By Dr. Rose Reins, Assistant Professor of Biology
At HBU we have such a wonderful and unique occasion to offer a distinctively Christian education in all disciplines. For me, as faculty in the Department of Biology, this is particularly exciting as we study the science of life and explore the intricacies of God’s creation in our courses. What an awesome opportunity we have to approach the sciences from a Christian worldview, shining a light into the secularism that most students have experienced in their science education. I like to begin the semester with an introduction to science and faith and I pose this question to my classes: “How many of you have heard or been taught that science and faith just don’t go together?” Most students not only answer “yes,” but some, at the end of the conversation are actually amazed, even incredulous, that faith and scientific study, so often seen as separate, are not contradictory but in fact, intimately related, and that as we study this can lead us into a unique act of worship and praise of our Lord Jesus Christ, who “existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything… hold[ing] all creation together” (Colossians 1:15-17, NLT). Indeed, this is the opportunity and responsibility that we have here at HBU—thanks be to God!
As HBU faculty, we are constantly being encouraged and stretched to integrate our faith into our curriculum, our pedagogy and in our relationships with students. One area of growth that I am really excited about in the College of Science and Engineering (COSE) is student mission opportunities. The Lord is moving in this! This spring, in the biology department, we are offering a new course for academic credit that will incorporate Christian evangelism and hands-on career training and exploration with an international medical mission trip experience. Our hope is that this course will encourage reflection on vocation as calling–living on mission. Students will gain a clearer vision of what it means to be a health professional and experience “real world” clinical scenarios in patient medical care. In addition, the purpose of the trip and the mission of the on-field organization will be evangelistic, taking the good news of Jesus into the world. Students will learn how to share their faith and will participate in devotional and worship times on the trip. It is our hope that this opportunity would continue to be offered each year as part of our biology course offerings and be expanded to include other STEM-related fields and vocations.
Excitingly, we are seeing an increase in student interest in faith-based activities as new opportunities are initiated and offered. Last year, we started a COSE Bible study that meets once a week to discuss the Word of God and grow in Christian community. A neat part of this gathering is that faculty, staff and students (a pretty diverse group!) all come together and participate in this group. In addition to the Bible study, we have a core group of students that have a passion for medical missions and have started to meet regularly, discussing how to serve the local community of Houston. They have made a connection with Casa El Buen Samaritano, a local organization that shares the love of Christ while providing healthcare to low-income populations, and have begun to organize training and service opportunities, including assisting with a flu vaccine drive this fall.
Please join as in prayer as we seek, as HBU’s vision states, to train and build up “future leaders of the world who also live as servants in the kingdom of God.” We are praying that these opportunities will be life transformational experiences for our students and will grow HBU’s impact on the world and the Kingdom of God with graduates who are prepared for spiritual and professional impact in their chosen STEM fields. We are asking the Lord to expand these programs to be even bigger and more impactful than we can imagine, knowing and trusting that He does the impossible so that His name will be glorified!