Announcements for December 24, 2015
Foundation Institute Update
From David Johnson: On Friday, Dec. 18, the Foundation Institute students completed their first semester of classes for this academic year. In this fourth year of operation, we are very pleased both with the progress of the students and with the improvements we have instituted in the program. Though this has been our smallest class so far, with only 14 full-time students, in many ways this has been the liveliest class so far. The students have been enthusiastically engaged in the classes as well as the other church and social activities offered in the area, even though a number of them are working part-time jobs to cover their expenses.
We have continued to refine the program and the adjustments we have made seem to be working well. In addition to maintaining our core biblical classes, last year we revised our “Explaining the Faith” class, which now includes a significant section on comparative religion. Students study how various religious groups came into existence, as well as the basic beliefs and practices of a variety of religious organizations. This study helps the students understand how our own beliefs and practices differ and why we believe as we do. Further, it helps the students understand how to more knowledgably answer questions from those who might inquire about our beliefs.
When we return for the second semester, we will begin our second year of the “Service in the Church” class we instituted last year. This class utilizes 10 to 12 different instructors to help students understand how they may be able to serve in the Church after they leave FI. The class begins with several sessions discussing the underlying attitude of service all Christians need, then moves on to consider specific areas of service within the Church. Subjects include working with your pastor and local church leadership; learning from the veterans; learning what is involved in having Sabbath and holy day services; working with youth, senior citizens and those with special needs; serving at socials and with Sabbath school classes; etc. In addition, the Media department teaches sections on video production and writing for the various Church publications, and students produce their own educational and promotional videos, as well as articles for publication and for the Life, Hope & Truth website.
The administration has committed to making a number of improvements in the classroom, and we are looking forward to a more attractive and useful educational facility.
In addition to the classroom instruction, students have been involved in a variety of other activities. Much has been said about our annual etiquette dinner, and students and faculty were grateful for that opportunity. The students learned of a new restaurant in the area that is set up to provide work opportunities for the learning disabled, so the entire student body and faculty went there for lunch one day to lend our support. It was a great activity, and the students are already planning to return during the second semester. A number of the students joined nearly 50 members of the Dallas congregation to attend a performance of The Sound of Music at the State Fair Music Theater. Several more are engaged in activities with the Dallas congregation, including sports, serving in the Sabbath school program, and contributing to special music.
With assistance from Rayshan Sanoon and Manuel Iturra in our Media department, 2014 graduate Chantelle West has just completed a new promotional video for Foundation Institute. The video will premiere at the Winter Family Weekend in Louisville and then will be made available for showing in all church areas. We are very excited about the video and hope it will generate additional interest in attending Foundation Institute among the young people. We have already received a number of applications for next year and are hoping for the largest class ever.
Foundation Institute is also coordinating our travel education program, which begins with a tour of Israel during the Pentecost season next year. We have over 90 Church members who have registered to participate in this trip, including four FI faculty members, two pastors and two elders. The trip will include extensive touring in Israel as well as celebrating Pentecost in Jerusalem. The group will be joined by the four Foundation Outreach International volunteers who are currently serving in Jordan.
Finally, for those who may not be able to devote nine months to learning at Foundation Institute but would like to participate in the Continuing Education program, we are pleased to announce that we are planning for two one-week sessions this coming summer here at the classroom in Allen. We plan to have sessions on July 11-15 and July 25-29. We will send out more information after the second semester begins, but those who are interested may wish to begin planning now.
Our thanks go out to all the ministry and brethren for their continued support for Foundation Institute.