Why a Christian Education?

Featuring excerpts from Philip Dow’s Virtuous Minds, consider what motivates a Christian learner. What motivates you to learn at King’s?

Home Virtual Student Center King's 101

Featuring excerpts from Philip Dow’s Virtuous Minds, consider what motivates a Christian learner. What motivates you to learn at King’s?

When you think about why you chose King’s, learning in a Christian community was likely central to your decision. As we prepare for the fall semester, consider these excerpts from Philip Dow’s, Virtuous Minds: Intellectual Character Development.

“Typically, when we think of character, we are thinking of moral character, for example, of qualities like kindness, compassion and generosity. But the realm of personal character is not exhausted by the realm of moral character. It also has an intellectual dimension.”

Your intellectual character consists of your inner attitudes and dispositions toward things like truth, knowledge and understanding. To get some idea of the quality of your intellectual character, consider the following questions: Do you care about learning and knowledge? Do you desire to understand the world around you? Are you curious about why things are the way they are, about the unfolding of history, and about what ultimately exists or what is ultimately good? Or, on the contrary, do you have a dim view of truth and knowledge? Or do you, perhaps, value knowledge and learning but only as a means to other ends, for example, to getting a job or impressing your friends? Are you indifferent to, or possibly bored by, concepts like knowledge, truth and understanding?

Your answers to these questions say something important about the quality of your intellectual character. This is because good or ‘virtuous’ intellectual character is marked, first and foremost, by a deep and abiding love of truth, a desire to know and understand things as they really are” (Forward by Baehr, p. 11-12).

Consider these questions, and also consider the role of intellectual character development in the life of a Christian, as Dow describes:

“The power of intellectual character to transform every part of our lives should not come as a surprise to Christians. When Paul was urging the believers in Rome toward radical Christian transformation, he said that if they really wanted to be different, if they really wanted to stand out as models of Christlikeness, then they needed to start with the renewing of their minds. And why? Because Paul understood that, for good or for ill, the habits of our minds trickle down into every part of our lives—from our spiritual lives to our marriages and from our jobs to our recreation. It was because of this that the writer of Proverbs pleaded, ‘Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you’ (Proverbs 4:7-8)…

The development of intellectual character is one of the most important and life-changing quests anyone can embark on. But as the very heart of Jesus’ command to love God with all our minds, the pursuit of intellectual character is particularly important to Christians” (p. 24).

As you anticipate the start of the semester, consider what motivates you to enter learning at King’s. Also, anticipate reading Dow’s Virtuous Minds in Dr. Hershey’s Foundations of Philosophy class.

See more about: