As a rule, I am anything but indecisive. Unfortunately, when deciding my major I broke that rule more than once. I applied for Youth Ministry, enrolled majoring in Intercultural Studies, switched to Bible Teaching, and then again to Humanities. Going through four majors is one thing, but what is worse is the fact that I’ll be changing majors again soon. You see, right now I’m studying humanities, but only in preparation to study philosophy next year. The reason I’m still in humanities is because our philosophy degree does not actually exist yet. It is technically still waiting to be cleared by the board. But, for all intents and purposes, it will actualize next semester - my senior year.
CIU’s Humanities program has a considerable philosophy component. The program is a blend of philosophy, English, foreign languages, and arts, but it is possible to maximize the philosophy portion. Because of the similarity I wonder what is so valuable about a philosophy degree to make me jump through hoops, and structure my whole career audit upon a hypothetical program.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not that I simply adore anxiety. While there are degrees that may provide a more secure entry into a career, and there are many degrees that are already established, Philosophy offers something I find more valuable: critical thinking and a carefully developed worldview. I don’t mean to say that those in other programs lack a worldview, but that a philosophy degree teaches someone to ask a good question, and work through the answer. In addition to historical philosophy classes that span from Socrates, to contemporary philosophy, CIU’s new philosophy degree plans to include courses like Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of Science, and Prep for the GRE/LSAT. Combining classes like this with CIU’s required Biblical studies program makes for a thorough education targeted at developing character and critical thinking skills together. This program culminates in a required senior course on Ethics and Sanctification. The proposed philosophy program aims to educate the student in attempt to prepare them for life, rather than simply for a career. It is becoming a rare thing to find people interested in thinking through life’s problems, with genuine intent to find a solution. Philosophy cultivates that critical thinking. It is one thing to have beliefs and to know them well, but it is another to deconstruct your beliefs, and carefully build them back up. The combination of Bible and philosophy at CIU offers just that.
I personally plan to use my degree in philosophy to teach at an international school while simultaneously continuing my education in pursuit of a PhD. I hope to eventually teach at a university overseas. CIU’s philosophy program is helping me to develop skills that will be influential both in the classroom and in my own education.
For this reason I am taking a risk to study philosophy. It may not be the easiest road, and it may not offer the safest career path, but I believe biblical philosophy offers the best preparation for a life of continued learning, and intentional beliefs. I have chosen not to pick a safe path so a stable career. Rather, I found something that I love studying; that I’m willing to take a risk for, because I believe in what I’m learning.