“Young people are the future,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs William Licht. And by training students to teach, Maranatha plays a unique part in shaping that future—here in the U.S. and around the world.
With the ever-increasing ease of traveling cross culturally, students now have greater access into foreign countries. Opportunities for Maranatha students to teach in schools of Guam, Lebanon, China, Saipan, Peru, Albania, and other countries have opened within the last few years.
“The School of Education exists to train high quality teachers who will positively impact young people for Christ,” Licht explained. “This is done by convincing future teachers that teaching both the heart and mind of young people are vitally important.” Licht’s vision for the School of Education is to prepare “godly educators who are not only superbly trained academically, but are making a radical difference for Christ in the lives of students they encounter.”
Each degree program is designed to challenge students on many different levels, including academically, spiritually, and socially, and to expose them to a broad range of instructional methods, learning styles, and ministry options—some of which will affect the direction of their lives.
“One of the ways I fulfilled my fieldwork was through tutoring at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission,” shared 2011 graduate Jessica Larson. “Interacting with inner-city students every Thursday night gave me a burden to reach out to the lost with the gospel.” Larson currently teaches second grade at Harvest Christian Academy in Guam and is pursuing a Master of Education in Teaching and Learning online degree from Maranatha Baptist University.
“The education I received at Maranatha prepared me to teach every subject from a biblical worldview,” Larson remarked. “The teachers I had while at Maranatha clearly desired to glorify God in all they did. I would like to instill in my students the same love for God and a passion for his glory.”
Maranatha’s education degrees blend traditional classroom instruction with hands-on training in elementary and secondary classrooms across the nation. Sophomores and juniors are required to complete over 100 hours of fieldwork—observing, journaling, participating in classroom work, and teaching in cooperating schools. Seniors work alongside a certified teacher to complete 18 weeks of student teaching. As required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, student teaching covers the cooperating schools’ entire semester.
“Learning how you start and how you finish is always important,” said Mr. David Handyside, Director of Field Experiences. “Such a timetable offers more opportunities to experience all aspects of teaching, from the opening of the semester, when classes are initially engaged, to the end of the semester, when classes are closed and assessments are documented.”
Maranatha’s School of Education holds the distinction of offering regionally accredited degrees, a benefit that helps speed students on their way when considering going on to graduate school, obtaining licensure, teaching nationwide, or serving overseas. “In some states, including Wisconsin, only individuals with a regionally accredited degree can obtain a teaching license beyond a simple substitutive teacher license,” Licht commented.
Maranatha graduates teach in over 30 states across the U.S. and in five foreign countries, a true reflection of the reciprocity of a Maranatha degree. Students who complete all of the academic requirements (i.e., fieldwork, student teaching, GPA requirements, Praxis II content testing, etc.) may apply for full licensure to teach in classrooms at home and around the world.
Cooperating teachers consistently recommend Maranatha student teachers, and administrators appreciate the preparation and professionalism of the graduates. “In my 11 years as vice principal, I have worked and networked with as well as helped hire educators from various Christian schools,” said Orlando Duarte, 2002 graduate and vice principal at Christian High School in El Cajon, CA. “During this time it has been clear to me that Maranatha prepares teachers to become ‘whole’ Christian educators.”
Students become teachers at MBU—teachers with a passion for education and a willingness to serve wherever God leads, whether in a local community or in a foreign land. “Generations of young people can be either positively or negatively influenced by their teachers,” shared Licht. “We’re seeking to train teachers who demonstrate a servant’s heart, a teachable spirit, an inner drive to constantly improve, and the God-given desire to impact lives ‘. . . so that the generation to come . . . might set their hope in God’ (Psalm 78:6-8).”