On June 22–24, over 3,600 women gathered in Orlando, Florida for The Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference and BCS was pleased to have some of our faculty, staff, and students in attendance. One of the most encouraging aspects of the conference was the gospel-centered nature of the teaching. Numerous attendees commented on how helpful and refreshing it was to be challenged to think Biblically and exegetically about a whole host of issues.
Over the next month, we’re planning to post a series of interviews here featuring women who have benefited from biblical education. We’re especially excited to have our women students and staff interviewing Kristie Anyabwile, Linda Linder, and Noël Piper on their perspectives on education and ministry in the home, church, and world. The series will also include reflections from current BCS students.
We’re suspicious that women might not know why coming to BCS would be valuable for them and for us, and we’ve probably not done a good enough job making this clear. So as an introduction to this series, we wanted to share a couple of reflections on why our undergraduate degrees are important for both women and men.
From the perspective of the classroom and the life of discipleship, we could give a number of reasons why women are essential to the life of BCS. We’re not thinking mainly in terms of a gender balance (as important as this may be). Rather, the presence of young women at BCS reflects something significant about how they approach the Christian life. Beyond the important intellectual contributions they make, having women in the classroom benefits the community and enriches the classroom.
At the bottom of our educational vision is the fundamental truth that all things belong to Christ and exist for Christ (Col. 1:15–17). As co-image-bearers (Gen. 1:27) and co-heirs of the grace of life (1 Pet. 3:7), women and men share in the joy of seeing and savoring this glorious reality. Theirs also is the delightful duty of proclaiming the glory of God in Christ to the waiting world according to the complementary gifts and callings they have received. Everything that we aim to do at BCS both inside the classroom and out is aimed at training both young men and women to value what is supremely valuable and joyfully display the worth of Christ in all of life.
We recognize that formal education is not the only way that this development can take place. It is, in fact, a precious opportunity that many people around the world do not have access to. It is critical, nonetheless, to highlight the fact that formal education, rightly done, is Christian discipleship. This doesn’t simply mean that education is part of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, rather that all education ought to be aimed at developing young women and men who have a deep love for God, a firm grasp of his Word, and the vision and equipping to impact the home, the church, and the world for Christ. We’re asking that God would continue to grant our community – students, staff, and faculty; men and women—to prize intellectual and spiritual formation and recognize the crucial importance of stewarding it well. “Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in Him!” (Ps. 111:2).