2017 Day of Common Learning Breakout Sessions

A History of Innovation and Reformation: Francis Bacon, Edward VI, and the Impact of Religion on Innovation

Rolin Moe, Director for Institute of Academic Innovation

Cremona 201

Innovation, or the capacity to be flexible and creative in work and life, has become a buzzword of the 21st Century, an essential but nebulous trait expected in today's society. Innovation was not always as heralded a term; in 1548 King Edward VI issued A Proclamation Against Those That Doeth Innovate, a statement against what he and many in the English Protestant Church saw as the dissolution of rites and traditions inherent to worship. Today, innovation is held in such esteem it is difficult to imagine a different time. For this we have much to give to Sir Francis Bacon, whose 1604 epistle Of Innovations puts the context of the positive potential of innovation with an understanding of scripture and God's work. This session will explore the relationship between Bacon, the English Protestant Church and how his innovation of 1604 would be seen in 2017.


A Motto in Search of a Meaning

Richard B. Steele, Professor of Moral and Historical Theology  

Cremona 202

“The just shall live by faith” (Hab. 2:4; Ro. 1:17) was the motto or proof text of various Protestant Reformations from the sixteenth century forward. But what exactly does that verse mean, and what does it imply for the Christian life? This workshop will look briefly at what the prophet Habakkuk and the apostle Paul meant by the statement, and then examine how it was used programmatically by five important groups of Protestants: Lutherans, Calvinists, Anabaptists, Anglicans and Wesleyans. Workshop participants will be invited to reflect on which reading of that verse seems most pertinent to their own lives and to our common life at SPU today.


A Moving Target: How a Couple of Christians Make Art for a Changing World

Richard Lorig, Associate Professor of Theatre

Scott Kolbo, Associate Professor of Art

Bertona 6

Scott Kolbo and Rick Lorig, along with other artists/creatives, will lead a conversation about how we, as fine and performing artists, continually reform our creative output as a response to, and at the intersection of, changes in our world, our culture, our Christian faith and our lives.


Always Revising

Traynor Hansen, Instructor of Writing

Bo Lim, University Chaplin

Eric Long, Professor of Biology

Peter Moe, Assistant Professor of English, Director of Campus Writing

Susan Van Zanten, Professor of English

Library Seminar Room

As readers, we encounter writing in a finished and polished state. This polish obscures the messy process of failed drafts, re-writing, revising, editing, and proofreading that is essential to critical inquiry and writing. In the same way, our personal, professional, and faith lives often go through similar processes of revision as we are led and prodded along different paths from what we might imagine for ourselves. This panel will feature several writers who will talk about their own writing processes, how they think of their respective fields, how their place in those fields has changed over the years, and how their Christian faith informs their scholarship/writing practices and vice versa.


Behind the Veil: Rethinking Diversity Narratives in Christian Higher Education

Sandy Mayo, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Weter 202

As Christian colleges and universities continue to focus their missions with greater attention to diversity as a core value, at the same time that our nation faces growing racial and social tensions, there is good opportunity to reconsider key imperatives that have shaped diversity discourse in higher education. During this session, we will examine three prevailing narratives in higher education diversity work, demonstrating the ways in which taken-for-granted rationales for diversity may actually obscure more complex historical realities and manifestations of racism, as well as other forms of structural and ideological exclusion, that are more challenging to dismantle. This session seeks to explore and expand ways of framing diversity work in higher education by asking, “How can we think anew about the work of diversity in Christian higher education in a way that speaks simultaneously to our faith commitments and the need to develop institutional capacity for effective, sustainable change?”


Creating a Community of Learners in Online Learning Environments: How to Rethink, Reshape, and Reform Our Pedagogy to Increase Student Engagement

Robin Henrikson, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education

Cremona 102

With an ever-changing student population in both undergraduate and graduate courses, the opportunity to create shifts toward increasing online course offerings to meet the needs of diverse student populations is both a timely and important consideration. This session will focus on how to think flexibly about content delivery in order to take small steps towards reframing and reforming preconceptions of online learning opportunities. The facilitator will share strategies for how to take small steps to reshape both what we think an online learning forum is and how to promote a sense of community through online learning opportunities. Tips for creating more engaging discussion forums, screencast presentations, collaborative Google Docs and strategies for designing flexible groups will be shared. Bring laptops if interested in participating interactively.


Ecofaith: Rereading Scripture in an Era of Ecological Crisis

J.J. Johnson Leese, Assistant Professor of Christian Scripture

Eaton 112

Is caring for creation one part of fulfilling the great commandment:  “to love the Lord, your God with all your heart . . .” and “to love your neighbor as yourself”? How does “environmental justice” relate to the biblical imperative for social, economic and racial justice? To what degree might the scope of God’s redemption through Christ extend to other-than-human elements of creation? Such questions have emerged due to a major shift in biblical and theological inquiry. This expanded and revised reading of the creation text, referred to as Ecotheology, has emerged in part out of a desire to uncover a biblical message to address new faith questions emerging from the ecological crisis we face today. In this session we will explore how Ecotheological readings of scripture identify the interrelationship between God, humanity and creation in ways that affirm creation as a gift to preserve and provide principles for faithful living that results in the flourishing of humanity and creation.


Engaging Contemporary Cultural Concerns through French Public Service Announcements

Michelle Beauclair, Associate Professor of French

Bertona 3

As part of this year's early fall 2017 SPU Global Studies Program in Aix-en-Provence and Paris, France, SPU students documented and examined the use of current French campaigns to raise public awareness of critical social issues in an effort to effect change in the areas of sustainability, public health, recycling, and persistence in education, among others. Students studied the history of the campaigns and the viability of a similar campaign in the USA as a means of highlighting and comparing cultural and societal norms in the two countries. Language instructors have long used advertisements for products, goods and services as windows into other cultures. This study, however, posits campaigns that aim to change behavior or raise awareness as a way to move beyond basic comparisons of consumer cultures.


Facing Church Criticism as a Means of Reform

Yelena Bailey, Assistant Professor of English

Katie Douglass, Assistant Professor of Christian Ministry

Becky Hughes, Assistant Professor of History

McKenna 118

This interdisciplinary panel will present students with examples of how Christian faculty engage the often justified criticisms of the Church through the lens of their respective fields. Dr. Hughes will discuss her research on British missionaries and the ways in which they refined and reformed their work in response to changing cultural, political, and economic environments. Dr. Bailey will present criticism made by literary figures like James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Each of these authors struggles with the way the Church has historically dealt with issues surrounding race, gender and class. Rev. Dr. Katherine M. Douglass will discuss what the first steps might be in practicing such reform. Her discussion will focus on Paul's exclamation, "I die every day!" (1 Corinthians 15:31) and the theological ideas of mortification (dying) and vivification (restore to life). Together we will ponder the question, "What, in my community or personal life, must die, so that resurrection life might come?"


Forming and Re-Forming a Production: Collaborative Design for Theatre

Andrew Ryder, Director, Professor of Theatre

Mariah Delong-Wright, Scenic Designer, Student

Katie Gillette, Sound Designer, Student

Natalie Gress, Lighting Designer, Student

Kat Laveaux, Costume Designer, Student

Bertona 1

A group of theatre students will discuss their process developing designs for the SPU Theatre production of Lauren Yee’s The Hatmaker’s Wife. In a first for SPU, all the designers for this mainstage show are students. And in an intentional departure from our usual practice, all of these designers have been part of the conversation from the beginning. The design team will discuss their process of creating and re-creating together since June, moving from idea to reality, from singular visions to collaborative practice.


From the Intrapersonal to the Contextual: A Social Constructionist View on Professional Help-Seeking Attitudes and Behaviors

Paul Kim, Associate Professor of Psychology

Munyi Shea, Associate Professor of Counselor Education

Bertona 4

The study and application of psychological science tend to have a Western bias. Given this, reforming the discipline of psychology and its related fields to better provide a voice to individuals of all backgrounds is an important endeavor. Through vignette discussion, two counseling psychologists will share about their research interests and experiences in this line of work. Specifically, they will talk about how they challenge the individualistic focus in help-seeking research, and how they seek to integrate interpersonal and culturally relevant factors in examining college students’ help-seeking attitudes and behaviors. Drs. Shea and Kim will also share about their current research collaboration, and they will discuss how the anticipated findings have the potential to innovate assessment, development, and delivery of counseling services to students of all backgrounds—both on and beyond SPU campus.


How to Talk About Controversial Subjects Without Making Enemies of Your Friends

Leah Airt, Business and Social Sciences Librarian

Xu Bian, Assistant Professor of Chinese

Jamie Coles Burnette, Instructor of Biblical Studies

Ruth Ediger, Associate Professor of Political Science

Jennifer Meredith, Assistant Professor of Economics


Otto Miller Hall 109

One of the first steps toward reformation in any community is listening to all the voices that call for a return to Truth. In order to do this we need to be able to have meaningful and productive conversations around difficult and controversial topics. Subjects such as politics, religion, economics, race, ethnicity, language, and discerning fact from fiction certainly provide fodder for potentially touchy conversations. This session will focus on some of our society’s most contentious issues and then lay out some guidelines for talking about those issues without alienating other people. This session might prove particularly useful especially for those who plan to celebrate the holidays with extended family.


Making Psychology New Again: Open Science as an Expression of Christian Calling

Tom Carpenter, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Weter 201

How do we ‘do science’ in a way that loves God’s truth? Psychological research practices are changing rapidly in wake of the “replication crisis”—the awareness that a large number of findings cannot be replicated and may be false. This reform movement, known as “open science,” embraces transparency, asks scientists to publicly share their data/analyses and materials, and encourages replication. At the same time, it includes new technology for open and collaborative work and gives considerable opportunities to students. However, open science can be costly, go unrewarded, and require considerable effort. In this session, I explore this reform movement and suggest it can be a way to live out a Christian calling in psychological science: a way to worship God by doing good work, working more communally, and loving and seeking God’s truth.


Reconstruction, Redemption, Reformation: Memory Places, Monuments, and Words from the Alabama State Capitol Steps

William M. Purcell, Professor of Communication

Demaray Hall 254

This paper considers the legacy of the Alabama Capitol steps and the surrounding environment as the symbolic intersection of contrasting and competing views of Alabama’s history and future.  Until the 1980s the Capitol area had been an extended memorial to the Confederacy. Since 1980, however, a significant number of counter memorials were established to commemorate the civil rights movement and the negative legacy of slavery. The establishment of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in 1983 on the third Monday of January placed the King holiday on the constitutionally mandated day for the Inauguration of Alabama’s Governor. Consequently, Alabama Gubernatorial Addresses  have engaged with both the Confederate and Civil Rights legacies of the state since 1986. This presentation will examine the inauguration speeches given from the steps as well as images of the various memorials.


Reforming and Renewing Educators: Bringing Issues of Equity into the Teacher Workforce

David Denton, Director of Assessment and Assistant Professor of Education

Jill Heiney-Smith, Director of Field Placements

Kirsten Koetje, Instructor of Education

Bertona 2

In your K-12 experience, did you encounter more windows or mirrors?  Did you see yourself reflected back in your teachers and the curriculum (mirrors) or did it feel like you were often looking in on another world (windows)? Faculty and staff in the School of Education recognize the magnitude of demographic differences between educators and the K-12 students they teach and the cultural incongruencies that this can create. For example, the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction reports that in 2015-16 the public school teaching force comprised itself of 89.9% white teachers and 72.7% female, compared to 56.1% and 48.4% respectively for the student population. The SOE was awarded a grant from the Professional Educator Standards Board to work on issues of equity, both for renewing our internal ways of knowing, as well as to reform the external teacher pipeline. Please come and engage with us in an interactive presentation about this critical work.


Reforming Our Understanding of Homelessness: Tent City 3 at SPU

Niki Amarantides, Director, Center for Learning

Paul Kim, Coordinator of Global Involvement and Small Groups, John Perkins Center

Karen Snedker, Associate Professor of Sociology

Demaray Hall 150

Homelessness is visible all over Seattle. Most of us don’t know how to respond. But back in 2015,Tent City 3, a self-managed community of 65-100 people experiencing homeless, came to SPU due to student advocacy. TC3 returned in 2015, and President Martin made engaging homelessness a University Initiative. This Fall, Tent City 3 will be here from November 18-February 10.  Find out why SPU hosts TC3, what we learned from their previous encampments, and how you can be a part of reforming our understanding of homelessness and welcoming our neighbors to campus.


The Baltic Song Festivals as an Expression of Revival and Reformation

Ryan Ellis, Director of Men’s Choir

Ramona Holmes, Professor of Music Education

Dainius Vaicekonis, Assistant Professor of Piano

Crawford Music Building 211

The Song festivals in three Baltic States are included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. For the three nations these events are the expression of revival, and reformation of the life and faith. It is an act of creative self-expression, vitality of the national culture, and promotes artistic activity by periodically gathering amateur artistic groups of different genres and culture professionals to enormous festivals that moves and changes life of enthusiastic audiences. In this lecture, Dr. Holmes will talk about Baltic musical traditions and the significance of their songs in the history of the countries. Dr. Vaicekonis will tell a personal story and his experience from the Singing revolution. The audience will watch videos from the song festivals from all three countries. Dr. Ellis will discuss how Baltic choral traditions moved and transformed him and our community.


The Digital Reformation

Bruce Baker, Associate Professor of Business Ethics

Mike Langford, Associate Professor of Theology, Discipleship, and Ministry

Michael Paulus, Assistant Provost for Educational Technology and University Librarian

Cremona 101

Digital information and communication technologies are rapidly changing how we understand our identities and institutions. Five hundred years ago, new printing technologies created conditions that enabled the Protestant reformation and profoundly changed the world. Today, we are in the midst of a digital revolution. But what is being reformed, and what are we reforming? This session will explore the nature of our present information age and the theological questions it raises, touching on theological principles, cultural critiques, and spiritual practices that can help us reflect on digital reformation and transformation.


The Globalization of Christianity and China

Zhiguo Ye, Assistant Professor of History

Doug Downing, Associate Professor of Economics

Candice Xia, Student

Ruxue Zhang, Student

McKenna 117

This session is about how Global Christianity is flourishing in the twenty-first century in the world’s most populous country—China, which is believed to become the “world's most Christian nation” with more churchgoers than America within 15 years. Dr. Ye and Dr. Downing will discuss both historical and economic reasons on China’s rapid rise of Christianity against the backdrop of globalization. They will also have SPU students and alumni share their global experience of living and observing reforming Christian life inside and outside China.


The Many Tongues of the Scientific Disciplines: A Pentecostal Reformation of Creation Theology

Ben McFarland, Professor of Biochemistry

Demaray Hall 255

A Gallup Poll conducted in May 2017 asked people to state their views on the origin and development of human beings, as it has since 1981. The number of people responding “God guided the process” rose sharply since the previous poll in 2014. For the first time, equal numbers of people answered “God guided” as answered “God created humans in their present form.” This session will suggest that this represents part of a cultural shift in evangelical views of science, extending even to recent worship songs. Dr. McFarland will analyze the Gallup Poll data and discuss how they fit with the Pentecostal theologian Amos Yong’s views on the activity of the Holy Spirit in the story of creation. Yong outlines a robust theology of creation, arguing that the Spirit “guided the process.” Yong’s views provide a way to reconcile science to faith, and scientific discipline to scientific discipline.


What the Church Can Learn from Karl Barth About “Reforming” in 2017

Jeff Keuss, Professor of Christian Ministry, Theology, and Culture

Shannon Smythe, Assistant Professor of Theological Studies

McKenna 111

Karl Barth (1886-1968), a socialist pastor and Swiss Reformed theologian, is often known as one of the theological giants in 20th century Protestant European theology. In our U.S. context, where we are daily becoming more and more aware of just how captive white Christian churches are to colonial frameworks and white supremacist ideologies, Karl Barth’s theology offers the distinctive contribution of conceiving of the gospel in a way that precludes its cultural captivity to any and all ideological interpretations of faith in Christ. In so doing, his theology offers an alternative vision for the identity of the church in a world facing constant upheaval.


Who Laid the Egg that Luther Hatched?

Don Holsinger, Professor of History

Demaray Hall 259

Erasmus, Prince of Humanists, has long been credited with “laying the egg that Luther hatched.”  We will place the birth of the Reformation in an earlier time and in a global context through four events in the year 1415.  1) Jan Hus, a Czech priest who would influence Luther and Wesley, was burned at the stake as a “heretic” for advocating religious reforms.  2) The Battle of Agincourt between England and France fostered an enduring rivalry between two dominant imperial powers.  3) The Battle of Ceuta between Portugal and Morocco began the European Atlantic expansion that culminated in the Iberian “Discoveries” of Dias, Columbus, and da Gama between 1488 and 1498, launching the global age.  4) The completion of the Grand Canal in China refocused attention inward following Zheng He’s spectacular voyages, leading to a Chinese withdrawal from the oceans just as Europe was beginning its expansion.


Women Artists Act Out: Reformation as Expansion

Katie Kresser, Associate Professor of Art

Demaray Hall 261

It’s common in the arts today to challenge the “canon” – to point out the limitations and biases of our (usually male) “great artists.” It is also common to advocate for new artists’ inclusion: artists who have different perspectives or hail from underrepresented groups. Oftentimes, these attempts to reconfigure “canon” get heated and angry, as if the addition of new voices means old ones will be lost. It is like the arts are undergoing an all-out Reformation that threatens to completely reconfigure old values and beliefs.  In this session, we will explore how key women artists seek to reform through expansion. These women do not aim to replace but to enrich, by introducing brilliant new perspectives that acknowledge Americans’ shared heritage in fresh ways.