Christ and Creation

The News Magazine of HBU

By Dr. Jeffrey Green, Associate Professor of Philosophy

As the director of the Institute of Christianity and Scholarship at HBU, I am excited to let you know about a new initiative starting in the spring that will make a big impact on our faculty. We will be launching two new faculty vocational discipleship opportunities that we have entitled

“Christ and Creation” and “Continuing in Hope.” At the center of each of these programs is a cohort of 10 to 15 faculty that will be intentional about spending time together developing their skills for spiritual integration in the classroom and in their scholarship and growing their relationship with God. We are able to ask faculty to make such a rigorous, semester-long commitment because of a generous launching grant from a foundation that will fund others to cover some of their usual HBU responsibilities while they participate. (We are looking for future sustaining partners to help us underwrite this strategic investment in our faculty’s professional and spiritual growth.)

The “Christ and Creation” cohort will be meeting twice a week. One day is dedicated to thinking through the mission of HBU and how that translates into our curriculum. For example, we will study the creation, fall, redemption story of the Bible and ask how to make the biblical truths about humanity manifest in our classes. We will be tackling contemporary challenges to biblical worldview and helping faculty make the case in their disciplines for a Christian ethic. In the second meeting each week we will be reading Colossians together and practicing traditional spiritual disciplines. Throughout the entire semester, faculty will be building relationships with one another in the context of mutually encouraging each other’s faith walk.

Similarly, the “Continuing in Hope” cohort will also meet twice a week with a goal of helping faculty develop a robust relationship with Christ in the context of their careers. This faculty cohort will be for those already trained in worldview and spiritual integration who are taking time to be deliberate about how they can best take next steps to serve with their passions and calling. One day, we will be building up faculty’s understanding of vocation and how our spiritual lives intersect with our professional lives. The other day, we will be dedicated to a study of Colossians and practice of spiritual disciplines.

In Colossians we find this wonderful account of Christ: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation: for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. – Colossians 1: 15-20, NASB

These verses are inspiring to me because of how they open our eyes to the breadth of Christ’s kingdom. It is not just in one area of our lives, but it is in everything as all things are made through Him and for Him. At HBU we do not just study philosophy and theology, but we offer a wide selection of course offerings. Students can study art, business, literature, education and the sciences. My goal for these faculty cohorts is that faculty of every discipline will be inspired and equipped to renew their disciplines with a Christian faith. My hope for our students is that in every one of their classes they will learn to love God with their minds. The sciences are an important way of understanding God’s world and I am greatly looking forward to working with many of our science faculty this year.