Biblical Studies Minor at Patrick Henry College

Equipped for the Pursuit

By Beckett Millhouse

 Confronting the Important Questions

You can often tell a person’s priorities by examining the way they spend their time. In a world in which a thousand things vie for our attention, it’s essential to identify that which is most important to our lives and vigilantly defend the time we save for it. We often manage to carve out time for jobs, family, and studies, but if our lives are truly dedicated to glorifying the Lord in all that we do, we must take the time to equip ourselves for the study of his Holy Word.

As someone who grew up in a Christian household, I learned the correct answers to biblical questions at a young age. But I wholly lacked the tools with which to search God’s Word for the answers I didn’t have—the answers to questions that didn’t fit within the cookie cutter mold of Sunday-school theology.

Patrick Henry College refuses to allow those questions to go unanswered. At Patrick Henry College, students are not only encouraged to wrestle with the deep questions of their faith, they are given the tools they need to find real answers.

The Biblical Studies Minor at Patrick Henry College

The Biblical Studies minor is an opportunity for Patrick Henry College students to pursue a more full understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ. While some may consider this sort of minor a waste of time given its minimal impact on a career, Patrick Henry College stands for so much more.

Certainly, preparing our students for their future careers is a priority, but that preparation involves far more than just technical training for the sake of a promotion. At Patrick Henry College, we believe in holistic education—education that goes beyond a specific major and truly prepares students for life. It’s because there is nothing more important than a walk with Christ that fields of studies like the Biblical Studies Minor exists.

In order to live our lives well, we must recognize its deeper purpose and pursue that wholly. We all need foundations upon which to build up our faith. What better than to learn how to study God’s word?

A Rare Opportunity

Biblical Studies at Patrick Henry College isn’t just important, it’s a golden opportunity. As any Biblical Studies Minor will tell you, the quality of this program far surpasses any like it. If you ever ask them what the big deal is, the first thing they will mention is Dr. Darrel Cox. Dr. Cox is the director of the minor at Patrick Henry College and teaches almost all of the upper division classes that make up its core curriculum. As a Patrick Henry College Senior in the Biblical Studies Minor put it,

Dr. Cox is by far the best part of the BS minor. His great knowledge of the subject matter is only rivalled by his unbelievably humble attitude and approachable demeanor. Class time with Dr. Cox feels a lot more like a bible study with friends than an actual class, and yet most the time, we are receiving graduate-level seminars with constant search and discussion of the Word.

He seamlessly blends casual conversation with incredibly wise insight and really brings the Bible to life in a way I have never seen before.

Dr. Cox is also a firm believer in students starting from square one and building their faith themselves rather than depending on others to do it for them. Biblical Studies classes at Patrick Henry College uses an inductive approach, giving students the building blocks with which to build their faith, and allowing them to come to their own conclusions through a guided pursuit of truth. While other programs may train students what to think and do, Biblical Studies trains students how to think and allows them to explore God’s word for themselves.

An Impact for Everyone at Patrick Henry College

The Patrick Henry College Biblical Studies Minor isn’t just for those called to pastor churches or work full time missions, it’s for every believer. While interviewing a Patrick Henry College Sophomore, I was struck by the way in which she described her experience with her Biblical Studies classes. She said,

I think it has impacted me so greatly because these classes more than any others cut to the heart of who we are. I’m not planning to go into ministry or even considering attending seminary later on, but studying the Bible in such a full way really opens your eyes to approach everything in your life from a biblical perspective.

Since I joined the program at Patrick Henry College, I’m beginning to see the connections around me that I used to be blind to—the biblical issues of our world that are really more important than anything else. These aren’t just extra classes I have to take, they are a discipleship that has tremendously impacted my spiritual health. Every semester, the material we covered seems to end up being incredibly impactful to where I was spiritually, and I feel like God really spoke to me through my study.

Studying here at Patrick Henry College has fundamentally reshaped the way I approach my life.

A Calling for All

For anyone considering a college education, the things you choose to invest in are what shape your passions and desires. At Patrick Henry College, you have the opportunity to spiritually grow, to open your eyes to the spiritual truths that surround you, and to open your ears to God’s calling for your life—whether that be preaching from a pulpit, raising children with your spouse, or even flipping burgers at McDonalds.

Whoever you are and wherever you are going, the Biblical Studies is for you because it’s for everyone. As it is written in Proverbs 3: 1-2, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.” As believers we take Christ in our hearts wherever we go, why then shouldn’t we equip ourselves to study the bible well regardless of where we think we will end up?

This is our calling: to pursue God in all that we say and do. Let us then seek to run life’s race well—continually resting the word of the Lord and seeking His heart through our study of His holy scriptures.

 

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Patrick Henry College – Filling the Spiritual and Academic Void in the Nation

I’m writing to you about the exceptional 16, 17, and18-year-old students across America. You probably know a few. Maybe they are your own children, or maybe it will be them in a few (very short) years. Maybe you’re thinking about your grandchildren or the neighbor’s teenager who helps with your yard. There are a lot of them. They are precious gifts from God, and they are the future of America.

What I love about these young adults is that they haven’t been passive or disengaged from their own development. They’ve sweated, stressed, and stretched their way to excellence – and it hasn’t been easy. Nothing worth achieving is! They gave up time with their friends and made wise, difficult choices when others called them on easier roads. These exceptional students feel a distinct leading in their life to do something that honors their family, their country, and most of all, our God. He has called them, and that calling requires serious prayer and serious deliberation.

Now they’ve come to a defining moment. Where will they go to college? That’s a huge decision and not one to be taken lightly. As the parent, grandparent, teacher, pastor, or mentor who poured countless hours into their emotional, intellectual, and spiritual formation, this is a defining moment for you as well.

I recognize the difficulty of the college decision when I look at the current landscape of higher education. Once a shining example of American exceptionalism, our colleges and universities have now become hotbeds of intolerance for people of faith, filled with “safe spaces”, promiscuity, and, to top it off, a subpar education. That doesn’t make for an exciting or optimistic choice. In fact, it is an unacceptable status quo.

The exceptional, high-performing Christian student deserves better. So do you, and so does our country. Why must our best and brightest, along with those who pay the bills, make the awful choice between an institution that offers an elite education with a path to success and an institution that honors the Word of God?

That choice is a recipe for disaster, not only for our country but also for the Kingdom. How many young saints have we lost to thishttps://patrickhenrycollege.info/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/abc.jpg formula, and how far has our country drifted from its outstanding? Too many and too far.

At right is an illustration that has helped me visualize the current landscape in higher education.

Originally, higher education in the United States occupied the top right of the graph – especially our most prestigious universities. These institutions strove for the best in academic rigor while maintaining a steadfast commitment to the Word of God.

However, as you and I know all too well, these places drifted leftward over time – abandoning the idea that knowledge and wisdom come from God. They have tried to maintain their level of academic rigor, but even that has declined. Much of their continued success comes from reputation, deeply entrenched networks, and the fact that they keep getting the students with the highest intellectual horsepower – students who should be going to God-honoring institutions.

The schools that have drifted to the left are resolute to remain there – indoctrinating future cultural influencers with a left-leaning, highly-secularized worldview that is increasingly hostile to people of faith and the principles of the American founding.

Throughout the years, Christian institutions of higher education have been established to fill the void. Unfortunately, most of these places (where God’s Word is still being honored) lack the academic excellence and rigor necessary to compete with the elite institutions in the upper left. I thank God these Christian colleges exist, but they just haven’t filled the void in the upper right. Our political and cultural institutions continue to be populated by the product of the upper left – to our country’s detriment.

That is why Mike Farris and a group of faithful Christian Patriots (even some of you reading this letter) established Patrick Henry College in the year 2000. Patrick Henry College (PHC) was founded to fill the spiritual and academic void created by the leftward secular shift of our nation’s elite institutions.

Patrick Henry College exists to glorify God by challenging the status quo in higher education. We lift high both faith and reason within a rigorous academic environment, therefore preserving for posterity the ideas behind the “noble experiment in ordered liberty” that is the foundation of America.

In other words, for Christ, and for Liberty. This is why we exist, and this is what we’re here to do.

The exceptional Christian students out there no longer need to make the choice between an elite education with access to career success and a place that honors the Word of God. That place exists, and it exists with no government funding, no long-term debt, and a stunning, 17-year track record of success.

But it doesn’t exist without you. You provide the funding and the scholarships that make this choice possible. Your support is the fuel that God uses for the Patrick Henry College engine that is producing cultural and political leaders like no other Christian institution. What can another Christian college say they’ve helped produce three Supreme Court clerks in the last two years and three current press secretaries in the House, the Senate, and the executive branch? None can. This isn’t about bragging. It is simply putting forward evidence that Patrick Henry College is fulfilling its mandate to fill the vacated space in the upper right of the chart above. This excellence can only be achieved when academic rigor is supported by the Word of God. And through God’s grace and your provision, there is no limit to what can be achieved for His glory.

The status quo is unacceptable. Our nation needs leaders prepared with excellence, humility, and grace.

 

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