The Harding Department of Art and Design has partnered with the Harding Department of International Programs to create a new study abroad program that will encompass a worldwide trip to study the architecture, art and world religions.
Daniel Adams, department chair of Art and Design, and Amy Cox, assistant professor of art, worked with Jeffrey Hopper, dean of international programs, to create the new trip that will first be offered in Summer 2018 to art and design students.
The program, titled Architecture of Religion, features destinations in the U.S., Mexico, Japan, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Greece, Italy, France, and England, and will focus heavily on how religion has influenced architecture and art across the globe.
“Jeff Hopper was very inspiring to us to say, ‘Don’t limit yourself. Why don’t you go around the world?'” Cox said.
The program will serve as a 12 hour course that kicks off during intersession 2018 and lasts until July. The first stop on the trip is Atlanta, Georgia, where students will visit Ebenezer Baptist Church, which served as a home base for the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.
Adams and Cox said they hope the trip will give students a better understanding of the way other religions worship, as well as a new outlook on people who worship differently than themselves.
“I want them to understand (the) people in the world, other humans, (and) that we’re all children of God, and we’re all reaching out to God,” Adams said. “We’ll see ourselves in light of other people, and we’ll be more thoughtful in how we approach other people and how we interact.”
Cox said she hopes students end the trip with a broadened understanding of religions of the world, as well as an appreciation for the art and architecture of other countries.
Junior graphic design major Sydney Duckels echoed Adams’ and Cox’s statements.
“Being that the overall theme of the trip is ‘Architecture of Worship’, I feel like the students that go will gain a better understanding of why other people believe what they do, and worship the way that they do, and just live the way that they do,” Duckels said. “They will hopefully all gain a better understanding of people who we see as different than us, which is the first step towards being able to love and reach out to people.”
Enrollment in the program is now open to students studying in the department of art and design.