May 23, 2024

CBU professors are driven to not only nurture students’ intellectual growth but also their spiritual growth. They admit that the Bible is a main source of inspiration for them and they successfully manage to intertwine science with the faith.

Adele Harrison, professor of finance, explained that she teaches students to recognize God’s guidance regarding their financial knowledge. She shared some verses that she finds inspiration from, such as Matthew 6, which tells us not to worry as that does no good.

 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:24-27, NIV).

Harrison emphasized on trusting the Lord when it comes to finances and making the correct decisions on the spot.

Harrison said she believes this can be a useful tool to help a student gain financial literacy, as she was once in a similar situation. 

“I feel like the basic human tendencies do not change over time – they just get displayed in different ways. The Bible says that there is nothing new under the sun, so we are all just recycling the same issues in slightly different ways,” Harrison said.

She wants to help her students go through the patterns she had to deal with more easily and see God’s hand operating in their lives.

Even across different fields of study, others agreed. After the topic of finance, Dr. Jacob Lanphere, professor of biological science, shared his thoughts on how the Bible relates to his field of study, environmental science.

“As a Christian, I see everything through [a] Biblical lense,” said Lanphere.  “I see God’s creation all around us. I see God’s desire for us to know him and to take care of his creation while being here on Earth.”

As an environmental science professor, Lanphere shared that it is easy for him to see faith in the classroom and his major.

“I am basically teaching about God’s creation, his design, his mechanisms, and all cyclesthat promote life. He has established that mechanism for us to thrive on Earth. If there was no creation, there would just be a random assemblage of minerals and bacteria,” Lanphere said.

All of  creation, Lanphere said, points to intelligent desing. 

“We can see the engineering behind all of God’s creation. Even structures like cells show God and his design,” Lanphere said.

 Lanphere said he tries to begin every class with devotion, Scripture and prayer. He shared that the Bible has a lot of parables related to agriculture and environmental science, which makes it easy for him to relate them to his classes. When he teaches botany, he shows students God’s design, engineering and his handiwork.

“I got my Ph.D. in chemical and environmental engineering, so I am trying to see systems that are made for special functions. And I can see that all over the plant world, in leaves, roots and stems, all of these systems point toward a creator who designed them,” Lanphere said.

He shared that he is inspired by the first book of Colossians, which states that the Holy Trinity is the source of all creation. Lanphere spoke on how that sharing his beliefs with students happens naturally.

“The Bible talks about science before even scientists thought about certain things. For example, in astronomy, the Bible talks about how the sun is on its path, but astronomers did not realize that for many years.”

He shared that it was God who was first teaching the prophets how he made all things. He wanted them to understand his creation and he put all information into the Gospel.

“Science is catching up to the Bible. It is not the other way around,” Lanphere said.

Not only do natural sciences relate to the Bible, but so do fields of study such as politics and international studies. Chris McHorney, political science professor, shared how he approaches the topic when it comes to discussing subjects such as conflict and cooperation between nations.

“I begin with my Christian faith when preparing to teach a class or considering research questions,” said McHorney. “For example, I emphasize the importance of meeting the needs of refugees and immigrants (Deuteronomy 10:18-19) in several courses. My current research focuses on empowering churches that desire to connect their congregants with each other and their communities (1 Corinthians 1:10).”

Integrating faith in the classroom includes beginning class with a prayer, sharing a spiritual insight from McHorney’s morning devotion or sermon and addressing an issue from a Christian perspective (e.g., addressing poverty by meeting physical and spiritual needs). McHorney presents a down-to-earth perspective on teaching about the problems of the world provoked by human sin and how faith resolves them.

Heather Snavely, director of the intensive English program at CBU, shared that the teachers in the IEP implement different practices to share the gospel. in the international chapel.Snavely mentioned that praying together in the classroom has proven to greatly impact the students, especially when they need it. 

“Teachers would pray with the students, and a lot of that happened last semester,” Snavely said. “We had a lot of students who were having problems adjusting [to] family issues, and they would be crying in the class. The teachers would talk with them and talk with them. That makes an impression on students.”

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