Making the Bible WORK in the Classroom

by Dr. Larry Ruddell,
Dean of Faculty, Houston

Faculty do you understand,  AND can you communicate to students, WHY we include the Bible in each class?

Belhaven sets itself apart by highlighting the Christian Worldview (CWV) in each and every class. It means bringing Biblical Truth to bear on each subject covered. For example, in Matthew 5:38-42 we could argue that an organizational behavior topic is under discuss – how to work out wrong-doing in organizations.

  • You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. (English Standard Version)(Bold added)

Notice the “secular” issue is raised (a misuse of Old Testament principle) and then Jesus applies critical thinking (the CWV) to accurately explain it; “But I say to you.”

This is the kind of fluid interaction we want to create in the classroom. We want to remove the barrier between the sacred and the secular … so ideally the Bible (which is CWV) is woven into the class discussion naturally. However, this is not always easy. One challenge we face with students is that they don’t see how studies (including Scripture readings) fit with everything else they are doing. So, the more we can help them see the connections, the more refreshing their education will be.

So, let’s get specific. How can we handle the weekly class Bible verses in a way that hits home?

Make sure students understand three (3) reasons why we include Scripture in each class:

  1. The Bible is good
  2. We want to model how to apply the Bible to the discipline
  3. Students need the info for their assignments

Let’s look at each reason in more detail. The first reason is the that the Bible is good; “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; …” (Psalm 19:7) It is good and refreshing to get into God’s Word and be refreshed. This is how many faculty see the Bible Verses; as more a devotional exercise. This is fine but we want to go further to the second item; we [faculty] want to model how to apply the Bible to the discipline. See 2 Timothy 2:15 which reads; “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” It is not enough to read over a verse but we also need to help students understand (in context) and apply the verses to their respective disciplines! Finally, students need to include the CWV in their papers so let them the third reason for covering the Bible is that Students need the info for their assignments. We don’t expect students to be Bible scholars so we help them through prepare for weekly assignments by giving them explanations and applications of verses covered in class.

As you can see, all of us who teach at Belhaven need to be growing in how to handle the Word so we can pass on that knowledge to students. So, it is important to be involved in worship and Bible study. One recommendation is to read through the Bible and look for verses that apply to your discipline. You will be amazed at how relevant the Bible is … and you can pass on these insights to students!

In conclusion, we want faculty to understand and help students understand WHY we include the Bible in each class. This will further Belhaven’s CWV mission and bless students!

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