The Gift of a Liberal Arts Education


Liberal arts education is a gift. In fact, the whole notion of its gracious nature is signaled in the term “liberal” arts. As our ancestors understood, scholarship implies the opportunity (σχολή, “leisure”) for intellectual pursuits. A “liberal” education is one which is afforded to free (liber) men–men who are able to set aside the plowing or the milling or the mining to devote themselves to study.

The liberal arts encompass the whole spectrum of knowledge. Its subject matter includes grammar and rhetoric, literature and mathematics, astronomy and theology, history and physics. The basic assumption of a liberal arts education is that there is fundamental coherence to knowledge. Its various domains relate to one another in both obvious and undetected ways because all things have a single point of coherence–the One “through whom and for whom all things were made” (Col. 1:16). For by him, Paul asserts, “all things were made, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Col. 1:17).

All knowledge finds its point of integration–its fundamental coherence– in the person of Christ Jesus. Our study of the liberal arts at Bethlehem College & Seminary exists to discover and to demonstrate how this is the case.

As education in the liberal arts was originally conceived, students devote themselves to this study not to earn better pay or to move up the occupational ladder, but to become better parents, parishioners, citizens, and councilmen. Such study begets more grace–a truly Christian liberal arts education is a giving-gift. In God’s wisdom, it shapes students to become more happy, holy, and helpful in the home, church, and workplace. By shaping affections, developing discipline, cultivating humility, inspiring gratitude, and sharpening logic, education equips men and women to love God and love others with greater eagerness and effectiveness.

That’s where you come in. Your praying, promoting, and providing, under God, help Bethlehem College & Seminary shape men and women for true usefulness in the world. Your gifts of time, talent, and treasure help us bless students with an unashamedly Christ-centered education. May God grant that such partnership will result in disproportionate impact for Christ in this generation.

Ryan Griffith

Assistant Professor of Church History and Theology


Prayer Requests:

  1. That as we enter the final stretch of the semester, we may be strengthened with all power, according to God’s glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light (Col. 1:11-2). 
  2. That our faculty, staff, and students may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Col. 1:9-10).
  3. That in our working and studying our love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that we may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Phil 1:9-11).