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
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
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
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