AiG scientist Dr. Georgia Purdom, known for her expertise in the field of molecular genetics, her well-attended Answers for Women conference each April, and her talks at the Creation Museum and on the road about the genetics of Adam and Eve and other creation topics, has happily accepted an award for Alumna of the Year from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio.
During her four years as an undergraduate studying biology/pre-med, Dr. Purdom was most impacted by her professors who poured into her life both academically and spiritually. After graduating from Cedarville, Dr. Purdom went on to earn her doctorate in molecular genetics at The Ohio State University (OSU), which she says she was well prepared for—even more so than many of her grad school classmates who had done their undergraduate studies at other, even larger, schools.
After graduating from OSU, she spent six years as a biology professor at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Dr. Purdom is currently an adjunct professor for Liberty University online, has become AiG’s first PhD female scientist engaged in full-time research and speaking, has written many articles and produced several resources with a focus on genetics and biology, and has founded and grown AiG’s Answers for Women conference from 100 participants to over 500 this year—so it comes as no surprise to the rest of the staff at AiG that she would be presented with such an honor from a Christian school. However, Dr. Purdom did say that to give a creation scientist an award is a bold move.
“I think it really shows [Cedarville’s] stance on creation and it makes it very clear to the rest of the world that Cedarville upholds the truthfulness and authority of God’s Word from the very first verse,” she said.
Cedarville Takes a Stand for Biblical Creation
The Cedarville staff, professors, and administration believe and teach biblical creation as truth, which is becoming increasingly uncommon among Christian colleges today. Cedarville is listed and approved as a creation college on the AiG website, and many AiG staff members are graduates of the school themselves or have family members who are alumni.
Ken Ham, founder and president of Answers in Genesis, says that he is so thankful for academically focused universities out there, like Cedarville, that do still stand uncompromisingly on God’s Word.
“The school where you choose to spend your college years will have a huge impact on your faith, career, and family. In this day and age when young people are leaving the church because they aren’t taught that the Bible can be trusted from the very first verse in regards to issues like dinosaurs, the age of the Earth, and genetics, it’s more important than ever that Christian colleges and universities teach these truths to the next generation of leaders,” Ham says.
Cedarville actually has the only creation-based, young-earth geology program in the world that we know of, and has recently partnered with the Creation Museum to provide a unique hands-on learning opportunity for kids and adults. The Cedarville University Mining Company Sluice is located in the museum’s botanical gardens and gives participants the opportunity to mine for their own gemstones.
Cedarville Taught Dr. Purdom to Stand on God’s Word
As Dr. Purdom reflected on her time at Cedarville University, she emphasized the spiritual growth she experienced there as a result of professors who poured into her life, daily chapel services that exposed her to a wide variety of Christian leaders, and a minor in Bible. All of these things matured her faith, allowed her to excel in academics, and paved the way for her current position as a researcher, writer, and speaker at Answers in Genesis.
“Cedarville taught me to stand on the truth of God’s Word. They did not compromise on God’s Word. There was a level of excellence that they expected of their students and of themselves as a university, and I saw those same things exhibited at Answers in Genesis. As much as I was behind my school and what they stood for, I could be a part of Answers in Genesis because they wanted a lot of the same things—excellence in everything that they did,” she said.
A Challenge to Cedarville Students
As for the next 10 years, Dr. Purdom wants to continue speaking, teaching, writing, and growing the women’s conference and other outreaches. She says she wants to equip women with materials to help them defend their faith, which will in turn allow them to pass along that information to their children—the next generation. Research shows two-thirds of young people are leaving the church, and the twenty-somethings are walking out in droves. What Dr. Purdom doesn’t want is another lost 20s generation.
As an additional honor to receiving the award, Dr. Purdom had the opportunity to speak at Cedarville’s morning chapel, where she gave a presentation titled “Be Bold for Truth.” Dr. Purdom spoke about the impact Cedarville had on her life, why providing answers to the skeptical questions of this age is so important in today’s world, and gave a challenge to the students to be a generation of reformation.
These Cedarville students are my daughter’s future teachers and pastors. That’s how I look at it. And I don’t want them to undermine everything that my husband and I have tried to do. Having an institution that stands for the truth of God’s Word I think is so important for young people. I want a good place to send my daughter someday if she chooses to attend college.
Take Advantage of Your College Years
For those students entering their first years of college as freshman, Dr. Purdom has a few words of advice:
While you’re in college, take advantage of that time. Never again in your life, especially if you’re attending a Christian college, will you live, eat, and breathe in a Christian environment like that. You don’t have a lot of other pressures and worries of the world like jobs and family; you’re there for one thing, which is to get an education. Use that time wisely to mature your faith and excel in your academics because you’re going to need that as you face a very secularized world. You’re going to be a young adult in a different world than I was a young adult in. Your faith is going to be challenged. You’re going to need a strong foundation so that you are able to answer those questions and be an effective witness for the gospel.