Yes: Gabriel Cline
Some hypothetical thoughts among students regarding required Bible classes: “Why should I be required to take classes not related to my major? These classes seem like a more difficult Sunday school with irrelevant information.”
While these two examples are both valid thoughts, my belief is not a question of whether or not these classes do apply to you or your major, but rather, how do they apply? For those that are familiar with Biblical stories and concepts, at what point did we stop asking faith-related questions? Have these classes simply become coursework or do we also allow it to be heart-work? Do we put in the time to apply what we learn? The required courses force us to grapple with these questions and apply Biblical concepts at a higher level.
Not surprisingly, students are more than willing to share their personal thoughts and opinions about the requirements for core Biblical classes.
“Because this is a Christian University, core Bible classes should be required,” said student Christina Gleb. “Some professors, however, teach in a manner that makes material confusing, as if every single student has a sort of ‘Sunday School’ background.” While this is often the case, it is not always the norm.
Another student, Erin Saunders, points out that “core Bible classes are good to implement, but many only take them because they have to, and I do not think that it is a good way to approach a Bible class.”
Simply put, from the students interviewed, NU should continue to require Bible classes because this is a Christian institution, and students can benefit from these courses. Students agree that it could be done differently to better impact the lives of students. You see, as followers of Christ and
students at NU, there’s no question that most every individual has a basic understanding of God. However, there are many who do not understand the history and/or context of what they’re reading, which is why it is important to have such required Biblical classes. These courses end up giving us more depth and insight for the good of the body of Christ.
Most of us often use, or have at least heard, Christian words like ‘redemption,’ ‘grace,’ ‘mercy,’ and ‘love’ thrown around in everyday conversations on campus. My question, however, is this: Have we become so familiar with hearing these sorts of words that we don’t necessarily think when we either hear or say them?
Classes like the required Bible courses give us deeper understanding of these terms and how to properly apply them.
We are here at a Christian university because of its religious affiliation. Its incorporation of Biblical classes is foundational in the course curriculum, and there’s always the option of going to a secular school if the requirement is truly bothersome.
We get out what we put in. Ultimately, whether or not these core Bible classes are required, it is up to us as students to put in the effort. It is beneficial for each of us, no matter what we think we know, to engage in these sorts of classes.
Core Biblical classes should be required for NU students, but it is on us to put in the work, ask questions, be challenged, and grow as a result.
No: Kalynn Martell
At Northwest University, undergraduate students are required to take 16 credits, an entire semester’s worth, of Bible classes. Only 15 credits are needed to complete a minor in Biblical Studies. Why, then, do students who graduate without a minor in Biblical Studies have to take so many courses in that field? If students are forced to take the credits, why not award them with what they have earned?
Frankly, not everyone at NU wants a Biblical Studies minor. As a senior Communications major, I will be entering the secular workforce upon graduation. I do not feel that having a minor in Biblical Studies would be advantageous for me. In fact, I feel that those credits spent on Bible classes would be much more beneficial if they were communication credits that would prepare me for my future job instead of requiring me to memorize theories and philosophies about the Bible that I will never use or remember.
Northwest University already forces its students to be in chapel and in life groups for nearly three hours a week, without awarding credit
for involuntary participation, imposing another sixteen credits onto students.
With each credit costing $1,060, students pay nearly $17,000 for credits that neither prepare them for their chosen field (assuming they have not chosen ministry or theology), nor are represented by an awarded degree.
Furthermore, the Bible requirements put strain on transfer students who end up having to spend a semester or more past their expected graduation just to make up for Bible classes that are not offered at other universities.
While Northwest offers a great environment to facilitate religious discussion, students should not be forced to pay for something that they will have nothing to show for on their diploma or utilize in the workplace.