got me a college girl

in celebration of formal education in the life of the Christian girl

Friday, March 30, 2007

Moving On (Mollie)

After a long hiatus due to the business of living, we've resumed blogging at our new home powered by wordpress. Please change your bookmarks and come over to the new and improved blog, renamed True Womanhood in the New Millennium at http://www.truewomanhood.wordpress.com.

Our purpose continues to be the celebration of the thinking Christian woman, but we've also broadened our statement to include issues other than the importance of all women being given the freedom to choose to formally educate herself.



The true woman of the new millennium seeks to honor the Lord Jesus Christ with her heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love her neighbor as herself. She is gifted by God with amazing and unique gifts and she is empowered by the Holy Spirit to use those gifts for His glory alone. As this true woman commits herself to the Word of God, she eschews the man-made stereotypes given to her in the past and delights in God’s distinctive calling on her life in her home, in the church, and in the world.

We're eagerly anticipating your participation at True Womanhood! Welcome.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Gender Issues at Covenant Article (Allison)

A quote from a recent ByFaith Online article titled "Responding to Gender Issues at Covenant College" (sorry, the exact link isn't working for some reason. You may find it under the "In the Church" section.):


Within the order ordained by God, both women and men are called to serve with all the talents given them, and it is right that they should develop those talents as fully as God allows. Problems arise not when women are educated; problems arise either when women are encouraged to use their education contrary to the order God prescribes, or when people wrongly use or abuse that order to prohibit productive and biblical avenues of service. In both cases, the problems stem from a lack of attention to the Scriptures as primary.

This fairly recent article touches on some of the issues that arose following the Gender conference at Covenant College. The authors, while affirming the complimentarian view, manage to strike a balance between both sides on the issues of women in education which I hope posters and readers of this blog find admirable.

In particular, they mention the issue of the education of women:


Consider, for example, the passionate debates these days concerning the inadequate ways in which the church makes place for theologically educated or even simply educated women. This is an important subject of discussion; surely we all have much to learn in this area – both the ones critiquing the church and the ones being critiqued. We can make progress here, but not if the discussion takes place apart from an explicit and shared biblical foundation. We regularly see separate camps of thinkers develop around these topics. There are the ones who want to encourage women to develop and use their gifts as fully as possible – in deep study of the Word of God, potentially in graduate school or seminary, and then ultimately for the good of the church. Then there are those who want to encourage women to pursue involvement at home, with discipleship and nurturing of children and other women. Deep rifts loom, with women’s important work in the home, in the church, and in the world potentially misunderstood and demeaned.

We believe these camps can and should come together, standing on the firm ground of the Scriptures’ teachings concerning the order of home and church. If we don’t make that ground clear, then we are in danger of trying either to negate or to misshape God’s order according to our own likings. We too often desire to encourage women – and men – these days without giving them the great gift of the Scriptures’ beautiful, comprehensive teachings on the subject of who they have been created to be, in Christ and in the church and in their families.

It seems that part of the purpose of this blog has been to highlight the importance of educated women within the home, the church, and in the world. I think our discussions here strive to find that "coming together" of all sides.

Things have been quiet around here for a while, but I was wondering what others in blogland think of this article. The author specifically mentions Carolyn James, and we've discussed her books and talks around here, as well as opposing points of view from those who think higher education for women is unnecessary. Is it possible to have a "coming together" while maintaining a Biblical view? One might describe it as "Christian women fully developing their gifts for the good of the church AND the home AND the workplace." What do you think?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"... a good education emancipates the mind and makes us citizens of the world." (Mollie)

I recently came across this inspiring speech by Alice Freeman Palmer entitled, "Why Go to College?" Though first delivered in the late 1800's, many of her reasons for the education of women are relevant today. Here are a few delicious quotes that should send you off to refill your coffee cup before you cruise the above link to be inspired by her speech in its entirety. Enjoy!

I found it really interesting that her focus on educating women had to do with better equipping them for serving society. While education certainly personally betters the individual who is educated, we at got me a college girl truly believe that the educated woman has improved herself so that she can better serve her fellow man.

Our American girls themselves are becoming aware that they need the stimulus, the discipline, the knowledge, the interests of the college, in addition to the school, if they are to prepare themselves for the most serviceable of lives.

I will not reply that college training is a life insurance for a girl, a pledge that she possesses the disciplined ability to earn a living for herself and others in case of need, for I prefer to insist on the importance of giving every girl, no matter what her present circumstances, a special training in some one thing by which she can render society service, not amateur but of an expert sort, and service too for which it will be willing to pay a price.
If you read the following and don't have a ping of wishing for the days on end of intellectual stimuli, then I'm just sorry!

In the college time new powers are sprouting, and intelligence, merriment, truthfulness and generosity are more natural than the opposite qualities often become in later years. An exhilarating atmosphere pervades the place. We who are in it all the time feel that we live at the fountain of perpetual youth, and those who take but a four years' bath in it become more cheerful, strong, and full of promise than they are ever likely to find themselves again; for a college is a kind of compendium of the things most men long for.

One of my biggest complaints of the anti-college sentiment, is the belief that anyone can educate themselves on any subject by themselves. Somehow pseudo-intellectual discussions of a matter is educating those involved, not in a similar way that the college classroom educates, but in a superior way. When I was in college I went to a gathering of self-proclaimed intellectuals. They talked about this and that with great superiority and gusto. It was clear after an hour in their company, that many of them new nothing about what they were talking about, that they just liked to hear themselves talking about a broad range of intellectual subjects when their time would have been better served actually studying the matter from someone who knew what they were talking about. In the same way, I believe, the ideal that insists that a person can be well educated by a mere accumulation of facts that can be regurgitated at will is missing something vital to education: the inspiraton and excitement that comes from studying with an expert in the field of study.

. . . it is wholly wrong in assuming that this precious influence comes from frequent meetings or talks on miscellaneous subjects.

The greatest thing any friend or teacher, either in school or college, can do for a student is to furnish him with a personal ideal . . . an ideal of character, of conduct, of the scholar, the leader . . . for many years I have known that my study with them . . . enlarged my notions of life, uplifted my standards of culture, and so inspired me with new possibilites of usefulness and happiness. Not the facts and theories that I learned so much as the men who taught me, gave this inspiration.

Please, do, read the entire speech and let us know what you think!


Poaching (Monica)

With a grateful look towards a friend's blog, I have poached this article by Holly Stratton as an excellent example of writing from a college girl.

Holly has a refreshing take on modesty and some noteworthy insights on the danger of digging deeper into our respective preferential trenches. My favorite is

"...Most of us will find ourselves in venues where the defining of lines and the drawing of specific applications are vital components of instruction. During this process, we can unwittingly carve a path to the goal that becomes deeply entrenched in our own opinions and biases. The deeper we dig, the easier it is to lose sight of the fact that our personalities, environments, and upbringings—and not the Word of God alone—have contributed to our specific courses of choice. This can prompt us to make not only unbiblical judgments against those who run paths that veer to our left or right but also dogmatic, authoritative statements about subjective matters."

The ensuing discussion is not overly edifying, but the original article, I thought, was exceptional.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Just A Thought (Rachelle)

As the movie version of The Da Vinci Code prepares to open, the controversy surrounding it has people talking. I've read articles on blogs and in magazines about why Christians should and should not read the book/see the movie. Until today, I was confident in my decision to skip the book (and probably the movie). I had read Dan Brown's Angels and Demons, which is similar in the riveting, page-turning action and the convoluted picture of Christianity portrayed. I could see why those not grounded in faith, doctrine, and church history could be easily confused. I didn't see the need to read another Dan Brown novel.

However, today I had the opportunity to comment for the local newspaper on the book and its theology. And I couldn't. I wasn't prepared. I hadn't read the material and had nothing authoritative to say.

Of course there is a line to what we take into our mind (Do we watch porn so we can speak about it authoritatively? No.) . But I found myself reminded of one the best reasons we should encourage the higher education of Christians: If you want to fight on the front lines of the culture war (or even be in the battle), you have to know what you are fighting. We have to be ready to give an answer "in season or out of season." Sometimes you can just share the Gospel, but often your conversations start on the world around you, a book, a movie, a play. If you haven't read Nietsche, or Marx, or Darwin or Dan Brown, you can't discuss them intelligently with a seeker. You never know when your chance may come.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

purpose of secular education for Christians (Karen)

As a follow-up to a comment on the previous thread, I thought this might be good to discuss.

In referring to the article by Pieter Friedrich, Pastor Mike Spreng said:

"The article is a little obnoxious but it is not all together “arrogant.” I think what he is trying to say is that his mind was not forming like he wanted it to. That is what college is supposed to be about! College should form the mind and give the student a grid, a hermeneutic, a general philosophy, to study whole life. It sounds like he wasn’t getting that. His mind was becoming a convoluted mess of “information.” That’s not learning; not proper learning, anyhow. Again, proper learning gives a person a worldview, an outlook, a pair of spectacles. Liberal study cannot and will not do this. And as far as the argument of “learning about what others are believing,” well…that is a very immature way to learn also. Haven’t you ever heard of the way the FBI trains when learning the crime of counterfeiting? They study the real bill so much that when a counterfeit runs past them, they spot it immediately. If they were to study the counterfeit bills instead, they would have an endless schooling that would teach them a lot of nothing. And that is what much of academia is doing: teaching a lot of nothing. It’s Marketing 101! Those publishers and teachers get paid ya know."

So I had these thoughts:

Mike,

Perhaps herein lies the problem....what is the purpose of a college education?

I would offer that going to college and attending college classes don't necessarily have the same purpose.

The experience of college teaches you all sorts of things we have addressed on this blog, ie, leadership skills, interpersonal relationship skills, independence, self-motivation, critical thinking skills, etc.

The classes, however, ought to be part of a whole learning process, preparing you to be accomplished enough to have a job, whether it be in a work environment or raising a family or in ministry. Class time will expose you to the ideas and worldviews of any number of people and it will also allow you the opportunity to evaluate the things you have learned up until that point. And it will give you a body of information you can and hopefully will use.

Pieter says that he was only attending college to get a degree. He didn't claim to go into it with the goal of having his mind shaped. In fact, it sounds like he really didn't go into it with the goal of learning anything at all, only to get a piece of paper for future employment.

I had another thought as I read through your comments and, looking at your profile, I think you might be Peiter's pastor. What do you think about Christian education vs secular education for Christians and how does that determine how you approach your classroom time? Are the minds of Christians supposed to be shaped by those with a secular worldview?


What do you all think?



Wednesday, April 19, 2006

anti-college arrogance at its finest (Karen)

I recently came across this article by a homeschooled young man, Peter Friedrich, and I think it is a perfect example of the arrogance that is coming out of some circles regarding formal higher education. I would also note that his mother is Carmen Friedrich, whose blog has received many accolades, notably because of her anti-college-for-women writings.

After I had read it, I kept thinking about the fact that I learn something new every single day, something I didn’t know before. I read, I study, I interact with others and am always gaining a new perspective on subjects and ideas. I love it when this happens. How this guy can arrogantly state that he learned “nothing” from a slew of classes he took is incredible to me. If I had a child who behaved in that manner, I would certainly feel like I had failed to instruct him or instill in him the basic principle that God imparts wisdom to many people, not just yours truly! That and basic respect and manners.....


Oh bother…..

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Happy Housewife? (Monica)

I happened across this story in today's local paper. Sad that the female author is once again pitting women against women. Beyond that though, it sounds like the same kind of schizophrenia that shows up in Where the Girls Are, the desire to be at home nesting, enjoying all the things traditionally "feminine," and yet not finding that the only place that God-given talents could/should be developed and used, needing a bigger horizon than the four walls of the house. The author, Flanagan, describes her book as "trying to say...It's a kind of life, a way of life that's wrought with divergent conflicting impulses."

Has anyone read her book? It's brand new, and I'm hoping to get it from the library in the next couple days.

Disclaimer: I'm not suggesting that there's anything Christian about Flanagan's book. I've not read it yet, and I don't know anything about her other than the reviews I've seen. I would expect her to mention education for women, and I'm curious to see what she has to say there.

A Woman for President? (Shanna)

Recently, I ran into a fellow believer. We got to talking about politics and elections, and, in the course of the conversation, she told me she could never endorse a woman being president--or senator, representative, or mayor, in most cases. "I just don't think women should have that kind of leadership," she told me. She also said that she wouldn't know what to do without her husband--"How would I make decisions?" she explained. "Women and their hormones ... can you imagine?"

I asked her where we should draw the line--if a woman can't be in governmental leadership, can she be a company manager? a college professor? She told me that she'd really have to pray about that (or maybe ask her husband).

I think it's a very real question Christians have asked themselves: Could a woman be an effective president? According to a September article at ABC News, Americans may be ready; but are Christians also willing to ignore stereotypes and really search for the best candidate?