News • September 08, 2022

New CBU journal focuses on faith integration in the classroom

New CBU journal focuses on faith integration in the classroom

Riverside, Calif. (Sept. 8, 2022) – The Teaching and Learning Center at California Baptist University launched a new journal this summer.

The Journal of Faith in the Academic Profession is aimed at Christian faculty as it examines the role that faith plays in the work of a higher education instructor, said Dr. Ted Murcray, director of the Teaching and Learning Center and the journal’s editor.

“One of the things that teaching and learning centers do is they drive innovation at their institutions, and we have wanted to increase the research and scholarship activity here at CBU,” Murcray said.

The catalyst for the online journal began four years ago when the TLC started Faith Integration Fellowships to provide faculty time to delve into how faith intersects with their particular discipline.

The fellows write research articles, but there were few options to publish their work, Murcray said. That ultimately led the Teaching and Learning Center to create the biannual journal.

“We're looking for the article to be about the faculty experience as an academic professional from a biblical perspective,” Murcray said. “We're looking specifically for how do [Christian] faculty teach differently. How do they exist in the academic profession differently using their biblical lens?”

The journal, which has a blind peer review process, includes theoretical, research and practical application articles along with book reviews. Anyone can submit, not just fellows or CBU faculty.

Dr. Jenifer Nalbandian, associate professor of chemistry, had an article in the first issue. “Common Myths Surrounding Faith Integration” focused on the basics of faith integration.

“I am aware that faith integration can be daunting for new and veteran faculty alike, so the topic originated from a desire to provide some encouragement for all of us to begin or to dive even deeper into faith integration in our disciplines,” she said.

The journal shows that faith integration is not something faculty have to pursue alone, Nalbandian said.

“We should be trying to connect with faculty outside of our discipline, as well as within our discipline, as we grapple with this topic,” Nalbandian said. “In that vein, this journal allows for the transfer of ideas between those whose paths might not ever cross in their daily life. The journal is open to any faculty at faith-based institutions, which allows those of us at CBU to benefit from the wisdom and knowledge of those outside the CBU community.”

Dr. Kenneth Nehrbass, director of special projects in the TLC and associate editor, said the publication provides faculty support and depth in relation to faith integration.

“I think we grow up in churches where we are taught to look at the Bible for how it gets us into heaven and deals with forgiveness of sins, but we spend a lot less time in our church life thinking about how faith impacts what we're learning in school, especially at the college level,” Nehrbass said. “We might get into issues of faith and science a little bit in church, but other than that, we don't think a lot about faith in kinesiology or faith in architecture.”

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