Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Theoretically Christian University

Theoretically, Azusa Pacific University is a Christian school.

I say theoretically because this is what the school claims, their motto even being "God first." I say theoretically because when one might imagine a Christian university, they would most likely imagine all faucets of the university emulating God and His true and holy word. A Christian university should be so rooted in God that the truth wouldn't be a questionable thing dependent on what is "politically correct" or acceptable in society's eyes. The truth wouldn't be a gray area or up for discussion because the university would know where to look--to God and His word. The only truth.

This is what I thought I would be getting. This is why I decided it would be worth all of the loans I'd have to pay off for a decade or two.

Is this what I've received? Unfortunately, no.

I do not write this to sound bitter or ungrateful. I have had some amazing teachers and have met some wonderful friends during my time at APU. However, I have only been attending a theoretically Christian school, nothing like what I had imagined my Christian university experience to be like.

As a freshman, I simply thought I had been assigned a unique RA and that I wouldn't encounter a lot more people on campus like her. I hoped I wouldn't meet others who made me feel bad for not being a minority race, where I was told it was normal to feel guilty for being white and was forced to listen to videos that would encourage me to feel bad for the way my Creator purposefully designed me. I assumed I wouldn't be hearing strange agendas from chapel speakers who said things like how upsetting it is that women are always the ones needing to be rescued and men are the rescuers (even though God intentionally made genders uniquely to have different desires), I figured that when faced with the government enforcement of contraceptives at all institutions, including the morning after pill, my Christian university would stand strong, doing whatever necessary, and refuse to accept this distribution of abortion pills to Christian students as an acceptable thing, as this would indirectly encourage premarital sex and murder (both very clearly laid out as sins in the Bible). I never thought these things were normal.

Unfortunately, these things weren't rare occurrences. They've had me considering transferring for more than a year. Why didn't I? I hoped--hoped that maybe I was just being overdramatic. Maybe I was closed-minded. But this is not true. I went to public school my entire life and was thrilled for the chance to be at a place for the first time in my life with Christian friends and teachers/staff fully living out God's word. It was absolutely right for me to believe that when going to a school with a motto that is "God first", I would be in a place where people truly put God first.

I know I am blessed to be receiving an education. I know I am incredibly blessed to be studying abroad in England. However,  it has been my recent conversations with students in my program here at Oxford from Christian school all over the U.S. that really made me realize I have not been crazy or overdramatic. When I tell them the stories of things I've experienced or things that go on at our campus, they are shocked and don't even understand how APU can be called a Christian school. And quite frankly, I don't blame them. I'm not going around trashing this school. Great things happen on campus. Many people are actually intentional and authentic. No one is perfect. But that doesn't mean a private Christian school can look and act so similar to a public state school when they are charging at least twice as much.

This is how I've come to the conclusion, the conclusion that Azusa Pacific University is only theoretically a Christian school.

1 comment:

  1. Great insight Kaylee..never feel ashamed of the gospel and the truth of God's word..especially when you speak the truth in love..May God richly bless you for the courage to speak the truth.