The most popular class in the history of Yale University is being held this semester. Nearly one quarter of the school’s population is enrolled in it. The title of the course is “Psychology and the Good Life,” and its purpose is to teach these young people how to attain a measure of happiness in their lives. Similar courses have also been held at other major universities in recent years. One Yale student was quoted as saying that enrollment in these so-called “Happiness 101” classes is “a cry for help.”
That candid comment says a lot.
Yale was founded in 1701 to train Congregational ministers. The early graduates of Yale understood that the key to attaining a measure of happiness in this world (and perfect happiness in the next) is to be found in a transformative relationship with the living God, and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
Obviously that is not so clear to Yale students in 2018. In no small part, this is because they’re growing up in a culture which has, for all practical purposes, rejected God. We hope that these young men and women will rediscover their educational and academic roots, which are deeply spiritual and firmly grounded in faith.
If they do, they will come to recognize the truth of St. Augustine’s words: “Oh Lord, you made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”