A couple of weeks ago we welcomed over 75 new students to GRTS for the start of the new school year. It is always a joy to see new students come to campus to begin their seminary studies. Months of hard work and preparation come together to make the new student orientation a successful day and ensure new students are ready to start classes.
At the start of a new school year it is exciting to see students back in class, talking about their courses and what the semester will look like. The question, “what classes are you taking?” rings out as students meet again after the summer and reconnect.
More than simply starting classes students are joining together in community and discovering the pattern of learning once more. The rhythm of seminary life has a way of pushing on priorities, of setting boundaries and establishing new ways of being. A seminary education has all of the expectations and challenges of graduate school—reading, writing, managing deadlines, etc.—but seminary also, perhaps uniquely, asks foundational questions and fosters deeper learning.
As I think about the value of my seminary education I am reminded of the richness of biblical and theological training I received. One of the main ways GRTS has shaped my life is by providing an education shaped by the Christian worldview. In my first semester at seminary, Dr. Wittmer took us through the work of Al Wolters in “Creation Regained.” This profoundly shaped my thinking on the Christian life and culture.
With the new school year beginning, I think of the ways in which students at GRTS will be shaped by their learning. I close by turning to a quote from Wolters on the importance of worldview in our lives:
One of the unique characteristics of human beings is that we cannot do without the kind of orientation and guidance that a worldview gives. We need guidance because we are inescapably creatures with responsibility who by nature are incapable of holding purely arbitrary opinions or making entirely unprincipled decisions. We need some creed to live by, some map by which to chart our course. (Wolters, “Creation Regained,” p. 5)
In sum, Wolters talks about worldview as a “guide to our life” and GRTS provides a place for students to think deeply about life and faith, to understand more fully their role in serving God in today’s culture. As we start a new school year we begin again on the path of learning and formation to know God’s plan of redemption and our role in His purposes.