If it is true, as Alexander Pope asserts, that “a little learning is a dangerous thing,” how do we, as educators, encourage the process of drinking deeply, instead of merely tasting knowledge? How do we inspire students to go beyond the words on the page—to glean tools they will need for future success and to thoughtfully examine issues of faith, philosophy, history, and a panorama of other subjects?
I am privileged to teach at a Christian liberal arts college where Biblical truth, intellectual inquiry, and professional skills are integral parts of the educational process. As an English professor, I want to equip students with some of the tools they will need to succeed in their chosen professions: to think critically and analyze effectively, to articulate ideas cogently both in written and verbal form, and to make learning a lasting endeavor. I also want to encourage them to be cognizant and reflective of the tapestry of ideas that make up the fabric of our existence, and to love God with their minds as well as their hearts.
Teaching at a Christian college has allowed me to see the integrative, holistic nature of higher education. Issues of faith and Biblical scholarship are connected to the educational experience as a whole, and academic rigor becomes part of our service and worship to God. This is an exciting environment, which allows me the opportunity not only to observe and encourage, but also to participate fully in the process of inquiry, discovery, and drinking deeply from a plentiful fountain.