In the fall, we announced the launch of our new Core curriculum: a set of 10 courses that build on and complement the content of each student’s chosen discipline. One of the first encounters students have with the new Core is the course The Drama of Scripture, taught this term by Dr. Craig Bartholomew and Dr. David Beldman.
The course guides students through the creation-fall-redemption story of the Bible, providing insight on how the Bible yields a view of the world. “What I’ve taken from the course is a greater understanding of the Bible,” says Robin Shereck, a student currently enrolled in the course. “I found it brought new life and perspective to theology.”
At the end of the course, students are assigned a cumulative project that asks them to tell the biblical story in a new or refreshing way. Students had an opportunity to share their work at a showcase at the end of the semester. “As a core course, we want to find ways to have assignments that take the students’ gifts to bear in the course,” says Beldman. Students creatively represented the grand story of the Bible through hand-painted eggs, stained glass panels, paintings, a computer program, a digital comic book and even an 11-minute musical! “Putting together a collection of 10 original songs,” Shereck says, “helped me to better understand the major themes of the Bible.”
“Students are discovering a Christian approach to their chosen disciplines and future vocations.”
“We’ve really tried to develop the course in a way that allows the students to use their individual gifts and abilities to capture the biblical story,” says Dr. Beldman. “We want to accommodate every kind of student—the ones that are very familiar with the story and those who are just being introduced to this content for the first time.”
The first two-thirds of the course are spent laying out of the biblical story from Genesis to the Book of Revelation. As a cumulative project, students are asked to create a timeline of the biblical story, represented in six acts from Genesis to Revelation. Using this framework, students create a visual representation of the biblical timeline. Some students took the project one step further and crafted creative representations of the grand story of scripture.
The focus shifts from the arch of the biblical story to worldview in the last few weeks of the course. What is worldview, the course asks, and what kind of worldview does the Bible give us? “We take what the students have learned about the Biblical story and ask them how the Bible’s worldview shape academic disciplines and life in general,” says Beldman. “Students are discovering a Christian approach to their chosen disciplines and future vocations. It’s exciting to see them grasp the big picture.”