On diversity of education

Rationale for personal choice of areas of emphasis

More than once I have asked myself what I am going to do with a community development major. Each time I reconsider this I have come out more convinced that this is the major for me.

International Community Development (ICD) is a diverse degree which gives me  a vast source of information to draw from when I am either on the mission field or in the work force.

From the general education credits, I have learned how ancient civilizations relate to today’s society, my life has been enriched through science and language courses, and my writing skills and general health have improved. The ICD core classes have opened my eyes to resources to which I still make reference or run to for information. All these classes have added to the knowledge source which I will be able to draw on for the rest of my life.

My reason for choosing ICD as my major came midway through my freshman year after I realized that practical ministry and journalism–a great joy for me–can work hand in hand. Once, someone, I don’t remember who, told me that in journalism it is better to have a large knowledge-base and be able to relate to and understand people than to just know how to interview and write. ICD fits that knowledge base well. Although my goal is not to become just a photojournalist but to use photojournalism to spread the Gospel. My studies as an ICD major have helped me in this search for solid knowledge about a variety of areas. During the summers and Christmas breaks, I have been able to practice and improve my journalistic skills and photography through an ongoing internship at the Fort Scott Tribune, a newspaper near my home.

Although I was not sure what other area to pursue for my emphasis, at first, through the influence of life experiences and advice from Dr. Linda Gray of the Oral Roberts University English Department, I chose to include English as a Second Language (ESL) in my studies. This has turned out to be a challenge but also a great addition to my college career. I had limited experiences with ESL prior to coming to ORU having spent two months teaching English in Chile, South America. With this experience and a knowledge ofthe usefulness of ESL as a means to spread the Gospel, I have immensely enjoyed the classes. Not only have I learned practical methods and theories about language learning but I’ve been able to put those things into practice through an ESL program at my church and use the very language techniques I am learning in my own language studies.

Despite my enjoyment of both areas that I have chosen for my emphasis, I have wondered how they fit together. I think the key is the idea of community development and timing. Although I have a knowledge base in a variety of areas, I foresee that I will either be using ESL and journalism at different times in my life or keeping one as my main emphasis and the other as a secondary occupation. For example, I may take a job as a photojournalist and help with an ESL program or work with a Christian organization in their media departments or another combination of these areas.

When it really comes down to it, I am not sure how they will mesh together but they are both areas that I have already used parts of the knowledge I have gained to help other people.

As I take one thing or another and see how God directs my me, I know that in retrospect, I’ll be able to see the path that, right now, I’ve only been able to see one step at a time.


A paper I wrote as I was completing my senior paper while a senior at Oral Roberts University in 1999.