For the Fall 2017 semester, Dr. Jeff Fisher, Associate Professor of Theological Studies and Interim Academic Dean, took some of his students to church.
In an innovative initiative that integrated Kuyper’s God and the Gospel course with Madison Church: Square Campus’ Wednesday Night Out program, Kuyper students and Madison members were able to study Christian doctrines together and engage in deep theological thought.
“The aim of this new venture is to facilitate a dynamic that is active and inquisitive with people at various stages of life and faith,” said Dr. Fisher. “Rather than believing that learning only happens in a classroom, this class reinforces that learning is a lifelong process that happens in many venues.”
A distinct piece of this learning environment was the intergenerational insight brought into the discussion. Seth Morgan, a Junior in Kuyper’s Business Leadership program, enjoyed the “unique paradigm of perspectives the Madison community contributed”, and Mrs. Debbie Hewitt, a Madison Church member, shared how she “loved the interaction with students.” Brielle DeNooyer, a high school student and member at Madison Church, voiced how she looked forward to the discussion every week and enjoyed being in an environment where she felt safe to ask questions and be involved.
Pastor Darrell Delaney, Campus Pastor of Madison Church: Square Campus and a Kuyper College alumnus, was enthusiastic about the collaboration—especially the intersection of church and academia. “I loved seeing regular attendees and students come together to bring academic rigor to the church. It was a mutual blessing for both,” he said. Mrs. Hewitt agreed. “I enjoyed being in an academically stimulating and theologically centered environment.”
In reflecting back over the semester, Dr. Fisher observed how “the out-of-class environment opened up discussion and seemed to give students the freedom to ask more questions, and ask more difficult questions. The interaction between members and Kuyper students was great.”
The second half of the class, entitled The World and the Church will continue as part of the Wednesday Night Out program during the Winter 2018 semester, meeting from 6:30-8:30pm on Wednesday evenings in Madison Church: Square Campus’ sanctuary beginning January 10th. In addition, Professor Marc Andreas, Assistant Professor of Business Leadership, will be teaching his Entrepreneurship class at Rising Grinds Cafe (1167 Madison Ave) for the Winter 2018 semester. Rising Grinds is a recently-opened social enterprise in the form of an urban coffee shop and restaurant. This collaboration offers an open door for cafe employees and community members to join in collegiate-level conversations surrounding entrepreneurship and business principles at no cost. The course will meet after restaurant hours from 2:30-4:00pm on Wednesdays beginning January 10th.
Both Dr. Fisher’s and Professor Andreas’ courses confer college credits and are open to the community.