This spring, we contacted eight ON faculty whose classes were selected last year as helpful models of curricular integration. We asked each of them to record a homemade video of less than five minutes sharing insights on their experiences. Why did they take the approach they did? What worked? What would they do differently?
The videos they made are well worth your attention as you consider how to integrate work and the economy in your classes. Links to these eight videos are now posted next to their syllabi on the list of last year’s helpful models. Here are a few highlights:
Nathan Hitchcock, “Faith, Business and Money,” Sioux Falls Seminary
Hitchcock shares insights from a unique course, co-taught by 11 instructors drawn from across the disciplines and including the 12 Economic Wisdom Project elements as a focus for student consideration. A few of the tips he shares in this video:
- Inviting faculty to give guest lectures is a great way to get them started thinking about work and economics in their own disciplines
- Once the foundations of work and vocation have been laid, church history provides good entry points for expanding the conversation to include the economy
- “Business” and “money” are two good words for framing economic topics in a way that gets students interested
Jeannine Brown, “Senior Integrative Seminar,” Bethel Seminary
Brown designed a unit for a distance-learning senior integrative seminar that confronts students with the challenge of the secular/sacred divide. The unit centered on a “case dilemma” on which students were required to lead a discussion. A few of the tips she shares in this video:
- Paul’s Christological approach helps students see that no area of life is exempt from theological reflection
- The case dilemma was a helpful way to get students to see the problem of the secular/sacred divide – including the implicit spiritual hierarchy of pastors over laypeople
- Discussion provided opportunities for students to gain insight on the contributions that congregants make to both the world and the church through their vocations beyond the church
Paul Ferris, “Towards a Theology of Living Biblically,” Bethel Seminary
Ferris designed a video module for an online Old Testament survey course. In the video, he uses images and videoscribing to place the Old Testament idea of the image of God in the context of contemporary and historical questions about the meaning of our work. A few of the tips he shares in this video:
- The theme of stewardship helped students connect to the Old Testament material in a way that resonated with their own contemporary challenges
- Students identified as especially helpful the expansion of the category of “stewardship” beyond the mere use of money
- Learning to videoscribe and use tools like Prezi helps engage students online more effectively than a talking head, which can produce “blabbity blah blah blah syndrome”
David Gill, “Entrepreneurship in Church and Community,” Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
For three years, Gill has co-taught a class on church-based entrepreneurship – students recruit potential entrepreneurs in their congregations and launch a business as a capstone assignment – that has become a model for several other schools in our network. In this video, he lays out how the course is taught, including not only the formal structure of the course but some of the “soft” design features that make it work. A few of the tips he shares in this video:
- Understanding the purpose of work theologically and helping people develop entrepreneurial virtues is the starting point for encouraging entrepreneurship
- The class does not simply teach business techniques; it is grounded in personal character and community relationships of support in the local church
- The video highlights specific books that are helpful in teaching people to launch businesses
Those who attended our most recent faculty retreat may recognize some of the books on the shelves in the background as having been mentioned in Greg Forster’s closing address!
Check out these and the other new curricular integration videos, posted next to their syllabi on the list of last year’s helpful models.