Fall 2022 Course Descriptions

This seminar explores what it means to think and live faithfully in our world by engaging in an in-depth study of an important issue. Each class will engage with the richness and complexity of its subject by considering diverse viewpoints and multiple academic disciplines and exploring their interconnections. Each class will also be challenged with some of the best Christian thinking about the issue. The class will maintain an atmosphere of open inquiry and discovery, and provide occasion for each student to reflect on God’s call on his/her life. Prerequisite: senior standing, or junior standing and completion of all other general education requirements.


GEN 460-01: Prayer: In Individual, church, & world

Monday/Wednesday, 2:00-3:15 p.m.                                                                                          
Instructor: Marva Hoopes

Prayer has existed as long as people have thought of God and related to Him. It has been a practice for the individual, in the church, and throughout the world. This course will encourage students to encounter prayer through various disciplines including music, art, literature, medicine, nursing, history, as well as Bible and theology. Issues that will be addressed will include questions such as: How have people over the centuries encountered God through prayer? What does one do with prayers that do not seem answered? Does prayer really make a difference? No matter on what level students commence as these and other questions are examined, all are encouraged to take a step forward in their faith journey through prayer. 


GEN 460-02: PEACE IN STRESS

Monday/Wednesday, 2:00-3:15 p.m. 
Instructor: Eb deOlieveira

At some point in our lives, we struggle with stress linked to conditions such as work overload, imminent graduation, job hunting, relational or economic strains. But is a peaceful life supposed to be stress-free? In this course, we will explore what it means to thrive in the presence of 21st-century life stressors in young adulthood mainly in the US, but also in more collectivistic contexts where “pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps” is seldom praiseworthy. We will be seeking answers to questions such as these: How did we get to this “age of stress”? How do our everyday emotions and thoughts influence our wellbeing and physical health? Drawing from multiple disciplines, the goal will be to build a repertoire of responses to stressors which will increase participants’ chance of experiencing “shalom,” as expressed through personal resilience and caring relationships.


GEN 460-03: SLOW DOWN AND BE QUIET

Tuesday/Thursday, 1:00-2:15 p.m. 
Instructor: Linda Leon 

Are you exhausted from life?  Author and professor Dr. Brene Brown says, "It takes courage to say 'yes' to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol."  As you prepare for life after college, busyness and noise don’t have to define your days. This course will practically prepare you for your next vocational step while developing life habits of peace and quiet.  You'll learn spiritual practices such as slowing, prayer, celebration, participating in communal meals and conversations, reducing media usage, and weekly Sabbath-keeping. Interactive class times will challenge you to focus on God, others, and yourself.  And course assignments will challenge the way you're currently living, all to free you up for a life pace full of peace and quiet.


GEN 460-04: FILM AND THE AMERICAN DREAM

Tuesday, 6:00-8:30 p.m.
Instructor: Jay Case

This course is an examination of film in the US between 1945 and the present, thematically linked to the concept of “the American Dream.”  Through those films this class gives students the critical equipment for encountering artistic materials and sustaining critical dialogue.  Students will also better understand the ways that historical context shapes conceptions of the American Dream and ways that conceptions of the American Dream have driven thematic content in film.  As an organizing framework for the course, the class will explore the concept of the American Dream through the primary theme of the Material Ideal, as well as secondary themes of individualism, civic responsibility, family, friendship, security, race, gender and faith.  Through this process, students should become more thoughtful and mature people of faith. up for a life pace full of peace and quiet.