Incoming classes at Taylor are now automatically eligible for a Scripture Engagement minor based on spiritual foundation credits they are already required to take.
While the update will not apply to current students, this fall’s incoming class of 2027 will be the first to experience the shift.
No additional courses will be added to spiritual foundation requirements; however, slight changes to the curriculum will better reflect the minor’s intent. These changes will apply to classes such as Biblical Literature I, Biblical Literature II, Historic Christian Belief, Contemporary Christian Belief and Foundations of Christian Thought.
Requirements for the 17-credit minor will remain the same as for all other minors Taylor offers. Students will need to pass each spiritual foundation class with a minimum grade of C minus.
Several Christian universities offer a similar automatic minor, however, Professor of Christian Ministry Phil Collins said that Taylor’s minor is distinct from other institutions.
“We want to inspire, encourage people and equip people to engage Scripture to meet Christ,” Collins said.
Scripture engagement, he said, is a way of approaching the Bible that involves meditating and reflecting on its passages. It is a way to apply and connect God’s word to life and understand its meaning — that is, in comparison to just memorizing facts.
Related core classes will be altered to include Scripture-engaging content. There will be an emphasis on such spiritual formation and Christ-like transformation.
Benjamin Wetzel, associate professor of history, was a part of this creation process.
“I think it's a positive thing for the university — to kind of think about what makes us distinctive and something a little bit different than what even other Christian colleges are doing,” Wetzel said.
Collins and Professor of Sociology Steven Bird have worked together in Taylor’s Scripture Engagement Center as co-executive directors. Collins has been involved since the center’s conception in 2009. Founded by previous Taylor President Gene Habecker, it facilitates resources — such as the Abide Bible — to encourage deeper Scripture application.
The idea for the minor was sparked in Spring 2022. Provost Jewerl Maxwell said he was thinking of ways to make the university’s Foundational Core distinct, later bringing up the idea to Collins and Bird.
Maxwell hopes that the emphasis in this new minor will demonstrate Taylor’s commitment to its students’ spiritual growth.
“We recognize that (spiritual growth) happens outside of the classroom, but we are devoting more attention to it inside the classroom,” Maxwell said. “We truly do want to be this Christ-centered liberal arts institution that is preparing our graduates for the future.”