Nathan Cicchillo on nontraditional credit within higher education and why it matters.


Nathan Cicchillo has his MBA and has worked in higher education for over 13 years and since 2011 has served as the Director of Admissions and Evaluation at University of Phoenix. Several weeks ago Nathan wrote an article on nontraditional credit within higher education. You can access the article here.

Your first response might be, “what is nontraditional credit and why does it matter?” Your second response might be, “Pastor Nate, why link this article?”

Answering the second question will shed some light on the first question. Timothy Keller in his book Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work To God’s Work says, that one of the purposes of work is to leverage your resources, skills and opportunities to make a better place for those around you; essentially, it’s one way we love our neighbor and cultivate the common good for the common man. In Genesis 1:28 we read the words of God to Adam and Eve that are often referred to as the cultural mandate, where men and women are called to fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over its inhabitants.

Keller, explaining the cultural mandate says,

Farming takes the physical material of soil and seed and produces food. Music takes the physics of sound and rearranges it into something beautiful and thrilling that brings meaning to life. When we take fabric and make a piece of clothing, when we push a broom and clean up a room, when we use technology to harness the forces of electricity, when we take an unformed, naive human mind and teach it a subject, when we teach a couple how to resolve their relational disputes, when we take simple materials and turn them into a poignant work of are — we are continuing God’s work of forming, filling, and subduing. Whenever we bring order out of chaos, whenever we draw out creative potential, whenever we elaborate and ‘unfold’ creation beyond where it was when we found it, we are following God’s pattern of creative cultural development. In fact, our world ‘culture’ comes from this idea of cultivation. Just as he subdued the earth in his work of creation, so he calls us now to labor as his representatives in a continuation and extension of that work of subduing (59).

So the reason I linked Nathan’s article is not so much that I want you to be informed about nontraditional credit within higher education (an important topic by the way, which could tremendously benefit you in your pursuit of an undergraduate degree) but for the purpose of seeing an example of someone who’s stewarding his skills and resources and the opportunities given to him to help cultivate the common good for his fellow-man.

How are you using the skills, knowlege and opportunities God has graciously given you to make the “plot of land” better for those around you?  Whether you’re an engineer, a doctor, an accountant, a teacher, a small busines owner, a director of admissions and evaluation, a government worker, an attorney or a pastor, work hard at seeing your work as a one way you can represent God’s rule where you bring order out of chaos and seek to care for God’s creation.

“Whatever you do, do well” – Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NLT). Well done Nathan. Proud of you brother!


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