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Students Encouraged to Think Critically

On Monday, Lubbock Christian University kicked off their third Thinking Critically Initiative with Dr. Darryl Tippens, Provost of Pepperdine University, speaking to three different audiences about vocation.

The Thinking Critically Initiative began as an aim to enhance the quality of the student educational experience at LCU. The initiatives are co-curricular, allowing the entire university to be involved through classes in all disciplines and through student life activities. Each initiative is yearlong and involves speakers, showings and discussions of films, panel discussions, and creative projects from students or faculty across campus.

Dr. Tippens set the tone for this year’s initiative by addressing the student body in chapel. He then spoke to LCU faculty over lunch, where he shared his personal journey in thinking about vocation.

“Dr. Tippens was a great choice as the first speaker of this year’s Thinking Critically Initiative,” explains Dr. Susan Blassingame, one of the founders and leaders of the Thinking Critically Initiative. “Dr. Tippens has been studying and writing about vocation for over a decade.”

Dr. Tippens’s final presentation for the day was a lecture in the Baker Conference Center on how to pursue God’s will in vocation, followed by a question and answer session. Dr. Tippens listed nine key tips to consider during our Christian pilgrimage and search for vocation, such as remembering to “study the map” (scripture) and “learn from the wrong turns.”

During the question and answer period following the lecture, LCU President Tim Perrin asked Dr. Tippens how to interpret opportunities? When is persistence called for and when is it time to say no? According to Dr. Tippens, there is no single, correct way to answer God’s calling. He gave the example that there are many ways to get from Los Angeles to New York, and young people often get caught up on finding the one highway they should take.

Dr. Blassingame commented on Dr. Tippens’s lecture, “Clearly, the subject of vocation is one that all Christians consider as they go through life. Dr. Tippens praised the LCU students, many who came to talk to him after the lecture to ask questions and engage him in discussion.”

According to co-founder and leader of the Thinking Critically Initiative, Jana Anderson, Dr. Tippens’s lecture had a profound impact on students who attended. “[A couple of students] said it was one of the best events they had been to because he spoke directly to their deep need--for answers, for confirmation, for assurance that it is more than okay--in fact, it is biblical--to walk by faith, rather than always by sight,” says Anderson.

“Dr. Tippens provided deep and important insights into the concept of vocation, reminding us that the Christian life is a pilgrimage and that God calls us along the way to join in what he is doing in the world,” says President Perrin. “Our task is to seek to discern His call and to respond joyfully and obediently. Our year-long initiative is off to a great start.”

Future events in the Vocation Initiative include the showing of the recent movie “Man of Steel,” the Moser Ministry Conference, and multiple speakers such as Dr. Jeff Cary and David Johnston.