by Kayla Lutes, Features Editor

It’s time for students to begin planning for next semester. With Asbury’s emphasis on liberal arts, students have the unique opportunity to take classes outside of their major. Whether you’re a senior with extra time or you’re just trying to fulfill the Gen Ed elective credit, this list will help you find a class to fill in your schedule without wasting your time.


Skill Development

Asbury offers many classes that allow students to grow in skills they already possess or add to their skill set. Picking a class like Beginning Horseback Riding or Ceramics will allow you to spend class time picking up a new hobby or dusting off an old one. Sophomore Allison Irvin did just that when she took Beginning Piano for Pleasure last semester. “I took [piano] lessons when I was younger, but unfortunately I didn’t keep up with them,” Irvin said. “The piano is a beautiful instrument, and I wanted to explore it again.”

Irvin encourages students who are looking to fill their schedule to consider taking an instrument. She said, “It is perfect for beginners; it progresses at a good pace. There is a great feeling of accomplishment at the end of the semester, knowing you have a good foundation built and several pieces that you can play.”


Spiritual Growth

Asbury’s Religious Studies Department has a wealth of classes that every major can benefit from. Classes like Ministry & Mission can help students engage with their faith during that free slot in their schedule. Senior Payton Sheeran took Dynamics of Spiritual Growth as an elective and counts it as one of the most valuable classes of her college career.

“I definitely think the information I learned in this class was valuable to my everyday life,” Sheeran said. “It was very applicable and more like a small group or Bible study class. It wasn’t like I had to learn information just for a test, but it was more that I wanted to learn the information so I could apply it to my life.”


Personal Interest

Another elective option is to take a class in a field that interests you. A psychology major who loves films could opt to take Acting I, or a journalism major with an environmental bent could take a course in environmental science. Assistant Professor of Classical Languages Randy Richardson teaches a class on mythology that could prove interesting to any major, but particularly English, history and theater majors.

Richardson listed a deeper understanding of God as a benefit of the course along with an increased awareness of the influence classical myths have had on Western culture. “I always tell my students that myths show up everywhere, but they just don’t realize it,” he said. “And then at some point in the semester a student will come up to me and tell me about her “Aha!” moment when she picked up on a reference to a myth in a movie or a book, or recognized the particular god or hero depicted in a piece of art at a museum or in an ad.”


Practical Knowledge

Though taking a practical elective may seem less attractive than Photography I or Outdoor Living skills, taking a class on accounting also has its benefits. Asbury offers multiple classes that can help students learn how to manage their finances before they are launched into the real world. Asbury also offers courses such as Marriage and Family Studies that can prove useful for future planning.

For a more extensive list of classes offered by Asbury, look up the 2016-2017 bulletin online. Whether you chose to fill an extra few hours in your week by developing a new skill or gaining practical knowledge for life after college, the elective will be worth your while.