Many of today’s creation researchers can testify that information from the Institute for Creation Research sparked a burning, lifelong passion for creation ministry. Based on messages we receive, the same is true for many of the young people reading this article. What steps can you take to make this desire a reality?
First, learn as much as you can about the creation-evolution controversy. Read, read, read! Obviously, ICR.org and Acts & Facts are great resources, but you should also read in-depth papers published by ICR scientists. Consider joining the Creation Research Society (CRS). Doing so will give you access to the Creation Research Society Quarterly technical journal and other CRS resources. CRS members can mentor you and provide exciting opportunities for cutting-edge creation research, perhaps even while you are in college or graduate school. Moreover, CRS has an annual meeting in late summer that provides wonderful opportunities to interact with leading creation scientists. Scholarships are available, allowing full-time students to join cost-free (creationresearch.org).
Second, find out what area of science interests you and find a school that has a strong program in that area. For instance, you may want to major in physics but are particularly interested in astronomy. Not every physics program emphasizes astronomy, so you’ll want to find one that does. What good is attending a prestigious school if it doesn’t offer research opportunities that interest you? That’s a prescription for a miserable experience!
If young earth creationist (YEC) institutions don’t have programs in your field, don’t rule out attending a secular school. The evidence strongly confirms creation, so a young creationist student should have no fear of encountering the strongest arguments for evolution. All of the science staff at ICR attended secular schools, and we did fine. However, be aware that discrimination is considerably more likely if you major in fields with strong evolutionary influences—concentrations such as geology, paleontology, or biology. You should be honest, but it’s best to maintain a low profile about your creationist beliefs while obtaining your degree. Creation ministries definitely need future scholars in all areas of science.
If you are thinking of attending a Christian school, I strongly recommend you exercise due diligence. Don’t be afraid to ask probing questions of the staff and faculty to find out what they really believe regarding creation. Did God make the universe in six days? Were these literal 24-hour days? Was there truly a globe-covering flood in the days of Noah? Should we expect to find evidence for recent creation and the Flood? Does it matter? Some Christian schools are effectively secular when it comes to their non-literal views of Genesis history and acceptance of evolutionary ideas.
Christian colleges or seminaries may be significantly influenced in some way by the evolutionist leaven, including institutions with reputations for rock-solid orthodoxy. At some YEC universities, undergraduate students may not be fully educated in the evidence for recent creation. However, other professors at those schools might be doing outstanding, cutting-edge creation research. So, depending on your situation, a given Christian school (even one that is explicitly YEC) could either be a good or a bad fit.
Above all, pray for the Lord’s guidance. Choosing a college or graduate school is a big decision, and it should be a matter of prayer. May God give you wisdom as you seek His path for you.
* Dr. Hebert is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.