wednesday, October 29, 2008

raspberry zinger. [faith integration]

In reading an article for my CS 102 class entitled Integrating Faith & Learning, by David S. Dockery, I am inclined to reflect upon my own experience at a Christian Liberal Arts college. I am thankful for my education, and know how rare a thorough, yet Christian, education can be. As Dockery points out, the majority of colleges and universities in America at one point all had one goal in common: an authentic Christian higher education. Though the number of schools with a goal like this in mind has drastically depleted, I am glad that I had the opportunity to study at one with such a vigor for Christ--a vigor that emanates from every pore of the college's being.
I came to Montreat College in the autumn of 2005. Previously in high school, I claimed my Christianity but did not particularly live it. I knew what I believed, but I probably couldn’t tell you why I believed it. Jesus loves me this I know was about the extent of my doctrinal knowledge. As soon as I arrived to Montreat, my new home, nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in an enchanting cove which time seems to have left untouched, I knew it was different. Never before had I been in an atmosphere that so obviously contained an insatiable love for Christ, and I was wholeheartedly encouraged to deepen my relationship with Him by not only my friends but my professors as well. It didn’t happen overnight, but as I spent more and more time in Montreat and around people who were on fire for Christ, it was hard to resist the power and grace of my old Friend, and renovate the relationship I had with Him. So shortly after arriving to Montreat I begin to strengthen my relationship with Jesus through prayer, reading the Word and fellowship with my awesome friends. I decided to make, what was up till then my parents’ faith, my own. Thus began the inauguration of my faith integration process.
As a Christian in a Christian college it wasn’t hard to begin integrating my faith in with my learning, because most of my professors were already integrating the faith into their teaching. This not only helped me see what faith and learning integration was, but helped me see what faith integration can look like in a career. I struggled to choose a major, and planned what felt like the rest of my known existence; I really didn’t know what I wanted to be in life besides a mom, and the only other thing I was certain of was that I would travel. I wanted my Christianity to be apart of every aspect of my life so eventually my conclusion was: Bible and Religion concentrating in Cross-Cultural Studies. Bible so I can answer my kids’ questions about my faith (as well as anyone else’s questions), and Cross-Cultural Studies to satisfy my desire to travel, as well as learn about other worldviews and beliefs--not to be a close-minded, ignorant Christian.
I wouldn't trade my experience at Montreat for anything. Through my classes, especially ones like Christian Doctrine and Worldviews, I have understood not only that I am a Christian, but why I am. I no longer am a follower of a faith I know nothing about. Montreat also revealed to me the other half of my soul, though I can hardly credit Montreat's liberal arts education for giving me the gift that is my husband, Jeremy Foreman.
As Dockery says, "learning shaped and formed by faith results in living that is shaped and formed by faith." I can joyously say that I am an unmitigated example of the truth in that statement.

2 comments:

Amethyst said...

Kiyat-Lehn, your nonfiction writing is ASTOUNDING. While, as you well know, your fiction is captivating and full of romance and makes me flap my hands excitedly, I think you even exceed further when it comes to writing such as this. You are SO talented! Your profoundness balances so richly with your gentleness of wording and thought. See you tomorrow!

hGb said...

loved reading this!