Yes, that's right. You thought that "Ring by Spring" was an unspoken goal at Taylor, and the new slogan of the university was "Beyond the Mind"... but alas, no. The mission of the university is to get you engaged and married. Here are some excerpts from the article:
When one engages, he or she may make a promise, assume an obligation, or even enter into a conflict. Engagement is what the Christian life is all about.
Let me suggest that Beyond the Mind, Taylor's current tag line, could be Engaging the Mind.
Why does Taylor recruit young men and women? ... Because Taylor engages the evangelical community to develop excellent scienctists and challenge them to impact their local and global communities for Christ. Yes, Taylor is all about engagement. Engage!
It helped the entertainment value of the article that the first paragraph was about Star Trek. We watch more than our fair share of Star Trek around here.
So, if the mission of Taylor University is engagement, what's the mission of other Christian schools? Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary might answer similarly "Homemakers: The Mission of SWBTS". Why? Well, they just announced a new degree in homemaking. If the name of the school sounds familiar, it's because I've blogged about it before, back when they denied a female bible professor tenure just because she was female, and the leaders of the university decided that women shouldn't teach men. What should they do, then? According to seminary President Paige Patterson, "We are moving against the tide in order to establish family and gender roles as described in God's word for the home and the family." What's the family & gender role that the seminary thinks women should take, based on God's word?
Course work includes three hours of "general homemaking," three hours on "the value of a child," seven hours of "design and apparel"--including a four-hour "clothing construction with lab"--seven hours of nutrition and meal preparation and a three-hour course on the "Biblical Model for the Home and Family."
My first question was, are men allowed to take these classes? Do they need to know the value of a child, too? What if they like cooking?
More seriously, my problem with the statements made is the exclusivity of the statements.: The role of homemaking is THE BIBLICAL model for a woman. She can be called to nothing else, so this is why we teach her to sew and cook and change diapers. She cannot, like Taylor professor Sheri Klouda, be called to teach God's word. She cannot be called to work in the world. If a woman is to follow what God has for her, she is to do the things taught in this course of study.
What if she is called to work in the world, or go to be a missionary? What if she never marries? What if a man never marries and needs these skills too? Is it un-manly of him to do these things? It just seems like we're putting God in a box if we say that He can only use half of the people he made to reach the world, the other half is resigned to ministering in the home --which, I don't want to knock- there is definitely value in ministering in the home. But does every woman have to be called to only that?
EDIT: Because I've noticed that this post is getting attention from people both in Upland and in Fort Worth, I offer this disclaimer: Obviously, I'm just having fun with the Taylor story. Everyone knows the joke on campus. Just good fun. The actual story doesn't even mention engagement related to marriage.
As for the SWBTS story, this is something I haven't mentioned before: I grew up (until 8th grade) in a Southern Baptist church. I might not agree with all the views that the church has today, but I do appreciate the foundation I got growing up.