Faith & Learning
Integration of Faith and Learning
Have you ever really watched a drummer in a band? There is something unique about their understanding of all that is happening as they play. They set a tempo, know the role of the other band members and the audience, and yet find a way to sing along even as they are playing their instrument. They are fully engaged and participating in the moment. With that idea of immersion, Taylor University functions on the premise and expectation that there is an intentional integration of faith and learning happening on our campus. The stage is set, but it requires full participation by the individual members of our community. This integration isn’t defined by a devotional, prayer before class, or limited to the required Bible curriculum. Instead, it is a life-long skill, not a limited piece of your college experience.
Dr. Mark Cosgrove, Professor of Taylor’s Psychology Department, teaches the Foundation of Christian Thought course taken by every Taylor freshman. This excerpt from his book by the same name provides a great framework for this conversation.
Faith and learning belong together, and knowledge is limited when one is used without the other. Faith needs learning, and learning needs faith. Faith without assumptions tends to study the trivial. Christians should strive to integrate faith and learning and thus improve their ability to know truth. This has always been the goal of thoughtful Christians who have been involved in educational endeavors and the founding of schools from early times.
The foundational authority, or the worldview, model says that the major contribution of the Bible to our academic and life pursuits is that it gives us a worldview foundation from which to do our studies in science, social science, and the arts. This worldview approach acknowledges that beliefs do make a difference in academic pursuits. One’s faith or worldview does matter when one engages in the learning process. Our beliefs affect the subject areas we take an interest in studying, the methods we use to study anything, and the interpretations of, or meaning we bring to, the accumulations of facts.
In other words, the learning process in school is never an academically unbiased process; one’s learning is always affected by one’s worldview belief. The worldview mode, therefore, seeks to transform culture and ideas rather than reject, ignore or just mix with culture and ideas.
Dr. Mark Cosgrove
Foundations of Christian Thought (2006)