Our guest for the spring semester’s Athens & Jerusalem Seminar is Dr. David I. Smith, who will address the topic of his edited volume (with James K. A. Smith), Teaching and Christian Practices: Reshaping Faith and Learning. The public conversation regarding this text will be moderated by Dr. Mark Smith, professor of history at Indiana Wesleyan University.
Dr. Smith is the Director of the Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning at Calvin College and serves as an associate professor in the German department and education program. He has a Ph.D. in education from the University of London, with a dissertation entitled “Modern Language Pedagogy, Spiritual Development and Christian Faith: A Study of their Interrelationships.”
A personal statement from Dr. Smith reads: "A native of the United Kingdom, I have also studied in Canada and taught in Germany. Before moving to Calvin I worked as a researcher and teacher educator at the Stapleford Centre, a Christian educational institute in Nottingham, UK. There I was involved in an extensive curriculum project which produced, among other things, foreign language course materials designed to encourage the moral and spiritual development of learners… I currently serve as an editor of both the Journal of Education and Christian Belief and the Journal of Christianity and Foreign Languages."
In Teaching and Christian Practices, several prominent university professors describe and reflect on their efforts to allow historic Christian practices to reshape and redirect their pedagogical strategies. Whether allowing spiritually formative reading to enhance a literature course, employing table fellowship and shared meals to reinforce concepts in a pre-nursing nutrition course, or using Christian hermeneutical practices to interpret data in an economics course, these teacher-authors envision ways of teaching and learning that are rooted in the rich tradition of Christian practices. Together they reconceive classrooms and laboratories as vital arenas for faith and spiritual growth.