04 May 2017
UPH Liberal Arts Education Encourages Students to Think Holistic
Liberal Arts education has become an important matter today, especially when we are talking about holistic education in university. In order to talk about the need for Liberal Arts education,
fp_seminar_fla.jpgOne Day Seminar on Worldview-based Liberal Arts Education 
 

Liberal Arts education has become an important matter today, especially when we are talking about holistic education in university. In order to talk about the need for Liberal Arts education, Universitas Pelita Harapan Faculty of Liberal Arts (FLA UPH) held a one-day seminar on May 2, 2017, at D 501, UPH Karawaci. This seminar presented Hendra Thamrindinata, S.Si., M.Div, Dean of FLA, along with a number of FLA UPH lecturers such as Matthew R. Malcolm, Ph.D., Dr. F.Budi Hardiman and Stanley Djatah, Ph.D., as key speakers.

 

Hendra began the seminar with an explanation about Worldview-based Liberal Arts education. According to Hendra, worldview-based liberal arts education is a framework which is referenced for understanding, interpreting, reasoning and answering existential questions. Thus, with this, students are able to understand everything holistically. 

 
 Hendra_FLA.jpg
Hendra Thamrindinata, S.Si., M.Div.
 

In Indonesia, Hendra also explained that Pancasila as a national principle also acts as the basic worldview which always have to be applied in matters regarding education. The first principle, which talks about religion beliefs, becomes the foundation which supports the idea of making Christian belief as a reference for an educational institution in teaching Liberal Arts. In other words, we can use the word Christian Worldview, which has been applied by UPH. This principal was set, so that Christian students are able to understand their role and to lead them towards an appropriate understanding about the essence of God’s Kingdom life. Whereas for non-Christian students, they will receive Liberal Arts education based on general worldview.

 
Malcomm_Fla.jpg
  Matthew R. Malcolm, Ph.D.
 

Theological substance is essential and inseparable with the Liberal Arts education here. Matthew R. Malcolm stated that theological value, both Christian as well as other belief’s, will always have an impact towards someone’s life; especially, as a student, it will impact their learning process. The concept of theology has become normative for anyone who wants to view the world. The theological concepts we are talking about, is not about turning students to be religion experts; instead, theological concepts have become a framework which becomes a reference for students to see world reality, and a foundation for the other majors. Thus, it was hoped that students are able to have great sensibility towards any other problems. 

 
 

This was also in line with Dr. F. Budi Hardiman’s view, which states that today’s young generation is a millennial generation. 

Budi_FLA.jpg
 Dr. F. Budi Hardiman
 

“The young generation today didn’t even notice that they have turn into an apathetic generation, who are indifferent towards reading and a ‘Me’ generation who only cares about themselves. This inclination also supports them in becoming an isolated generation, who could only understand a problem partially. Thus through a worldview-based liberal arts education, hopefully, it may become an answer which encourages students to understand reality in a holistic way,” said Budi.

According to Budi, in order to support holistic thinking through Liberal Arts education, a university has to be able to teach various branch of knowledge, including philosophy and theology. Both Philosophy and Theology supports each other; and through the liberal arts education, students are encouraged to think and understand things holistically, from the theological point of view and with a philosophical concept as the supporting instrument in understanding the truth. 

 
Stanley_FLA.jpg
Stanley Djatah, Ph.D. 
 

At the last session, brought by Stanley Djalaludin Djatah, Ph.D., he talked about Liberal Arts within a scientific context. According to him, God’s truth is a substantial matter which supports science in explaining its own details. Certainly, the talk about the substance itself along with science has raised many discussions, questions, and critiques within the class. Thus, regarding this matter, the most important thing is open-mindedness in searching for the truth.

 

 

This seminar was attended by approximately 100 participants from UPH as well as lecturers from other universities. Not just seminar, this event was also filled with workshops, where participants would be divided according to their chosen interest of topic. The topics offered were subjects within FLA UPH’s curriculum.