Institute of Faith and the Academy Faculty Development
Faculty Development: Encouraging Faith-Learning Integration
Each month, one faculty member teaches other faculty from all colleges to discuss a theoretical model, a pedagogical technique, or an idea they are trying in the classroom. Each presentation encourages the integration of faith and learning from the faculty member’s individual discipline and expertise. Through these discussions, we generate ideas across the curriculum and learn to facilitate a faith perspective in all aspects of teaching.
Josh Fullman, Associate Professor of English presented on the four levels of interpretation in the medieval period. Using the teachings of St. Augustine of Hippo and Dante Aligheri, Dr. Fullman demonstrated how a biblical or literary text can be understood literally, allegorically, morally, and anagogically. Extrapolating from those perspectives, an instructor from any discipline can teach a concept at all four of those levels. The literal level identifies the concept or phenomenon; the allegorical explains the deeper meaning, or the why; the moral provides a personal application to the student; and the anagogical reveals how Christ is seen in the concept. For example, using these different levels of understanding an economist can teach about the many facets of capitalism, a math professor can explain integers, or a biologist can point to the structures and ethics of how the endocrine system functions.
One of the most immediate methods of encouraging the integration of faith and learning and communicating across disciplines on campus is through reading groups. Once a month, Faulkner faculty come together to discuss a book, explored over the course of a year, and share insights on theory, pedagogy, and scholarship.
Recent books studied
2016-17. Sertillanges, A.G. The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods. Trans. Mary Ryan. Cork, Ireland: The Catholic University of America Press, 1987.
2015-16. Allen, Patrick and Kenneth Badley. Faith and Learning: A Guide for Faculty. Abilene, TX: Abilene Christian University Press, 2014.
2014-15. Liberal Arts and the Christian Life. Eds. Jeffry C. Davis and Philip G. Ryken. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012.
2013-14. Teaching and Christian Practices: Reshaping Faith and Learning. Eds. David I. Smith and James K. A. Smith. Grand Rapids, MI: Ererdman’s, 2011.
Faith-Learning Integration Series
Our IFA committee meets with departments and colleges, developing ideas and strategies to integrate faith and learning into every class and syllabus, so that our students see all of creation as belonging to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.