Scholarship & Faculty Development
The Weyerhaeuser Center for Christian Faith and Learning is intended to be a catalyst for the dissemination of Christian scholarship. One of the center's aims is to enable Whitworth faculty to produce high-quality Christian scholarship and facilitate interaction with other scholars throughout the world. Funding is provided for intensive summer research on the part of Whitworth University faculty.
The purpose of this institute is to assist Whitworth faculty in the development of a pedagogy that integrates their Christian worldview with the teaching of their disciplines, develop a resource center, organize faculty development workshops, and provide stipends for faculty research in the areas of faith and learning integration.
Acknowledging that there are many ways to approach the integration of faith and learning in the classroom, the center attempts to focus on three principal strategies:
- Exploring ways in which theological presuppositions can be brought to bear on a professor's understanding of his/her discipline
This strategy emphasizes the importance of understanding one's theological presuppositions regarding metaphysics, epistemology, human nature, and other key foundational beliefs. The center is committed to helping faculty -- Catholic, Mennonite, Reformed, Lutheran, and Baptist, -- to understand more clearly the key theological distinctives, in order that the professor might be equipped to discuss the ways in which those distinctives are consistent with or in conflict with the major assumptions of his or her academic disciplines.
- Exploring ethical and public policy implications that arise for faculty out of their respective disciplines
This strategy attempts to assist faculty inunderstanding more completely the ethical and public policy implications of the knowledge associated with their academic disciplines. Believing that Whitworth, a college in the Reformed tradition, is obligated to explore the ways in which an individual should be responsible for his or her own behavior as well as for the common good, the center is committed to helping faculty develop more confidence in teaching issues in these areas.
- Exploring the vocation of a Christian professor
This strategy focuses attention on the multiple levels of what it means to be a professor called by Christ to the classroom. In particular, how does that calling influence the way in which one's subject is taught, the tenor of conversations with students in and out of class, and the ways in which a professor mentors students?