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FAITH & LEARNING

The Old Testament book of Job relates the experiences of a godly man as he grew in knowledge about his God as he lost his earthly possessions and thought critically about his suffering. Friends raised questions about why the events were taking place and Job’s part in them. Answering their questions took Job to higher levels of thinking and understanding, as he was forced to evaluate his faith.

The final chapters of the book relate a conversation between Job and his God that completed the learning experience for Job, who in chapter 42, verses 1-6, declared that his faith had moved to a higher level because of his learning experiences. Job’s statement, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you,” described how his faith changed as he comprehended his God for the first time.

Faith and learning are connected. Christianity is not a system of rituals and unquestioning compliance. Christian faith is developmental; it grows as the individual learns from study of God’s Word, interaction with other Christians, and discussion. Through many kinds of learning experiences, each Christian comprehends God’s plans for our lives, enabling faith to grow in the heart.

Ohio Valley University provides an environment for Christian education in which students, faculty, staff, and community can learn together about our God, an environment that enables each individual to grow in faith, in wisdom, in capacity for Christian living, and in relationships with God and people. That environment and its integration of faith and learning are described here to assist you in your faith journey.

How do we integrate faith and learning?

  1. We use OVU’s mission statement as a decision-making screen in our programs and activities.
  2. We use the Success Questions as our decision-making process.
  3. The Faith and Learning Committee initiates many opportunities for integration of faith in academics and campus life:
    • Encouraging campus-wide consideration of this element of the OVU mission;
    • Suggesting the best current materials on the subject for individual investigation;
    • Encouraging participation in the on-going discussions on integrating faith and learning;
    • Providing resources such as supplementary readings to include in syllabi;
    • Including faith and learning integration in program meetings and decisions;
    • Asking programs to create links between faith and learning in academic areas;
    • Asking that faculty show their integration of faith and learning in syllabi and professional portfolios;
    • Asking that the committee responsible for interviewing new faculty request from candidates include questions about the person’s understanding of the relationship of Christian faith to the practice of the discipline;
    • Considering how the chapel experience can be used to foster faith and learning integration;
    • Encouraging greater use of the resources of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU);
    • Creating a Christian pedagogy, a way of thinking and acting “Christianly” as classroom instructors;
    • Considering the special problems and opportunities for integration provided by distance education programs.