Education is more than job training. It is preparation for life.
One thing I often heard from my teachers and counselors in the government school system was, “Scott, you need to go to college to get a good paying job but you also need to major in something with marketable value like computer science, engineering, or accounting. Don’t waste your time with a degree in the liberal arts. A liberal arts degree won’t get you a great job. Technology is where it’s at.” I’ve heard this warning many times in my life but is it true? Will a liberal arts degree not get you a good job?
I recently read a report that evaluates the careers of liberal arts graduates. As tens of thousands of resumes and professional profiles were analyzed, it was discovered that liberal arts grads are employed in a wide variety of good jobs. Common first jobs include positions in sales, marketing, business, management, and finance. It seems that the warning I was given throughout childhood was unfounded. You can get a good, well-paying job with a liberal arts degree.
But we all know that the reason for education is not just to get a J-O-B. C.S. Lewis writes that the purpose of education is to produce the good man, “the man of good taste and good feeling; the interesting and the interested man.” Lewis wasn’t the only one who thought this way. The Yale Report of 1828 argues that the point of college education is to lay a foundation that is “broad, and deep, and solid.” To be more specific, college should teach critical skills not included in mere job training, such as “the art of fixing the attention,” “analyzing a subject,” following “the course of argument, “and “balancing evidence.” These are all foundational skills used in any profession, from computer science to teaching English.
Lewis’ and Yale’s definition of education sure sounds like classical education to me, or the liberal arts. We have to understand something about the term liberal arts. Here, “liberal” doesn’t mean not conservative in the political sense. The word comes from the Latin word “liberalis” meaning free, honorable, and generous which are characteristics of a leader and a society builder. I hope you are beginning to see that this is much bigger than getting a J-O-B.
At Christ Church Academy, we are preparing students to be society builders and kingdom fighters who study, reason, discern, and take the lead for Christ whether they go to a liberal arts college or learn a trade (which is just as important, another article for another day). Classical Christian education and the liberal arts do this. This is the mechanism we use to train up the next generation to take dominion over society and culture and plant the flag of Jesus Christ on it. Please pray for us as we continue in this calling.
Go to www.christchurchacademy.org for more info.
Christ Church Academy is a ministry of Christ Church of Acadiana.