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Global Connections Experience Coming Spring 2022: Barcelona, Spain

By Lisa Tyson, PhD, Dean

Global Connections is an intercultural experience, allowing students to explore another culture, learn about other perspectives and worldviews, while actively participating in service projects.

Each year, the College of Adult & Graduate Studies offers the Global Connections (GC) course with immersion experience.  This year’s CAGS GC experience will be to Barcelona, Spain. We will have the opportunity to learn more about the history and culture of Spain by visiting attractions and landmarks and have the privilege of serving alongside the Oursbourne family and other leaders at the International Church of Barcelona, as they reach out to the beautiful people of their city.

Dates for the spring trip will be March 12-20, 2022 (spring break). The 3-credit course is offered over 2 semesters (1 credit online class in the fall, 2 credit “lab” experience for the trip). Trip fees are broken out over the fall and spring. Students/Alum who have participated in prior immersion experiences are not required to take the Global Connections course.

If you’ve ever thought about expanding your horizons and exploring other cultures, now’s your time! Space will be limited! Watch for details coming soon about an online information meeting where you’ll have the opportunity to learn more and reserve your seat.

Interested in learning more? Contact Dr. Tyson at tysonl@evangel.edu.

Earning college credit through prior learning

By Christine Battaglia

Prior learning is a term used to describe learning that a person acquires outside of a traditional academic environment.  This learning can come through work experience, employer training programs, non-credit courses, seminars, and more.

Prior learning assessment is the process where an individual’s experiential learning is evaluated through a course and creation of a portfolio to gain college credit.  Prior learning assessment is a flexible, efficient way of earning college credits. Evangel University has helped hundreds of adults save countless in-class hours by earning credits based on their college-level knowledge acquired beyond the classroom.

Students seeking Prior learning credit should enroll in the course GNSA 298 (Prior Learning Seminar) within the first few semesters of college. This class is a great way to reflect on how much you have accomplished in your life as well as earn college credit toward your degree. During this course, students will develop the knowledge and tools needed to create a portfolio for up to 26 hours of elective credits.  Portfolios include various documents to demonstrate how the student has mastered the learning outcomes of specific courses.

Who Can Benefit From Portfolio Assessment?

Although it is possible for any student to benefit from the portfolio assessment, the students who gain the greatest benefits tend to share certain traits:

Have been in the workforce for several years

Have some on-the-job training, licenses, or certifications

Have previously attended a non-accredited school or participated in independent studies

Have led global missions trips

Are willing to perform the type of in-depth personal assessment needed to prepare an effective portfolio

At Evangel University, our academic advisors can help you assess if Prior learning helps meet your education goals.  They are happy to assist you in exploring and understanding your next steps. Please contact Christine Battaglia, battagliac@evangel.edu or Stacey Holland, hollands@evangel.edu for more information.

Best practices for completing your online education

Pursuing an online education requires a bit of finesse as you seek to balance work, school, and kids.  It requires even more thoughtfulness as you navigate the current situation of social distancing or work from home measures in place. Given these realities, now is a good time to review some important steps one can take to ensure success and progress toward graduation.

    1. Use a calendar that works for you! Right now it might be hard to remember what you’re supposed to do and when you’re supposed to get it done.  Using a calendar will help you remember the important due dates of assignments.  You may prefer either a written calendar or an electronic one.  The benefit to an electronic calendar is that you can access it on your phone as well as your computer and even set reminders for yourself.  The benefit to a written calendar, such as a wall calendar or binder calendar, is that you can see it at all times if you place it near your work space.
    2. Plan your work. Make time each day to focus on schoolwork, whether that’s 15 minutes before you start your work day, during your lunch hour, or a time later in the evening after your kids have gone to bed. Your schedule may seem out of rhythm and you may struggle prioritizing your various responsibilities.  Making a plan for your schoolwork ensures that you are remain actively engaged and working toward your goals. It also prevents you from waiting until the last moment to complete assignments.  Procrastination will only increase your stress. Prioritizing your work will help relieve this pressure.  Make a list of the tasks you need to do each day in order to stay on track.
    3. Set limits and stick to them. As you’re planning your work and making your list, anticipate how much time it will take you to complete each task and then stick to the schedule. This will not only help you be disciplined, but will help create healthy boundaries during this season. Setting time limits allows you to focus on what is in front of you. If you find that you are struggling to stick to your limits, consider reviewing them to ensure they are realistic. If you are having a hard time concentrating on your work, consider taking a break from the book or screen to focus on something else for a brief time.  You’ll be able to accomplish more when you are in the right frame of mind to do so. And if you find you are having trouble submitting work on time, be sure to communicate with your instructor immediately.  They may be able to develop a plan that will allow you to be more successful.

Chaplains Corner

Reasons God May Seem Silent, Part 1

Dr. Shawn Moreland, Coordinator of Spiritual Formation, College of Adult and Graduate Studies

I was teaching a new class for Evangel, Introduction to Theology, this week and asked students what theological questions they wanted to be sure we explored this semester. One student shared what we all feel is a bit of a confusing issue—“Why does it seem God is silent? How do I “hear God speak”? How do I know if it is God or me?

I want to encourage you in this area, remove some misunderstandings, and help free you to live more confident and open to “hear God speak” and communicate with you.

Our spiritual receptors are turned on when we receive Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. Then and only then can He speak and communicate clearly to us. It’s a gift and not that some Christians are more spiritual or that God has favorites that He speaks to directly. As followers of Christ and children of God, it’s our nature to “hear God speak”; it’s in our spiritual DNA.

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Romans 8:16

Did you catch that? Here we see the Holy Spirit speaking—not audibly or a form of human communication, but rather we “bear witness,” which is communication at the spirit level. Some have called this kind of communication “KNOWING”. Perhaps we do “hear” God communicate, we just overlook it or don’t pay attention. This demystifies so much of how we think of God communicating. When He speaks, your spirit knows, and it’s as though He communicates in your thoughts, your emotions, and in your spirit!

Jesus said His sheep know His voice and don’t follow the voice of a stranger. Again, this is a natural gift that is not manufactured, earned or reserved for a few special sheep. It is for all:

The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” John 10:3

Why then do we struggle if it’s as natural and easy as breathing?

God lives in our inner-human spirit where we worship, commune, and hear God speak Holy Spirit to human spirit. You know what it’s like. Deep down inside you just know that God is speaking/communicating with you.

God’s Nature—He is a relational and speaks/communicates. Man is made in His image, Imageo Dei, as a relational being, and has the ability to communicate with language, emotion, and presence.

Then the man and his wife heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the breeze of the day, and they hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. So the LORD God called out to the man, ‘Where are you?’” Genesis 3:8,9

Interesting, they “heard the voice of the Lord walking.” Bible scholars have imagined it was less language that they heard, but rather the sheer presence of God. We can know with complete confidence that He is a relational God who made you to fellowship and communicate with others.

Now that we’ve removed some misunderstanding, here are some ways to actively cultivate a more receptive, listening heart to God’s communication with you.

Read Your Love Letter-God Speaks Mostly Through His Word!

Two men, one a Christian and the other not, were discussing how to interpret the Bible. The non-Christian related that he really couldn’t understand it. The Christian said, “The Bible is a love letter to Christians. That’s what you get for reading other people’s mail!”

This doesn’t mean that God never hears the prayers of non-Christians, it just means that God is under no obligation to answer the prayers of people who are not His own born-again children.

God Speaks MOSTLY through His inspired, Spirit guided Word

The Bible is the special revelation of the heart and mind of God revealed in His promises, purposes, and powerful truths. Scripture is always the voice of God in the general sense that God inspired the words of Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16). God can also speak specifically to us through the Bible by drawing a particular passage to our attention because the Word of God is living and active (Heb. 4:12).

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16

We will hear the voice of God (or feel conviction in our Spirit from Him) when we diligently seek Him. Jesus said:

But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

If we make seeking His face the top priority in our lives, we may hear Him in all kinds of ways and in all kinds of places.

God seldom breaks into our lives with thoughts and ideas out of the “clear blue.” It’s when we are sitting quietly, reading the Bible, thinking about spiritual things, sharing the Bible with friends, listening to a sermon, meditating, listening in our inner spirit, or otherwise actively inviting God to speak to us, that He will no longer be silent.

Ongoing invitation for students to contact me for support:

I know many of you are working hard to persevere through a pandemic, and are faced with uncertainty as you are stretched thin balancing the responsibilities of work, family, and your education. Our desire is for you to not just survive, but to thrive in every area of life while a student in Evangel’s Adult and Graduate Studies program.

I am available to support you by life coaching, relationship counseling and coaching, and pastoral counseling. You may communicate with me via email, phone, or Zoom video conference. Contact by email: morelands@evangel.edu.