Inside the Discussion

Junior biostatistics major Matt Gilleskie explores the Soul of the University

Gilleskie focuses on one of his many assignments

By Matt Gilleskie

In the discussion group β€œThe Soul of the University,” the North Carolina Study Center is challenging students and faculty to examine the institution of the university through a gospel-focused lens. The group offers an array of academic experience which provokes discussion and introduces helpful ideological diversity. Among those present include a retired computer science professor, a classics major, a philosophy major turned accounting Ph.D., an Anglican priest, and roughly ten more students, undergraduate and graduate.

I spend the majority of my time immersed in its culture, and yet I rarely question its practices and methodologies.

A brief scripture reading typically begins our discussion, which hinges on a short article. Thus far, we have read essays by George Marsden and Nicholas Wolterstorff. We have learned  in large part through the application of readings to specific academic situations. My participation in the group forces me to think critically about the institution of the university. As a student, I spend the majority of my time immersed in its culture, and yet I rarely question its practices and methodologies. I am learning that the Gospel relates to all of life, not superficially like I once assumed, but deeply, so deeply that I cannot comprehend it totally. The wisdom of others in the discussion group, both in the form of assigned readings and the wealth and variety of academic experience, help me to plumb these depths. Because of this group, I consider more carefully the institution of the university and my place in it as a follower of Christ.