I Need to Say “A”, I want to Say “B”

Westminster is built off core values that all surround Christianity. These core values are what classes are built off of and are what makes Westminster unique. It does not matter if you are learning about math, science, history, or even musical theater; christianity is incorporated all throughout classrooms here. In theory this is a great thing, but it can act as a distraction and drive students away from the real lesson, and also limit their abilities to speak up in class.


To be able to grow in your education and ability to articulate you have to participate in more controversial conversations, and be brave enough to stand up for your own opinion. Westminster’s curriculum is so heavily coated in opinions that teachers call the “christian worldview.” This worldview does not amount to anything more than judgment and restrictions on a student’s right to advocate for their beliefs. Having skills like such are not just important to exercise in school, but are also essential for the real world. 


A lot of Westminster students are able to recall where they felt an event where their opinion was shot down quickly, or they were given a mandatory assignment where they felt an opinion was already imposed upon them.


For example, the journey of writing a college essay at Westminster looks a little different. A personal essay for college is supposed to be authentic to you and it is a time where you can really express your shortcomings and how they have gotten you to where they are now. From a “Christian Worldview”  more like a “Westminster Worldview” seriously limited a lot of student’s inspiration in fear of getting a bad grade on their own personal essay. Teachers told students to avoid talking about any negative or “controversial” topic, to keep our college essays light and happy so we do not scare colleges away. That statement meant that really they wanted us to write an essay about Christianity.    


Most writing involves analyzing a novel rather than putting it in MLA format, or writing a research paper on a topic already given to us, but a personal essay was a new and exciting opportunity to write something that students never have before. A college essay should be personal, expressive, and authentic; but that of that is possible when the Westminster way is constantly imposed on students. 


These ideals tend to sugarcoat and take the light away from the true message of the sermons presented to students. Not everything can be happy and light, especially when talking about a personal spiritual journey, but we sure do want to paint it out to be that. 


Westminster does an admirable job at equipping students with a christian worldview that they can take out and utilize in the real world, but sometimes these ideals can be forced. This has a tendency to stunt academic growth and critical thinking skills, so the question is how is Westminster able to fix this will stay true to their mission statement.