Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

May 5, 2012

GC classes to travel to Greece, Rome to trace the Apostle

GOSHEN — Goshen College campus Pastor Bob Yoder remembers how his life was significantly changed by a semester spent in the Middle East during college, when the “Bible came alive” for him. He hopes the same will be true for his students as he helps lead one of two classes spending 20 days during May term traveling together through Greece and Rome, tracing the footsteps of the Apostle Paul. Both classes will be engaging the same material and going to the same places, but have different objectives.

The public can follow along on their blog: http://blog.goshen.edu/journeysofpaul.

One group is a Bible class of 33 students led by Yoder and Professor of Bible, Religion and Philosophy Keith Graber Miller. Their focus is following Paul’s second missionary journey in Greece as described in Acts 16-18 and exploring the issues of the various religious communities he influenced and the various books of the Bible associated with those churches. They will conclude in Rome where Paul spent his final earthly days and the study of the book of Romans.

Students also will engage three very different ways of expressing Christian faith, though all are descendents of Paul’s work: Eastern Greek Orthodox Church, Roman Catholicism and the Evangelical church movement, Yoder said. The students will have the opportunity to visit Thessaloniki, Philippi, Berea, Vergina, Mt. Olympus, Meteora, Delphi, Athens, Corinth, Florence and Rome.

“One of my hopes is that we learn lessons about how to cross boundaries in our faith setting, like Paul was engaged in,” Yoder said. “That’s one of the reasons Paul is a hero for me.”

Group times will include worship, reflection and sharing insights from various small group projects and assignments. There will also be times throughout the course where students will be encouraged to individually reflect, pray, read and journal.

“Gaining insight into the faith, spirituality and mission of the Apostle Paul will hopefully strengthen students’ individual faith journeys,” Yoder said. “Another hope is that the Scriptures will come alive for students as they experience the various historical places in Greece and Rome.”

The second group traveling is a broadcasting class of nine students led by Assistant Professor of Communication Seth Conley and Assistant Professor of Communication Kyle Hufford. They are working on producing a documentary examining the ways one of the most influential figures in the Christian Church dealt with cultural, religious, physical and personal boundaries, and how he “bridged the gap.” They are providing the writing, photos and videos on the blog http://blog.goshen.edu/journeysofpaul.

The crew is traveling with more than 128 pounds of video equipment, including three cameras.

“The classes will be taking different approaches in digesting the material and experiences,” Conley said. “We will be asking, ‘how do we tell a great story?’ We will be ingesting the experience and then sharing it with people who can’t be with us.”

Students will be rotating between different roles to gain experience in producing, directing, filming, lighting and audio engineering.

“Along the way, our team will be chronicling not only what we learn about history but also about what Christ is teaching us personally during this journey,” Conley said. “Students don’t always make the connection between broadcasting and their faith, so when this opportunity arose, I wanted to take advantage of it.”

Yoder is pleased that the trip includes both classes with different objectives, and believes that they will enhance each others’ learning.

“I see this as an example of the kind of interdisciplinary learning we focus on here at Goshen College,” he said.

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