Why We Are Failing Our Students

by Jonathan Morrow

We can’t just sit back and assume that just because a student goes to church or attends youth group that they are ready to follow Christ in today’s culture. Attendance isn’t cutting it; training is needed. And with it, a compelling vision of true education. 59% of Christian students losing their faith is unacceptable.

I am convinced that the prevailing approach to education in our society is doing a great disservice to students. As a culture we can do better but as Christians we must do better. Unfortunately, much of contemporary education has come to be identified with data acquisition. However, simply regurgitating facts does not mean that one is educated. The ability to look something up on Google or Wikipedia is useful to be sure and I am certainly thankful for the unprecedented access to information available today, but this ability is not to be confused or conflated with education.

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In order to understand what it means to be educated, we need to answer a fundamental question—what is a human being for? If a human being is understood to be the result of a blind, random process that did not have him in mind, then strictly speaking there is no objective purpose (this is the contemporary Darwinian narrative). But if a human being is specially created in the image of an essentially relational God, then education is about flourishing according to God’s design and for his glory. True education cannot sever the purpose for which we exist from who we are.

As Christians, we must resist the reductionism so common in our culture today. For as one of my professors put it one time, “education is not about testing well…but living well.” I have attempted to make a start at recovering true integration in my book, Welcome to College: A Christ-Follower’s Guide for the Journey. Here is what some leading Christian thinkers are saying about it…

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