COR 107: The Great Conversation—Foundations in Thinking, Reading, and Writing,
COR 108/109: The Great Conversation (Honors)—Foundations in Thinking Reading, and Writing **
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13 (NIV)
The Great Conversation is Gordon’s first-year writing course. Students are introduced to the basic principles of college writing through an orientation to the writing process, instruction in a variety of writing genres, including a research paper, and giving and receiving feedback. Learning to write well is integrally connected to thinking and speaking clearly. In The Great Conversation, students receive writing instruction in the context of reading and discussing the works of important writers and thinkers.
This course initiates Gordon students into the “great conversation” that constitutes the Christian liberal arts tradition. The question that will connect the themes studied is that asked by great thinkers and writers throughout the centuries: “What is the good life?” It’s a question we will ask throughout our lives, but it is especially one that students should ask as they begin their academic studies, pursue lives of Christian character, decide on a vocation and strive to integrate their faith into their studies and into their lives in order to make a difference in today’s culture. Within this overarching theme of the good life, we will explore the related themes of love, Christian character, vocation, community, and shalom/justice.
Students will examine the academic life through the lens of faith, gain confidence and skill in expressing themselves orally and in writing, read a variety of texts that explore these interrelated themes, and write in a variety of genres in order to articulate their values and beliefs. This course enables students to learn the joy of the disciplines of listening and reading, speaking and writing in the context of a small seminar-style class. This course has service-learning and non-service sections and the course is four credits over one semester (Fall or Spring).
TGC Honors Course Overview **
The Great Conversation Honors Seminar initiates A. J. Gordon Scholarship recipients into the Great Conversation of the Christian Liberal Arts and Sciences. Additional learning options distinguish TGC-Honors sections from the one-semester COR 107 course, but they pursue the common question: What is the Good LIfe? Honors students explore the academic life through the lens of faith, exploring themes of love, Christian character, vocation and calling, community, and shalom and justice.
The Great Conversation Honors Seminar (COR 109/109) extends four credits over two semesters, allowing for richer conversation at a pace compatible with almost every academic major. All sections of TGC-Honors are service learning sections.
Samples of Course Readings: C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves; Marilynn Robinson, Gilead; Wendell Berry, Fidelity; and Peter Kreeft, Back to Virtue. In addition to these texts, students will read selected poetry, short essays, biblical passages and view films related to the main themes of the course.
TGC Peer Mentors (formally known as Fellows): Another exciting aspect of the course is the inclusion of upper class students who provide peer mentoring for the first year students. The TGC Peer Mentors offer assistance with writing, help students navigate their transition into college life and often provide a sounding board for students, modeling excellent student leadership in the classroom. Click below for an application to become a TGC Peer Mentor: