Academic Innovation

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For more than 20 years, experts have been calling for coherence in education and curriculum. In the late 1980s we were reminded by Alan Bloom’s book, The Closing of the American Mind, that closed mindedness is a product of believing everything, anything, or nothing, rather than believing something. For PBU students, a coherent biblical worldview broadens and deepens academic study, for it provides a touchstone by which to appreciate and evaluate all knowledge.

James Beane, editor of 1995 Yearbook, Toward a More Coherent Curriculum, states, “when the curriculum offers a sense of purpose, unity, relevance and pertinence – when it is coherent – young people are more likely to integrate educational experiences into their scheme of meaning, which in turn broadens and deepens the understanding of themselves and the world.” Beane calls the integrating core the “glue” that holds the educational experience together. While serving as President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Ernest Boyer wrote the following on the “scholarship of integration:” “Schools need to create an environment that encourages students to . . . make connections across the disciplines, shape a more coherent view of knowledge and a more integrated, more authentic view of life.” A PBU education is designed to do just that.

Christian universities such as PBU should know clearly the “glue” that holds the curriculum together and design the curriculum for the promotion of intellectual coherency based upon that biblical integrating core. The integrated curriculum relates to the mission of the University, the mission of the University is related to the aim of life that flows out of one’s worldview.

PBU is first and foremost a university. The adjective, biblical, was retained in the name, not just for continuity from the past, but to boldly declare the worldview we espouse. Change at PBU has come. As an older (maybe just old) faculty member and alumna able to see what God is doing in this generation at PBU, I am thrilled.

[framed_box]Marti MacCullough, Ed.D., is a Distinguished Professor and the Dean of the School of Education.  She has taught at PBU since 1980.

This article is an indication of the perspective, vision, and ability Dr. Marti MacCullough brings to the work at PBU. She is the Dean of the School of Education at PBU, but her contribution has reached well beyond the teacher education programs. She is a recognized expert in biblical worldview integration and was promoted to the rank of distinguished professor by a committee of her peers in 2008. Over the course of her 30 years of service at PBU, she has established herself as an intellectual leader who has embodied our mission and made an untold impact upon the lives of her colleagues as well as thousands of teachers and thereby thousands of their students. Marti’s vision to prepare professionally competent Christian educators to teach in both Christian and public schools has distinguished PBU as a source for outstanding classroom instructors. Her role in shaping the academic philosophy at PBU is significant as well. As a faculty colleague, program innovator, pedagogical expert, and academic leader she has left her thumbprints upon much of the University and many of us who serve here.

She and her late husband, Dr. Donald MacCullough, were instrumental in PBU’s success as an academic institution under Dr. Sherrill Babb’s administration. They worked tirelessly, with many others, to develop professional and graduate education programs at PBU that would uniquely position the school within Christian higher education. Don and Marti were part of a team of individuals that would make becoming a University a reality for then Philadelphia College of Bible. After Don’s passing in 2003, Marti continued in her work as dean of a new school to establish the School of Education as a dynamic and innovative place to educate the teachers of tomorrow.

Dr. Martha MacCullough
Dr. MacCullough with Rebecca Hofmaier '09, M.S. Education, B.S. Bible

Personally, I have to comment that Marti’s support and wise counsel have been a gift from the Lord. With all of the constraints upon her time, I often find notes or emails of encouragement from her after I have spoken in chapel or a faculty/staff meeting. And it is this generosity and unrelenting commitment to Christ and the mission and vision of PBU that is contagious and inspiring. Her willingness to give to others is something we thank God for often at PBU. She has been teacher, coach, advisor, colleague, and friend to so many and has consistently set aside herself in service to the Lord and those He has placed in her path.

This summer Dr. MacCullough will retire from her duties as dean and leadership of the School of Education will be transferred to Dr. Debbie MacCullough. I am very pleased that Marti will continue teaching and provide advisement regarding international graduate education as she assumes her new role as Distinguished Professor in the Center for University Studies.

-Dr. Todd J. Williams