Criswell College held its first Major Declaration Ceremony, a new tradition highlighting sophomore students and their public commitment to a specific major. At Criswell, every undergraduate student receives two majors – a major in Bible and Theology and a second major of their choosing.
The Friday evening event gave sophomore students the opportunity to declare to one another, the student body, family, and friends the major to which they are committing. The students read a prayer with their program director and placed a colored cord around their neck, representing their chosen major.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Christopher Graham and program directors were present to mark the occasion with prayers and encouragement for the students.
“Many of you will find yourselves questioning your decision tonight at some point in the next couple of years. Perhaps when you get to that course in your curriculum that is…’ eh.’ Maybe when you get to that course in your curriculum which is…’aaaagghh.’ Maybe looking across at the other majors and the students in the other majors and the greener grass in those pastures. We have urged you over the past year to seek counsel about what major God would have you choose here at the college. Remember, regardless of your major, you are a member of a single community that is dedicated to the same values, the same mission, to a communion that is being built upon the same foundation as the apostles and prophets with Jesus as the chief cornerstone,” Graham said.
Jonathan Petty, wearing a blue cord representing his choice of Biblical Studies, stated that being a part of the first Major Declaration event gave him a connection with his peers.
“I have been very blessed here at Criswell. Before I got here, I was unsure. Student Services has done a great job in making us feel welcomed, getting us involved, and caring about us. Seeing how much they care about us, seeing traditions being started, and imagining them being carried out 20 years from now … I look forward to what that will look like with new students,” Petty said.
Emma Lecompte said the Major Declaration event showed her “how so many people surrounded, supported, and encouraged” them.
Director of Student Services Jeremy Bugh hopes the event will help second-year students understand that the ceremony is about more than just choosing a major. It is seeing and feeling the support and prayers specified for them.
“I told the sophomores when I addressed them that I hope they see it is more than just about putting on a colored cord and reading a prayer, but that they see the care that their program directors have for them. And I hope that they see they are a part of something bigger than themselves. In doing this, the students are signifying what they believe they are called to go out and do for the Kingdom,” Bugh said.