The Development of a Higher Education Biblical Foundation Course Design Model
Every course at a Seventh-day Adventist (Adventist) institution of higher education should be qualitatively different from the same or similar course at a secular institution. They should also be different from a similar course taught at another Christian university. There are fundamental differences in Adventist beliefs that should influence the way Adventists view life and through which the disciplines are approached to form a unique and distinctive Adventist biblical worldview. Professors come to academia as experts in their discipline; however, because they are not generally educated in teaching theory, they often bring little understanding of course development, let alone course development from an Adventist biblical worldview foundation. Unable to locate an existing course design model built on an Adventist biblical foundation, the authors created one founded on learning theory research and supports such a foundation. The model created by the authors assists professors as they support students in not only becoming knowledgeable in the content, but more importantly becoming committed, faithful Seventh-day Adventist professionals with a clearly defined biblical worldview. Teaching from a biblically based, well-articulated biblical course concept that is linked to biblical examples of stories and teachings along with the use of active learning strategies to introduce the academic knowledge and processes of the course will change the way professors teach. While this Biblical Foundation Course Design Model may sound simple in theory, it requires a strong commitment from professors, support from deans, department chairs, and administrators, along with professional development education. The model is not a cookie-cutter approach; instead, it challenges professors to think differently about the biblical worldview as it relates to their course content knowledge and course development. Therefore, professional development activities such as Summer Institutes of Course Design, ongoing faculty study groups, and peer presentations showcasing how professors have incorporated elements of the design into their classrooms or courses, are critical. Financial support from academic administration is necessary to make this change and support possible.