S. Truett Cathy (founder of Chic-fil-A®) did not say a word that day but his actions spoke volumes during our two block walk between the conference center and the restaurant. As our group walked and talked, he stooped to pick up discarded cans and stray trash. At the restaurant he quietly disposed of his “treasures” in the nearest trash receptacle. Mr. Cathy had been the keynote speaker in a leadership seminar that morning. The points he made during his presentation have faded from memory but I will always remember what I learned as we commuted to lunch. As I reflected on Mr. Cathy’s “teaching” after the seminar, I began to see a parallel between my role as a teacher and Mr. Cathy’s role as the keynote speaker, at that conference. How many of my students remember more of who I am than what I taught? Faith integration is more than delivering a curriculum infused with biblical principles. Jesus held class in synagogues, on the mountain tops, and at the seashore but his disciples learned trust when they found him sleeping in a boat during the storm and they learned how to forgive when they witnessed His forgiving nature for a woman caught in adultery.
Mr. Cathy is a wonderful teacher and without a word he has taught me how the mere act of walking down the street demonstrates what we believe. Although, the day I encountered Mr. Cathy, he was addressing a group of business and academic leaders on leadership principles, he made it clear what he believed while we were walking to the restaurant. It does not matter if we are a teacher or a student, the same lesson applies to both. At Belhaven, we are very intentional in the way we integrate faith and learning. It is our hope that our students have the same desire to live out the biblical principles studied in the classroom. Students can be teachers to their children, friends, and coworkers, in the way they live out their lives.