What is the purpose of the Critical Concern Series (CCS)?
The purpose of the Critical Concern Series is to advance our mission as a Christ-centered learning community by stimulating biblical analysis and critical thought about contemporary issues in the church, politics, the media, the arts, and science and technology that are important to Christian scholarship, leadership, and service.
What do you hope to accomplish with the Series?
We are seeking to provide a forum to help students and faculty evaluate contemporary issues, to foster critical thinking and biblical analysis, and to model civility so that we can positively impact our culture for Jesus Christ.
Who is involved with the planning for the Series?
A CCS Faculty Advisory Panel representing the academic colleges has been appointed by the vice president for student life and approved by the president, the provost, and the vice president for academics. This panel screens and approves all speakers and establishes an appropriate educational context for each lecture consistent with our mission as a Christ-centered learning community.
How are CCS speakers chosen?
The CCS Faculty Advisory Panel has developed the following guidelines for this program. These guidelines have been screened and evaluated by the Administrative Council, and the Board of Trustees.
- By design, the purpose of this series is to guide and nurture students toward a growing understanding of what it means to approach challenging, contemporary issues in ways that are guided by scripture in the context of a Christ-centered learning community.
- The role of the CCS Faculty Advisory Panel is to thoroughly research each speaker, to articulate why that speaker’s message is consistent with the educational objectives of this series, and to provide an appropriate context for students to analyze the content of the lecture from a biblical Christian worldview.
- In addition to teaching students how to critically evaluate statements about cultural issues, the series will also attempt to model a high level of civility, teaching students how to evaluate their own assumptions about culture and to defend their own positions with appropriate humility and respect for others.
- The series may include people who are not evangelical Christians (i.e. a person like Michael Medved), or who come from a theological perspective that is different than Cedarville’s (Lauren Winner, Peter Kreest). Speakers who are not evangelical Christians must demonstrate a willingness and ability to engage in dialogue in ways that respect our values as a Christ-centered, evangelical learning community.
- Inviting a person to speak at this series is not an endorsement of their particular political or theological perspective.
- The CCS Faculty Panel will provide a context for each lecture to help students evaluate and critique the content of the lecture in light of scripture. We anticipate that some lectures may require very little follow up. Others may require a written response in Cedars, a faculty led panel discussion, or position papers posted on our website to clarify Cedarville’s position on the issue.
- Before a speaker is invited to campus he or she must be approved by the CCS Faculty Advisory Panel and the Administrative Council.
How does the Series fit with the University’s educational mission?
The CCS is an attempt to fulfill our mission as a Christ-centered university, relating specifically to several of our stated historical objectives.
- Objective 1: To undergird students in the fundamentals of the Christian faith and to stimulate each student to evaluate truth in the light of scriptural truth.
- Objective 2: To increase each student’s awareness of the world of ideas and events which are influencing our contemporary culture and to prepare students to participate knowledgably in our society.
- Objective 3: To enable students to develop sound, critical and analytical reasoning.
What are the educational objectives of the Series?
This Series supports the following educational objectives.
- The student will be exposed to important contemporary issues in ways that will enhance their ability to be responsible citizens and effective leaders in the church and in society.
- The student will learn to evaluate statements about culture, or solutions to cultural problems in light of biblical truth.
- The student will learn how to use analytical reasoning and logic to critically evaluate statements about culture.
- The student will learn how to have civil, constructive discussions with people who may hold positions different than their own.