By Simbi Uwishaka
I remember the way I felt at the beginning of the year. A nervous excitement about what possibilities lay ahead for me in the year. Looking back at this year, I realize that my experience was not what I expected. It was more challenging than I had thought and more rewarding than I could have imagined.
Being students that were only less than half groomed for what ACU’s final expectations are, there was still so much more to learn. This brought much excitement and eagerness, which was always a great motivation that propelled good momentum for our year. A lot of the time I desired to simply sit back and be taught, because the learning experience was always deeply moving and challenging. I also hoped to never, (or seldom at least) have to work to prove that the information had truly been learned and internalised.
As every term passed by, my enthusiasm seemed to have been going down because of the intimidating work load and the stress that came with it. I was no longer infatuated by the uniqueness and wonder of being at a Christian university – the first of its kind in Zambia. The realisation that it was a long-term commitment I made to be there had set in by the end of the first term, and by the second term, more exhaustion than enthusiasm had filled me. However, this never took away from my desire to keep learning and working. I had to realise that I was growing up anyway and had to learn to deal with more on my plate.
The standard year-round courses we were supposed to take this year were Latin, English Composition/Research Writing as well as History of Thought, but because of an unpredicted circumstance we substituted History of Thought with Theology, Worldview and Ethics in the third term. The accompanying subjects in the first term included Old Testament Survey and Mathematics; New Testament Survey and Sociology in the second term; and Hermeneutics and Foundations of Science in the third. The changing of courses for the development of our worldviews was one of the things that really kept our learning hats on. The further we progressed, the more we appreciated the design of the curriculum and saw the benefits.
Latin, because it is a language and because it was a year-round course, was definitely one that got more challenging with time because of the build-up. It was not simply just the language we learnt though, but also much about Roman history and the ancient culture. Through this course we developed a greater appreciation for language and realised how it is one of the ways that God truly shows himself. English Composition/Research Writing was a course in which we not simply learnt how to write as a technique, but also learnt about the art of it through the writings of great authors such as C.S. Lewis and G. K. Chesterton. Through it we were inspired to use the skills we’d learnt to communicate effectively through creativity and through the rules of the English language and the technical laws of research writing.
Mathematics, Sociology and Science were the courses that helped us to have a general feel of what courses we would have to pick to study in the future. These were all unique and taught us different things about the Biblical Worldview and about God. Through Mathematics we saw the absolute, factual truthfulness and orderliness of God in all things. Through Sociology we saw how without a Biblical Worldview we are unable to operate in a way that fulfils, satisfies, and thrives all of humanity. The truth of the matter is seen through historical civilisations and how all who embraced the Biblical Worldview thrived, and all that did not either had a momentary victory or failed altogether. In our Foundations of Science class, we learnt many things that showed us how a clear covenant Trinitarian theology of God sets the stage for how we begin to think of ourselves as people and how that, in turn, begins to govern how we think about the world and do science.
Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey and Hermeneutics were the courses that took us directly to and through the Scriptures. It is always a humbling and mind-blowing experience to walk through the Bible and see God’s hand actively working through all of history. It provided me with greater reason to trust and have faith in God as he continues to redeem men and restore all things to himself. Through these, my faith has gotten much deeper because of how I have seen that the Bible and its content is not something distant and mystical but that it contains true events that were written by a God who is still present and working in our lives today.
History of Thought took us back in time to learn and examine the thoughts and philosophies of ancient men. Once again, through this we were able to see how people’s worldview, if not correct, leads to their demise and how the Biblical Worldview is beneficial for all, leads to success and glorifies God.
Theology, Worldview and Ethics, was a course that challenged our faith the most. It caused us to think deeply about the things we say we believe, why we believe them and what the result of that belief should be.
This year’s experience has been deeply moving and heart provoking. It has humbled me and shown me that while it is important to have intellectual knowledge, it is not enough. There was not a day that went by that didn’t leave me pondering or convicted by something new. This year I have experienced a lot of growth and for this I am grateful to all at ACU and to God.