College

When it just doesn't fit anywhere else.
Adam
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College

Postby Adam » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:29 am

Although our oldest son is only in sixth grade, my wife and I were talking about him attending college and thinking about where he might go one day. It got me wondering if there are any colleges that are more in line with Conservative Anabaptist / Kingdom Christian thinking. I am leery of paying thousands of dollars a year to have professors either (1) lead my children back into the mainstream American church or (2) lead them away from faith altogether. Yet, at the same time, we see education as something that can help our children make positive contributions to the world. Sometimes we think that a state college might in some ways be better because it would force our children to stand up for what they believe rather than being lulled to complacency in a (potentially lax) Christian environment. But there are a lot of dangers in that approach as well. The right answer will probably be different for each child. Nevertheless, I would love to hear thoughts that anybody has on the subject, even if those thoughts are against the whole idea of college.
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Ernie
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Re: College

Postby Ernie » Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:58 am

If you have a good relationship with your son, and your son can interact weekly or daily with people of similar faith while he is in college, I believe that anything is possible.

If you are looking for a conservative Anabaptist option for post-secondary education, there is Faith Builders in northwestern, PA. Many of their courses can be transferred to other colleges.

If you are looking for a Kingdom Christian option, plans are being made to launch Sattler College in Boston in the fall of 2018.
The goal is to recruit students from among the hundreds of thousands of David Platt and Francis Chan fans who would be open to taking these men's ideas a step further toward their logical conclusion. (Much like what happened with Grebel and Manz in the sixteenth century as they studied under Zwingli.)
There are tens of thousands of young Evanglicals who are not fans of Hillary, but are embarrassed that their parents voted for Trump. This demographic has potentially thousands of persons who would be seriously interested in Kingdom Christianity if it was explained and defended in way that was meaningful to them.
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“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.”
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Neto
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Re: College

Postby Neto » Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:59 am

For context for my statements here:
I attended public school until college, then a non-Mennonite college (my first year was at a non-denominational Bible Institute that had a large majority of Mennonite students & support base). Our children attended a WBT mission school on the field, and a combination of public school & Christian schools on furloughs and after our return to the States.

As you may have already found, conservative anabaptist parents with children in basically non-anabaptist Christian schools (whether on the field or in the home country) face the unique challenge of teaching their children in beliefs different from that which is taught as Bible truth in the school environment. In some ways, the tight walk in this situation is much greater than that of the parent with children in the public (secular) school environment, especially when it is the mission school setting, where you fellowship & work closely in Christian ministry with the parents of your children's classmates. This can be very confusing for the children, and as they say, children can be "little missionaries" themselves, saying to their classmates what you would not say to those children's parents (like in regards to playing war, patriotism, etc.). I can recall needing to tell a child that while no, I was not his father, and couldn't "tell him what to do", and he could go tell his father what I said if he wished, but he would not be allowed to play shooting people at our home. (He left in a huff, saying that he would indeed tell his father, but as far as I know didn't, and came back later, willing to follow our house rules.) But as relating to secular college, I believe that laying the groundwork is the most important part, and also believe that it requires teaching your children to think for themselves, and then praying that they decide right. No inherited beliefs will be deep beliefs unless they are thought through and evaluated personally. I think that parents can play an integral role in this process if openness is practiced from the beginning, like not going ballistic if a child expresses doubts about your core beliefs.
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Josh
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Re: College

Postby Josh » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:42 am

Anyone who plans to send their children to college at age 18 should first evaluate if they'd ever send their kids to public school at age 17. If the answer to the latter is always "no", it puzzles me how the former can be "yes".
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cmbl
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Re: College

Postby cmbl » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:00 am

Neto wrote:For context for my statements here:
As you may have already found, conservative anabaptist parents with children in basically non-anabaptist Christian schools (whether on the field or in the home country) face the unique challenge of teaching their children in beliefs different from that which is taught as Bible truth in the school environment. In some ways, the tight walk in this situation is much greater than that of the parent with children in the public (secular) school environment

The conservative Mennonites I fellowship with are generally skeptical of/opposed to higher education. One minister I talked to did say that if one of their young people went to college, he would rather they go to a secular school rather than a Christian one, basically because of what Neto wrote.

I do know of a couple Beachy commuter students. (Commuter students, so trying to enact the first sentence of Ernie's post.)
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JimFoxvog
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Re: College

Postby JimFoxvog » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:32 pm

To me the wisest choice depends on the individual child (who is nearing the point where he is no longer a child). Is his faith strong? Being a witness to Christ on a secular campus may be best. But check if there is some sort of properly supportive Christian fellowship available there. But for one who is not ready to stand up to the world's arguments and ways, a more protected Christian college may be best. But this is all only advice to give your student; they are now at the age they have to make their own choice. Parents need to choose whether to support that choice financially in good conscience.

Neto wrote:But as relating to secular college, I believe that laying the groundwork is the most important part, and also believe that it requires teaching your children to think for themselves, and then praying that they decide right. No inherited beliefs will be deep beliefs unless they are thought through and evaluated personally. I think that parents can play an integral role in this process if openness is practiced from the beginning, like not going ballistic if a child expresses doubts about your core beliefs.

Teaching to think for oneself is vital if the student is to leave a protected community. The expressing of doubts is an important part of making the beliefs one's own.
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Ernie
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Re: College

Postby Ernie » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:08 pm

Josh wrote:Anyone who plans to send their children to college at age 18 should first evaluate if they'd ever send their kids to public school at age 17. If the answer to the latter is always "no", it puzzles me how the former can be "yes".

Good point. I wouldn't want my children going to a non-Kingdom Christian college until they were maybe 25 or so unless it was a local vo-tech school or taking specific courses at a community college, or something like that.
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“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

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lesterb
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Re: College

Postby lesterb » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:21 pm

Ernie wrote:
Josh wrote:Anyone who plans to send their children to college at age 18 should first evaluate if they'd ever send their kids to public school at age 17. If the answer to the latter is always "no", it puzzles me how the former can be "yes".

Good point. I wouldn't want my children going to a non-Kingdom Christian college until they were maybe 25 or so unless it was a local vo-tech school or taking specific courses at a community college, or something like that.

Exactly. And the interim 6 or 8 years will give them life experience which will make college or university more valuable to them. University would have been more valuable to me at 40 than at 18.
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When a man's ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Pro 16:7 ESV)

Neto
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Re: College

Postby Neto » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:09 pm

Regarding the idea of waiting to go to college, if it is a "non-kingdom" institution, I keep coming back to what Jim Fox said, that it depends on the person. I knew from the time I was 13 or so that I would be a missionary, and I chose courses already in HS with that in mind. I went straight to Bible Institute, and then to Bible college at a non-Mennonite school. (There was one other Mennonite there, and he was from a liberal Mennonite conference, and I don't think there was anything that set him apart from any other student there, no matter what their church background.) Actually, it was the non-Kingdom educational experiences and push-back there which shaped & solidified my belief into pacifism, and that same stream of self-development of Biblical thought which eventually lead me to a strong belief in Biblical non-resistance. This is perhaps why I may have sometimes talked with our children at perhaps beyond their level of thinking. I came to strong convictions through critical thought, so I wanted to help them do the same. Perhaps if I had grown up in a congregation that stressed non-resistance I would have reacted differently in my parenting style, but my children are now 23 to 31, and even though they all have attended at least some university, they are all strong in Kingdom convictions. But I would be remiss if I did not mention that we also sent all of them to EBMI.
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Adam
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Re: College

Postby Adam » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:17 pm

Neto wrote:But I would be remiss if I did not mention that we also sent all of them to EBMI.


What is EBMI?
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