At Lubbock Christian University, students are encouraged to think beyond the classroom, and to apply their intelligence, skills, and faith in many aspects of the world.
Since 2011, LCU has hosted a series of “Thinking Critically” initiatives to foster discussion about important issues that span in impact from the university to the world. The initiatives feature a number of speakers, panels, films, and other activities for students to attend.
The initiative was inspired by LCU’s Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) at the time and has become a core part of each academic year. The focus for the 2017-2018 year is Thinking Critically about Success.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Past topics of the Thinking Critically initiative have included:
- 2011-2012 Thinking Critically about Poverty
- 2012-2013 Thinking Critically about Civic Engagement
- 2013-2014 Thinking Critically and Christianly about Vocation
- 2014-2015 Thinking Critically about Popular Culture
- 2015-2016 Thinking Critically about Justice
- 2016-2017 Thinking Critically about Poverty
The 2017-2018 initiative began Sept. 26 with a plenary address by Professor Lee Camp from Lipscomb University speaking on "Why 'Why' Matters: How to Be a Spectacularly Successful War Criminal, and Other Such Morality Tales." His thought provoking address set the tone for the upcoming year of events.
“Professor Camp’s lecture is a wonderful example of what it means to think critically about challenging subjects,” said Dr. Susan Blassingame, dean of the Hancock College of Liberal Arts and Education and coordinator for the Thinking Critically initiative.
“It’s not easy to think critically; it takes time to let the words sink in,” Blassingame continues. “We have to examine our preconceptions and where and how we got our beliefs. This is not easy work, but it is rewarding.”
As these events focus on success, some central questions come to the forefront: what does “success” mean? What are some of the many dimensions and definitions of success? How do different cultures consider success? Most importantly, how do we as Christians define success?
Blassingame hopes that each year’s topic challenges students to take their critical thinking beyond campus and beyond their diploma. “What I hope students will take away from our study this year,” she said, “is that there are many different standards about what constitutes success in our world. Money and fame – these are worldly incentives that can cloud our judgment and keep us from doing real, good work.”
She continued, “Also, I hope that students learn that challenges and failures are what help us find true success. Successes that come easily are fleeting and unsatisfying in the long run; I like the image we see in scripture of the good that comes from enduring struggles, fighting the good fight, overcoming challenges... I hope we think deeply about our ultimate goal and living lives that are pleasing to God.”
Future events scheduled for the 2017-2018 initiative include:
- “The Pursuit of Happiness” film and panel discussion, Sept. 28
- Al Roberts speaking in chapel on flexibility during change, Oct. 10
- Carlos Perez speaking in chapel on learning from failure, Oct. 30
- Monica Williams speaking in chapel on the importance of support, Nov. 9