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Christ-Centered Higher Education

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble
The Truth Network Radio
April 26, 2023 6:54 pm

Christ-Centered Higher Education

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble

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April 26, 2023 6:54 pm

Christ-Centered Higher Education

Steve talks to Dr. Paul Maurer who is president of Montreat College in North Carolina. They talk about college and cybersecurity.

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The following program is recorded content created by at And now here's your host, Steve Noble. Welcome back. I hope you're doing well.

This is Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show. By now, I mean, if you've been paying attention at all and for the past pretty much 11 years, whether it be here on the radio show or just in social media stuff or just some of the activism that I've been doing since 2004, you know that education is a hot topic to me. It's become a central part of what I believe the Lord has called me to, where I've been teaching high school aged homeschoolers here in the Raleigh area for, this is my 11th year, but last year at the beginning of the school year, about a year ago, we launched Noble U to try to take the teaching of these classes outside of the area to start to reach people in other parts of the state, other parts of the country, which is starting to happen through Noble U, which is, just praise the Lord for that. And what I've seen over the last 11 years, I wish I could tell you, has been super encouraging to deal with these young students, boys and girls, men and women growing up in Christian homes, a lot like yours and a lot like mine. But what I've found is that they are largely, theologically pretty thin. They know all the right answers they should give as Christians, because they hear that from mom and dad and from the pulpit, but can they arrive at those positions themselves? I don't find that they have a robust operational Christian worldview. I think a lot of them are growing up in the right environment. We homeschool them, we send them to private Christian school, we take them to church, they go to youth group and all that stuff. They're around it, and that's all good, but in this culture today, quite simply, to be frank, it's not enough.

And so I don't think we're quite doing a good job of teaching them how to think Christianly and then how to engage a culture that's increasingly going in a Roman's one direction. So my good friend, Todd Von Helms, who's a dear friend, has been on the show many times. He's going to be back on coming up. On Tuesday, May 19th, I wrote an incredible book called Before You Leave for College Career and Eternity. Really, especially if you have students that are graduating high school or college, that will be a particularly poignant show for you. It's an incredible book. But Todd texted me recently and said, Hey, I just had a meeting with the president of Montreat College out in beautiful Montreat, North Carolina, right next door to Black Mountain and close to Asheville, Dr. Paul Maurer.

And he's like, you got to get this guy on the show. I was aware of Montreat College, but didn't really know what was happening there. But as I've dug into their website at, I've been very encouraged. So it's exciting to have the president of Montreat College, Dr. Paul Maurer on the show. Paul, how are you? Thanks for being here. Thanks, Steve. Great to be with you.

Well, that was a big run up. So you kind of heard my whole dump on education, but we'll dive into that. But just to kind of get us all kind of centered around Montreat College for our time together today. You meet somebody in the elevator, Paul, you meet them at a restaurant, whatever, and they're like, Hey, I'm the president of Montreat College. And they go, tell me about Montreat College. What's kind of your short answer? We'll expand on this, but just to get the ball rolling.

The really short answer is the last fully Christ-centered four-year liberal arts college in the state of North Carolina. Yeah, and there you go. And that's saying a lot. And then, so talk about just kind of the DNA there.

I'm going to share links on Facebook and Rumble. Like the mission statement, Montreat College is an independent Christ-centered liberal arts institution that educates students through intellectual inquiry, spiritual formation, and preparation for calling and career, like to what end, all to impact the world for Jesus Christ. That's a really powerful mission statement. Is that what kind of drew you to Montreat College in the first place for yourself?

No, we created that mission statement. We did a lot of rebuilding in these last years. When I got the call to Montreat, I had no interest in coming to Montreat.

It had been through a near-death experience in early 2014. I knew about Montreat for years because I've worked in Christ-centered higher education for the last 25 years. And the headhunter called and said, I'd been in a presidency and then I wasn't. And then he said, you need to get back into a presidency and I've got one for you. And I said, where's that, Bill? And he said, Montreat College. And an hour later after conversation, I said, Bill, I'm a rational man.

And a rational man does not take the presidency at Montreat College. Thank you for the call. Goodbye. And he called three and a half weeks later and said, the search committee really wants you to reconsider. And again, an hour conversation.

And again, I said, I'm just not interested. Thank you for the call. And he said, would you be willing to come down for just one conversation with the search committee? What he didn't tell me is that they'd named me a finalist. And so I was interviewing as a finalist when I walked in the door.

I should have known better. And then on Friday, he called and said, they voted unanimously, first ballot, blind ballot, and they want you to come. And at that point, my wife said, maybe the Lord's hand is in this. Maybe we ought to actually think about this and consider this as God's guidance.

I'm not a mystic, never heard a voice, but we consider this God's call. So we came and we ended up because the college really is alive only because of a miracle of the Lord. And there's a marvelous article out there written by Sarah Zalstra from the Gospel Coalition called The Montreat Miracle. And it really details what happened in the probably five or six years after 2014.

And so my job is to steward a miracle and hopefully to build an increasingly stronger Christ-centered option for the families of the Southeast United States. What was, when you first heard about it and you're like, thanks, but no thanks. Was it just the fact, like, what was the situation at the time? Because I could imagine, given the status of the school at the time, you'd be like, what would be the point of doing this? But what was your hesitancy?

Did it seem like it was just DOA? Yeah, yeah, pretty much. And so I really didn't have any interest in coming to Montreat and then having on my CV closed Montreat College, because it was so starved for revenue. The enrollment had declined for years and years, and it just kind of began to slowly choke on its lack of revenue. And it had drifted away from the centrality of Orthodox biblical Christianity.

And so the combination of those two things was not especially appealing. Yeah, and then I guess my number one question, if I were walking a mile in your shoes, would be, how much freedom am I going to have here to right the ship and change things? And apparently it was a whole lot, because here you are. Yeah, and even more central, the more central question to me was, was there theological unity on the board of trustees?

Boom. Because you can't actually kind of rebuild something with or biblical Orthodoxy unless you've got unity on your board of trustees. And thankfully, I had 100% unity on the board of trustees then and now. And the faculty and staff here who had been through the near-death experience, they knew that we had to change. It was a change or die kind of situation. And so the conditions for change were set. And so we came in and we knew that we had to hustle.

Yeah. Praise the Lord. That's so great to hear. I want to hear more about the miracle at Montreat. What's the essence of the education there? What should we be doing with our students? In case you hadn't noticed, the world's a little different now than it was when all of us were in college.

How do we train up these young Christians to make a mark for the kingdom and to help impact? Welcome back. It's Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show, talking higher education today with Dr. Paul Marra, the president of Montreat College in beautiful Montreat, North Carolina. It's really close to Asheville, next door to Black Mountain. It's one of the Noble family's favorite places in the state to go to, just picturesque out there. And also, that's where the Graham family lived.

And Paul, again, thank you for being here today and sharing your time. And that's where Billy and Ruth went to church, right there on your campus, correct? It is. It's now named Graham Chapel, and they were married in our chapel. And it's a beautiful American chestnut stone. It's beautiful. It's historic. And then they attended church there, and particularly Ruth as Billy traveled around the world.

Wow, that's super cool. We're always looking for another reason to go to Black Mountain, so now I'll come out there and visit you. We do.

Give me the tour, and I can actually do the radio show from there, which would be fun. But it's great to have you here, and thanks for taking the time to be with us. So tell us about, you mentioned the miracle at Montreat. Tell us about that. Yeah, so the article that Sarah Zales wrote for the Gospel Coalition is called The Montreat Miracle. And basically, she talks about two parts of what's happened here over the last nine years. One is that when the college was in a pretty desperate place back in 2012-13, my predecessor had resigned. The college went into merger conversations with the school out of Georgia.

A year later, that merger conversation collapsed. And the college really had two options, either close or have God show up in a big way. And the latter happened through an anonymous couple who had no connection to the college. They'd never stepped foot on campus.

They'd never talked to a trustee. And over email only with one of our adjunct faculty members made a $6 million pledge to the college. Golly. In our world, that's a miracle. You don't plan for that.

That's something only God can do. And by their own testimony, the Holy Spirit laid it on their hearts, and they had not been involved in education previously, but they were now. And so $300,000 a month began to hit our bank account like clockwork. And it gave us what we call gas money, fixing the plane while it's flying, and it kept us in the air.

But we knew we had to hustle because that gas money was going to run out, and we needed every bit of it and a whole lot more. And so part of what we did is we immediately went to the question of identity. And that's where our mission, our statement of faith, our Community Life Covenant came into focus because in the end, if you're going to deliver a Christ-centered education, it's all about personnel. It's all about hiring.

So we began to interview and hire people who were only devout believers, all part-time, all full-time, everybody, no exceptions. And they all interviewed with me for an hour, and it became known on campus as the Mauer Hour. The Mauer Hour. The Mauer Hour of power.

Well, just keep it at the Mauer Hour. And basically what I'm asking them is, do you believe in the infallibility, inerrancy of Scripture? And do you have any reservations about that? Do you believe that God's design in Scripture for marriage is exclusively between one man and one woman?

Society does what society does, but we believe that God has a design for marriage, and it's exclusively one man and one woman. Do you believe that? Do you have any reservations about that? We believe that life begins at conception. This is biblical, not political for us. It's theological. And we began to hire to a core biblical orthodoxy, and we rewrote the mission statements and rewrote the statement of faith and added a communal covenant as conditions of employment in order to have unity of mission. I know why everyone comes to campus to work.

I know why they arrive in the morning. Yeah, it's so important. And like we were talking about earlier, everybody's playing off the same sheet of music, which in this case is then powered by the empowering, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We're talking to Dr. Paul Maurer, president of Montreat College,, here in North Carolina, beautiful Montreat, You've been in Christian education for a long time, Paul. Are we in a different type of battle today than we were 25 years ago in terms of educating young Christians?

I was lamenting about that a little bit earlier, but from your perspective, you've got all that experience. Is the ground a little different today? Undoubtedly, it's pretty dramatically different, actually. The students coming through college now are really, this generation is quite different than the generations of the past.

How so? Well, you know, I think part of the cultural milieu that we live in is an age of confusion. I think the information revolution is too much information and very little wisdom. The overstimulation through social media. Jonathan Haidt is coming out with a book soon on the impact of social media, particularly on teens and depression. He's done some excellent work in this regard. And it's a damning profile of what's happening to young people through the internet, social media, and we're seeing a tremendous decline in the trust of great American institutions.

Some of that's warranted, some of that's not. We live in an age of deconstructionism. And so there are some students coming through Montreat these days that I recognized from a generation ago, and many of them I don't.

Yeah, well, that's why I wrote down age of confusion. I talk about this all the time. This is one of the topics that I talk about at some upcoming homeschool conventions, that there is an operating system, a worldly godless operating system being built into our kids through this.

I'm holding up my iPhone and through other digital communication. I don't think that the kids are necessarily aware. This is very much the frog in the pot. I don't think they know that they're being real reprogrammed because it happens really from what these days?

Kindergarten through 12th grade. That's all under the surface. Then you've got the input coming from the church and from mom and dad and from homeschooling or whatever. And like you mentioned, Paul, they don't have the wisdom to process through all that. They can't sift through it. They don't know they're being manipulated to a large extent. They don't know they're being sold one direction or the other. They don't have any wisdom and they don't have the discernment.

I mean, that's what kind of drives me now is I'm just amazed. And I know I can sound really negative about it. I think I'm just being authentically honest in my assertion that they're just kind of clueless and they don't even know.

I don't think they're aware of that. We're just not doing enough to deal with the fact that we live, like you said, in this age of confusion. Well, I think what the churches that are really cutting edge are the ones that are aware of this and are addressing this. And the colleges, like Montree, that are aware of this actually have tremendous opportunity to speak into the lives of these young people, because quite frankly, they're not going to get it anywhere else in higher education. American higher education has also changed radically in my lifetime and yours. And it's not a great place for becoming a better human being.

Yeah, in general, set aside a better human in terms of being a Christian, being a kingdom minded person, but just a better person in general. I was going to ask you about that, that state of higher education. And again, most Christian education, like you said, the cutting edge churches realize this is happening, cutting edge Christian institutions realize it's happening, and then you have to address it head on, which I want to ask you about just in general, Paul, the state of higher education, the state of Christian higher education, and then how do we, how are you at Montreat College here in North Carolina? How are you addressing the age of confusion and these young students coming to Montreat? talking to Paul Marr, the president of Montreat College. One of my favorite topics and one of the most important topics we'll ever talk about is educating, reaching tomorrow's leaders, tomorrow's leaders, both in the country and in the church. We'll be right back. Welcome back. It's Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show today talking about higher education, the state of higher education, specifically Christian higher education, and even more specifically right here for most of you, you're in the state of the great state of North Carolina.

That's where I'm at in Raleigh. Dr. Paul Morris, the president of Montreat College out in beautiful Montreat, North Carolina. Am I butchering your last name, Paul? You're not butchering it. It's Maurer rhymes with flower. Oh, see, I'm going to text Todd because he didn't say Maurer rhymes with flower. Hold on. I'm writing that down. You're clearly not the first person in my life to make that slight mistake. Excellent. Well, grace and mercy, right? Grace and mercy. A lot of people have said, hey, nice to meet you, Mr. Nobel. I'm like, yeah, no, that's wrong.

So Maurer rhymes with flower. OK, Montreat, North Carolina, Montreat dot edu is the website for Montreat College, Montreat dot edu. So I think we all understand the state of higher education in general, the state of Christian education.

Let's set all that aside because I want to learn more about the state of Christian education in Montreat. How are you addressing? And obviously it's working.

You guys are growing after the miracle there. I just shared that article. I found that article on the Gospel Coalition and shared it on the Facebook Live and Rumble page, The Montreat Miracle. But how are you addressing? You mentioned the age of confusion. I'm 100 agreement with you on all this stuff. Paul, how are you addressing it there at Montreat? What's the secret sauce? Well, we keep things pretty simple here.

Honestly, Steve, it's not complicated. Education is about a handful of basics. And unfortunately, most of American education has abandoned those basics, the pursuit of truth, the teaching of the meaning of life, critical thinking in the liberal arts, a healthy campus culture.

I mean, these are not like revolutionary new things. And so we do those. We teach critical thinking for the liberal arts. We prepare students for an understanding of calling and career, this 500 year old reformed understanding that vocation is call, that you live for something more than material world, that your life actually has meaning and purpose. We're not nihilists. Most of American higher education is rooted in abject nihilism now where there's no right or wrong, no sense of truth, no meaning or purpose of life. And students are reduced to economic beings. We teach human beings, not economic beings.

Economics matters, but we still do the whole person education. So we're Christ-centered. We're liberal arts. We teach through intellectual inquiry, through spiritual formation and preparation for calling a career. End of mission statement. And this is what we do. And we focus all of our energies on providing high quality liberal arts, professional development, education in a context where we help them understand, or at least try to help them understand that there's something more to life for themselves. And there's something more.

They actually have meaning and purpose and God has a purpose for them. That's not complicated. Yeah, it isn't. Back to the basics. It's always been about the fundamentals of the Christian faith, the theology, and then everything that flows pretty naturally out of that.

I don't think that's very complicated. In my Christian ethics class, Paul, one of the subjects that we do is work in vocation. It's wild to watch these students who've never really thought about the work they're doing now or the work that they might do in the future as integral to their lives as Christ followers. And so it's just been a blast to watch kind of their eyes. I'm like, if you're sitting in the back of Chick-fil-A and all you do is dump waffle fries and hot oil, do you think that matters to the Lord?

Do you think that He's paying any attention to what you're doing? And then to infuse that kingdom mindset, which is awesome, that calling and career. You said the phrase liberal arts probably six times in about two minutes. I don't know that because we're in such a politicized culture these days, Paul. I don't know that people really understand what a liberal arts education is. Let's talk about it in terms of competencies. The liberal arts education is where—so American higher education is almost 400 years old. Harvard was founded in 1636, so we're coming up on 400 years. For about 350 of those years, American higher education was rooted in this concept of the liberal arts.

Well, what is that? Well, it teaches students to read, to write, to think, to develop and defend an argument, to work together on a team, and to develop character. That's what a liberal arts education historically has done, and those are what I call and many of people like me in Christ-centered higher education call the liberal arts competencies. You get that through teaching them those basics in the classroom for four years and then helping them understand who they are and connecting that to a job description. How do you then—because, you know, I'm sure that when they come to campus at Montreat that they're at various places on their spiritual journey, various levels of spiritual maturity, how much theology do they know, so on and so forth. But how do you kind of, in the context of an excellent academic environment with a biblical worldview and then making all that work together, because if your worldview is not comprehensive, I would say it's pretty worthless. So how do you do that in the classroom?

I think I know the answer because I think you gave me the answer earlier when you talked about the Maurer hour, but how do you do that? How do you accomplish that so we have well-trained, highly educated young Christians who have an operational worldview and it all works together? Well, first of all, I need to understand that we are an open enrollment campus, so you don't have to be a Christian to be a student at Montreat, an expression of any faith at all. We have atheists, we have Muslims, we've had a handful of Jewish students come along, we have plenty of students that don't believe anything. Lots of agnostics. Sounds like a lunch party that Jesus would have attended. It's exactly.

I mean, it's just like the New Testament. So we've got probably a third of our students are really strong, solid believers, a third of our students are probably not believers in anything, and a third are in that what I would call the squishy middle. Well, the answer to your question of how do we deliver a comprehensive and cohesive worldview is we hire the right people. It's the only answer. You hire the right people and then you provide them some training. You know, we use New City Catechism that Tim Keller put together.

It's Heidelberg Confession packaged for college students, and we use that with our faculty, we use it with our students, and we're seed planting. I mean, you're right, they're coming in at all places on the continuum of their journey. And when they leave, they are as well. So I'm not complete.

You're not complete. We're all in a journey and our students are as well. Yeah, it's so important to realize that. And that's where with my students, I used to make all kinds of assumptions.

I make almost none anymore. I tell them all. And these are all kids growing up in Christian homes and their homeschooling Christian homeschooling. I'm like, listen, I'm not for one second going to assume everybody in this classroom is actually a born again, Spirit-filled Christian, because I think the odds are actually 100% that that's not true.

So I'm not going to assume anything. Talk about student life there at Montreat College. We're talking to Paul Marr, the president of Montreat College, How do you foster all that just in kind of doing life together there in Montreat, North Carolina, whilst going to school?

Yeah, so great question. What we consider to be spiritual formation is not about attending chapel. Spiritual formation is about who we hire. Spiritual formation happens in the residence hall. It happens on the athletic field. It happens in the classroom. It also happens walking between class and the cafeteria when a student reveals to one of our staff members or faculty that her parents are going through a divorce.

We just had a tragic father-committed suicide of one of our students a few weeks ago. That's spiritual formation. That's where it really happens, where you're coming alongside in the great conversation of life with new students, and it's not about—I mean, obviously, the academics matter, but it's the formation of their minds and their spirits and their humanity that's at the core of what we do. Well, that sounds like, you know, I hate to reference the New Testament again, but Jesus just did life with these guys for three years. It's like, hey, I'm going to send you guys off to so-and-so Christian school, and then you come back, and then we'll go do ministry together. All of that happened in the day-to-day ups and downs of life, undulation, as C.S.

Lewis would call it. And that's where I think we have to be careful as adults and parents and grandparents and teachers and educators and people paying for education that don't think just sending them to the classroom is enough, because it isn't. And you have to learn to—your faith has to grow in the context of real life, which sounds like exactly what you're describing. And we have great chapel. We have great speakers. We have great worship. We have Alpha. We have FCA. We have Bible studies. We have all kinds of options in those kind of more formal settings, but we don't think of spiritual formation as being limited to those settings. And like residence life, we hire our RDs to mission.

We don't have co-ed dorms. Like, how dumb is that? Like, whoever came up with that idea, like, it's certainly a product of the thinking of the sixties. But it's like, it's insanity to have men and women sharing the residence floor and bathrooms and not expect that there's going to be chaos. Right. Yeah, it really—oh, you said this earlier, Paul. It's not that complicated. Let's just go back to the basics. But in a Romans 1 culture, the basics is disgusting to them.

It's the foundational building blocks of our lives as Christians. We're going to hit the break here in about 20 seconds. So when we come back, I have a few more questions just about student life and how things—what life looks like on campus. Who's going to Montreat? So I want to kind of get an understanding of what the students are like. What kind of student's going to go to Montreat?

What kind of parent wants their son or daughter to go to Montreat? And then I want to talk about something that I've never talked to anybody in Christian education before, which is cybersecurity. So Montreat College, a beautiful mountain town in North Carolina, and cybersecurity, actually makes a perfect little trinity, dare I use that phrase. This is Steve Noble talking to Dr. Paul Mauer, like flour, from Montreat College. We'll be right back.

Welcome back. It's Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show, talking about higher education today, education in general, especially from a Christian perspective, an Orthodox Christian perspective, an education which we are sadly lacking, as Dr. Paul Mauer has told us—Mauer runs with flour, by the way—President Montreat College there in Montreat, North Carolina. Our children and grandchildren are growing up truly in an age of confusion. They don't have enough wisdom. Therefore, they don't have the discernment to deal with it. So we are operating in a very, very challenging environment that I think is really having its way with a lot of Christian kids. I don't care if you are homeschooled, private Christian school, whatever. I see it every week in my own classrooms.

And I have for years that they're just not equipped to deal with this increasingly changing, increasingly hostile culture of ours. The spirit of the age is strong, and we have to up our game, which, as Paul was explaining, really just means going back to the fundamentals, the fundamentals of the Scripture and theology, but the fundamentals of education, which is lacking. But I wanted to ask you, Paul, and again, thank you for spending a whole hour with us. Seriously, I'm really looking forward to coming out there and touring the school and learning more, because it's just exciting to hear what's happening there. Why do students come there, and why do parents pay to send them there?

Well, the mind of a 17-year-old is a thing to behold. So to answer the question why they come, there's no one answer. There's a wide berth of answers to that. Some come for the honors program. Some come for cybersecurity.

Some come to play a sport. Some come for music. Some come because it's local. I mean, some come because it's Christian.

Blah, blah, blah. We have students from probably 35 states around the country. We have six or seven percent international. Fifty-five percent of our students are from North Carolina. Florida is actually our number two state.

Southeast is heavy. But we're actually a very diverse campus. I know DEI and diversity is all the rage these days, and we don't do DEI, and I don't have a chief inclusion officer, and we don't need any of that stuff.

We have the Imago Dei, which roots us in the value of the basic human dignity of every human being, no matter their race or color or creed. So we try to live out the Imago Dei, and we're actually a remarkably diverse campus, ethnically, socially, religiously. But we don't have the tension that I hear about on so many college campuses. We don't have racial tension.

We don't have tension. It's actually a very peaceful, almost pastoral kind of setting, which I think is a superior educational setting for students who want to read and need to think and have discussion and deliberate and figure stuff out. And so it's actually an amazing campus. And what makes it special is not the beauty of the mountains. What makes it special are the people here.

Yeah, what you've said time and time again, not just people that you hire, but the students that come there. And I love that diversity, and I know that triggers everybody when you hear that word. But that's the body of Christ.

That's the Imago Dei, as you said. And like I said earlier, Jesus is going to show up to a lunch party that's going to make a lot of evangelical Christians nervous. But you're wrong, and he remains right.

So just remember that as we talk about these things. You mentioned cybersecurity, Paul. This is wild. That little Montreat College, this Christian school, outstanding Christian school in the mountains of North Carolina, is really becoming a leader in cybersecurity education.

How in the world did that happen? And then share some of the things that you were sharing with me over the break, because it's just mind-boggling. Well, we're just finishing our 10th year of teaching cybersecurity. So we're now a mature and a seasoned educator in the world of cybersecurity. We have five full-time cybersecurity faculty.

It's our second largest major after business econ. And what happened was there was a program here, and early in my time here, I just looked around the leadership table and I said, maybe we've got something here. I'm reading about this on the front page of the New York Times four or five days a week. And so we decided to swing for the fences. And so we invested heavily.

I invested an enormous amount of my own time. I hired a lobbyist. We began to go to Washington DC. And we had Hill meetings for between one and two days, every 60 days for five or six years. And you build relationships that way. One of the things I learned about going to DC is you just got to keep showing up. And if you keep showing up and you actually build relationships and you bring value to the table, it works. And so our congressional delegation, our two US senators, Richard Burr, Tom Tillis, Patrick McHenry, our Congressman then, they just began to open up doors.

They really believed in what we're doing. Our value proposition is really different in cybersecurity than state schools or secular schools because our value proposition goes like this. The problem of cybersecurity is not principally a technical problem. It is principally a human problem. And therefore the solution to cybersecurity is not principally a technical solution. AI isn't the solution. It's principally a human solution. If you don't have the people of character and ethics as your cyber leaders and operators, your technology doesn't matter. And we began to narrate that.

We tested it because we weren't sure. And then everyone went, yeah, that's right. And we went to, we actually went to Seattle and had a focus group among the tech sector leaders in Seattle back in 2017, I think it was. And I came out of that meeting and I was blown away that two thirds of the people in that room overtly agreed with our value proposition.

This is more about people than technology. And so the National Security Agency got on board. We have a close working relationship with them. They were what's called a CAE, Center of Academic Excellence, as designated by the National Security Agency.

There are about 400 of those schools in the country. That's the cream of the crop of cyber education institutions. And they asked us to put together a book on cybersecurity ethics for all 400 schools because they know that ethics is at the core of effective cybersecurity. We have to have people of character, but there is no Hippocratic oath for cybersecurity.

There is no like Geneva conventions for cybersecurity. And so we have created that. We have created a cybersecurity oath.

We're now pushing it out. We have early adopters around the country and we hope organically this becomes like the standard, like a Hippocratic oath. It's voluntary, it's imperfect, but you need guard rails.

And there are no guard rails in cybersecurity today on either offense or defense. Well, it's the same thing that we see with AI. And I'm starting to talk about this in my classes as well. I'm like, listen, our knowledge and technology is way outpacing our ethic. And the ethics conversation is coming in way after the mushroom cloud goes up, so to speak. And so on that one, you know, for us as followers of Christ, that understanding that leads to a good ethic is right there at the heart of Christianity.

I mean, we have the answers on that. So it's just so cool to see how God has placed you guys that the NSA is choosing a little Christian school. And I say little just because it's not 10,000 people, okay? Monterey College in North Carolina, to write the book on ethics is amusing to me, to say the least, but in a God-ordained, praise the Lord kind of way. Is it pretty wild for you just to see what the Lord has done here?

Yeah. I mean, there's plenty about this journey that's surreal, that wonderful. You know, having the wind in your sails is a lovely thing. And I've been in places and at schools where the wind was not in our sails.

But what we've learned is that if you can provide value to your state, if you can provide value to your nation, they will help you create that value. And so there are 23,000 unfilled jobs in cybersecurity in the state of North Carolina today. Just in North Carolina? 600,000 nationally.

Wow. That number grows every year. So the bad guys are way ahead of the good guys. By 2025, the estimate is over a million unfilled jobs in cyber in the United States, three and a half million worldwide. And so we said to the state of North Carolina, we will help accelerate and expand workforce development if you will help fund it.

And they said, okay. So they're funding what we call the academy, which is beyond our 150 majors and bachelors of science. We have what's called the academy.

It's a six month full-time bootcamp. They don't get a degree or a certificate. They don't get a bachelor's or an associate's degree. We prepare them to take industry certifications that get them a job. We had 150 students in that program last year.

So we're 300 students now in cybersecurity on an annual basis. And the state's going, you keep doing that. We'll keep funding you. Right. There you go. What a beautiful thing.

30 seconds, Paul. And then I want you to invite people, parents and grandparents and students to check out Montree College, What kind of, describe a student that would normally have the aptitude for cybersecurity. So they don't have to be a techie. We'll teach them. I mean, first year is hardware. We're teaching them what a computer is, how to take it apart, how to put it back together. They don't get it in the second year.

They get into the software and the real cyber classes start end of sophomore year and then junior, senior year. And there are a lot of programs and we're teaching them offensive skills by the way. And we've created a security operations center that we're hiring our best and brightest. And we're winning contracts now to do managed security service work for small and mid-sized businesses because there's such a need in the culture for that.

That's so awesome. Invite, we got about a minute, invite people to come check out Montree College. Yeah. If you care about the life trajectory of your son and daughter, starting in junior high school, by the way, don't wait until junior year to kind of start the thinking about college. Wow.

I just think that Christian parents who care about the trajectory of their sons and daughters ought to be looking at Christian colleges as one of their options and maybe only Christian colleges as their options because a lot of American education is now a wasteland, intellectually, socially, spiritually. And so come and check out. We have a great books, big questions, honors program. It's mushrooming. Cyber is mushrooming. We're up 71% in enrollment in the last eight years. Most of our education's down.

It's a place that we want parents to come and be confident that their sons and daughters are going to, people are going to come alongside in a great conversation. Yeah. So awesome. Dr. Paul Marra, President of Montree College, Montree dot edu. Everybody is the website. Go there and check that out as soon as possible. Such a great conversation. Montree dot edu. Paul, thanks so much. This is Steve noble on the Steve noble show. God willing. I'll talk to you again real soon. And like my dad always used to say ever for another program powered by the truth network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-30 21:14:41 / 2023-04-30 21:30:49 / 16

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