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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended February 09, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 10Feb01

By Paul Carter

BYU Professor Requires Students to 'Enter, Learn, and Serve'

PROVO, UTAH -- "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve" is the motto BYU proclaims for its students at the campus main entrance. For one BYU professor, the time at BYU for his students is going to be a time to both learn AND serve.

Bruce Van Orden, professor of church history and doctrine, teaches the students in his Book of Mormon class to accept opportunities of service as part of the class curriculum. In a concept of "service learning", students enrolled in the class spend one to two hours each week involved in service to others outside the classroom.

"I believe the gospel plan is to serve others in need," says Professor Van Orden. "Service learning is a practical application of Book of Mormon principles."

For Van Orden, service is a personal quest. He says, "I have come to the conviction that the Lord created me to serve. I was born to serve. I love to do it and promote it among my students. That's how we show our love for Jesus Christ."

Service learning is a class requirement, as are student written reports on their service efforts. The reports do not just document the effort expended. Most importantly, the reports help the individual students to recognize how they grow through the experiences of their personal service.

Clinton Long is a freshman from Provo, Utah and one of Professor Van Orden's students. Clinton majors in Political Science and volunteers at Wasatch Elementary School for his service learning. He offers his thoughts about the service learning curriculum:

"I think, especially in the religion program, that it's an important part of education. In the church, it's important to serve other people." Clinton also comments about the requirement of written reports on his service projects. "We realize how good of an experience it was when we write about it."

Service learning was offered for the first time in Brother Van Orden's class last fall. He hints that he faced a few challenges in structuring the concept for the first time, but considers the current semester a success. He is hopeful that other professors will identify a role for service learning for their students--and implement it in their classes.

He says, "Book of Mormon students start to give of themselves and develop love for the needy individuals they're serving."


Y religion professor puts service learning in curriculum
BYU NewsNet 6Feb01 D3
By Kathryn Dougall: NewsNet Staff Writer


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