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Reimagining Modern Higher Education
The modern higher education system is broken. Colleges today are hostile to faith, too expensive, and academically weak. Students graduate with an incomplete education, excessive debt, and little sense of purpose.
We knew there had to be a better way to equip students and help them prepare for a lifetime of impact for Jesus and His church.
So, we reimagined what higher education could look like when Christ remains central to everything that we do.
We sought to build a place that equips students through Christian discipleship and academic excellence without compromising truth or excellence.
A radically different college experience designed for ambitious students seeking a training ground they can trust.
Changing Trends in Higher Education: An Increasingly Incomplete Paradigm
When colleges were first established in the United States, they were all founded on basic Christian principles. Each of the nine colleges founded in the colonies was religiously influenced and maintained sound adherence to the integrity of church teachings.
One of these nine colleges, Harvard University, was founded 1636 with the intention of establishing a school to train Christian ministers. The original motto of the University was “Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae” which translated from Latin means “Truth for Christ and the Church.”
Additionally, the school’s “Rules and Precepts,” adopted in 1646, stated:
“Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisedome, Let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seeke it of him (Prov. 2:3).”
Higher Education in the United States has changed drastically since its inception.
The contrast between higher education at its founding and the colleges we see today is both stark and grim. Few passages better portray the trajectory of our modern derangement than Romans 1:25:
“For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
Over the years, most schools, even nominally Christian ones, have sacrificed their core beliefs in an effort to appeal to wider audiences. However, despite their efforts, current trends in higher education have a growing number of people questioning the value of college.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these trends:
More than half of students have to take on debt to attend college, and the average amount of student debt owed is just shy of $40,000. Americans are graduating from college and embarking on careers that are immediately weighed down by financial headaches. This is due, in part, to tuition prices that have been steadily growing for the last 20 years. In fact, according to U.S. News & World Report:
- The average tuition and fees at private National Universities have jumped 144%.
- Out-of-state tuition and fees at public National Universities have risen 165%.
- In-state tuition and fees at public National Universities have grown the most, increasing 212%
A few years ago, this Harvard Entrance exam from 1869 made its way around the internet. The questions on the exam, which include math, science, history, and Latin, would have been considered easy for any college freshman at the time. Today, however, it might be difficult to find a college graduate capable of answering them correctly.
In the years since that exam was used, educational requirements have become increasingly watered down, with most colleges today requiring only a few “general education” credits. Many of these can be selected from a wide array of courses offering very little in the way of foundational knowledge. In fact, at many schools, the course catalog has become so vast, it is possible for a student to graduate without taking a single course that would have previously been considered an essential part of a college education.
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) has been studying the general education requirements at numerous colleges and universities for years. It's What Will They Learn? report reveals that very few have curricular requirements that come close to ensuring that their students receive a solid general education.
Today, about 17 percent of colleges and universities in the United States claim some type of religious affiliation. Among those, a few hundred are Christian. However, even among the remaining number of schools affiliated with a Christian denomination, very few promote and adhere to a biblical worldview.
At most schools, Christ is no longer seen as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning, leaving each institution, professor, and student to form their own understanding of truth and foundation of knowledge. We see this trend mirrored by the population, as the number of religiously unaffiliated college students grows. Caught in a vicious cycle, the modern American college is a breeding ground for the secularization of society.
Trends in higher education have caused many colleges to lose their focus.
One of the major goals of a college education should be to learn and grow in the truth. However, with so many colleges denouncing their Christian roots, absolute truth can become difficult to define.
So often now, we see colleges and universities touting luxurious facilities and elaborate extracurriculars in an effort to draw students to attend their school. But the reality is that many schools have very little to offer in the way of academic rigour and individual growth. With so much pressure to compete with the other schools for tuition dollars, the inflated nature of higher education is becoming an increasingly fragile system in danger of collapse.
Yes, a secular education can teach students something – but it’s an incomplete, defective education that fails to put Christ at the foundation. Students are graduating with degrees that are not preparing them to defend truth — resulting in rampant relativism that jeopardizes the virtues that are critical for society to prosper.
The bottom line? Education grounded in absolute truth is critical for a well-functioning society.
Building A New Kind of Christian College: The Foundations of Sattler College
The Iron Law of Education: What does Jesus tell us?
"Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” (Luke 6:39-40)
This is the Iron Law of Education. It is deceptively simple and unimaginably powerful. You become like those who teach you. Even if you are not conscious of this transformation, it’s happening – steadily and silently.
So, who do you want to be?
Take a look at the world around you. Less than 10% of American adults hold a biblical worldview by even the most basic of standards. Even among professing Christians, less than 19% were able to affirm fundamental truths such as Jesus’ sinless life, the existence of absolute truth, and God’s omnipotence. Is this who you want teaching you? Can the blind lead the blind?
Now more than ever, you must choose your teachers well. It is not enough that they are experienced in their subject matter. It is not enough that they have advanced degrees and letters after their name. It is not even enough that they consider themselves to be Christians. Are they grounded in scripture? Are they striving to conform their lives more and more to Christ? Is this someone who I want to be like, not just academically but spiritually?
Biblical vs. Secular Worldviews
A truly Christian education must be is grounded in absolute truth. It exposes us to the depths of human history and existence and provides meaning and purpose to our lives on Earth. When we understand and comprehend the truths of the Bible, we are able to adequately confront the current world because we have a full and comprehensive perspective of its origins.
A biblical worldview can be defined as: “believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.”
Worldviews are most powerfully shaped during the college years. From the courses you take to dorm life, every part of the college experience is shaped by and infused with that institution’s worldview. The question is not “Does my college have a worldview?” but, rather, “Is this college’s worldview truly and uncopromisingly biblical?” Even a Christian school can become diluted by secular worldviews. This is why selecting a college where the education is firmly grounded in a biblical worldview is so important.
|College with a Biblical World View||College with a Secular World View|
|Origin||God created Man in His image.||The world and everything in it are the accidental product of the random collision of particles.|
|Meaning||To enjoy God and walk in His ways; to fulfill the Great Commission||To enjoy life and make your own meaning|
|Morality||You are not your own, you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and spirit. Morality determined by God’s truth.||Individuals can determine right and wrong based on feelings; morality is a subjective human construct.|
|Destiny||Final judgment and an eternity with or without God||Dissolution and non-existence|
Leading the Way in Christian Education: What Makes Sattler College Truly Revolutionary
When Sattler College was founded, we started with a blank sheet of paper and reimagined what the college experience could and should look like. Above all, we wanted to establish a college founded upon the biblical vision of Christian discipleship that addresses the mind, soul, and heart.
As the foundation of all knowledge and learning, we turned to Christ to help us understand the role of education and how to build a better kind of college.
Our goal is to equip young people to serve the church through spiritual growth and character development that is firmly rooted in biblical truths. Young people face an onslaught of obstacles and temptations from a society that seeks to destroy their faith. Choosing a college with a deeply biblical (not merely nominally Christian) worldview will help you fight the good fight.
We knew we couldn’t rely on the current college paradigm, so we created a new one.
A New Paradigm in Higher Education
Our approach to education is firmly rooted in Christ as the foundation of all knowledge and truth. We’ve blended Christian discipleship with academic excellence to create a program unlike anything else in the country.
What makes our approach so unique? Here are six ways Sattler College is redefining higher education:
A Truly Unique College Community
At Sattler College you will be part of a like-minded Christian community and network. Our faculty, staff, and students share a commitment to not just knowing about Christ but following Him with their whole lives. Our approach focuses on building a community of leaders who desire to grow in their commitment to Christ and share their passion with others.
Through our focus on relational discipleship, you won’t just be another face in the crowd. From your first day at Sattler, you will join a journey group that will stay with you through all four years. Your academic and spiritual growth will be nurtured at every step of your journey.
Rigorous Academics with Purpose
Our academics are rigorous for a reason. The Sattler College core curriculum is designed to be in-depth, intense, and life-changing. Our degrees are more than just a piece of paper and title. Students leave Sattler fundamentally changed by deepening their understanding of truth and what it means to learn.
You’ll receive hands-on training and support from a faculty of practitioners. Your professors are more than just teachers, they are active participants in their field. As Christians who understand and share a biblical worldview, your teachers will support the integration of absolute truth into everything you learn.
An Education That is Radically Affordable
We believe that a quality Christian education should be accessible to everyone. The current student debt crisis is a crippling burden that so many college graduates are facing. It shouldn’t have to be that way.
Our tuition is 80% lower than the cost of other private colleges in the US. We are able to do this by focusing on what really matters – an education grounded in Christ.
Located in The City Where Revolutions Begin
The city of Boston has been the starting point for many pivotal movements. From its played a crucial role in the American Revolutionary War and the founding of the United States to the launching of the Great Awakenings and several American revivals, this is where movements begin. Today, we seek to start a new revolution—a peaceful revolution to change the hearts of everyone around us and declare that Jesus is King.
At Sattler College, we believe in changing the world by encountering the world. By bringing the message of Christ into the city, we share, teach, and spread the Kingdom on Earth. If you are passionate about furthering Jesus’ peaceful revolution, this is where you want to train.
Read Sattler students' recommendations on the best things to do in Boston.
Keeping Christ Central to All That We Do
Through our coursework and community, we stress the importance of seeking Christ first, regardless of career path. Every student becomes well-versed in the Bible, studies church history, and is mentored in evangelism. Understanding the Bible and the lessons it teaches us is essential to building a better world.
We believe in building your life around the church, not vice-versa. Planning for your future is more than just career development. At Sattler, we help with life mapping, an approach that incorporates Christ into every aspect of your life and vocation.
Grounded in Biblical Precepts–Not in Changing Denominations
So many aspects of our world are fleeting, which is why we don’t align ourselves with the transient faith seen in so many Christians today. By returning to Scripture and using that as our foundation, we are placing our trust in God and His ways.
If we believe that the Bible is the Word of God, then obeying its teachings is shockingly simple–and surprisingly radical.
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Growing in Christian Discipleship: Life as a Sattler Student
Sattler students choose to attend because they don’t just want to get ahead in the world, but because they are seeking the tools and knowledge to help them impact the world for good.
Many of our students are first generation college students, and there is a reason for that. Here at Sattler, we focus on building Christ’s Kingdom first, and many students who might otherwise have chosen Kingdom work over higher education have chosen to attend here.
Read about the 10 things you should expect from Sattler's Discipleship Program.
We offer a rigorous education—not to glorify ourselves, but because we believe Jesus’ servants should walk in excellence, becoming thought leaders and change enablers in their fields. Our curriculum underscores the importance of discipleship in a student’s life.
Regardless of your background, we believe an education at Sattler will benefit you both personally and spiritually. Here's how:
You will gain tools to aid in ministry and evangelism
You will participate in intentional Christian discipleship
You will have opportunities to engage in ministry while attending college
You will train for your life’s vocation
You’ll walk away with so much more than just a college degree. Entering a career firmly rooted in biblical truths will allow you to build the Kingdom on Earth and share these truths with the world.
Keeping Christ First: Exploring and Understanding the Historic Christian Faith
Sattler College provides an education that is grounded in the historic foundations of the Christian faith. This encompasses the traditional beliefs of the church with respect to doctrine and practice. While Sattler College has no specific denominational affiliation, the beliefs upon which it is established correspond most closely with the persecuted, suffering churches of history, such as the ante-Nicene church, the Waldensians, the Wycliffites, and the Anabaptists.
The Historic Christian Faith is united under traditional beliefs in the Trinity, Jesus' bodily resurrection, salvation through Christ, the infallible nature of the Scriptures, and the final judgment. This shared faith is in agreement with the historic creeds of the church such as the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed.
Putting Faith into Practice
Because Sattler College seeks to uphold the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints, we are committed to learning from history in order to uphold and practice the original, apostolic—or historic—faith.
There is a longstanding pattern within Christianity of drifting away from the simplicity of Scripture, and a tendency to marginalize demanding teachings as if they are culturally transient.
The core beliefs of Sattler are taken straight from the teachings of Christ. With respect to the practice, some of the primary beliefs Sattler College recognizes and affirms are:
- Love and obedience to Jesus’ commands are the true hallmarks of the Christian faith.
- Obedience to Christ is organically and necessarily connected to faith in Christ.
- Scriptures should be read in a Christocentric fashion, placing stress on Jesus’ teachings and example, most notably the Sermon on the Mount and his death on the cross.
- Jesus’ positive injunctions to guard our hearts and love our enemies, as well as His prohibitions of oaths and against accumulating treasures on earth.
- Jesus’ commands of Christian peacemaking and nonresistance, which includes the teaching that Christians are not permitted to kill or serve in war.
- Baptism is only for those who repent and believe.
- Separation from the world in matters that Scripture commands such as worldview, dress, and entertainment.
Prepare for Your Role in Jesus' Peaceful Revolution
At Sattler College, our faith-filled community of scholars is waging a peaceful revolution against the modern paradigm of higher education so that our graduates prepare for their vocation as servants of Christ in many capacities. Here, we care about your personal and spiritual growth and want to see you succeed in your ambitions. Our focus on biblical truths creates a unique curriculum that incorporates absolute truth into everything we do.
Your college experience at Sattler is only the beginning, we expect our students to tackle some of the great problems of our day. Someone once said (maybe Abraham Lincoln), “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Our program is built for you to sharpen your discipline as a Christ follower and push yourself to new heights academically so that you can best play your part in Jesus’ commission.