By Hannah Schultz, News Editor
Vice President of Student Governance Peyton Shell proposed an optional biblical literacy course at Tuesday’s ASC meeting. This optional class would be for students who are not prepared to take OT100 or NT100 with their biblical background knowledge and would equip them for these foundational classes.
Shell’s proposal was prompted by seeing how the administration often overlooks the varying degrees of biblical backgrounds in students. This makes teaching a foundational Bible course the same way for every student very difficult. “The inspiration for my proposal came from noticing that, while the majority of Asbury students have had some biblical background, there are some that come into Asbury with little or no biblical background,” she said. “However, these students are required to take the same classes as those who have grown up in a Christian home and are familiar with the Bible.
Shell conducted an informal survey of students entering and exiting the lunchroom to determine whether or not there was demand for the class. She found that 62 percent of students enter Asbury with only some or no biblical knowledge. Forty-nine percent of students either did not feel prepared for their 100-level Bible courses or wished they had known more before taking the classes. Sixty-four percent of students voiced an interest in taking a foundational biblical literacy course if it were to be offered at Asbury.
This class will be heavily recommended for now; however, ASC discussed the course becoming a requirement in the future. The class will be at least one credit, and the department will decide who teaches it. The Bible and Theology department has already discussed its implementation, and it received favorable responses, as it would enable professors to cover more in their classes since they would know that all students have at least a general understanding of the Bible.
“I support this proposal because it not only provides [a foundation for] those students who enter Asbury without any prior knowledge of Scripture,” said Student Body President Jordan Wood, “but also [helps] students who may very well have received good grades on tests/quizzes and earned satisfying overall grades in NT100 or OT100 classes but still don’t personally understand the Bible and its significance to our life. This proposal provides avenues to both of those students and the personal choice to acquire a deeper understanding of Scripture.”
Shell agrees with Wood in that the class will allow students to grasp the Bible on a deeper level. “The point of the Asbury Bible classes is not for students to take the class, pass and forget most of the material at the end of the semester,” she said. “The hope is that students will be able to carry this knowledge with them throughout their life. If Asbury can offer the proper tools for students to really understand the Bible and not be overwhelmed by it, then there is a greater chance that they will gain more out of the required Bible classes than just a good grade.”