Personal Teaching Philosophy

Stephen B. Vardeman

I believe that truth is fundamentally objective, universal and external (as opposed to being subjective, personal and private). Order exists in the universe because order is consistent with the character of the God of creation. Education is primarily about developing and accepting the discipline necessary to see this already-existent order and objective truth, and is fundamentally an individual proposition.

A college/university professor has the privilege and responsibility of providing:

A professor is one who already has a comprehensive command of a subject, and as such must set a clear agenda in his or her courses. There is some place for class discussion and group work in a college/university course, primarily in the realms of synthesis and practice with material already "on the table." But there is no substitute for the student's solitary struggle to master hard material and the professor's demand that the struggle be undertaken.

Because I believe that life is a unity, I also believe that it is essential that a professor strive to live a sober and admirable life, and provide for his or her students an example of good character and genuine charity. It is important that a faculty member model the Golden Rule in all his or her endeavors and be ready to discuss both course content and the broader questions of life with all inquirers.