Advertisement

Foundations of Christian thought and practice: a model for replacing Old and New Testament surveys with an innovative approach to teaching religion in 21st century colleges and universities

  • Don Michael HudsonEmail author
  • Andy M. Roberts
Article
  • 6 Downloads

Abstract

Institutions of faith can no longer assume students of faith, and institutions of faith can no longer assume that a survey of the Old and New Testaments in today’s college curriculum will provide the necessary elements to develop, sustain, and nurture biblical literacy in students. Nor can it be assumed that this antiquated model will equip today’s students with a framework or worldview that values the relevance of religious and biblical studies. This new course (Foundations model) we propose would not attempt to compete with the content coverage of the Old and New Testament survey courses, but rather we would introduce a new concept of teaching religion, which would be thematically-based and require students to learn to articulate a Christian worldview in an intelligent and thoughtful manner. This Christian worldview would be developed throughout the course and based on assumptions, themes, and ways of thinking (issues of hermeneutics) introduced throughout the course. A descriptive recounting of the Foundations model will provide an example of what it means, or rather looks like, to effect religious education and spiritual development in the lives of students at a Christian liberal arts college or university. The Foundations model incorporates six key elements which are as follows: 1. Thematic Organization (not book-by-book survey content) 2. Specialized Workbook Focused on Themes for the Course 3. Weekly Critiques 4. The Final Worldview Paper 5. Integration of the Latest Technology 6. The Role of the Instructor and Peer Mentors.

Keywords

Christian Worldview Pedagogy Old Testament New Testament Survey Religion Teaching 

Notes

References

  1. Atran, S. (2002). In Gods We Trust. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Au, K., & Jordan, C. (1981). Teaching reading to Hawaiian children: Finding a culturally appropriate solution. In: H. T. Trueba, G. P. Guthrie & K. H. P. Au (Eds.), Culture and the bilingual classroom: Studies in classroom ethnography (pp. 139–152). Rowley: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  3. Barna Group (2013). 5 reasons millennials stay connected to church. Retrieved March 30, 2017, from https://www.barna.com/research/5-reasons-millennials-stay-connected-to-church/.
  4. Barth, K. (1968). Epistle to the Romans. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Berger, P. L., & Thuswaldner, G. (2014). A conversation with Peter L. Berger: How my views have changed. Lent 77(3), 16–21. http://thecresset.org/2014/Lent/Thuswaldner_L14.html.
  6. Binder, A. (2014). Bryan College is Torn: Can Darwin and Eden Coexist? New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2014, from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/21/education/christian-college-faces-uproar-after-bolstering-its-view-on-evolution.html.
  7. Boyer, P. (2007). Religion explained: The evolutionary origins of religious thought. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  8. Bradley, R. (2017). Students and staff leave Montreat College over ‘covenant’ given to staff. News 13 WLOS. Retrieved April 26, 2017, from https://wlos.com/news/local/students-staff-to-leave-montreat-college-after-refusing-to-sign-covenant.
  9. Dirks, D. H. (1988). Moral development in Christian higher education. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 16(4), 324–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eagleton, T. (2014). Culture and the Death of God. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Funk,T. (2017). Christian college requires teachers sign pledge opposing same-sex marriage, abortion. Charlotte Observer. Retrieved April 29, 2017, from https://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/religion/article147369024.html.
  12. Gee, J. (1999). Social Linguistics and Literacies: Ideology in Discourses. New York: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  13. Guzdial, M. (1999). Teacher and student authoring on the web for shifting agency. Presented at AERA 99 Session: How can CSCL (Computer Supported Collaborative Learning) change classroom culture and patterns of interaction among participants?. Retrieved March 30, 2017, from http://guzdial.cc.gatech.edu/papers/aera99/.
  14. Hardy, K. (2014) Firing back at Bryan College: Two ex-professors sue college as new problems emerge. Chattanooga: Times Free Press. Retrieved May 15, 2014, from https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2014/may/15/firing-back-atbryantwo-ex-professors-sue-college/140279/.
  15. King University Fall. (2018). Fact Book/IR Newsletter. (2018). Retrieved from the King University Portal Document Management System website. https://my.king.edu/StaffFiles/InstitutionalResearch/InstitutionalResearch-IR-NewsletterFall2018-revised.pdf.
  16. Lincoln, B. (2006). Holy terrors: Thinking about religion after September 11. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. McCutheon, R. T. (1997). Manufacturing religion: The discourse on sui generis religion and the politics of nostalgia. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. McCutheon, R. T. (2001). Critics Not Caretakers. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  19. Papert S (2007) Trauen wir uns, die bruchrechnung abzuschaffen? Ein lackmustestfuer die anhaenger der bildungstechnologie [Engl. Do we dare propose dumping fractions? A litmus test for the educational technology community.] First published in German in: Mitzlaff H (ed) Internationales Handbuch Computer (ICT), Grundschule, Kindergarten und Neue Lernkultur: 19–29. Schneider Verlag Hohengehren.Google Scholar
  20. Pennebaker, J. W., Gosling, S. D., & Ferrell, J. D. (2013). Daily online testing in large classes: boosting college performance while reducing achievement gaps. PLoS ONE, 8(11), e79774.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Perry, W. G. (1968, 1981). Sequential development in college students’ underlying assumptions about knowledge, truth, and values.Google Scholar
  22. Perry, W.G., Jr. (1968). Patterns of development in thought and values of students in a liberal arts college: A validation of a scheme. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. (Final Report, Project No. 5-0825, Contract No. SAE-8973).Google Scholar
  23. Perry W.G., Jr. (1981). Cognitive and ethical growth: The making of meaning. In A.W. Chickering and Associates, The modern American college: Responding to the new realities of diverse students and a changing society. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  24. Smith, J. Z. (1982). Imagining Religion: From Babylon to Jonestown. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  25. Smith, J. Z. (2013). On Teaching Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Stokes, C. E., & Regnerus, M. D. (2009). The CCCU and the moral and spiritual development of their students: A review of research. In: International Forum on Christian Higher Education, Atlanta, GA.Google Scholar
  27. Tharp, R. G., & Gallimore, R. (1991). The instructional conversation: Teaching and learning in social activity. Research Report: 2.Google Scholar
  28. Thuswaldner, G. A. (2013). Conversation with Peter L Berger: “How My Views Have Changed”. TheCresset, 77(3), 16–21.Google Scholar
  29. Weber, K., Martin, M. M., & Myers, S. A. (2010). The development and testing of the instructional beliefs model. Communication Education, 60(1), 51–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Australian Catholic University 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.King UniversityBristolUSA

Personalised recommendations