It time for Colleges to offer a "Conservative Arts" major


#1

A few decades ago, it was kinda cute when the strict religious people went off to college and learned to think more liberally. Today, the unelected pop culture media attempts to force people to think liberally from day one. College classes feature nothing but stories of outrageous amusement, devoid of any conservative views at all. I don't care if the liberal prof vomits thoughout the entire discussion of the conservative piece. It needs to be done in the interest of examining ALL different views, Otherwise, they are just bigots. A conservative arts major would be wildly popular to attract tuition dollars. I won't be sending any of my kids to a liberal college. What say you?


#2

The term “liberal” in liberal arts has nothing to do with what the world “liberal” means in the American political context.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_arts


#3

Yes. When I went to college, the liberal arts curriculum was like a great books curriculum with an emphasis on the development of Western Civilization from its Judeo-Christian roots.


#4

The poster who noted that “liberal” in “liberal arts” has nothing at all to do with political persuasion is correct. The liberal arts/great books curriculum is about as conservative as you can get in academia. While the latest fad disciplines don’t have any philosophical roots reaching back farther than the 20th century, liberal arts curricula require the intense study of the best of Western civilization, from the ancient Greeks right on up through modernity. Their focus is on conserving the best of the arts, literature, philosophy, theology, history…

Try some of the Catholic liberal arts colleges, such as Thomas Aquinas College, Christendom College, etc. You’ll find that they are far from politically liberal. There are other secular great books schools that are more ‘fair and balanced’ in their students and faculty, as well, such as Grove City College and St. John’s College. I’m sure there are more that are slipping my mind at the moment…


#5

I dunno nothin' bout no liberal/conservative arts, but if more colleges started offering FACS degrees to become home ec teachers, I would be ALL OVER that, yo.


#6

Liberal arts simply means general knowledge and rational thought from studying literature, history, math and science. Liberal means 'free', meaning education proper for a free man (vs a slave). That's where the term came from. It has nothing to do with liberal vs. conservative politics in the American political sense.


#7

I don't think the OP actually thought liberal arts meant teaching liberal ideas, though that is what much of academia has evolved into today. I think they were just using a play on words.
I think they meant there should be a specific track of conservative apologetics so to speak, as an option to study. For instance, a woman's studies major is looking at the world through a woman's historical viewpoint, so a conservative studies major might take a conservative worldview to their coursework.
Maybe?


#8

To the OP–try this. Google “Summit Ministries.” (I can’t seem to get the link copied to paste here, sorry.)

This is a Protestant ministry, but it is fantastic. I sent my daughter and her boyfriend when they were teenagers, and they came back totally committed to a conservative POV in all subjects.

There is college credit for this class.

I would recommend that Christians, including Catholics, attend this BEFORE going to college. It is worth every penny of the tuition, which is very reasonable, BTW. (I paid around $600 X 2 for my daughter and her boyfriend.) It will GROUND your son or daughter in a solid, Christian, conservative world viewpoint and help them to be better-prepared for any liberalism that they encounter in college.

And the class is in beautiful Colorado Springs, so they will enjoy their physical surroundings. My daughter and her boyfriend LOVED it–they brought home several backpacks of books and notebooks full of lecture notes. The students attend lectures for most of the day, so it’s not a goof-around, singing, praising, and good-feelings-type class–it’s a lot of hard work. After all, it’s a college-credit class. But they still had free time, and were able to hike, climb mountains, visit tourist attractions (e.g., Garden of the Gods, the Air Force Base, etc.) and go into nearby Manitou Springs for shopping and fun with new friends.

We receive the Summit newsletter, and I have never seen anything anti-Catholic in the seven years that we’ve gotten it. Quite the opposite. I’ve seen extensive quotes from Catholic leaders, past and present, who are staying true to the faith and espousing conservative points of view. Summit seems to recognize Catholicism as a Christian religion, even though Summit is a Protestant ministry. I don’t think a young Catholic would be lured away to Protestantism by anything at Summit.

If there is a Catholic alternative to Summit, great. Go to it. But if there isn’t, then I recommend this ministry. The alternative is to turn your kids loose on a college campus with people who often teach anything BUT conservative values and orthodox Christianity.


#9

How about finding a school with a Catholic world view rather than an American Conservative or Liberal political view. Both of those views have glimpses of the Truth of the faith, but both fall very very very short. If you KNOW solidly through and through what the Church’s view is, you will soon see everything else man tries to come up with falls far short. This is why the only ISM I will ever have allegiance to is CatholicISM. We Catholics should resist being put in a box of agenda, at any cost.:wink:


#10

You can call it Liberal Arts, or Conservative Arts or Sweet Potato Arts. In the end, it’s a degree that amounts to a receipt for tens of thousands of dollars and a kid who works at Subway.


#11

[quote="lada, post:10, topic:192806"]
You can call it Liberal Arts, or Conservative Arts or Sweet Potato Arts. In the end, it's a degree that amounts to a receipt for tens of thousands of dollars and a kid who works at Subway.

[/quote]

LOL! Awesome!

Anyone who majors in something with the word "studies" or "arts" in it will find it difficult to get meaningful employment.


#12

[quote="Rascalking, post:11, topic:192806"]
LOL! Awesome!

Anyone who majors in something with the word "studies" or "arts" in it will find it difficult to get meaningful employment.

[/quote]

I knew I shouldn't have majored in under water basket weaving! :D

I actually studied Elementary Education


#13

[quote="Rascalking, post:11, topic:192806"]
LOL! Awesome!

Anyone who majors in something with the word "studies" or "arts" in it will find it difficult to get meaningful employment.

[/quote]

This is just not true at all.

My daughter majored in Theater Arts at a Christian college (Protestant), and she has earned a living in her field (stage management) for several years now. She turns down work. Her days usually start at dawn and end after midnight. Of course, it helps that God has given her the talent to do well in theater work, and she has taken her God-given talent and developed the networking skills that are necessary to continue to keep working in theater. She's never waited tables, although she has willingly and joyfully waited on actors who request certain "perks" before or after they go on stage. She considers it a privilege to serve the actors and all the others who are involved in a live theater production.

She is currently working on a MFA at a huge secular university in California, and it's been tough after her years at the Christian college. She converted to Catholicism two years ago, and her faith is constantly being tested. But you know something--God is faithful!

This summer, she has been invited to lead a panel discussion at the Christians in Theater Arts (CITA) symposium in New York City. Her application described her recent experiences working as Stage Manager for a blasphemous play, and how she was able to help the actors and others to deal with the conflicts. CITA called her up and invited her to share these experiences and work with others at the symposium to help deal with conflicts in faith and arts.

You bet I'm proud of her. Here's my take on this whole thing--I, along with my husband, trained our daughter from the day of her birth and prepared her to deal with clashes between the secular world and the Christian world. Before she ever went away to college, she knew how to be in this world but not of it. She knew Ephesians 6: 12 by heart because when she was little, I wrote a children's song (childrens' song?!) that she memorized and sang and understood. She was the director for a musical theater adaptation of Pilgrim's Progress that I wrote (once again, a children's piece, amazingly), and one of the scenes in that show is a battle between Apollyon and Christian--my daughter helped block and direct that scene, and she observed the fight choreographer who choreographed the fight between the little boy who played Christian and the grown man who played Apollyon--what an accurate portrayal of how we as Christians feel next to Satan.

We raised both of our daughters to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. My daughter KNEW about conflict and she was prepared to deal with it, or more accurately, to allow Jesus and all the angels and saints to deal with it. Even during the whole big mess when our family was kicked out of our Protestant church, she never lost faith in God, even though she learned that men and women are not to be trusted.

I certainly would have no objection to colleges becoming more "center" rather than veering off into liberalism, socialism, communism, and total secularism. But I think that Christian parents need to train their children from birth to recognize that this earth is not our home. We are pilgrims here. Our Lord told us that the world will not welcome us, even as it did not welcome Him.


#14

Actually, it is true, Your daughter is probably the exception to the rule. I know so many people who majored in things like “Ethnic Studies”, “Mideval Studies” , “Art History” (several other ones) who are working in jobs where College degrees are not needed.

I said nothing AGAINST getting those majors-knock yourself out. Nothing immoral or wrong about it.

However, it is harder to get meaningful employment with those kind of degrees.


#15

[quote="Cat, post:13, topic:192806"]
This is just not true at all.

My daughter majored in Theater Arts at a Christian college (Protestant), and she has earned a living in her field (stage management) for several years now. She turns down work. Her days usually start at dawn and end after midnight. Of course, it helps that God has given her the talent to do well in theater work, and she has taken her God-given talent and developed the networking skills that are necessary to continue to keep working in theater. She's never waited tables, although she has willingly and joyfully waited on actors who request certain "perks" before or after they go on stage. She considers it a privilege to serve the actors and all the others who are involved in a live theater production.

She is currently working on a MFA at a huge secular university in California, and it's been tough after her years at the Christian college. She converted to Catholicism two years ago, and her faith is constantly being tested. But you know something--God is faithful!

This summer, she has been invited to lead a panel discussion at the Christians in Theater Arts (CITA) symposium in New York City. Her application described her recent experiences working as Stage Manager for a blasphemous play, and how she was able to help the actors and others to deal with the conflicts. CITA called her up and invited her to share these experiences and work with others at the symposium to help deal with conflicts in faith and arts.

You bet I'm proud of her. Here's my take on this whole thing--I, along with my husband, trained our daughter from the day of her birth and prepared her to deal with clashes between the secular world and the Christian world. Before she ever went away to college, she knew how to be in this world but not of it. She knew Ephesians 6: 12 by heart because when she was little, I wrote a children's song (childrens' song?!) that she memorized and sang and understood. She was the director for a musical theater adaptation of Pilgrim's Progress that I wrote (once again, a children's piece, amazingly), and one of the scenes in that show is a battle between Apollyon and Christian--my daughter helped block and direct that scene, and she observed the fight choreographer who choreographed the fight between the little boy who played Christian and the grown man who played Apollyon--what an accurate portrayal of how we as Christians feel next to Satan.

We raised both of our daughters to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. My daughter KNEW about conflict and she was prepared to deal with it, or more accurately, to allow Jesus and all the angels and saints to deal with it. Even during the whole big mess when our family was kicked out of our Protestant church, she never lost faith in God, even though she learned that men and women are not to be trusted.

I certainly would have no objection to colleges becoming more "center" rather than veering off into liberalism, socialism, communism, and total secularism. But I think that Christian parents need to train their children from birth to recognize that this earth is not our home. We are pilgrims here. Our Lord told us that the world will not welcome us, even as it did not welcome Him.

[/quote]

I am so glad that your daughter was able to benefit from her degree...but as others have said, she's one of a rare few! I am so surprised to see many people on CA promoting liberal arts degrees at expensive colleges on one thread only to have moms with these degrees bemoaning their financial state on another after their hubby is downsized out of a job and they can't find anything part-time to help with the family income! If I had daughters, I would encourage them to get at least an Associate degree in something like Radiographic Technology (X-ray tech), Respiratory Therapy, Nursing, or something like that so if or when a hubby is out of work, they can catch an occasional night shift or weekend and pull in about $20 an hour. I have a couple of nieces that work in these fields and it's great for women that want to be "at home" moms, but still have a marketable skill that's readily available should they need extra money or money just to get by on.


#16

I’m surprised as well, and I have a liberal arts degree (English) from a great school (UNH)! I thought than, and still think now, that most liberal arts degrees are for people who can’t accomplish much in the real world-and I say that tounge in cheek-there are people who have those degrees in skill sets that accomplish alot.


#17

[quote="MercyMia, post:7, topic:192806"]
I don't think the OP actually thought liberal arts meant teaching liberal ideas, though that is what much of academia has evolved into today. I think they were just using a play on words.
I think they meant there should be a specific track of conservative apologetics so to speak, as an option to study. For instance, a woman's studies major is looking at the world through a woman's historical viewpoint, so a conservative studies major might take a conservative worldview to their coursework.
Maybe?

[/quote]

Yes. The play on words is ironically and coincidentially fitting the modern college curriculum. Where Universities once taught classics, they now teach much outlandish shallow amusement.


#18

Perhaps my daughter was fortunate enough to attend a college that not only taught her about theater, but taught her skills that would help her actually find paying work in theater.

Or…it’s just possible that we, her parents, taught her some of those skills that make her an outstanding and an employed stage manager; e.g., networking, listening, remembering names, showing up on time, working her butt off, not waiting to be asked to do the “dirty” jobs, humilty, respect, knowing when to keep your mouth shut, tact, resourcefulness, friendliness, not complaining, etc.

Or…it’s very likely that she wisely put aside childish ideas of finding work as an actor and took up a tech career in the theater: stage management. Not only is this a career that she is much better suited for than acting, but it is a field in which there is a shortage. Other tech careers in theater are also experiencing shortages: sound techs, light designers, makeup, carpentry. (My daughter’s boyfriend makes a six-figure salary as a stage carpenter and never went to college.)

This ability to hone in on a career that will actually provide a living wage (and benefits, including health insurance!) is another skill that I believe we, her parents, taught her. There are careers in liberal arts, but students have to search for them and then be willing to fit themselves into those careers. E.g., one career that a history major can look into is dramaturgy. Theaters and film studios use dramaturgists to research the historical setting of a play or film and advise on architecture, costuming, makeup, language, slang, gestures, etc.

People have to look hard and not be so quick to give up and take that job at Subway!

And I do agree that training in a “job” along with earning a liberal arts degree is a wise plan.

I think there is a lot of value in being an educated person for education’s sake. I realize that such an education does not need to come from an expensive college or university. I’m just saying that we need to highly value education, not just education that leads to a well-paying job, but education that makes a person knowledgeable and even wise in any subject.

And for this reason, I think that an Arts major from a conservative POV would be very valuable. But I think that such degrees are already available at Christian colleges, including Catholic Christian colleges. My daughter got her theater degree from a conservative Christian college, and learned to make a living, too.


#19

Thank you for the Summit Ministries info.


#20

Colleges and Universities that form a Conservative Arts major which would teach the classical arts would instantly attract many more students.


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