News - Common Day of Learning: Explorations of Cosmos and Creativity

Common Day of Learning: Explorations of Cosmos and Creativity

Common Day of Learning: Explorations of Cosmos and Creativity

On December 5, Greenville College students and faculty bustled across campus and into classrooms, filling seats and even sitting on the floor, taking part in a tradition that has been a part of the college community for nearly 10 years: Common Day of Learning. 

In 2004, GC introduced a series of integrative studies courses: COR 101 as a cornerstone seminar designed to introduce students to the foundations of a Christian liberal arts tradition and refine critical skills needed for academic success at GC; COR 102 as an introduction to Christian thought and life; COR 302 as an exploration of science and Christian faith; and COR 401 as a capstone seminar wherein students demonstrate the knowledge and skills gleaned from their Christian liberal arts education to tackle real-world issues with a biblical worldview. The course requires students to form groups of 6-7 individuals who represent a variety of majors and produce a project that achieves the following objectives. Their projects must:

  • Identify a real problem within the assigned issue
  • Engage in the project thoughtfully across the disciplines represented in the group
  • Do something about the issue
  • Share their project through a Common Day of Learning presentation
  • Do no harm

This year’s issue, “Cosmos and Creativity,” challenged students to select topics within the broader issue that explore the interaction of human creativity with God’s creativity and creation. Projects selected for the December CDL included a range of topics: analyzing ethical implications of genetically modified organisms, connecting communities with nature, reaching the underserved and undervalued, creation care, and unleashing human creativity. While the range of topics was diverse, groups focused primarily on making a difference on campus and in the surrounding community of Greenville.

Group 13, COR 401 Fall 2013Members of Group 13 pictured above(left to right) with displays from the Ayers Field Station: Joshua Lynch, Thomas Crown, Betsy Wagoner, Maggie McMurtrey, Chelsie Evans, Logan Shaw and Michael Arb

One of the groups, Group 13 (“Acting Like We Live Here: Bridging Our Community to Creation”), created a project to bridge future connections between the college and the surrounding community by developing and raising awareness for a place that connects humans with creation: the Ayers Field Station. Guided by principles from this year’s COR 401 required text, “Creation Means Salvation Healed: The Ecology of Sin and Grace: Overcoming the Divorce Between Earth and Heaven” by Howard Snyder (GC Class of ’62) and Joel Scandrett, as well as additional readings about creation care, their project integrated knowledge garnered from the 6 majors represented in the group: Biology, Communication, Criminal Justice, Digital Media, English and Social Work. Utilizing their collective skills and passions, Group 13 created an informational video about the property and an updated map and brochure to raise awareness of the Ayers Field Station and its many uses. In addition, the group built a portion of a bridge that will connect previously unused portions of a trail on the property, performed necessary trail maintenance and trail mapping to maximize visitors’ enjoyment of the property.

This project, as well as the 18 other COR 401 projects completed last fall, demonstrate the value of attending Greenville College: empowering individuals through a Christ-centered education to lead lives of character and service. Courses like COR 401 hone a student's ability not only to identify issues in the world but also act effectively in addressing those issues to make a difference in the world and for the Kingdom.

The next Common Day of Learning will take place on Thursday, May 8.

To view a complete list of groups and topic descriptions, click here

For more information about COR 401, please contact Scott Neumann.

This story was published on January 15, 2014