Published October 18, 2017
CSU’s Emphasis on Relational Learning
Clarks Summit University is a relational learning community that uses a variety of experiences to help students grow in knowledge, skills and a relationship with God. Emphasis is placed on a relational culture where students pursue authentic growth in Christ.
Derrick Polohonki, a junior Sports Ministry major from Dubois, Pennsylvania, says, “I enjoy the fact that my relationships at CSU are based on and revolve around our faith and love of Jesus Christ. Because of that we can laugh, challenge and grow with each other.” Students connect in their studies, residence halls, theatre productions, choir, athletic teams, leadership roles, ministry opportunities and on-campus jobs.
The Office of Student Development is driven by the community values: “Love God, Love Others, Live in Community and Practice Discernment.” The dean of students, Frank Judson, initiated an intentional discipleship model for on-campus student workers. Judson says the Office of Student Development has a “laser focus on the students’ growth through experience.”
Through on-campus student employment, Judson’s model builds a chain of discipleship. Staff members of CSU supervise student leaders, who in turn supervise a team of student workers. This lets students exercise leadership and management skills in a learning environment. Each student employment position gives expected job experience and also integrates spiritual and personal growth initiatives.
Mallory Thompson, a senior in the Business Administration program, is one of many students flourishing in this discipleship structure. Thompson says, “Summer crew was an intentional discipleship program that allowed me to grow myself, with others and in ministry. I was able to personally evaluate who I am in Christ and because of Christ. Frank Judson, Jenn Paris, mentors and the summer crew team demonstrated the importance of unity within the body of Christ and how our spiritual walk can be communal. Everything I have learned this summer has better equipped me for the future.”
Clarks Summit University aspires to be a community of individuals who love and serve God with all their heart, soul and mind, and who love their neighbor as themselves. With a foundation built in college years, graduates are launched into the world as servants of God and relational learners who continue to engage in discipleship.
Nathan Miller (’15) is a Communications-Writing graduate from Scranton, Pennsylvania