Insight in an Age Devoid of Discernment
"This is a one-in-thirty-years idea,” my father, Dr. Winter, responded when I told him that my sons needed the content of his World Christian Foundations Master’s Degree before entering college, not after.
“It does no good to hope they will take the WCF Master’s after they have lost their faith in a barrage of academic myths and skepticism at a university,” I explained.
In his typical fashion, my father said, “OK! It badly needs to be done. So you do it! You have my full support. Take the WCF curriculum and cut it down to one year’s worth of college-level work. Focus on the things that college students need to understand to intelligently and confidently defend their faith in the university context.”
Within months we were running a pilot program with one of my college-age sons, two of his friends and the two sons of college friends of mine, rewriting the WCF curriculum as we went along. The curriculum was geared to get college students to rethink all their worldview presuppositions, test their assumptions against Scripture, and prepare them to face a variety of perspectives, including militant atheism.
We came up with the name “Insight,” standing appropriately for “Intensive Study of Integrated Global History and Theology.” And it was intensive—like its WCF predecessor, a sweep through global history from beginning to end, incorporating the Bible, philosophy, anthropology, theology, and more. Students got the big picture view of what God was doing at every point in history. Soon the same universities that gave credit for our graduate program signed on to offer a year’s worth of college credit for the two-semester Insight Program.
Eight years later, the Insight Program is now offered at sites all over the United States for 36 semester credits from Trinity International University, with over 100 students (ages 17-27) who have graduated just from the Pasadena program. Small discussion-based classes allow students to wrestle through questions of faith in a context that supports “loving God with all your mind.” Prices in the range of most state junior colleges make it accessible to mission-minded students who desire to graduate debt-free.
In an age where discernment is increasingly called “intolerance,” the Insight Program helps students learn to discern between the truth and spin, deceptive arguments and unsubstantiated assertions. They also gain the insight they need to see what God is doing in the world and how they can become a part of it. For more information see www.uscwm.org/insight.