November 21, 2019

Scientific Enterprise Approaches Online Platform

The Scientific Enterprise (TSE), one of Gordon’s core courses, has recently undergone changes to make lectures accessible outside of the classroom through online platforms. 

To discuss this change, biology professor, pre-health professions advisor, and associate course adviser for Scientific Enterprise, Dr. Craig Story, was interviewed by The Tartan. In addition to discussing the changes made to the course, Story shared insights regarding the importance of having scientifically literate Christian leaders in the 21st century.

When asked about what TSE is, Story said that it “help[s] our students deal with issues that relate to real-world science… and… to the Christian faith.” This reflects the overarching goal of all Gordon’s core classes in developing critically-thinking and informed students prepared for work both in and outside of the academic world. More importantly, he notes that the course helps students to safely address questions such as: “what should we do with genetic technology…[and] [h]ow does that fit into God working in the world?” 

To make the content of TSE more accessible to students, Story has been working on “mak[ing] pretty decent quality video productions of lectures.” Though such technological integration is not a major step for students looking to take fully online sections of the course, offering online lectures will drastically cut down on the amount of time students spend commuting to and from the classroom. In the future, Story is eager to offer a for-credit course in which “very talented presenters, [who are] usually well established in the[ir] field…” will give lectures on topics currently covered in TSE, connecting these ideas to professions in the working world. 

Though providing students the opportunity to become scientifically literate is important to Dr. Story, he shares this same sentiment with regards to Christian leaders both in the religious and political spheres. For this reason, during the summers of 2014, ‘15 and ‘17, Story offered pastor’s from across the country a “one week version of The Scientific Enterprise… which runs all day, every day for a week…” Offering this opportunity to pastors is something which Story believes has profound effects for them both as individuals and informants to the larger church communities which they serve. Although this conference does not yet appeal to Christian political leaders, Story does believe that it is important they receive the same education to make more informed and unbiased decisions for the benefit of the communities which they serve.

Overall, the current changes to TSE are minimal. As such, the course is remaining true to what it teaches, and remains largely unaffected by the recent adaptations on behalf of the college. Story is confident that going forward, TSE will continue to allow students to develop as intellectually engaged and inquisitive learners. For this reason, the implications of The Scientific Enterprise and the changes which it is undergoing are best summed up when Dr. Story says that the course ensures that both developing and current Christian leaders will be able to “look at all the angles.”

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