Spirituality, Ethics, Religion, and Teaching: A Professor's Journey

Spirituality, Ethics, Religion, and Teaching: A Professor's Journey

Spirituality, Ethics, Religion, and Teaching: A Professor's Journey

Spirituality, Ethics, Religion, and Teaching: A Professor's Journey

Synopsis

Robert J. Nash is Professor in the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont.

Excerpt

My passion is teaching. I am a college professor who has been going strong since 1968. My successes have been many, but so have my failures. I have had the good fortune to receive much national recognition for my scholarship. Moreover, my elective courses frequently fill up on the days they are initially announced. Thirty-plus years ago, I developed the first courses in applied ethics, moral education, and character education ever offered in a college of education in this country. I also created a graduate course in religion, spirituality, and education that I believe is unique in America, in that it draws practitioners from all the human services, in addition to educators; furthermore, it is offered by an educator in a professional school rather than by a theologian or philosopher in a religious studies department. I have also been a co-creator of three major interdisciplinary graduate programs. One of them, the Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration Program, is acknowledged by professionals in the field to be among the top five in the country. Some have called me a pioneer. I call myself incredibly lucky.

I mention these successes, not because I am boastful, but because I am grateful. I mention them, too, because in these pages I intend to pull no punches about my more obvious weaknesses as someone who has a huge passion to teach and what some have said is an ego to match it. I am grateful, because I am one of those very fortunate persons who has found a profession that is a near perfect fit for someone of my particular temperament, taste, training, and talent. I have tried a number of other professions dur-

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