Many who are concerned with such costs dismiss those concerns by telling themselves that God will surely make a way for them to attend since they are stepping out in faith and demonstrating their devotion to learn more about his word. (Count the Christian culture cliches in that sentence. ) Many Christian colleges also market to prospective students with such concerns or potential alumni donors by filling their marketing materials with similar phrases.
This isn't very surprising. But I do find it confusing in light of another Evangelical trend.
I struggle to reconcile such fervent marketing of costly education coming from the same people who adore Dave Ramsey and all of his financial teachings.
For those who are unfamiliar, Dave Ramsey is American Evangelical Culture's most beloved financial guru. Most AEC churches regularly offer his "Financial Peace University" class. They learn about "debt snowballs," cutting spending, and buying big bargains - all dressed up in shiny biblical language.
Although I respect the idea of helping people get out of debt and don't necessarily diagree with all of Ramsey's teachings, there is a lot of legitimate concern over whether such classes (and their encouragement to save wealth to "live like no one else") should be presented as Christianity. That's a fair and productive debate to have. But I'm not here to present such a debate. (If you want to discuss that issue more, SCCL brought up the topic recently.)
I want to present a different question that confuses me. How can the same culture that embraces Dave Ramsey's teachings on avoiding and getting out of debt continue to encourage their kids to take on tens of thousands of dollars of debt that will take years to pay off all in the name of "Christ-centered education?" What sort of cognitive dissonance allows them to embrace both ideas? Am I the only one confused by this?
Disclaimer: I obviously have a horse in this race, since I really regret the amount of debt I incurred from attending such a college and don't think that it was worth it at all. If I had to do it all over again, I would choose a much cheaper public university. But that's a topic for another post...