I remember looking at all the view-books, weighing advantages between one school and the other. As soon as I finished my Sophomore year, I sent off for every piece of information I could from schools I thought I wanted to attend.
The schools obliged. I received mountains of letters, print material (this was prior to a digital world – I know I am old), and invitations to visit the campus. All of the appeals were targeted toward what I would experience as a student. They tried to quantify an intangible “feeling” that most of my peers had about attending school.
Here’s where I was different.
I knew what degree I wanted and I didn’t want to go into debt for an undergrad degree. Period.
Oh, and I would be footing the bill myself.
Yes, the images of sporting events, parties and pretty girls were nice. Yes, the newly renovated dorms were spectacular. Unless you had significant funding in scholarships, work-study or other cost-saving features, I was out. No matter the quality of the school, I knew the end result of my degree built more upon my own efforts and what I did with that degree rather than the location.
Christopher Ingram over at the Washington Post made this very claim yesterday in a great article every college bound student or parent of a High School student should read. Here’s the money quote (pun intended)
[W]e need to stop thinking about choosing a college as if it were the same thing as choosing a romantic partner. There's currently too much emphasis on "finding the right match," based on squishy and largely intangible qualities like "personal values," "learning style," "campus ambience." A college education is a purchase, and a big one at that. Yet a survey by Discover Student Loans finds that nearly half of parents say they don't even consider cost when choosing a school with their children. If prospective buyers said the same things about cars or houses, we'd think they were insane.
Parents and Students need to look at the bottom line. It does matter! While the first delimiter should always be the desired degree (engineering, business, ministry, etc.), never forget the cost of the education itself as it relates to your budget and your family’s budget. It is one of the most significant purchases you make in your life. This fall, as final decisions and preparations for college are being made, make sure you’ve looked beyond the feeling and found the right institutional and financial fit.
As the Dean of Midwestern Baptist College, we strive to provide affordability without sacrificing rigorous training. This is a hard battle but one we are committed to engaging. Consequently, I am proud that once again, we are the most affordable, accredited private school in the State of Missouri and in the top-ten of all accredited schools in the state relating to affordability. We remain singularly focused on training men and women to make an impact globally for the cause of Christ. We have one of the finest faculty who invest personally in students to accomplish that singular goal.
That, my friends, is more than an intangible feeling. That is a solid foundation for the future.
Maybe you should surf over to mbts.edu/apply and get your application in for the fall semester! We would love to have you!
Did you hear it?
You may have missed the sound of God at work in the hearts of pastors and leaders last night. You may not have heard the men and women sobbing in brokenness over their sin. You might have been in an ancillary session at the SBC or a reception elsewhere in the convention buildings.
What you missed was God speaking through Rick Warren and preparing hearts to hear the difficult message that James MacDonald preached.
You missed the exhortation to the convention to quit obsessing over numbers and instead begin pleading with God for his manifest presence to show up in our churches.
You missed the awestruck wonder of praying that God would begin to move.
You missed it as our desire to keep the program moving almost stole away the palpable sense of God’s presence.
You missed it as Francis Chan scrapped his planned message to simply encourage us to seek the presence of God.
You missed it as Chan informed us that although he meets with other conventions, conferences and gatherings that he senses a spiritual blockade that keeps Southern Baptists from revival and passionate soul winning.
You missed it as brothers and sisters fell to the ground weeping and agonizing over their lives and the souls of the lost as many stood up and simply left when it was time to pray – myself included (after all, who was going to get my children?)
Here’s my question: Has it really been that long, Southern Baptists, that we don’t recognize when God moves? When God was so clearly moving after Pastor James’ sermon, why did we joke about clothing and focus on an offering – even as important as that offering was? Why were so many of us headed to the exits during Chan’s call to respond to the clear teaching of Scripture? Why were we leaving so quickly when it was clear God was moving in the hearts of many? Why did we not join arms with those weeping around us or with those confronted with the realities of the presence of God? Why did it take an exhortation from the platform for us to not leave the auditorium when a time of prayer was called? What could have happened if we decided to stay and pray? Have we truly become a people so convinced of our pro forma duties that we no longer stop to hear from the Almighty?
This morning as God called me to repentance, I cannot help but wonder: will today be the same as we gather? Sure, we are here to do the work of the convention, but my dear friends, will you listen for the voice of God today?
John Mark Yeats