‘Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge’ explores the GCC saga

A new book about Grove City College examines how its mission, history, and educational philosophy fosters a distinctive approach to higher education that is vital to cultivate individual wisdom and advance the common good.

“Treasures of History and Wisdom: Grove City College and the Quest for Christ-Centered Learning” is a collection of faculty essays that cover the College’s evangelical and ecumenical vision, the integration of faith and learning, and examples of how it all plays out across disciplines and the world beyond campus.

“Collectively, they seek to demonstrate how our college was founded to stand and can continue to stand for Christ as an academically excellent institution of higher education,” Dr. Mark Graham, professor of History, wrote in his introduction. Graham and Rev. Donald D. Opitz, chaplain and senior director of Christian Formation, edited the book.

It is the result of a two-year effort to chronicle, construct, and contextualize the Grove City College “saga” that coincided with the first review of the College’s core curriculum in over 15 years and the revised vision and mission statements that explicitly state a Christian commitment to develop students “ready to advance the common good,” according to Dr. Peter Frank ’95, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.

“It seemed like an excellent time to dovetail conversations on who we are as an institution and examine what exactly we wanted all our students to learn in our core curriculum. Equipping students to pursue God’s calling for their lives in a changing world requires that we further articulate our institutional history to reflect our rooted yet relevant stance,” Frank said. “It was an unprecedented opportunity to consider anew the crucial connections between belief and practice, knowing and doing, conviction and curriculum.”

The work was supported by a $39,411 Reframing the Institutional Saga grant from the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education, a program of the Council of Independent Colleges supported by the generosity of Lilly Endowment Inc. The grant is designed to help colleges produce an updated account of their history and mission and, in the process, “balance their history, identity, and heritage … with present circumstances.”

In Grove City College’s case, that included a sustained conversation on the “intellectual and theological understandings of independence and community that lie at the root of our institutional history and our world” between faculty, staff, and administration, Frank said. Those “core conversations” were augmented by a symposium for all faculty earlier this year on the essays in “Treasurers of Wisdom and Knowledge.”

“Our hope is that this volume gives Grove City College stakeholders a clear sense of rich and decisive historical moments in the history of our college while inspiring careful reflection on ways to boldly and wisely carry forward our Christ-centered higher educational mission of excellence,” Graham wrote. “We are confident that such a saga … is alive and well in the mission and life of our college today.”

The book contains essays by Dr. Paul C. Kemeny, dean of the Calderwood School of Arts & Letters and professor of Biblical and Religious Studies and Humanities; Dr. Gary Scott Smith ’72, professor emeritus of History; Dr. Shawn Ritenour, professor Economics; Dr. Michelle McFeaters ’88, ’02, dean of the School of Business and professor of Accounting; Dr. Kenneth P. Carson, retired professor of Business; Dr. Glenn Marsch, professor of Physics; Dr. Jeffrey Bilbro, associate professor of English; Dr. Ryan West, associate professor of Philosophy; Dr. Kristen Waha, associate professor English; Dr. Kelsey B. Madsen, associate professor of French; Dr. Carl R. Trueman, professor of Biblical and Religious Studies; and Frank. Rev. Donald D. Opitz, chaplain and senior director of Christian Formation, edited it with Graham.

“Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge: Grove City College and the Quest for Christ-Centered Learning” is available at the Grove City College bookstore and online at bookstore.gcc.edu.

‘Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge’ explores the GCC saga

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