July 11, 2016
Verity was designed to help students pursue their bachelor’s or associate’s degree at an accelerated pace and maximize on learning efficiency—all from a Christian perspective. But beyond the academics, what does Verity offer as a part of its college experience?
While the answer to this question would, of course, change depending on who you ask, all students that go through Verity’s programs do share certain experiences and challenges that can spur on personal growth. Just by its nature, bringing a group of young people together who have diverse personalities, regional loyalties, and families tends to result in an education that extends far beyond mere academia.
When I applied to Verity, I had no idea what I was getting into. I didn’t understand what it meant to embark on an accelerated college degree program with a heavy emphasis on discipleship. I thought I was just going to college; the natural next step for a middle class American graduating high school. But looking back, I realize that among the many things I took away from Verity, I learned to see things from other people’s perspectives, I began to appreciate the need to always continue learning, and I began to understand how to to accept challenges to my faith.
On the Israel Missions Trip in 2011
1. Seeing Things from Multiple Perspectives
Verity taught me to view circumstances and ideas through the eyes of others, and began the process of forcing me to consider how others perceive life in ways that I do not. One of the first times I realized that there were more than one perspective was in a meeting a scant two weeks into my time at Verity. My head started spinning because I understood that what I was hearing was correct, but the advice I was receiving came from a far different train of thought than my brain would naturally take. I felt confused and disoriented, but also liberated.
Verity taught me to view circumstances and ideas through the eyes of others, and began the process of forcing me to consider how others perceive life in ways that I do not.
For the first time in my life, I comprehended that there was more than one valid way to arrive at the right conclusion. From this experience, I found that relationships require cultivation of empathy: the ability to be concerned with how another is experiencing a situation or circumstance.
That is crucial, because without understanding that there are multiple valid perspectives that still fall within a sound biblical worldview, it can be easy to become dogmatic in one’s approach to life. That’s part of why God scattered personality traits, gifts, desires, abilities, and other such qualities across the spectrum of humanity. I know people are unique, I just have to remember that that uniqueness grants them a perspective and insight that I do not have apart from them.
2. Learning All Through Life
Another thing Verity taught me is that learning would never truly end. It was easy for me to get into the mindset of being done with school after completing my degree. But the reality is that every experience, circumstance, and relationship molds the remainder of my life.
Proactive learning is encouraged at Verity. Good books are recommended, and in some case required. But learning does not have to be drab or involve textbooks. Instead, Verity students are challenged to continue growing and learning in the subjects and arenas that interest them or relate to their career or family life.
3. Accepting Challenges to Faith
Lastly, I learned to accept challenges to my faith. Just prior to attending Verity, God led me through some steps that forced me to take ownership of my faith. Verity provides an environment that fosters personal responsibility and accountability for one’s relationship with God.
Also, this is related to understanding the perspective of others. Iron sharpens iron, says Scripture. My assumptions and values were challenged in a healthy manner. I had to decide why I believed what I believed. No longer was my faith based on my parents’ faith or my pastor’s preaching and teaching. Now I had to Biblically discern where I was actually supposed to stand on controversial topics.
Testing for credit also produces a test to faith. At Verity, we work hard, and sometimes that requires many hours of studying. But we also trust God for the outcomes of our tests. We believe that active faith translates into putting in the work, but letting God be the One who decides how much academic success we see.
Now I had to Biblically discern where I was actually supposed to stand on controversial topics.
Faith, empathy, and a thirst for learning. Those were just some of the things Verity instilled in me. And frankly, they are lessons I continually have to learn more deeply as I grow and mature.
The underlying theme of each of those is relationships. Despite our alumni being scattered across the globe, it is not uncommon for them to continue lifelong friendships forged at Verity. The relationships and life lessons gained at Verity undeniably leave a permanent and unique stamp on each person who experiences our program.
No worries, you can unsubscribe at any time.