Christian Perspective on Social and Political Issues and the Future of Higher Education

A. Harris

While the world around us is submerged and engulfed with the social and political concerns of higher education, a Christian philosophy gives us the fortitude to see the world through a Biblical lens. This lens gives us the hope to know that, we can talk to our Father God, who is very much in control, and He will aid us in whatever situation (s) that comfort us.

II Corinthians 4:1(NIV), is the foundation of my Christian philosophy. “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart”. During social and political issues whether they be every day affairs or issues that impact higher education, II Corinthians 4 is the essence of the believer strength. I could not simply stop at the first verse, but my philosophy trickles all the way through verses 8-12(NIV).

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body”.

The Christian’s peace, security and wisdom is in Christ. When major issues occur, whether on a public campus, secular private, or face-based institution, Christians must rely on God for wisdom, guidance, and direction in handling all matters. We understand and know and that somehow we will get through those crises.

Scripture tells us that, “Men are always to pray and not faint”. As believers, the Bible instructs us to always be ready. While we don’t know or understand the things that will confront us, an attitude of prayer is essential in order to continue in the correct frame of mind when issues, crises, and concerns hit us right in the face. This readiness is the state of mind that God expects from His children, in order to live an effective life, and handle those obstacles that may come our way. Because obstacle will come.

As I reflect upon the knowledge I have gained from this class, I anticipate one of the major trends in the future of higher education to be the development of greater technological ideas to satisfy students quest for learning, no matter their location, their schedule or their economical or financial status. Somehow man always seems to create a better technological product for the advancement of education.

One anticipated major concern in the future of higher education is student debt to income ratio. Will students be able to afford their dreams and aspirations? The getting of a good education should not leave students, and their parents in some much debt that they can’t enjoy their years of learning.

As in the advancement of technology, schools of higher education must advance in the development of successful answers to the concerns of student’s debt

Reply 2:

M. Romick

Having explored shared governance in my first brief paper for this class and researching how the main tenants in shared governance are well supported biblically, I am convinced that shared governance is the best way for college campuses to deal with social and political issues and crises, be they public, private, or faith-based institutions.

The case for using shared governance as an effective way for colleges and universities to deal with difficult situations is well supported. Eckel and Kezar (2016) noted that shared governance allows the “key players—faculty, senior administrators, and trustees” to work together with each party doing what it is best at (p. 155). Honu (2018) noted that shared governance allows for and encourages shared responsibilities and teamwork. King (2013) detailed how shared governance in the University of California system helped them weather a number of crises and difficult situations including periods of economic strife and racial unrest. McElderry and Rivera (2017) advocated for a more unified approach, insinuating that shared governance could have helped prevent racial unrest on the campus of Mizzu. These authors also showed how these crisis situations, through a unified approach, could be used as wonderful teaching opportunities that would help students learn about the importance of activism and the First Amendment.

This teamwork approach or cooperative system of governance has support from the scriptures. After going to God in prayer, this should always be our first step, James instructed believers to carefully and patiently seek help from those involved writing, “[e]veryone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19, New Revised Standard Version). By involving all of the key players in the decision process, empathy should be almost natural, or at least easier to experience. This empathy is quite consistent with Christ’s teaching on the importance of treating others the way we want to be treated, what has become known as the golden rule (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31). The Bible is also rather clear on its support for teamwork and the good and value of teams. Teams can lend encouragement and inspire (Hebrews 10:24-25), and teams or groups of people can be more effective and efficient than individuals (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). All of this leads me to believe that shared governance is the best way for colleges and universities to handle major campus issues.

The readings, research, and discussions we have had in this class have been wonderful and rather eye-opening. The three trends and issues in higher education that seem to be most pressing, and likely will continue to be, are financing, that age-old question of who should pay what share, is higher education more a private or public good, etc.; how adjunct faculty can and should be best utilized; and technology/distance/online education.

References

Eckel, P.D., & Kezar, A. (2016). The intersecting authority of boards, presidents, and faculty:

Towards shared leadership. In M.N. Bastedo, P.G. Altbach, & P.J. Gumport (Eds.).

American higher education in the twenty-first century: Social, political, and economic

challenges (pp. 155-187). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Honu, Y. K. (2018). Shared governance: Opportunities and challenges. Academy of Educational

Leadership Journal, 22(2), 1-8. Retrieved from http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/eho… a8a431c-1ec9-4871-8e0a-1f3d719cc556%40sessionmgr4010

King, C. J., & University of California, B. E. (2013). Tailoring shared governance to the needs

and opportunities of the times. Research & Occasional Paper Series: CSHE.13.13. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED545204.pdf

McElderry, J. A., & Rivera, S. H. (2017). “Your agenda item, our experience”: Two

administrators’ insights on campus unrest at Mizzou. Journal of Negro

Education, 86(3), 318-337. Retrieved from

http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/eho… 5e823bce-7a3e-461b-ba64-ef9c5c99b3bb%40sessionmgr4008

Each thread must be at least 400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge, including at least 2 in-text citations with full references listed at the end of the post. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to the threads of at least 2 classmates. Each reply must be at least 200 words and include at least 1 in-text citation.

Topic: Christian Perspective on Social and Political Issues and the Future of Higher Education

Explain your viewpoint/philosophy on the Christian’s responsibility for responding to social and political issues that impact higher education. How should a believer handle major campus issues (or crises), whether the campus is a public, secular private, or faith-based institution? As you reflect on what you learned in this course, what do you anticipate to be the major trends and issues in the future of higher education? In your replies, identify areas where you agree or disagree with students’ forecast for the future of higher education.

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