Wilderness and Worldviews

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Wilderness and Worldviews[dropcap3]I[/dropcap3]t hit me the first week, somewhere between kayaking in the Brule River, reading Os Guinness’ The Call, saying goodbye to family, and hello to new friends. I was going to be changed. I was going to learn what a student’s calling is and how it impacts every moment I have. It was a paradigm-shifting, worldview-forming moment. But I only understood it in part;
it was only the beginning.

In the course of my year at the Wisconsin Wilderness Campus (WWC), I had professors challenge my presuppositions about reality and I discussed and critiqued the status of organized education. I wondered, alongside those who had been strangers and were now some of my closest friends, why it is that written tests or a subjective grade have become the measuring stick for learning. We studied far broader topics, many that we weren’t even aware of at the time: things like practical theology, the value of eating meals in community, the impact that the beauty of God’s creation can have on us in our daily living. We were formed not only into better thinkers, but better friends, sons, daughters, and, ultimately, followers of our Maker.

While attending WWC, the way classes and topics were presented turned my thinking back toward Worldview Academy (WVA), a camp I’d attended in high school. WVA’s curriculum provides intense training in the biblical worldview its interaction with other worldviews. The curriculum and philosophy of the two programs have the same focus: taking every thought captive for Christ without any acknowledgement of a divide between the sacred and secular. My experience there had prepared me well for two semesters at WWC.

After being challenged to engage with what education really is during my short time in Wisconsin, I was excited to invest myself in the lives of high school students from around the country. I applied to Worldview Academy to be a staff member and small group leader. We held camps for about 150 students on college campuses each week. The key teaching points were what it means to be a Christ-like servant leader, why apologetics matter, and that evangelism doesn’t have to be scary, all taught under the umbrella of defining a biblical worldview. Seeing my students wrestle through some of the biggest, life-forming questions cemented in me a desire to both serve them to the best of my ability.

My sophomore year at the Langhorne Manor Campus of PBU was full of challenge, just what I wanted. From the very start I knew it would be different than what I had previously experienced. Oddly enough, the fall semester picked up right where WVA had left off, discussing the issue of worldview and art. I wasn’t even in the classroom yet, but with a number of students and staff members, had a fascinating conversation about Jackson Pollock and his worldview right over a hamburger and potato salad. It was fantastic! That was just one of many tone-setting instances that really made me think about the integration of what I had learned and the vastness of what I still have to learn.

This summer I returned to WVA with renewed excitement, my experiences inside the classroom and out at LMC having significantly impacted my understanding of my own worldview. I again was blessed to be a small group leader. I was faced again with the daunting task and inspiring privilege of being a role model to students; seeing them grow in their understanding of truth and grace was a huge encouragement to me.

Tim Hurd 1Tim Hurd 2Tim Hurd 3

When I stop to think about who I am and where I have been, I look back to my time at the Wisconsin Wilderness Campus and I know that without it I never would have become the person that entered the unknown of staffing for a camp that impacts thousands of lives each summer. Without that camp, Worldview Academy, I would not be geared up once again to continue this journey at the Langhorne Manor Campus that has already spurred me on to new goals and new dreams. Without the key challenges I have faced on each step of the journey, I would find myself lacking a foundational understanding of my identity and my calling as a student and a servant of Christ. So far this journey of living and learning in light of what a biblical worldview and biblical education is has taken me places I never thought I’d go. I cannot wait to see what God is going to do next!

[framed_box]Tim Hurd is a junior in the School of Business and Leadership.  He spent 2007-2008 at WWC and now works with the Nexus team in Admissions as their WWC student coordinator.