Hillsdale College was founded in 1844, and it was the first college in the nation to accept students regardless of race or sex. It has always been committed to the principles of freedom and liberty, and although it is not a "Christian" school, it is very conservative and teaches everything from a Judeo-Christian foundation. It is a small school, with only about 1300 students, and it is known for being very academically rigorous.
One of the main reasons that the school is well-known is because it has refused to take any federal funding for the last several decades. Most schools depend heavily on funds from the government, either in grants or in financial aid to students, but the government takes such aid as giving them the right to interfere in the college's daily operations. When Hillsdale discovered this, it made the decision that rather than have it's independence compromised, it would simply refuse all federal aid and rely on private donations. This tactic has worked remarkably well, and the college has no trouble raising funds (it has just completed a huge renovation of the dining hall, and has also built a new Student Union building within the last two years).
Hillsdale has a very strong liberal arts program, and actually requires all freshmen to take a number of specific courses, including "Western Heritage" and "Rhetoric/Great Books". That way, every student has the same foundation on which to build their education. It is especially well-known for its history program, which is the program I currently plan on entering. I will be majoring in history, with the intention of going on to either law school, grad school, or seminary.
I am in the HonoUr's Program (yes, we insist on spelling it with a U), which I'm very excited about. In the Honours Program we take special sections of certain classes, go on a yearly retreat, and do all kinds of fun things together. I have several friends already at the College and in the Honour's Program, and they tell me that Honours is one of the best parts of the school.
My first semester I will be taking Western Heritage, Rhetoric/Great Books, Latin I (I flunked my placement exam, so I have to take it over again), Differential Calculus, Choir, and either Golf or Weight-Training. I'm very excited about my schedule, and I look forward to getting started in all these classes (except for Calc, but after that math is over forever :D ).
Sprititually, I'm looking forward to making my way through some classics of the faith. I want to read some Edwards, some Owens, some Augustine, some Spurgeon, some Bunyan, and other great works. I am currently reading John Stott's classic The Cross of Christ which is excellent, and after that we'll see what I can get my hands on next. I am also buying Calvin's Institutes with the money I got from my birthday, as Mr. Boisvert told me that every serious student of the faith should have it in their bookshelf. I look forward to benefitting from it when it arrives.
Here, then, are my prayer requests over the next year:
- That The Clash would prepare me mentally for the spiritual opposition I am sure to face, both from professors and from students
- That I would have the self-control to get up early enough to have my quiet time every morning, no matter how early my classes start
- That I would have the courage to engage my unbelieving friends in conversations about their faith, and that I would be faithful to share the gospel with them
- That I would be responsible and spend my time wisely, and especially be able to budget my time spent blogging and browsing the internet
- That my roommate and I would get along and experience fruitful fellowship together as brothers in the faith (his name is Tom, and he was in my AP US History and AP Macroeconomics classes, so I know him a little bit and know that he's a Christian)
- That I would call home regularly and stay in touch with all of my dear friends back in Maryland
- That my computer would not have any problems for at least the first year :D
Well, there you go. Please keep me in your prayers over the next few weeks as I pack, attend The Clash, and move into my new school. I'm so excited to see what God is going to do!