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Scots in Their Majors: Casen Bailey '24
One of the distinct differences between high school and college academics is the greater ability to specialize and choose courses that suit one’s interests in college. Biblical and theological studies major Casen Bailey '24 has enjoyed the chance this freedom has given him to take courses that he enjoys.
Hailing from Athens, GA, Bailey chose to attend Covenant College primarily because of the community. When not in class or doing homework, he enjoys spending time with friends and reading.
When faced with the task of declaring a major, Bailey went through the course catalogue, circling all the courses that seemed appealing to him. Upon finding more of those classes fell within the biblical and theological studies major than any others, Bailey declared that major. Although initially uncertain that he would stick with the major, Bailey found a desire to stay after getting acquainted with the major and community.
As a biblical studies major, Bailey enjoys the opportunity to study what he likes. His classes have allowed him to work through theology and read books that go hand in hand with his personal interests. Bailey has enjoyed being able to read through and memorize Scripture as his homework.
Although he enjoys studying Scripture for classwork, Bailey is wary of the possible temptations of reducing it to an academic discipline. “You can look at Scripture almost exclusively as an academic text and leave out the personal and devotional elements that are so vital to our individual walks with God and corporate walks with God,” Bailey said.
Visiting Bible professor Dr. Clifton Ward hopes that his theology and church history classes will help students come to love God and others more deeply. “I think they’re surprised that theology and church history actually leads us to more worship,” Ward said. To him, the ultimate goal of teaching, which he considers a form of ministry, is encouraging students a deeper relationship with God above academic understanding.
Ward emphasizes the fun and laughter that can be found in theology and church history courses, which students don’t often expect coming in. Like Ward, Bailey finds genuine enjoyment and interest in the classes.
As a biblical studies major, Bailey has enjoyed learning about the history of hermeneutics, the study of how texts have been interpreted in different traditions over time. He has also enjoyed History and Expansion of Christianity, in which he learned about first century theologians and their impacts on theology, and has been able to look at primary sources from early Christians.
Bailey’s studies of hermeneutics have given him a greater ability to study Scripture, especially when it comes to understanding how everything goes together. “When you’re reading Philipians, you don’t just see it as a collection of verses, but you see it as one consecutive story or even argument that Paul’s weaving together in his particular context to try to aid the Church,” Bailey said.
He looks forward to taking Current Issues in Biblical Studies, in which he will get an opportunity to look at modern Scripture criticism, and Greek, among other upper level courses.
This article originally appeared in the Feb. 14, 2022 issue of The Bagpipe.