The April Fool’s edition of Cedars is out now. Three of my articles were published, while this one got cut:
Beginning next year the School of Biblical and Theological Studies plans to offer a Bachelor of Arts in Public Prayer degree, pending final approval by the Board of Trustees. The department will announce complete details only after it has been approved.
The projected program is designed for students who do not want to study theology exclusively or for whom the new Worship major is insufficient.
The new degree is the brainchild of Mortimer Eritas, assistant professor of Worship at CU and frequent public pray-er at
Jefferson Bible Churchin Podunk, Ohio.
CU is about to offer a new Worship degree, but the planned Public Prayer degree is intended to provide more flexibility for students to develop a very specialized skill and take their prayer life to the next level, Dr. Eritas said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not a bible degree. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s kind of a hybrid degree in that thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a theological component and a rhetorical component, but weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re primarily focused on raising up a generation of gifted orators who can better lead us to God during worship services,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Ralph Sugob, a popular national speaker known for giving prayers that are more God-honoring than most.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Prayer is not meant to be done alone behind closed doors before our Father, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s designed to lead thousands of people in uttering the words thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll best encourage everyone to sit down and be quiet before the service starts,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Sugob.
Sophomore Elizabeth Cinori said that she plans to change her major from Theological Thumb-Twiddling to Public Prayer when the degree is approved.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m tired of groaning inwardly with ineloquent words and need a major thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll teach me the advanced skills needed to pray loudly and confidently before larger and larger crowds.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Cinori said she is particularly interested in the proposed Flowery Language course. Another anonymous, homely student said she was greatly anticipating the Dressing For Success course, a class which aims to blur boundaries between modesty and hip fashion.
Professor Eritas put the dilemma another way: Ã¢â‚¬Å“If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to be praying before thousands, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s important to dress appropriately while recognizing that looking like a haggardly simpleton with last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fashions will, like, simply not do at all.Ã¢â‚¬Â
A premium will be placed on practical experience, and the majorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s architects have high hopes for the level of sophistication their teaching can offer professional prayer pilgrims.
Eritas and Sugob both noted that in todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s chaotic world, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s essential to turn all personal spiritual disciplines into highly organized majors to better prepare Cedarville students for a lost world desperate for grandiose demonstrations of private faith.
After the Worship major, the new Prayer major is only the next step and will be followed in 2010 by the Tithing major. School administrators are excited about the further possibilities and expect all three degrees to become very popular.
This is, by the way, a fairly close facsimile of an article that appeared last issue announcing – for real – our new “Worship” major. Those of you with access to today’s issue can play Guess What Kevin WroteÃ¢â€žÂ¢ at home and keep track of your score. Shouldn’t be hard.