GCU is committed to integrating faith across all aspects of the GCU community, including work, learning and service. This initiative stems from GCU’s mission to educate students from a Christian perspective and to prepare them for careers that honor God while serving others. Faculty and staff are committed to honoring GCU’s Christian beliefs, values and practices in accord with our mission and vision, while students receive an education from the context and heritage of our distinctively Christian worldview.
One way we integrate faith and learning is by weaving our Christian worldview across curriculum in all of our degree programs. Each program’s curriculum is collaboratively developed and centrally managed in a manner that integrates the Christian worldview and incorporates biblical principles. From the first course to the last, it is the university’s goal that all of our graduates be able to express aspects of the Christian worldview which affect human value and dignity, ethical decision-making, academic disciplines and vocation.
By incorporating the Christian worldview into our curriculum, our graduates have the opportunity to gain the skills, knowledge and values-based foundation to carry out GCU's mission of preparing learners to become global citizens, critical thinkers, effective communicators and responsible leaders. It is through values-oriented learning experiences that our students develop into empowered graduates who are prepared to lead and serve in the local and global community.
Hi. I teach as adjunct faculty in the College of Nursing and Health Professions. I primarily teach MSN-level courses.
This is an interesting topic. First, many nurses see nursing as being much more than just a job or a profession. Many, perhaps the majority of nurses, view their work more like a vocation or a call. In reality, when you deal with people at a very close level and deal with issues of life and death, there clearly is a spiritual aspect to your work. Because of this, I think there is a baseline spiritual aspect to professional nursing that might not be present in all professions. My guess is that teachers might have this sense about their work.
As far as the classroom goes, I tend to ask follow-up questions to DQs that promote introspection and reflection. Students respond to this in a very positive manner. At a more overt level, I typically post an Optional DQ near the end of each course with a link to the GCU Doctrinal Statement. I ask students if they were aware of this and how this view might impact their nursing practice.
My experience with bringing faith into the class has been almost, but not entirely, positive. GCU is a Christian university but one that honors diversity. I have had students that are very "loud" about being atheist or agnostic. I've had students that were very vocal about being part of a mainline denomination and that they did not agree with some aspects of the Doctrinal Statement. I have also had students get overly concerned about witnessing about their Christian journey to a point that came close to being disruptive. Thankfully, I have never had to step in. My students have always been able to shift the discussion in the most skillful manner.
When students enroll at GCU, they are aware that it is a Christian university. I got my BS in Nursing at a Catholic college where several of my professors were nuns who started every class with a prayer. My class included Orthodox Jewish women who seemed perfectly OK with daily expressions of the Roman Catholic faith. In reality, an environment that fosters diversity does not mean an environment that is not true to its core values. I think that including discussions of faith opens all students eyes in many ways, all positive. My experience has been that most students, regardless of their specific beliefs, get this principle.