This blog series was initially about “surviving” Berea College as an evangelical Christian. While there certainly is much to be said on that subject, I want to take these posts in a slightly different direction. My experience at Berea was, on some days, total survival mood. I certainly found myself at those odd moments with those odd people having deep conversations you’d never expect. I sat for three hours with a professor of mine who was a proud and self-proclaimed liberal socialist atheist, asking and answering questions about why I love Jesus with all my heart. I worked on projects for religion classes, highly conflicted over how the material collided with my faith.
But, to be totally fair, my overall experience at Berea would be more aptly described as thriving.
Though Berea was full of challenges, difficulties, and heartaches my overall memory of the place is fond. I made friends that I will not soon let go. I had experiences that left an impression. I learned lessons I will not soon forget. Most importantly, I graduated far closer to Christ than when I began.
When I first sat down to write this series, I honestly was afraid. Afraid of how I would be perceived. Afraid of presenting a contorted image. Afraid of letting Berea College off the hook. Afraid of throwing Berea College under a bus.
I am determined to write the truth, the whole truth – the good, the bad, and the ugly. To write about how I was challenged like never before at Berea AND about how the Gospel can permeate even the most hardened of places to cultivate growth.
You may be considering attending Berea yourself. You may be a concerned parent, a questioning student, or an investigative teacher. I hope these posts will illuminate some of the dark places at Berea College and, still, encourage you to come on over to our little corner of Kentucky. We need people who are fully informed and readily equipped to make Gospel-focused decisions on every college campus. We need people who love Jesus in the ivory towers. My prayer is that these blogs will be of service as you enter any collegiate environment, especially those of you who are planning on calling Berea your alma mater.