What Westmont Wants for You
Westmont wants our graduates to become people characterized by a range of valuable knowledge, helpful skills and positive attitudes. At the same time, Westmont recognizes that a Christian liberal arts education can manifest itself in a variety of ways in the lives of different individuals.
We believe that the skills we seek to foster in all our students will help you both reject life-abusing patterns present in secular culture and defy stereotypes and social, political and spiritual predictability. In this way, your own individuality as a Christian involved in the world will emerge as a unique tool for furthering Christ’s kingdom.
It is our goal that during your years at Westmont and throughout your life, you will develop intellectually, spiritually and personally in the following ways.
As a Westmont graduate, you should:
- Possess interpersonal competence that enables you to listen respectfully, ask questions thoughtfully, self-disclose appropriately, give feedback honestly and sensitively, participate in dialogue, work with a group, and show tolerance and appreciation of differences;
- Be learning to temper rigid beliefs, be open to alternative interpretations, weigh evidence fairly and function self-critically;
- Possess core convictions and commitments for which you claim ownership, which you can thoughtfully defend, and to which you can be true in a world of competing moral and spiritual visions;
- Possess the resources and skills necessary to handle tensions that arise between the Christian faith and other seriously argued positions— including the ability to use Scripture responsibly and intelligently— in order to live confidently yet self-critically in a world of competing ideologies;
- Have a biblical and theological understanding and an appreciation of worship and spiritual formation that exceed what you could acquire at a secular university, supplemented by campus Christian fellowships and active participation in a local church—in short, a vision of Christianity that is as large and developed as your disciplinary and professional sophistication;
- Be on your way to formulating a web of knowledge from all sources, integrated around the Christian understanding of God;
- Be sensitive to the ever-present need for discernment in separating the core of the eternal Gospel from the peculiar cultural accretions of a particular time and place, being vigilant in seeking to determine when the Gospel would call you to be an agent of transformation in the world and in the church, and when it would call you to be an agent of preservation;
- Be characterized by the intellectual and Christian virtues of fair- mindedness, openness to new ideas, a willingness to submit ideas to criticism, an appreciation of both the value and limitations of formal reasoning, a suspicion of manipulative rhetoric as a substitute for cogent argumentation, and patience in staying with a difficult search for truth when it requires protracted reasoning and effort;
- Be educated in a way that enables you to bear a cultured and literate witness for the Gospel, yet without arrogance or a sense of superiority;
- Be knowledgeable about the world in which God has placed you, because appropriate moral action requires full and accurate information in addition to sound moral principles, so that ignorance will not frustrate your best efforts to do the right thing;
- Be characterized by broad and expansive sympathies, with concerns that extend to the spiritually lost, the homeless and hungry, those suffering from racial and gender prejudice, the destruction of our biotic, cultural, and sociopolitical environments, and beyond;
- Evidence the habit of integrating your knowledge and sensitivities into real life decisions that embody a willingness to relinquish power, prestige, security, and personal gratification—a willingness based on a growing faith in the providence and call of Christ in your life;
- Be able to locate yourself in history and understand the pivotal transition from a modern to a post-modern vision of the world as well as the implications of this for articulating and defending the Christian faith;
- Be equipped with the tools to continue learning throughout your life, both because learning can become a source of lifelong satisfaction and because of the ever-changing nature of our world;
- Be characterized by reading, entertainment, recreation/ leisure, and consumer choices that reflect a sense of wonder, delight, and appreciation of the marvels of the natural world and the treasures of human culture, in addition to understanding the meaning of high pleasure that simultaneously humbles and elevates the enjoyer;
- Be developing a sense of Christian vocation that will inform your career goals, marital choices, and other central lifestyle decisions, and that is based on a recognition of your own gifts, your understanding of the world and the dilemmas it faces, and your convictions about the values of the Gospel and the present agenda of God in the world;
- Possess those writing, oral, and thinking skills necessary for career and vocational success, along with the ability to work cooperatively and effectively with others in both leadership and subordinate roles; and
- Possess the skills, knowledge, and motivation to be effective participants in the civic, charitable, and cultural life of your community.
The faculty and staff at Westmont look forward to helping you grow in these exciting and rewarding ways.