I loved my college experience. I attended public institutions with strong academics. As a believer, I sought opportunities at school and in the community to grow in my faith, make Christian friends, and learn from caring mentors. Many of those people are still close friends today. I also had a few professors who presented ideas contrary to my beliefs. Valuing differences and disagreeing in a respectful way was the beginning of acquiring an important life skill. I accepted the challenge to know the tenets of the Christian faith better. My commitment to serving Christ and others grew stronger.
I believe in Christian higher education and currently teach in an institution that prioritizes a commitment to faith. I pray for students individually and with them in class. I hope to be an example as a person of faith in the way I interact with people. Incorporating faith into instruction and the profession seems natural. Guiding students in their faith is as important to me as preparing them to be future educators.
I have a vivid memory of walking across campus at the beginning of the fall semester and observing a student sitting in the quad, on the phone, sobbing. I didn’t know her but felt inclined to pause. The Lord led me to hug her just for a moment and let her know it would be alright. She stopped her conversation and expressed appreciation. This brief encounter made an impression and reminded me that we, as Christians, are called to care for others. I hope my response was not elicited by being on a Christian campus. I probably would have responded the same way in the grocery store. I doubt this type of encounter is unusual because there are many, many Christian faculty and staff on our campus that care about students’ daily lives and development as scholars and professionals. These people make a difference.
This year my oldest child entered college. I had guided so many students through the freshman experience, but it was different with my own child. The paperwork and decisions were overwhelming (and I knew the ropes). We considered both public and private institutions. He is strong in his faith and we were always confident he would be the one to influence others for Christ in any college setting. I am pretty frugal, and the cost of tuition seemed like a big compromise. It really requires a sacrifice. It was a difficult decision. In the end, the cost ended up being about the same for us, and he chose a Christian university.
We were greeted with enthusiasm, but taking him to college was emotional. I was on the other side of this familiar move-in process. Now, with one semester down, I know this was a good choice. I can truly say I am thankful for strong academics to prepare him for a career. It seems that the academic and social influences point to Christ. I am thankful that he has joined a local church. I am thankful that there are Christian adults on his campus to extend that extra bit of love and guidance when it might be needed. I was thrilled to hug his neck the first weekend he came home, but it was easier to send him back knowing he was flourishing. He was careful not to call college “home,” but I am (sort of) glad he views it that way.
Christian higher education. It has been a good choice for my child. But, I wish he would call more often…….UMHB is the university of choice for Christian higher education in the Southwest. If you are looking for a place to receive an education for life and an experience of a lifetime, UMHB would be a great fit for you! Check out our website for more information, or stop by any time for a campus visit to learn more!