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New interdisciplinary minors expand course offerings

By Anna Meurer
Copy Editor

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Georgetown is expanding its course offerings this year with two new interdisciplinary minors: Christian Leadership and Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The new additions join a wide array of interdisciplinary minors already available, including Women’s Studies, Security Studies, Classics, Child Development, Asian Studies and Musical Theater.

According to its catalog entry, the Christian Leadership minor is designed “to prepare students for Christian ministry in the twenty-first century” through a combination of both classroom and service learning components. The minor has a strong religion focus, requiring vocational and practical ministry courses alongside theology and Biblical studies, but it also includes an elective component to allow students to match the minor to their specific interests.

Religion professor Dr. Sheila Klopfer, who oversees the program, notes that the program is wide-reaching and able to “fit just about any major or career interest. Its aim is to help students think about and practice Christian servant-leadership in the world in which we all live.”

Christian Leadership replaces the Youth Ministry minor, which was discontinued last spring. Speaking on its origins, Klopfer says, “Ministry contexts are changing in the twenty-first century. Where school at one time created ministry minors to primarily serve pastoral careers in the church, this minor is much broader because we recognize that ministry comes in all shapes and sizes.”

The minor is structured to allow Christian leaders to act on their unique call in response to the needs of the community. With the minor also came several new courses, including Christian Ministry, Missional Community, Youth and Family Ministries, and Biblical Storytelling.
The second new minor, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, offers a chance to study the cultural history of the period through a multi-disciplinary approach. Headed by English professor Holly Barbaccia, the minor is one of only two programs of its kind in Kentucky and the only one at a small liberal arts college.

Barbaccia, who also oversees the Women’s Studies minor, said, “By their interdisciplinary nature, minors like Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Women’s Studies cultivate students’ intellectual flexibility. While such programs may seem narrow or specialized, they actually help students develop the ability to solve problems, address questions and analyze data from multiple disciplinary perspectives — a highly transferable skill, and the premier skill of a liberally educated person.”