Equipping the Next Generation of
Computer Scientists

By Briahnna Williams

LeTourneau University faculty hold the important role of preparing and equipping students academically and spiritually to succeed in their field of work and the world around them. The faith, science, and technology initiative at LeTourneau University leans into the reality that technology has become a part of our everyday lives and we need Christian men and women who integrate their faith as followers of Christ in the world we live in.

We spoke with a few of our professors about the program and how we are different from other colleges. Kenneth Rouse, one of our computer science professors talks about the moral integrity aspect of the workforce:

“In the computer science world, there’s going to be bias. Whether you’re writing a program for an app on a phone or writing a program that’s going to do machine learning, there’s going to be bias. We need good, Godly young men and women that are going and taking into this field a moral compass where they have integrity, where they have something other than just what they believe is right but to also have their Christian faith where they know what’s right.”

Today, technology permeates every workplace, and many jobs rely solely on technology to function. While technology is a great resource, it can also be used for evil. These workplaces need godly computer scientists who can make honest, ethical decisions to help a company thrive. Preparing our students for those situations now will allow them to use what they’ve learned to make those hard decisions and glorify God in the process.

LeTourneau provides students with hands-on experience to equip them with the skills and characteristics needed for their future professions. Our professors allow students to really take charge and develop the trait of responsibility during their years at college. Dr. Brent Baas, another computer science professor, discusses how he helps with the process of equipping students for the next chapters in their lives.

“Many of our classes are practically problem-oriented. Students won’t simply be working on projects that have no connection to their future careers; we’re going to tie what we’re doing in the classroom to why it’s important because you could be doing something similar in the future and it’s crucial to develop those additional skills. We do this in a way where they know they can fail and they recognize that the learning process is more important that the product. We do this through regular engagement with the students inside and outside of the classroom, tracking their activity, and measuring what they’re accomplishing.”

The task of professors is not only to teach students the material in their chosen field, but to prepare them for their next stage in life academically, emotionally, and spiritually. The director of LETU’s faith, science, and technology initiative, Jonathan Lett spoke on what amazes him about the students at LeTourneau University:

“What amazes me about LeTourneau students is how eager they are to learn. It is remarkable that most of our students come here with a very clear sense of purpose for their life, and they’re here to make the most of their time to achieve that goal. Another thing that impresses me about LeTourneau students is that they are flexible thinkers. They’re doing physics and math, working with their hands, building things, and in between that, they’re reading deeply from good theology texts. They’re engaging the Bible deeply. They’re reading broadly from great works throughout time. That’s not easy to switch like that. But because they’re invited to do it, that actually allows them to continue doing it as they move from LeTourneau into the world.”

We value the continuous effort that our professors put into developing lasting relationships with LeTourneau students and invest academically and spiritually that they can cherish for the careers and for the entirety of their lives.