At Denver Christian, we continually evaluate and adjust our curriculum to best meet the needs of our students. This year our high school faculty added several new courses to our curriculum offerings.
Our new Bible teacher, Josh Harstine, is offering a course called “Christian Beliefs.” This course overviews the historic doctrines of Chrsitianity. Josh says, “Systematic theology is my favorite discipline to teach; it provides a venue for tying together biblical teaching in a way that connects students to the past, upholds the unity of the church, and challenges students to clarify their convictions as they interact with diverging theological conclusions across faith traditions.” Part of the beauty of our community as Christians is how we can learn from each other. This course helps students examine their faith, ask important questions, and grow in confidence and humility as believers.
“I believe our faith is strengthened when it is challenged by differing views, our ability to understand scripture is honed by hearing different interpretations, and our charity towards those with whom we disagree is amplified when we see the grounds for their different convictions and understand the legitimacy of certain differing views and the common ground held across disagreement.’Josh Harstine, High School Bible Teacher
Introduction to Poetry
For many years we have offered Poetry and Drama as a full-year honors course. This year Derek Bosshard added Introduction to Poetry, which focuses on helping students learn how to look at poetry. He says, “Poetry is unique in that is the most condense literary form, but many people view it as something too abstract and frustrating to engage with. My simple vision for the course is to equip students with reading tools and habits to dispel that notion.” This course helps ease students into the study of poetry to help them better appreciate poetry and prepare them for more advanced classes in the future. Mr. Bosshard hopes that this course not only helps students become better readers and writers, but that it helps them appreciate the little things in literature and life.
This year, Mr. Harstine and Mr. Homan teamed up to add a course on the wisdom literature of the Old Testament. Wisdom Literature will survey the Biblical wisdom found in Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. Mr. Harstine and Mr. Homan will help students understand both the form and function of Hebrew wisdom literature. Through deeper reading and understanding, students will see the seat and source of Biblical wisdom and how it is an integral part of a life lived in relationship with God.
We are thrilled to add French to our language curriculum at Denver Christian, taught by Courtney Harstine. This class is an exciting opportunity for students to learn about a new people and culture. Mrs. Harstine started learning French in high school and ended up spending a year and a half after college in France. She reflects, “Language learning, while often frustrating and sometimes isolating, opens the door to new ideas and new perspectives. There is, of course, a very practical goal at hand: to communicate in French. But beyond that practical goal, I hope that my students’ journeys in French encourage them to be thoughtful and produce a desire to explore the unknown or unfamiliar.”
For the winter term, Mrs. Zietse taught Science Fiction. This course is an introduction to Science Fiction as a genre. Students were able to explore ideas like time travel, artificial intelligence, first contact with extraterrestrial life, and dystopia. By reading stories about other worlds, students analyzed the way that sci-fi looks at our own world as a reflection of possibilities, fears, values, and beliefs.
This spring term, Tisa Lawrence-Krekel is adding an exciting course in the Fine Arts. Music appreciation is an opportunity for students to learn how music is impacted by the world around them. Students will take a closer look at the relationship of history and music. Music is an expression of the inner workings of the world, so students will look into the ‘Why’ behind music.
“I’m hoping that students who take Music Appreciation will be able to listen to music differently after they complete this course–that they won’t just hear random notes penned to a staff, but they will begin to hear and see the stories of the music in the world around them.”Tisa Lawrence-Krekel, Middle and High School Music
This course helps our student athletes grow in their strength and conditioning. They will study how to prevent common injuries and rehab if injuries occur. This class is also offered to students who don’t play sports. We want to pursue a healthy active lifestyle regardless of each student’s interests and hobbies.
Mr. Quinn is passionate about discipling students to live a full life and utilize the gifts and abilities God has given them. He says, “Over the last two terms I have seen students in this course grow more confident in themselves and their abilities to perform, we have seen our unity build across all sports and perhaps most importantly our students are growing a passion and desire to train their bodies and be physically well.”
We are thankful for our teachers. They continuously create new content, projects, and entire classes. We look forward to the spring term and all of the incredible learning taking place in the high school!