Faith and Learning
The below is an excerpt from the Faculty Handbook (updated May 2015) and includes specific information and criteria regarding the Faith and Learning Paper/ Project.
22.214.171.124 The Faith and Learning Paper/Project
Before initial tenure evaluation (tenure track faculty) or other summative review (non-tenure track), all Members of the Faculty shall demonstrate an integration of the Christian faith with their discipline(s) of instruction. (See section 4.7.1 for eligibility for due dates). The form that this demonstration takes may vary with the discipline but, in most instances, it shall comprise writing a substantial scholarly paper, and in a few instances, carrying out another type of project that includes a written, conceptual component.
The goal of this paper or project is to demonstrate an understanding of one or more faith-learning issues entailed in the discipline in which one teaches. This paper or project will convey to one’s peers the pattern and approach one takes in thinking Christianly about the subject matter and methodologies of a given academic discipline or practice.
Faith-Learning integration involves interrelating important elements of the historic Christian faith with the knowledge and practices of a given academic discipline. In this context “faith” means the content or substantive truth claims of Christian revelation. It is expected that faculty will adhere to the historic Christian faith as summarized by the Doctrinal Statement of the University. However, the manner in which this historic faith is expressed may vary, given the wide range of Christian traditions represented by various faculty members and the recognition that the University is enriched by this diversity.
The focus of this work is on the integration of human knowledge and practice with the divine knowledge and practices given in scripture and within one’s theological tradition or heritage. It involves careful Christian reflection and integration at the knowledge level.
Certain important and valid practices need to be distinguished from this integrative task. Integration “at the knowledge level” is not simply the cultivation of Christian living; nor is it simply using the academic discipline/practice to illustrate spiritual truth. These valid and important activities do not require that we be inside the disciplines and their assumptions, concerns, or methodologies. Instead they set Christian faith matters side by side with the discipline in a way that is external or peripheral to the knowledge claims of that discipline. Such activities are superficially related insofar as the integration of knowledge is concerned.
Faculty are encouraged, with the assistance of the Faculty Development Committee, to work with a selected faculty mentor on the faith and learning paper or project other than those presently on the FPC. There are also opportunities to participate in one or more of the annual summer workshops provided by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (http://www.cccu.org/).
As part of a faculty member's midterm review, he or she will submit a 2-3 page proposal for their Faith and Learning Paper/Project that deals with a topic related to their discipline. The proposal will include information about how the faculty member intends to meet the requirements set out in the Faith and Learning Paper rubric (see appendix 4.12.12) and will state the focus of the faith perspective that will be explored by the author and applied to the discipline specific topic. Each proposal will include a submission of a preliminary bibliography of at least seven scholarly sources that demonstrate reading from a Christian worldview and from the author’s disciplinary topic.
This proposal will be reviewed by the Faith and Learning Committee of the FPC and the faculty member will receive written feedback on the proposal from the committee. In a typical schedule, this proposal would be submitted on February 1st of the third academic year, as part of the midterm review. If the proposal is approved by the committee, it becomes a voucher for a course release for the paper. The first submission of the Faith and Learning Paper/Project will be on January 15th of the fourth academic year. If the paper/project is not approved after the first submission, the faculty member will have an opportunity to do a second submission of the paper on September 1st of the fifth academic year. If the second submission is not successful, then the committee will request a third submission on September 1st of the sixth academic year. If the third submission is not successful, there is no further recourse and the faculty member cannot apply for tenure or appointment to senior lecturer.
Successful Faith and Learning Papers/Projects shall become public documents once submitted and accepted. All Faith and Learning Paper/Projects (with commentary, graphics, tapes, etc.) shall be lodged in the collection of faith and learning resources in the Library for future access to all faculty and, by permission of the author, students as well.
Please select "Paper" or "Project" for more important details specifically related to each option.