“Whole-person education” is one of those stock phrases within higher education that is at once meaningful and meaningless: it’s core to the mission of institutions and central to how many of us conceive our vocations; it’s also so pervasive and thinly understood as to resemble a slogan concocted by the worst of branding consultants.
So in this week’s episode we dig deeper into a phrase that was all over our Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education book. First, while head, heart, and spirit get most of the attention in Christian whole-person education, body often seems neglected. So we start with college volleyball coach Gretchen Hunt, on the relationship between athletics and academics (and sports as a microcosm of public policy issues), and continue with exercise physiology professor Seth Paradis, who had as much to say about spirituality as biomechanics as he cast a holistic vision for “well-being.” (Seth also got me to see the Pietist notion of “an irenic spirit” from a totally different angle!)
- “Redefining Well-Being: What does it mean to be well?” (a recent magazine article featuring Seth)
- At the close of my conversation with Gretchen, I alluded to Spellman College’s decision to drop intercollegiate athletics in order to focus on recreation and physical fitness programs