Looking back and looking ahead: major contributors to faith integration... — Prof. Karen Longman

Looking Back and Looking Ahead:

Major Contributors to Faith Integration

in the Context of U.S. Christian Higher Education

Prof. Karen Longman

Prof. Karen LONGMAN (LONGMAN) served for 19 years at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) in the USA, before she became Professor of Higher Education at Azusa Pacific University, Los Angeles, California, and the editor of the Journal of Christian Higher Education: An International Journal of Research, Theory and Practice.  In her presentation, she shared her expertise in working with Faith-based Higher Education through the member institutions of CCCU. She believed that the core issue of faith learning integration lies in the question: what makes Christian higher education distinctive?  She then traced the development of thought regarding faith-learning integration in the US context, and she affirmed that the more important question is to ask: “why” or “what is” telos of Christian higher education. 

LONGMAN also gave a brief historical overview on several key scholars, whose work have shaped the thinking about faith-learning integration in the US context.  Five major “Fingerprints” and their works were identified as follows: 

  1. Arthur F. Holmes: The Idea of a Christian College (1987);

  2. William Hasker: “Faith-Learning Integration: An Overview” in Christian Scholar’s Review 11(3). 1992, 234-248; 

  3. Richard T. Hughes and William B. Adrian: Models for Christian Higher Education: Strategies for Success in the Twenty-first Century (1997);

  4. Todd Ream and Perry Glanzer: The Idea of a Christian College: A Re-examination for Today’s University (2013); and 

  5. Calvin College professors, notably James K.A. Smith with his trilogy: Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation (2009), Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works (2013), and You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit (2016). 

Arthur Holmes was widely respected as “Mr. Integration”, for his promotion of “integrating faith and learning” in his book mentioned above.  There, he proposed four distinctive approaches to the integration of faith and learning, namely: the Attitudinal Approach, the Ethical Approach, the Foundational Approach, and the Worldview Approach.  William Hasker followed Holmes’ distinction but focused more on the exploration of resources regarding the study of worldviews and academic subjects/ disciplines studies.   On the other side, Richard Hughes and William Adrian developed a major research project and produced a huge volume, Models for Christian Higher Education: Strategies for Success in the Twenty-first Century in 1997.   There are seven chapters in this volume, each of which introduces a Christian faith tradition that is prominently represented in US higher education, namely: Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Mennonite, Evangelical/ Interdenominational, Wesleyan/ Holiness, and Baptist/ Restoration.  In outlining the various theological traditions, the research project affirmed the fact that “there is no such thing as generic Christian higher education, all have developed in some ways with their denominational or theological orientations”.  

Moving into the 21st century, scholars discovered that Christian higher education had been undergoing great changes in the past 50 years.  In their book, The Idea of a Christian College: A Re-examination for Today’s University (2013), Todd Ream and Perry Glanzer  reported that much had changed since the publication of Holmes’ The Idea of a Christian College.  A key difference was that Christian colleges affiliated with the CCCU were no longer primarily small, residential, rural, and oriented toward a liberal arts education.  Ream and Glanzer further offered a timely call for a “re-do” or an update of the goals and distinctives of Christian higher education in three areas.  First, they urged Christian higher education to place greater emphasis on the role of worship and the Church as having a “rightful place” on ordering the lives of students. They believed that “to be fully human and to live in right relationship with God” are essential elements for Christian higher education today.  Second, in asking the question “what does it mean to be human?”, they asserted that rather than focusing primarily on the cognitive domain, Christian higher education should exemplify “what it means for God to lay claim over all domains of our existence – our minds, our bodies, and our emotions, as well as what it means in specific divine and social relationships”.  Third, when considering seriously the move from “traditional college model” with undergraduate, liberal arts education orientations to “today’s university model” with more broadened curricular, international concerns and graduate programs offerings, Ream and Glanzer called for a shift in the understanding of faith-learning integration.  To this, LONGMAN remarked: “To what extent should Christian institutions today be attempting to hold fast to the ideal that was articulated by Arthur Holmes back in 1975?”.

LONGMAN then turned to the fifth “Fingerprint” - an integrative leadership from Calvin College, acknowledging notably scholars like James K.A. Smith, David I Smith, Susan Felch and others from Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship, and the Calvin Center for Christian Worship.  She cited especially the work of James K.A. Smith, who argued against Descartes’ assertion that human beings are fundamentally “thinking thing”.   Smith preferred seeing human beings as one that is “more imaginative, practice-oriented, and centered in the worship life of the church”.  Rather than keeping the term “integration”, Smith declared his preference for the term “correlation” and called for another form of theological engagement with the world.  For Smith, human beings are not only thinkers who act out of what they know, but also “lovers” who act out what they love and desire.  Christian higher education should then become “a platform for shaping the loves and desires of students through formative practices, which can become constructive habits…  As a result, our academic work becomes part of an education that is wholistic, resulting in action that is motivated by what we love and how we imagine that God wants the world to be”.  

Lastly, LONGMAN drew our attention to the telos of Christian higher education, as a more engaging vision in faith-learning integration.  She reiterated that our job as Christian educators is to help our students assess their loves in the world and to deeply know God, who is the ultimate giver and receiver of love- the telos for life and learning.  Echoing with what Ream and Glanzer, and James K.A. Smith had said about wholistic education, she re-affirmed: “our integrative work should also relates to the heart – our loves and our imaginations as to how the world could be, and should be – and how the academic preparation of students can equip them to invest all of themselves – mind, heart, and hands – in every academic discipline and every area of endeavor – the medical fields, criminal justice, social work, environmental sustainability – in ways that honor God and bring hope and healing to our world”.

回顧與前瞻: 美國處境中的基督教高等教育


朗文嘉鈴教授(Prof. Karen LONGMAN、朗文教授) 在美國基督教大學議會(CCCU)服務了十九年,之後她成為加州洛杉磯阿蘇薩太平洋大學(Azusa Pacific University)高等教育學系教授,及《基督教高等教育》學術期刊的編輯。在研討會上,她談到信仰與學科結合的問題時提問說: 什麼是基督教高等教育的特色? 她從追溯美國處境中有關信仰與學科整合學說的思想演變與發展中,確認了尋覓基督教高等教育的存在和終極目的的重要意義。


  1. 亞瑟荷姆斯 (Arthur F. Homles). (1987).《基督教大學的理念》(The Idea of a Christian College

  2. 威廉哈斯克(William Hasker). (1992).“信仰與學科的整合: 一個概覽”("Faith-Learning Integration: An Overview") ,《基督徒學者評論》(Christian Scholar's Review) 11(3), 234-248 。

  3. 李察德休斯和威廉亞理安 (Richard T. Hughes and William B. Adrian). (1997), 《基督教高等教育的模式:21世紀的成功策略》(Models for Christian Higher Education: Strategies for Success in the Twenty-first Century

  4. 陶理廉和培理格蘭澤 (Todd Ream and Perry Glanzer) 合著. (2013).《基督教大學的理念:當今大學教育的重新思考》 (The Idea of a Christian College: A Re-examination for Today's University)

  5. 加爾文大學(Calvin College)的教授群, 尤其是占士史密夫(James K.A.Smith)的三本書: 《期待王國: 敬拜、世界觀和文化塑造》 (Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation, 2009), 《想像王國: 敬拜是怎樣運作的?》 (Imaging the Kingdom: How Worship Works, 2013),《你是你所愛: 『習慣』的屬靈能力》(You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit, 2016)。 

亞瑟荷姆斯在上述的著作中提倡“信仰和學科的整合”,因而被尊稱為“整合先生”。 他提出整合信仰和學科的四個主要進路,即是: 『態度性的進路』、 『倫理性的進路』、 『基礎性的進路』、 和『世界觀的進路』。 威廉哈斯克跟進了荷姆斯的討論,但他卻聚焦於探索世界觀和學術/學科探究的進路。另一方面,李察德休斯和威廉亞理安在1997年間開展了一個重要的研究項目、並共同出版了一本書: 《基督教高等教育的模式:21世紀成功策略》。這本書共有七章,主要是介紹七個較明顯及代表美國高等教育中基督教的不同信仰傳統,分別為: 羅馬天主教、 路德宗、改革宗、門諾會、福音派/跨宗派, 衛斯理/聖潔會, 和浸信會/復原派等 。從勾劃出不同的神學傳統中,該研究項目亦確認了一個事實,就是: 基督教高等教育並不是單一性的東西,而是從他們個別不同的宗派或神學立場延伸出來的。

踏進21世紀,學者們又發現了基督教高等教育在過去五十年來確也經歷過很大的改變。在《基督教大學的理念:當今大學教育的重新思考》一書,陶理廉和培理格蘭澤報告了自從荷姆斯出版《基督教大學的理念》一書後所發生的改變。 其中一個關鍵的不同處是: 所附屬於CCCU的基督教大學多已不再是像過往那些細小的、以寄宿為主的、和朝著博雅教育進路的基督教學校。 陶理廉和培理格蘭澤繼而提出一個呼籲、建議基督教高等教育的目標和特色應有三方面的更新和“重塑”。 第一,他們建議基督教高等教育必須重視“敬拜”的功能和宗教活動應是在學生生活中佔有一個“合法的地位與功能”。他們相信『活出完全的人性及與神建立一個正確的關係』是當今基督教高等教育必須關注和特別重視的。 第二,他們認為學界所指的“人性化”基本上只是聚焦於理性認知的範疇上,但基督教高等教育更須見證出『我們所信仰的神是掌管著我們整個的生命、即是我們生活的所有範疇 - 包括我們的思想、身體和情感等, 同時亦必須闡明這些信念在個人生活和社交關係上是具有甚麼涵意的』。 第三,當考慮到從“傳統書院模式” 中較著重本科生的培訓,和博雅教育的進路轉移到“當今大學模式” 中較重視更廣闊課程,國際關注和提供研究生課程等時,理廉和格蘭澤(Ream & Glanzer) 均建議在信仰與學科整合的理解上亦必須要有一個範式的轉移。針對這一點,朗文教授提出: 我們又如何能夠堅持荷姆斯所列明基督教大學的辦學理想呢?

朗文教授隨即轉到加爾文大學的教授群,確認當中較顯著的學者們如占士史密夫(James Smith)、大衛史密夫(David Smith)、蘇珊花注(Susan Felch)、及在基督徒學術研究中心和加爾文敬拜研究中心的其他學者等。他特別舉出占士史密夫的理論,占士史密夫反對笛卡兒(Descartes)的基本論述說人類是“思想的動物”。他卻認為人類是『富有更多的想像、較重實際的取向和以教會崇拜為中心』的。 與其保留“整合”的一般術語,占士史密夫卻建議應採用“關聯”一詞以開展另一種形式的神學與世界的對話。 他認為人類不只是『活出他們所覺知的思想者』, 更是要『活出他們所想所愛的人』。 因此,基督教高等教育應該成為『一個塑造學生透過愛的實踐而養成有建設性習惯的平台… 結果,基督教教育便會成為一個整全的教育,由我們所愛及照著神所喜悅的世界樣式而培育出來的基督徒行為。』

最後,朗文教授重申基督教高等教育的終極目的,並確認它是一個信仰與學科整合的目標。她重申基督徒教育工作者的職份是要幫助學生評估他們在世上實踐愛和認識神 - 神就是愛的終極賜予者和接受者,也是我們生命和學習的終極目的。 她亦重新肯定: 基督教的整全教育必須是與心靈相關連的,包括我們的愛和所想像這個世界應該是怎樣的、又如何可以裝備學生整個人- 包括他們的思想、心靈和行為投入每一個學術領域和每一項活動中, 將盼望和治療帶給世人、榮耀歸給上帝。

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