What happens when they walk out that door?
One of the hardest moments in a parent’s life is the day their graduate walks out their door and heads into a future apart from the love, care, wisdom, and, yes, scrutiny, they received while living at home. In that moment, every parent understands what is at stake. All they have poured into their child…and all that the church has poured into their child…is about to be subjected to the supreme stress test: life “on their own”.
And considering that many of the most important and impactful decisions of their life will be made in those coming years—whether or not to persevere in their Christian faith, what career to pursue, what kind of lifestyle will they live, whom will they marry—it raises the stakes even higher.
One of the important decisions to be made for those pursuing further education is, “What college will my child attend?” And given all that IS at stake, one important consideration should be, “What about a “Christian” college?” And when I say, “Christian,” I don’t mean those universities that long ago abandoned their faith moorings, as have so many that still pretend to be “religious.” I’m talking about schools that sincerely embrace their Christian principles and seek, as part of their mission, to raise up disciples of Jesus…as well as degree-seekers.
This decision has always mattered. But in our increasingly secularized culture…even “anti-Christian culture” …it matters now more than ever.
So…how do you make such an important decision? Well, good news, I’ve got an expert for you: Rev. Rachel Toone, who serves as the Dean of Spiritual Formation at Montreat College in North Carolina, one of the most beautiful campuses you will ever visit. (Full disclosure, I’m on their board!) Montreat is an example of a courageously Christian school with open enrollment. That means the faculty are all Christians who have affirmed an orthodox statement of faith, but the students may or may not be believers. Students of faith AND no faith are welcome and it is Rachel’s “job” to introduce to every student the incredible claims of the gospel of Jesus…as part of their educational experience.
As Rachel puts it: “Spiritual formation is just as crucial in the college years as it is throughout childhood and adolescence. We are foolish if we believe that–having invested deeply in students throughout the first 18 years of their lives–we can sit back and relax upon their high school graduation. The hard work of cultivating followers of Jesus is only just beginning, and our hope and prayer as a university is that we will serve as a partner to the Church in her mission to make resilient disciples.”
On Sunday, February 12, Rachel will be preaching at Chapel Hill, and during those services I will also introduce the president of Montreat College, Dr. Paul Maurer. Following the 10:30 am service, Rachel will speak to all interested parents and students on the topic, “Why does evangelical higher education matter?” Any high school student and/or their parents (AND GRANDPARENTS!) are welcome to attend. Lunch will be complimentary, but please RSVP by 5:00 pm Friday, February 10, so we will know how much food to have available. RSVP here.
Whether or not you are interested in Montreat in particular (and if you are interested in cybersecurity, Montreat is one of the top schools in the country!), this will be a valuable opportunity to ask important questions about your child’s future.
So we hope to see you there! And remember, if you would like us to provide you with a lunch, just RSVP here by 5:00 pm next Friday.
Oh, and don’t worry…we will be out in plenty of time for the Super Bowl!