They discover that Jesus wasn't asking us to believe the unbelievable, but rather to love the unlovable - something much more worthy of committing one's life to attempt.
For these students, liberal education breathes new life and excitement into their walk of faith, as they discover a new path of understanding and practice of their religious tradition. A broad university education strengthens their faith in profound ways.
This process of faith-strengthening keeps me hooked on my work in religion on campus. It is a precious opportunity for students to grow in spiritual, moral, and intellectual maturity. What they discover along the way is inspiring, reminding me that my own liberal education isn't over!
Jim Burklo is an ordained United Church of Christ pastor who serves as the Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Birdlike and Barnless: Meditations, Prayers, and Songs for Progressive Christians (2008) and Open Christianity: Home By Another Road (2000). Jim regularly blogs at The Center for Progressive Christianity.