Teaching as an Act of Faith: Theory and Practice in Church-Related Higher Education

By Arlin C. Migliazzo | Go to book overview

7
A Careful Convergence:
Integrating Biology and Faith
in the Church-Related College

Lee Anne Chaney


SOME INITIAL PARAMETERS

I BEGIN THIS ESSAY with a healthy sense of inadequacy. The integration of personal faith with the content of one's discipline is not a skill included in the training of many academic professionals. It was not in mine. However, motivated by the mission of my college to promote the integration of faith and learning in all disciplines, I have attempted to engage my students in that endeavor.

While I do not attempt to introduce every core belief of my Christian faith into my biology courses, I do believe there are ample opportunities to assist students in recognizing the convergence of the discipline of biology with matters of Christian faith. My efforts to illustrate this convergence are animated by a desire (1) to identify values and beliefs that relate directly to the content or practice of biology or to the activities of teaching and learning, (2) to be intentional about including them as I plan class time and assignments, and (3) to make some of those values and beliefs explicit for my students in appropriate and legitimate ways. For twenty-two years, I have been fortunate to have colleagues who work at these goals and encourage me to do the same. Some approaches they use I will never pull off effectively; others I can use immediately or modify to fit my teaching style. This essay presents techniques I have found effective.

Before proceeding, I would like to clarify what this essay is

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