“I picked Northwestern because I was looking for a smaller Christian college where I wouldn’t be just a number,” says Steven. And with a career in professional ministry on his mind, he was also impressed with the strength of the college’s religion department. During his time on campus, he’s been involved in worship teams, acted in theatre productions and performed during Northwestern’s annual RUSH student dance concert. He’s made friends to last a lifetime and is receiving the education that will prepare him to enter seminary right after graduation. “Needless to say,” says Steven, “I found exactly what I was looking for.”
Learning in community
At Northwestern, the professors and students don’t shy away from the tough questions. We tackle them head on, but with humility: humility toward anyone the question may affect, and always humility about ourselves, recognizing we won’t always be able to find the right answer. I have found this extremely beneficial to my faith. If you have a question that might otherwise be swept under a rug, you will find someone here—either a professor or student—to talk through that question with you.
Relatable role models
I love the religion faculty’s overall combination of transcendence and immanence. From a student’s perspective, the religion professors may seem so far beyond you in ways of thinking and experience, and yet they can be very relatable at the same time. These men and women have crazy amounts of knowledge just waiting to be tapped into. They will blow you away with their expertise, but if you stop in at their offices to talk about new movies or weekend plans, you will also discover another wonderful dynamic of friendship. I love that I have professors ready to teach me and answer all of my harebrained questions, but who I can also call my mentors and friends.
I have gained a lot during my time at Northwestern, like learning how to manage my schedule, do my own laundry and power through some difficult assignments to reach the greater goal. But above all, I would say I’m most thankful for all the valuable friendships I’ve made. The men that live in my dorm—and so many men and women across campus (including professors)— are very important to me, and I feel very blessed to have them be part of my life.
Prepped for success
I feel very well prepared to move on to seminary, and this is because of Northwestern’s interdisciplinary liberal arts education and the solid foundation I’ve gotten from the religion department. But to be clear, Northwestern’s religion program is not just a “pre-seminary” program. Their goal is to produce graduates with a greater overall knowledge of God’s word, a familiarity of how Christians have historically understood their faith theologically, and a worldview broadened by addressing realities that students would otherwise never have wrestled with.