The Idea of a Christian College

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In Chapter 5, Holmes expounds how faith and learning should be integrated in the Christian liberal arts college In Chapter 7, Holmes asserts the fundamental importance of community in the experience of higher education In it he disabuses the reader of erroneously held assumptions about the purpose of Christian education This argument, which is made in various ways throughout the book, is the most valuable feature of this short work.

Probably the most glaring weakness of the work is the numerous times in which Holmes makes significant assertions without providing biblical, philosophical, or theological warrant. This problem emerges perhaps most clearly in Chapter 7 where Holmes asserts what the basis of community is. This series of assertions is certainly disputable, but the casual reader may not realize how debatable these statements are when he finds absolutely no biblical and theological support.

These lines are set forth as declarations, as if every Christian reader would certainly agree with the anthropological assumptions under girding the statements.

Colleges and Universities with Religious Affiliations

In Chapter 9 is another example of an unsubstantiated assertion. Although the author at times makes important theological assertions without adequate support, the bulk of the work is carefully argued. The central thesis concerning liberal, Christian education deserves the attention of anyone seeking to work in Christian education. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

The Coming Crises for Christian Colleges — The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The goal of education is not to present certain bodies of information by the most entertaining, engaging, and effective means possible. A liberal arts education is about beginning a conversation—with scholars and texts and ideas—that will continue for life.

Not with the goal of getting a certain type of job or certification but with the goal of becoming a certain kind of person. Holmes also has vital things to say about academic freedom at Christian colleges and the balance between remaining a community of faith and yet not existing to indoctrinate students into a particular school of thought: A college is Christian in that it does its work in a Christian way, not by encouraging an unthinking faith to counterbalance faithless thought.

Students and faculty must have the freedom to question and explore with diligence, reason, and humility. In a Christian college this ideal takes place in the context of community. Liberty without loyalty is not Christian, but loyalty without the liberty to think for oneself is not education. Shelves: education. Most of the chapters are great. The first four are home runs. You can read the final, six-page chapter by itself for a concentrated shot of Holmes' exciting vision of a good education.

Apr 02, Timothy Darling rated it really liked it Shelves: brain-food , philosophy , religious , textbooks , doctoral-reading.

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This is a book from a clearly conservative perspective. The author sees college in its primary educational role and does not much address the social or personal maturation role of college.

Characteristics, Relationships, Leadership and Control, Issues for the Future

This is ok, because it seems to me that most of what a college should do is developt the education and not the social or emotional person, though these cannot be neglected. The author knows he is writing for a limited audience, but he does not kowtow to the prejudices of that readership. He, for example, This is a book from a clearly conservative perspective.

He, for example, strongly emphasizes that the college is not the church and does not serve the "defense of the faith" function of the Church. I like Holmes' insistence that the college needs academic freedom both to teach and to learn, to explore the world and report on what it finds, not so much to judge as to evaluate. In this regard, he is typically idealistic as an academic. Since so many of our children are expanding the borders of their families to attend college in the first place, we cannot expect their non-college educated parents to understand the nuance of the difference between a class in theology and their own church-based theological experience.

This seems to me to be a constant tension the Christian College will face. His insistence on a liberal education, a generalist approach to learning is very good in that it does have as its aim to develop in a humanist way, but not in a secular way. Rather, he constantly revisits the moral, ethical, spiritual and biblical responsibility of the Christian educator to nurture an intellectual framework that accepts not just empirical but revelatory knowledge, an epistemology that is difficult to maintain with a consistent integrity.

Read it if you are a Christian educator or aspire to be one, even if you are not in a Christian institution.

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I could only wish that a book that introduced the student to the idea of liberal and Christian education as a value the way this one does for educators. Jan 14, Jon Cheek rated it really liked it. Interesting read. Holmes makes some helpful points. I wish I had read this before I had begun my liberal arts education. She has learned that justice and compassion, the makings of social righteousness, belong in the work place where she stands Interesting read. The comparison is. The reason, says Trueblood, is motivation, for the Christian faith is the sworn enemy of all intellectual dishonesty and shoddiness.

Jul 09, Chuck Bonadies rated it it was amazing. A classic book on how Christian education ought to be.


Holmes does a great job balancing philosophy with application. This book is a must read for both students who attend a Christian College and the professors who teach them. Sep 03, Amy rated it liked it Shelves: read-in A really helpful book for understanding the purpose of the Christian liberal arts education. Not a super-enjoyable read, though. A little dry.

Christian College or Secular School?

I took issue with a few of his claims, which came across as too absolute or elitist Or maybe just western-centric. I'm teaching Christain Mind this fall :. Nov 21, Jonathan added it Shelves: education , christianity. Jul 26, Paul rated it really liked it. Great argument for what a Christian college should be--why it exists, why it is necessary, how it should relate to things like academic freedom. Aug 12, Steph rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction.

I didn't necessarily agree with everything in it, and it seemed to slant history toward backing its arguments. That's all I remember about it, though. Jan 13, Steve rated it it was amazing. This is a superb, well-argued case for a Christian liberal arts education. Donald L rated it it was amazing Dec 01, Keith rated it it was ok Nov 19, Dalton Funkhouser rated it liked it Jul 06, Joshua rated it liked it Mar 06, Paul rated it really liked it Dec 23, Heidi Acell rated it liked it Feb 28, Adam Potter rated it liked it Feb 09, Ben Goller rated it really liked it May 28, Caitlin rated it really liked it Dec 29, Benjamin rated it liked it Dec 28, Monica Mullins rated it it was amazing Oct 23, James Harmeling rated it it was amazing Jul 08, Chris rated it really liked it Jul 15, Rachel Hust rated it really liked it Apr 29, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

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Readers also enjoyed. About Arthur F. Arthur F.

Before his retirement in , he had served for several decades as Chairman of Wheaton's Department of Philosophy. Thereafter, he held the title of Professor Emeritus. After his retirement, he returned and taught half of the yearlong history of philosophy sequence, Arthur Frank Holmes March 15, — October 8, was Professor of Philosophy at Wheaton College, Illinois — After his retirement, he returned and taught half of the yearlong history of philosophy sequence, particularly the medieval Augustine to Ockham and the modern Descartes to Quine quarters in He became widely known for his body of work on topics related to philosophy, including ethics, philosophy applied to Christian higher education, and historical interactions between Christianity and philosophy.

Holmes also has served as a guest lecturer at many colleges, universities, and conferences on these topics. Holmes was a graduate of Wheaton College, where he earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy. He earned the Ph. Holmes died in Wheaton, Illinois, on October 8, , at age