Campbell University launched a series of annual lectures to freshman students on the aims and purposes of a Christian higher education on Tuesday, October 5.
Dr. Glenn Jonas, chairman of Campbell University's Department of Religion and Philosophy, was selected to deliver the first lecture in Turner Auditorium.
"The purpose of this annual address is to highlight for students the Christian aims of Campbell University," said Dr. Dwaine Greene, vice president for Academic Affairs and provost. "Not only do individuals have reasons and goals for which they strive, but institutions do as well. In Campbell's case, those aims have to do with deepening both faith commitments and intellectual pursuits. The exploration of that thesis by highly regarded faculty such as Dr. Jonas is the reason for the series."
Jonas joined the Campbell faculty in 1994 and he was named chairman of the Department of Religion in 1999. He currently holds the Charles and Alma Howard Chair of Religion.
Jonas' lecture, titled "The intersection of Athens and Jerusalem: The Aims of Higher Education in a Christian University," compared the modern discussion of the nature of Christian colleges and universities and the topic of faith and learning to the debate that raged between two theologians in the second century.
One of the men believed pagan philosophers had a measure of ultimate truth but needed a more complete understanding of that truth which could only be provided by Christ. In a sense, this is the role of the Christian university, Jonas says, to give students a more complete understanding of knowledge and truth.
In his lecture, Jonas explores what it means to be a Christian university, a Baptist Christian university, and the educational goals at a Baptist Christian university.
"A total of 117 years have passed since the founding of Campbell University," Jonas said. "Campbell still has a commitment to work intentionally at being a Christian university. It also remains devoted to its Baptist denominational roots. Finally, students remain paramount in the life of this school. And our aim is that our students be prepared for life and career."