Recently I was on the campus of Truett McConnell University (TMU). As the new George Blaurock Student Wellness Center nears completion, there is a growing sense of excitement on campus for the future of the university. There is good reason for that sentiment!
Having achieved university status less than a year ago, the school has added additional master’s degree programs and plans to continue expanding their degree offering. TMU has come a long way since I graduated from a Georgia high school back in the 1980s!
I did not begin my own higher education journey until I was 30 years of age. Coming to higher education a little later in life gave me a different appreciation for studying, balancing competing obligations, and remaining committed to what I began in the face of frustration with my own inadequacies. I have also spent most of my life here in Georgia and had the opportunity to see the growth of the higher education system in our great state as well as our Georgia Baptist institutions. With my own children fast approaching their own college years, my wife and I have been taking a closer look at the education options available to them and how we might guide them.
One of our concerns as Southern Baptists is the increased liberalism on American college campuses. This is not just the opinion of conservatives. Liberal publications such as The Chronicle of Higher Education not only acknowledge this leftward lean but even celebrate it (Academe is Overrun by Liberals. So What?) At best, our children will encounter a campus culture indifferent to their Christian faith. At worst, they will find a hostile reception to their faith by many students, faculty, and administrators who consider it their responsibility to undermine that faith.
Another concern is the quality of the education they will receive. We want to be as sure as we can be that the investment in their education will actually benefit them and prepare them for their futures. The quality of those programs is largely determined by the faculty the school has assembled so, as you might expect, we are taking the time to find out more about the faculties of various schools.
Finally, there is cost of higher education. As I mentioned previously, the cost of college continues to rise which means we want to be sure our kids receive the best value for the money that will be spent during these years. It is a lot to take in and prepare for as this season fast approaches.
Truett McConnell University provides an academic environment where the Christian faith of students is cultivated rather than attacked, nurtured rather than undermined. Teaching from a Christian worldview is important at TMU. Students will find compassionate professors willing to pray with them while also teaching them the curriculum required for their degree programs. Faculty and administrators consider it their responsibility to help students grow spiritually as well as intellectually.
The quality of the faculty at TMU is simply outstanding. Professors with terminal degrees from schools such as the College of William & Mary, Florida State University, Georgia Tech, Harvard University, Liberty University, Universities of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas at Arlington, and Valdosta State University near my home are all part of the distinguished faculty assembled in Cleveland, GA educating the next generation of Georgia Baptists. If the quality of an institution is determined by the quality of the faculty, then families can send students confidently to Truett McConnell.
The cost of higher education is a serious matter. Fortunately, TMU understands this and works hard to hold costs down for students. The school also understands the benefits of Georgia’s dual enrollment program and offers course options for Georgia high school students to earn concurrent credit towards a high school diploma and a college degree while still in high school. This allows students to spend less time in college reducing the cost of their education.
Families in Georgia Baptist churches who want a Christian environment where their students will be challenged academically and nurtured spiritually, consider TMU as one of the schools to visit for a Preview Day before deciding on where they will spend those formative years of early adulthood. If you’re like me and remember a time when Truett McConnell was a tiny school in the North Georgia mountains nearly off the grid and didn’t think it was a school for you or your kids, I’d like to ask you to reconsider TMU. Truett McConnell University has come a long way … a long way indeed!