Just exactly what is integrating faith into an online program? This may be the wrong question. Maybe the right question is: Is adding a possible emotionally risky topic like faith to an already challenging online curriculum something I want to do?
No one likes stress. We want to get rid of it, or at least take it down a few notches. We certainly don’t want to add stress to our lives. Perhaps being upfront and talking about the possible stress of adding something as personal as faith into an online education would be productive.
Spirituality or faith is very personal. Letting others in on what I am really thinking at that level: is that what I really want to do? Am I going to say something that makes me look like I have a massive zit on my nose? Or worse, will I be scolded like a misbehaved child or shamed or shunned because of my faithlessness or misguided beliefs? It’s risky.
We all are on a journey of belief, which gives us a worldview. Part of our learning journey at Spring Arbor University Online is not to pretend our worldview doesn’t matter. At Spring Arbor University Online, exploring what our worldviews really say in terms of the content we are learning and discerning is central to who we are.
We have a Christian worldview at Spring Arbor University Online. My goal is to assure anyone who chooses to join us in this shared path that there is no need to feel anxious, disloyal, unfaithful, or scared of becoming an outcast for engaging in questions of worldviews – no matter what you worldview is.
- Gary R. Tucker, PhD, Dean of SAU Online Spring Arbor University