All SNU students have to take Theology general education credits, but some of them may be more helpful or enriching than others. Christian Faith and Life, Foundations of Christian Belief, and Old or New Testament are the required theology credits under the current academic catalogue.
Dianne Wade, sophomore, took Christian Faith and Life during her freshman year. “It was basically Narnia class,” Wade said. The class looked at the popular Chronicles of Narnia series and analyzed the Christian elements that are evident in the books. They also watched the film adaptations.
I took Christian Faith and Life last spring, and I found it to be intriguing and very philosophical. My class read “One.Life” which talks about living in the way of the Kingdom of God and “My Name is Asher Lev,” a fictional account of a Jewish boy who struggles to fit into his community because of his passion and talent for art. I thought that the course was largely open discussion-based and that participation was highly encouraged. The open discussions provided answers to hard questions about Christianity and life in general. One interesting thing we looked at during the course was the parables of Jesus in the New Testament, because we learned how to treat them as words to actually live by. I hadn’t seen them in that light before.
Sophomore Valorey Berry said of her Foundations of Christian Belief class: “The only downside is that there’s a paper due every Tuesday.”
On the flip side, I happen to be currently taking New Testament in which there is little or no homework so far (knock on wood).
Just like any other course, the amount of homework and the teaching style can make or break the course, even if you like the subject. I wouldn’t say that theology general education courses have been my favorite, but I was able to get something out of them. For example, in my Christian Faith and Life course, we spent a whole week on wisdom. I learned that you should ask “Is this the wise thing to do?” before making a decision.
However, I can understand that it can be hard to like a general education credit if it’s not in your major. Sometimes I wonder “Why do I have to take this?” but then I realize it’s good to branch out a bit.
Some students may enjoy their religion courses while others may get nothing out of it. For example, Christian Faith and Life might be a chore for some, but then New Testament might prove to be more interesting. Some religion courses might bring about a “been there, done that” feeling for those of us who have been in Christian communities all our lives.
But it might surprise you; you might hear a different spin or interpretation on something you’ve read many times or learn about a concept or passage that is entirely new. My advice would be this: Keep an open mind about your general education courses, even the religion ones, because it’s not always what you would expect.