An Outline of a Statement of Purpose for Covenant College

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What does it mean to faithfully pursue a college education, and how can you ensure that you do so? A college education is like a piece of clay. The first day of freshman year, the piece of clay is formless and has no characteristics; it has not been worked on yet, but as the years go on, sophomore, junior, and finally senior year, this piece of clay is transformed into a masterpiece if you have taken the effort to spend time mentally, physically, academically, and spiritually in molding the once shapeless clay. This masterpiece is unique to you and you only; it only reflects what you have put into it. To take this structure less clay and mold it into a successful sculpture involves putting God before you in all that you do, always bringing glory to Him.

How do we glorify God in faithfully pursuing a college education? In my area of study, Biology, you are surrounded by information of God’s creation. One goes into great depths with the way systems work in the universe. God is astounding with all the detail He has used to bring life into the world, and to keep it running. Even though we will never know how everything in creation functions, God takes delight in the fact that we are taking a genuine interest in what he has created. (Morris). If you are not a science major and even if you are, you should still be informed about science, for Genesis 1:28 tells of the command that God gave to humans to “…fill the earth and govern it, and to reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” It is our responsibility to take care of the earth.

With the study of Biology, one cannot separate the creation from the Creator. In the book “Well Done, Good and Faithful Scientific Servant,” Morris and Petcher stress the idea that the Christian faith and science must be integrated. By integrating the two, the ideas of what God has done for and what He continues to do through us are motivating factors that encourage us to take delight in what He has made just out of thankfulness for the fact that God sent his one and only son to die on a cross for our sins. When faith is brought together with science to bring an authentic interest in creation, God is glorified. Taking delight in God’s creation can be seen not just by me studying for my science classes, but by physically going out into His creation, like taking a hike.

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Although originally God created the world pure of all evil, evil did eventually enter the world. As part of faithfully pursuing a college education it is important to be able to see where sin has corrupted creation, so that you are able to resist evil, and aim to redeem it. For instance, there are many stereotypes between different cultures (Corbett) and genders (Rulon) that can cause you to have negative prejudgments that are often untrue. Stereotypes can put pressure on an individual to act a certain way within that stereotype rather than being their own person. Instead of becoming complacent (Hallstrom) with our expectations of certain cultures or genders, we need to be constantly engaging with other cultures/genders and realize that each individual and individual culture is unique. This can be done by just taking the time to get to know a person for who they are or submersing oneself in a foreign culture for an extended time (minimum of a year) to start to be able to understand the meaning behind a culture’s customs or practices. This can be seen in my college life by taking the time to get to know the foreign exchange students, or by becoming humble and not judging people by their appearance, but get to know their heart.

Another effect of sin in this world is the worldwide phenomenon of poverty. Poverty affects every country of the world to a certain degree, with some more than others. Poverty in of itself is not a sin. According to Bryant Meyers “Poverty is a result of relationships that do not work, that are not just, that are not harmonious or enjoyable.” (Walking with the Poor). The only way we can fix this brokenness is to realize our self-centered attitudes and reverse it into an attitude of humility and helping others. (Fikkert) Getting involved in the local community not only helps to provide a solution to this problem, but to build character that will help to shape your “piece of clay.”

There are two spirits at work within us that cannot be disregarded, the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of the World. The Spirit of Christ strives to love and serve for God’s glory, while the Spirit of the World loves and serves our own personal glory. There is always a division between the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of the World that causes us to think of ourselves before bringing glory to God. The opposition of these two spirits is called the “Antithesis.” (Davis) This division between these two spirits is caused by sin. Fortunately, God has granted the humankind with grace that allows us to continue living on the earth despite our rebellion. There are 2 types of grace: “common grace,” the grace that is extended to the general population of the world and “saving grace,” the grace granted only to God’s elect. With the antithesis, it easy for people with saving grace to be tempted into thinking that the people with common grace are lesser. The fact of the matter is that God can use anyone or anything to reveal His truth. We need to stay open to the logic of others and resist them when they do not line up with Scripture. We need not fear because God’s Word cannot be broken. In pursuing a college education, there is a lot of credible information in textbooks that usually does not come from believers; this does not mean it is true. God uses non-believers constantly to create new equations, write informative essays, and discover new archeological findings. Truth can be found through anyone.

Once one truly delights in God’s creation and is able to discern between what is good and evil in their study, then you need to look for the redeeming factors. Use what you learn to share the gospel. This can be seen as setting an example in the classroom or taking the degree you earn and making it into a career that endeavors to glorify God locally or globally. So how can I use my Biology degree to be a light for Christ? Personally, I want to take my Biology degree with a minor in Community Development and become an athletic trainer or physical therapist in other parts of the world. I am hoping that I will be able to take what I learn to different countries that have been barely touched with the gospel and work with them medically as well as to make God’s Word alive in that area.

In order to reach my goal, I need to focus on the steps that will get me there. When I had the opportunity to talk to a senior about her experience with the Christian Mind course, one of her biggest regrets was not taking that class or her freshman Old Testament class seriously. Reaching my goal begins now, freshman year, with all the classes that may not seem important but will really help to shape my “lump of clay.” Achieving a college education will not be easy, but if I commit to God everything I do, to bring glory to Him I will be successful. This requires staying active in the Word and constantly reexamining my heart. Covenant college also offers many resources, that are here to benefit the students that I should take advantage of. To become a well-rounded student, it is important to get involved in activities other than academics. That is why I will be committing myself to one church that I can be involved with in serving the community and being a part of the basketball team where I can stay active and work on encouraging and building relationships with my teammates. Getting involved with a church in the inner city and being a part of multiple sports team was something my interviewee took a part it in the years she has been at Covenant that has helped her to become the leader she is today. To faithfully pursue a college education and to be successful at it is going to take me relying on God for support while bringing Him the glory in all that I do.

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