Four locations, one unified vision: that’s the beauty of Ashland Theological Seminary, whose campuses in Ashland, Cleveland, Columbus, and Detroit nurture a sense of community and hospitality that transcends classroom buildings. September’s writing workshop served not only to prepare students for academic success, but to build a bond between, within, and among campuses.
The Writing Refresher/Research in Theology class was taught by Lorna Condit, Associate Director of the University Writing Center & Accent on Writing Coordinator at Ashland University. While Condit presented in person at the seminary’s Ashland Center, students at the other centers watched a live online broadcast via ZOOM.
Many students who attend the seminary have been out of school for a while. They may have plenty of college writing experience and understand the basics of what makes a well-organized, developed paper, but need specific information about how to succeed as a seminary student in 2019 and beyond.
“I really had three goals for the seminar,” explains Condit. “First, I wanted to provide some basic information in the areas that I was told the seminary students needed: how to use sources, how to cite correctly, and how to think like a scholar and use an academic tone in writing.
“My second goal was to encourage the seminary students to see the writing center as something that is available to help them. Often, students who aren’t on the main campus feel disconnected from our services, and I wanted to begin changing that perception.
“Finally, I wanted to begin forging a stronger relationship with the seminary.”
Condit reports that despite some technical issues, the seminar went well. Students provided positive feedback about the experience, including Michael Turner, Historical and Theological Studies Master’s student from the Detroit campus. "The writing program was very beneficial to me,” he wrote. “It cleared up how to prevent inadvertent plagiarism. I liked the recommendation to read a text in a book multiple times and then writing what I gleaned from it in my own words into the essay or paper I'm writing."
Condit says that she would love to do another workshop in the future, perhaps broadcasting from different seminary campuses on a rotating basis to reinforce the interconnectedness of the centers. She’d also like to explore a variety of focused topics, perhaps through a series of one-hour webinars.
Ashland Theological Seminary is passionate about innovating and continuing to develop worthwhile programs that respond to students’ needs. The seminary offers certificate, master’s and doctoral level programs in Ashland, Cleveland, Columbus, and Detroit. Learn more at seminary.ashland.edu.