This is the definitive place to discuss everything that makes life on & off campus so unique in Central Virginia.

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By Purple Haize
Registration Days Posts
#600162
Jonathan Carone wrote: May 12th, 2020, 7:59 am I would’ve pursued it had I not still been paying off my first two degrees. Haha

I was more pointing out how weird I am than anything else.
We already know you’re weird. Ha! It’s why we love you!
By Rubicon
Posts
#600164
Purple Haize wrote: May 11th, 2020, 10:33 pm
Yes and no. It’s certainly not a high volume career field that’s for sure. But it does take Philosophers to ask and ponder questions that need to be asked and pondered. If they are not trained from an Evangelical or Christian point of view, where will they be trained? How will future generations “know thyself’ if they have no one to train them?
https://members.classicalconversations. ... philosophy
I don't think it's necessary to have a degree (let alone a graduate degree) in philosophy to be the kind of philosopher the world and the church needs. It's like how film directors, or composers, almost never are graduates of film schools or music schools --- they are simply outlier talent (or had connections to get their start). There are great thinkers in all walks of life, and that is more important than formal training in thinking.

I suspect that the theology, political science, English, and history departments at Liberty will probably embed philosophy within their disciplines, making a separate department unneeded. I also suspect that lack of demand for philosophy degrees and classes probably was a main driver of the decision to eliminate the department.

I checked BYU's philosophy classes, and man, I had no idea! Especially with the specialized 300-400 level ones at about mid-page.

https://catalog.byu.edu/humanities/phil ... losophy-ba

I think you're right that being a polymath in many areas makes one more able to "be all things to all people," as Paul taught. I found being able to intelligently discuss philosophy, art, history, political science, etc. were very helpful in being able to share the gospel as a missionary in Germany in the 1990s --- especially to highly educated people who thought we were hayseed rubes. But, in the end, the Spirit is the most important. While Paul could quote Greek and Roman philosophers to audiences in Asia Minor, the "heart" of the Church was the unlettered disciples who spoke barbaric Greek, but who had the Spirit with them.

What will happen to students who are "grandfathered in" (who are midstream in a philosophy degree)? Will the elimination be phased out to let them finish?
By Yacht Rock
Posts
#600165
Rubicon wrote:
Purple Haize wrote: May 11th, 2020, 10:33 pm
Yes and no. It’s certainly not a high volume career field that’s for sure. But it does take Philosophers to ask and ponder questions that need to be asked and pondered. If they are not trained from an Evangelical or Christian point of view, where will they be trained? How will future generations “know thyself’ if they have no one to train them?
https://members.classicalconversations. ... philosophy
I don't think it's necessary to have a degree (let alone a graduate degree) in philosophy to be the kind of philosopher the world and the church needs. It's like how film directors, or composers, almost never are graduates of film schools or music schools --- they are simply outlier talent (or had connections to get their start). There are great thinkers in all walks of life, and that is more important than formal training in thinking.

I suspect that the theology, political science, English, and history departments at Liberty will probably embed philosophy within their disciplines, making a separate department unneeded. I also suspect that lack of demand for philosophy degrees and classes probably was a main driver of the decision to eliminate the department.

I checked BYU's philosophy classes, and man, I had no idea! Especially with the specialized 300-400 level ones at about mid-page.

https://catalog.byu.edu/humanities/phil ... losophy-ba

I think you're right that being a polymath in many areas makes one more able to "be all things to all people," as Paul taught. I found being able to intelligently discuss philosophy, art, history, political science, etc. were very helpful in being able to share the gospel as a missionary in Germany in the 1990s --- especially to highly educated people who thought we were hayseed rubes. But, in the end, the Spirit is the most important. While Paul could quote Greek and Roman philosophers to audiences in Asia Minor, the "heart" of the Church was the unlettered disciples who spoke barbaric Greek, but who had the Spirit with them.

What will happen to students who are "grandfathered in" (who are midstream in a philosophy degree)? Will the elimination be phased out to let them finish?
You hit on the point that I think is so important. The language of philosophy is really needed in evangelism. While other courses could address philosophy from an abstract POV, it's still vital for expertise specifically in that field to teach the discipline. At least that's my perspective.

@rogers3 is likely right. A few will probably be asked to teach online to cover gen ed requirements for underclassmen and that will be the end of it.

If that happens, I suppose it's a better solution than no philosophy class requirement at all. There were so many things covered in that course that weren't covered in any of my other studies at LU. It's a big hole to fill.
By ballcoach15
Posts
#600167
rogers3 wrote: May 12th, 2020, 8:12 am My guess is that all PHIL classes will be lower level only and will be all online. I'm thinking that some of these canned professors will be offered positions to teach these new online offerings at a substantially discounted pay scale. Bottom line, there is little that is Christian in the leadership at Liberty.
What do you expect when your school is run by a real estate lawyer, a retail petroleum guy and a rather crusty old TV station manager. What a bunch of clowns.
Who are the petroleum and TV guys ?
By ALUmnus
Registration Days Posts
#600168
This is a direct blow to the School of Divinity. You can't have a solid, comprehensive seminary or biblical studies program without a philosophy department.

A lot of schools have been letting profs go because of the pandemic, but to wipe out an entire department which in turn does so much damage to all of the bible programs...makes you wonder what's next.

A shift in focus to more online teaching is going to make a lot of teachers reassess their careers.
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By jbock13
Registration Days Posts
#600169
TH Spangler wrote:
ATrain wrote: May 11th, 2020, 9:08 pm
TH Spangler wrote: May 11th, 2020, 8:13 pm If you have to find another career path, make sure it's one in the public sector.
Yes, you've made your feelings towards federal civil servants known already, and you don't even come close to answering Jonathan's question or my rhetorical response.
I have no problem civil servants. I was raised by two. Just pointing out they rarely deal with lose of employment, pay or benefit cuts. Great retirement package. A better career path these days.
Hey Tucker, can you try staying on topic for once?
By ALUmnus
Registration Days Posts
#600171
One thing I've always lamented about LU is their lack of well-known professors, men & women who were writing important papers & books at the top of their fields. In recent years we've had Caner (who was a fraud), and Prior (who has left), and a few others of lesser renown. But nobody with as much prestige as Gary Habermas, and I'm assuming he's gone with these cuts unless they find room for him somewhere in a different department.

It's professors like this who attract the best students. That's a big loss.
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By Purple Haize
Registration Days Posts
#600172
ALUmnus wrote: May 12th, 2020, 11:03 am This is a direct blow to the School of Divinity. You can't have a solid, comprehensive seminary or biblical studies program without a philosophy department.

A lot of schools have been letting profs go because of the pandemic, but to wipe out an entire department which in turn does so much damage to all of the bible programs...makes you wonder what's next.
This. This 1000 times this. I mean I was awesome at Frogger and Dragons Lair I guess I could just pick up some computer engineering classes to teach
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By Purple Haize
Registration Days Posts
#600173
ALUmnus wrote: May 12th, 2020, 11:25 am One thing I've always lamented about LU is their lack of well-known professors, men & women who were writing important papers & books at the top of their fields. In recent years we've had Caner (who was a fraud), and Prior (who has left), and a few others of lesser renown. But nobody with as much prestige as Gary Habermas, and I'm assuming he's gone with these cuts unless they find room for him somewhere in a different department.

It's professors like this who attract the best students. That's a big loss.
Also this. We should hang out. :)
By ballcoach15
Posts
#600179
These days, in most any profession, when an "older person" leaves, and they're replaced with a "younger person". the profession suffers.

I was talking with a retired LU employee a couple years ago. He said when he retired, they hired 3 individuals to replace him. He later returned as a part-timer. He said he still did more work than the 3 newbies combined.
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By thepostman
Registration Days Posts
#600181
I am not sure what that has to do with the Philosophy department disappearing. If your friend is doing more work than the other 3 combined then that is an indictment on their leadership and on him for that matter. I'd imagine those other 3 sees things a little differently. There is often conflict when there is a generation gap and unless both parties choose to discuss that conflict, differences are rarely corrected.

As far as the disbandment of the Philosophy department goes, it seems like an odd move but what sucks is the timing of it. I don't understand why Liberty always chooses to make this kind of decisions so late in the year. It isn't new and will continue to happen but it really does suck.

I don't get how a college can go without a philosophy department, let alone a Christian college.
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By Yacht Rock
Posts
#600185
Maybe the retired worker had no work/life balance and did the work of three people without compensation. Sounds like he wasn't doing a good job of advocating his employer to compensate him for his value.

Yes, this does happen. It's less generational though and more about specific workers who love to contribute a ton and hate asking for help.

I'm not sure what that has to do with...dissolving the philosophy dept at a major Christian university.
By Yacht Rock
Posts
#600187
As a general rule, yes, experience matters in most careers.

For most people, it makes them better.

For some, it makes them worse.

Eventually the young person becomes a seasoned veteran though and it's a cycle that will repeat forever.
By NG33
Registration Days Posts
#600192
It's been a while since I've posted on this site, but when I heard the news of the Philosophy Dept being dissolved, I had just assumed it was an exaggeration. As others have noted, our ministry-focused degrees will be impacted much more than people realize with this decision.

This one definitely hits close to home since the philosophy classes I took at LU are what the Holy Spirit used to lead me to Christ. In fact, one of the most impactful books on my faith journey, "God and Evil" has a chapter written by David Beck, a philosophy professor at LU. I was really proud of that fact.

As someone who has led Bible studies in Boston and San Francisco, philosophy and apologetics play large roles in ministry in places where people grew up less religious and with no personal connection to orthodox Christianity. While I know philosophy itself isn't the most lucrative profession, I do think it's still an important one, particularly for Christians. This may sound funny, but I was excited for the day LU had a philosopher like Alvin Plantinga or Richard Swinburne come up from its ranks. I hope this department comes back some day at Liberty. The world needs more Christians in philosophy, not less of it.
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By thepostman
Registration Days Posts
#600195
ballcoach15 wrote: May 12th, 2020, 2:21 pm I should have quoted ALUmnus post above, about Caner and Prior leaving.
When older employees leave, the youngsters are normally not as good
That is true but not because of the younger people. People want to hang onto their jobs so do all they can to protect that and that doesn't work well with helping younger, less experienced people. Your friend that you mentioned that complained to you about doing the work of 3 people should take on the responsibility of training those people so he doesn't have to. The truth is he probably doesn't want to because taking people aside and teaching them takes far more time than doing the job yourself. I know this because this is one of my weaknesses and need to really be aware of that. It may be hard at first but it will pay off in the end.

But this has nothing to do with the philosophy dept. They aren't firing people to hire younger, cheaper teachers they are getting rid of the department altogether which makes very little sense.
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By Purple Haize
Registration Days Posts
#600197
NG33 wrote: May 12th, 2020, 3:04 pm It's been a while since I've posted on this site, but when I heard the news of the Philosophy Dept being dissolved, I had just assumed it was an exaggeration. As others have noted, our ministry-focused degrees will be impacted much more than people realize with this decision.

This one definitely hits close to home since the philosophy classes I took at LU are what the Holy Spirit used to lead me to Christ. In fact, one of the most impactful books on my faith journey, "God and Evil" has a chapter written by David Beck, a philosophy professor at LU. I was really proud of that fact.

As someone who has led Bible studies in Boston and San Francisco, philosophy and apologetics play large roles in ministry in places where people grew up less religious and with no personal connection to orthodox Christianity. While I know philosophy itself isn't the most lucrative profession, I do think it's still an important one, particularly for Christians. This may sound funny, but I was excited for the day LU had a philosopher like Alvin Plantinga or Richard Swinburne come up from its ranks. I hope this department comes back some day at Liberty. The world needs more Christians in philosophy, not less of it.
This Department will never come back. It is not a lucrative enough endeavor.
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By thepostman
Registration Days Posts
#600198
I thought it was a ministry, not a business????

I have no problem with ensuring we are fiscally responsible but when you have come out and bragged about all the money you have on hand and then continue to take measures to cut spending it isn't a good look. I get it, the school isn't going to be run how I see fit. I am fine with that but at some point we need to stop this or we will just become a glorified tech school. Maybe we already are.
By NG33
Registration Days Posts
#600204
flamesfilmguy wrote: May 12th, 2020, 4:10 pm I think this is more of a self serving move for the administration but I've already been labeled as a hater so i'm going to leave it alone.
Yeah I can see that side for sure. Philosophy can definitely be seen as "Elitist" or purely academic, and that does not really seem to mesh with a more "of the people" message being thrown about by higher ups at LU. With theology being a subset of philosophy, it seems like we are cutting our nose off to spite our face. But what do I know? Haha
By rogers3
Registration Days Posts
#600211
ballcoach15 wrote: May 12th, 2020, 11:02 am
rogers3 wrote: May 12th, 2020, 8:12 am My guess is that all PHIL classes will be lower level only and will be all online. I'm thinking that some of these canned professors will be offered positions to teach these new online offerings at a substantially discounted pay scale. Bottom line, there is little that is Christian in the leadership at Liberty.
What do you expect when your school is run by a real estate lawyer, a retail petroleum guy and a rather crusty old TV station manager. What a bunch of clowns.
Who are the petroleum and TV guys ?
Petro: Scott Hicks, nice guy but isn't qualified for his position. Was in the retail gas station/convenience store business before LU and quickly got his DBA online... now Provost???

TV: Randy Smith- quite the sailors mouth at times and former GM at WSET. Any number of people on here can probably do his job as well as he does, but really, who wants to be Jerry's crass hatchet man?

TV: I really believe LU could do great things if Jerry moved on to the real estate/ asset side of the school as a Chancellor and brought in people who understand the "college mission" better than he does (which isn't hard). I'd wager that several professors who have left or been fired could do a better job and provide a better returns for all these students addicted to student loans.
Last edited by rogers3 on May 12th, 2020, 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Sly Fox
Registration Days Posts
#600217
There is no sugarcoating the fact that this move is disheartening. Gary Habermas was probably the best prof I had at LU. I cannot imagine they don't find a way for him to continue in the Divinity School. I was under the impression that Apologetics was the fastest growing trend in seminaries based on the areligious world we now live in.

Liberal Arts across the board has been hammered in the past two decades at nearly all schools and I suspect the austerity movement forced by the COVID-19 crisis will only usher the changes along more quickly.

On a lighter note, I never thought I would see the day that Haize was referencing an article from the CC homeschool site. That brought a smile to my face in a thread that otherwise is deflating.
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By rogers3
Registration Days Posts
#600219
Sly Fox wrote: May 12th, 2020, 10:15 pm There is no sugarcoating the fact that this move is disheartening. Gary Habermas was probably the best prof I had at LU. I cannot imagine they don't find a way for him to continue in the Divinity School. I was under the impression that Apologetics was the fastest growing trend in seminaries based on the areligious world we now live in.

Liberal Arts across the board has been hammered in the past two decades at nearly all schools and I suspect the austerity movement forced by the COVID-19 crisis will only usher the changes along more quickly.

On a lighter note, I never thought I would see the day that Haize was referencing an article from the CC homeschool site. That brought a smile to my face in a thread that otherwise is deflating.
Sly, Gary is in the School of Divinity already. I don't think that he was impacted, at least not yet.
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By Sly Fox
Registration Days Posts
#600220
Good to hear. I took his philosophy class back in the day because he was the hockey coach at the time and I figured how hard could a class be taught by a hockey coach. Bad decision. Hardest class of my life.
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By flameshaw
Registration Days Posts
#600221
With the current leadership and culture at the school, I don't really see any true, distinguished professors staying for long periods. With the possible exception of some on the older ones, who are riding out their careers.
I don't support tenure, like it is practiced at most universities. However, the other extreme isn't tenable either. You know that if you make the wrong person mad at LU, you be gone. People are many times, hired and fired, based on who one is friends with.
I did about half my undergrad at LU, but finished elsewhere, because I was concerned about how my degree would be viewed by the outside world. One would think that with the school being almost 50 years old, that would no longer be an issue.
I love LU a lot. But I am of the opinion, that we need some changes in leadership, to grow into a more respected academic institution. We have a good sports program, great facilities, but lack institutional and academic gravitas.
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