While a liberal arts education as a concept continues to be ridiculed by politicians and media groups alike, the results of such an education speak differently. Even taking a cursory glance at a group of liberal arts alumni, such as those from Christendom College, shows graduates working and finding success in a variety of fields. The Minick family, which has sent four students to Christendom, is a prime example of this — with all four majoring in philosophy and all four impacting businesses and their communities in powerful ways.
The siblings were recently written about in Intellectual Takeout, shown as examples of what sort of graduates can be produced by a liberal arts college.
“Students: if you wish to learn to think, to read with discernment, and to write well, then seek out schools and professors who will teach you history, literature, and philosophy, who will provide great books, who will make demands of you, who will challenge you, and who will in the end enhance your humanity,” writes Intellectual Takeout.
Kaylie Minick Miller (’04) is the oldest of the four, graduating in 2004 from Christendom. Now the mother of seven, Miller uses what she learned at Christendom to enhance both her household and her greater community. In addition to managing a busy household, Miller personally organized a school fundraiser that doubled expected revenues.
Her brother James, a 2006 graduate, is one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the United States, according to the National Trial Lawyers Association, and has been the CEO of Minick Law, P.C., since 2010. He has founded five law offices across the state of North Carolina and has adopted six children as well. His philosophy degree was essential to his success, both in the office and out of it.
“The philosophical tradition makes it easier to be an entrepreneur because being one means being a solid visionary. We are so focused in the modern world on teaching people to learn a very specific skill. Attorneys are especially trained to be this way. But, studying philosophy builds the ability to be a visionary, allowing me to be a successful attorney and entrepreneur,” says Minick.
JP Minick (’10) was the next Minick to attend Christendom and, like his siblings, also majored in philosophy. In his case, he first entered the political field before jumping into sales. Today, he is the account manager for DH Technologies, a software company, owns ten rental properties, and is the father of four young children.
Finally, the youngest of the four — Jeremy — graduated from Christendom in 2016 and launched his own marketing company while still a student at the college. Enable Web Design specializes in web design, marketing and graphic design, and has only grown more successful since its founding. Minick is also a father of two living children and now coaches basketball at Christendom as well. It’s a lot to juggle, but Minick credits his philosophy degree for helping him daily.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without my philosophy degree,” says Minick. “A liberal arts education gives you the ability to plan for the long-term, which a lot of companies aren’t doing anymore. They don’t plan with the end in mind, which is what philosophy taught me to do: start with the end, and then plan for it.”
Each sibling could have gotten a more specialized degree, but instead they chose to get a philosophy degree from Christendom. Such a decision opened new doors for them, while also grounding them in an intellectual tradition that allows them to think outside the box and better impact their fields of work, their communities, and ultimately their families as well.