First Year Seminar & LIBA 100

Incoming students have a choice between taking either GEED 130 First Year Seminar OR LIBA 100 Knowing and Being Known. GEED 130 or LIBA 100 is required of all incoming first-year students. Transfer students are invited to enroll in GEED 130 FYS Transfer Experience as an elective. Students who complete LIBA 100 instead of GEED 130 will be able to apply the course to one of the following general education requirements: Bible elective, humanities elective, three credits of social science, or three credits of Global and Cultural Understanding.

Fall athletes who will have practice during the first six weeks of the semester should choose sections that meet before 3:30 or after 6:30 p.m.

LIBA 100 Knowing and Being Known (Full semester, 3 credits)

You are starting the journey. In about four years, you will reflect on how much you learned along the way. You will remember the stories, the people, the challenges, the fun, and the insights. You will have learned truth through the questions you have asked and the answers you have sought.

LIBA 100 is the jumping-off-point for you to be successful at George Fox University. Designed around student-led class discussion, close reading, reflective writing, and creative exploration, this course teaches you to be a scholar – someone who seeks truth and helps others find it. The three-credit, semester-long course will teach you the basics of what every student needs to succeed at George Fox, but will not stop there. More than that, it will reveal your strengths and challenges as a scholar as you learn the different ways of knowing through the tradition of the Christian Liberal Arts.

This class is for everyone! We will study challenging ideas, but we will all jump in together, learning from each other. The full-semester community experience will be rich and helpful for all students; we especially recommend LIBA 100 for students who are unsure of a major or those who are the first in their families to attend college.

Below is a listing of days, times and instructors for each section.

Note: For the first time, we are offering a section (Section S) designed for students whose first language is Spanish – or who have advanced Spanish proficiency – and would like to read and discuss ideas in Spanish.

Section Class Number Day Time Instructor
LIBA 100 A 1847 Tu/Th 1:25–2:40 p.m. Debra Espinor & Linda Samek
LIBA 100 B 1848 Tu/Th 1:25–2:40 p.m. Rebecca Hernandez & Rebecca Addleman
LIBA 100 C 1849 M/W/F Noon–12:50 p.m. Shannon Scott
LIBA 100 D 1850 Tu/Th 9:25–10:40 a.m. Corey Beals
LIBA 100 E 1851 Tu/Th 4:15–5:30 p.m. Gary Tandy
LIBA 100 F 1852 M/W/F 9–9:50 a.m. Isabelle Corneaux
LIBA 100 G 1853 M/W/F 1–1:50 p.m. Jeff Birdsell
LIBA 100 H 1854 M/W/F 2–2:50 p.m.   Polly Peterson
LIBA 100 I 1855 Tu/Th 2:50–4:05 p.m. Stephanie Fisher & Laura Hartley
LIBA 100 J 1856 Tu/Th 9:25–10:40 a.m. Brenda Morton & Eloise Hockett
LIBA 100 K
(Art & Design majors)
1857 Tu/Th 9:25–10:40 a.m. Mark Terry
LIBA 100 L 1858 Tu/Th Noon–1:15 p.m. Brent Weaver
LIBA 100 S
(in Spanish)
1859 M/W/F 9–9:50 a.m. Debbie Berho

GEED 130 First Year Seminar (6 weeks, 1 credit)

GEED 130 First Year Seminar (FYS) is designed to assist first-year students in becoming engaged members of the George Fox University community. All first-year students select a seminar-style topical course for the first six weeks of the fall semester; students meet with an instructor and two peer advisors for two hours each week. The course is a pass/fail course.

Helping ‘Them’ become ‘Us’
GEED 130 A (2473) - Monday, 7:30–9:30 p.m.
Grant Burns

Grant Burns

Using Christena Cleveland’s book Disunity in Christ, we will explore the many hidden forces that keep us apart and attempt to begin building a way to bring us back together. Entering college is an incredibly exciting time that is full of new experiences and new people. But the people we come in contact with are very different than us. In many ways this can be unsettling, cause us to question our deeply held beliefs, and may lead us to create walls that separate us from them.

Grant Burns is an area coordinator over Houses and Apartments West, primarily a living area for sophomores. He came to George Fox via California, Illinois and Minnesota. His wife Katie and their two children, William and Felicity, live in the Fry House near the suites and right across from Pennington.

Pursuit! Planning Your Journey of Discovery in College
GEED 130 B (2474) - Tuesday, 6:45–8:45 p.m.
Kelly Chang

Kelly Chang

You are FINALLY here! Now it’s time to seize the day and pursue God, school success and relationships. George Fox is a great place to do it. We will explore topics such as strategies for planning and goal-setting, studying and test-taking, growing closer to God, making, keeping, and nurturing relationships, and discovering the person God made you to be.

This course is designed to assist first-year students in becoming engaged members of the George Fox University community. The course encourages students to claim their education through a focus on integrating faith and learning and cultivating habits of mind for lifelong achievement and success.

Kelly Chang, who grew up in Kaneohe, Hawai’i, joined the undergraduate psychology department in 2006. She earned an MA and PhD in psychology from the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Kelly’s research interests include positive psychology and poverty, emotional intelligence and diversity. She regularly takes students to Nicaragua to serve and study resilience and interventions for some of the poorest people in the Western Hemisphere. Kelly’s life mission is to “understand, illuminate and inspire God's purpose in people’s lives,” and she especially loves exploring with college students as they discover their identity and calling in Christ.

Christianity and Cell Culture: Christian Wisdom & the Emerging Power of 21st Century Biology
GEED 130 C (2475) - Monday, 4:30–6:30 p.m.
Jeff Duerr

Jeff Duerr

The aim of this seminar is to address the broad impacts of biological science on contemporary society. Topics will focus on the relationship between biology and the Christian faith. Discussions will focus on the role of the life sciences as a way of learning about God and how one may foster a concurrent study of nature and the Bible. Further discussion will focus on bioethical cases raised by recent advances in biological research: cloning, stem-cells, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), etc.

Another equally important component to the seminar is to help students adjust to their first year at George Fox. The course will provide a forum for sharing common experiences among new freshmen and act as a support group. Hopefully, students will gain an increased awareness of their academic strengths and weaknesses, learn about university resources that are available to them, and enjoy a productive first year of college.

Jeff Duerr lives in Newberg with his wife and three daughters, all of whom keep him very busy as they explore the beauty of the state of Oregon. The Duerrs love to camp from the high desert to the beaches, enjoy biking through Champoeg State Park, and visiting family in central Oregon. Jeff particularly enjoys combining both the left and right sides of his brain in culinary pursuits, both in the kitchen and the grill during the summer months. He is passionate about reading and music and is a great fan of classic literature, Christian apologetics and theology (C.S. Lewis and Dietrich Bonhoeffer come to mind), classical music and jazz. See this link for more.

Religious Freedom in America: From the Founding to Hobby Lobby
GEED 130 D (2476) - Tuesday, 3–5 p.m.
Mark David Hall

Mark Hall

Historically, Americans have placed a very high value on religious liberty, but in recent years there have been numerous attacks on what many Founders called “the sacred right of conscience.” The academic component of this course will consider the history of religious liberty in America, the proper relationship between church and state, and contemporary threats to religious liberty.

Mark David Hall is Herbert Hoover Distinguished Professor of Politics and Faculty Fellow in the William Penn Honors Program at George Fox University. He has written, edited or co-edited The Political and Legal Philosophy of James Wilson, 1742-1798 (1997), The Founders on God and Government (2004); Collected Works of James Wilson (2007), The Forgotten Founders on Religion and Public Life (2009), The Sacred Rights of Conscience: Selected Readings on Religious Liberty and Church-State Relations in the American Founding (2009), America’s Forgotten Founders (2012), Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic (2013), Faith and the Founders of the American Republic (2014), Collected Works of Roger Sherman (forthcoming), and more than 50 journal articles, book chapters, reviews, and sundry pieces. Mark is also Senior Fellow at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion and an Affiliate Scholar at the John Jay Institute.

Seeing ‘The Matrix’ and Mapping Out Your Future
GEED 130 E (2477) - Thursday, 6:45–8:45 p.m.
Corban Harwood

Corban Harwood

At the end of The Matrix, Neo sees his world as a readout of computer code. Can everything in the world around us be seen through mathematical relationships and patterns? Yes! ... and no. This seminar will discuss breakthroughs in mathematical representations of reality, as well as limitations of our theoretical understanding of reality. In parallel, we will use StrengthsQuest and other self-analysis tools to explore possibilities for your future and navigate through the changes in your first year at George Fox.

Corban Harwood is a full-time faculty member in George Fox’s department of mathematics and applied science. His fields of study in mathematics include mathematical modeling, numerical methods, and partial differential equations. He enjoys camping and hiking with his wife, Mary. See his faculty page for more information.

College Playbook
GEED 130 F (2478) - Thursday, 6:45–8:45 p.m.
Jessica Hollen

Jessica Hollen

This class will help guide students through the transition to college, helping with time management, goal setting, and creating a more clear picture of how to be successful.

Jessica Hollen is entering her eighth year at George Fox, with her primary position being the head softball coach. She graduated from Western Oregon in 2006 and attended law school prior to coming to George Fox. She has a passion for this university and all that it offers.

Where am I going? How will I get there? And other essential questions
GEED 130 G (2479) - Monday, 3–5 p.m.
Kris Kays

Kris Kays

Does life sometimes happen to you? Would you like more say in the direction you are going? Have you thought about how your spiritual faith may be challenged and shaped during your college years? Have you wondered about what your faith really is?

Questions can be overwhelming, and yet, finding answers is often empowering. In addition to exploring the resources and skills necessary for success at George Fox, this course will examine the challenges and possibilities of living an intentional and successful life.

Kris Kays teaches clinical and other fun courses in the undergraduate psychology department. She enjoys quirky humor, challenges, Diet Dr. Pepper, a great story, and spending time with her husband, son and two daughters. When you have the chance ask her why she has so many cacti in her window.

Tales from Tolkien: Your Story in the Larger Story
GEED 130 H (2480) - Monday, 7–9 p.m.
Brad Lau

Brad Lau

In The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien offers a captivating journey of discovery and faith that parallels the Christian story in significant ways. It is a powerful tale of courage, redemption, sacrifice, temptation, friendship, and the search for identity and purpose. This seminar will explore several major themes in Tolkien’s epic series that will inform our own lives as we grapple with the difficult moral and ethical issues that we all face. In addition, you will leave this class equipped with basic tools to be a successful student and get the most out of your George Fox University experience.

Brad Lau has thoroughly enjoyed serving the past 15 years as vice president for student life, where he gets to work with amazing colleagues and students. He’s a native of Colorado and an avid Denver Broncos fan who loves playing tennis, reading, studying Scripture, and spending time with family. He’s married to Pam, who is a gifted teacher, writer and speaker, and the couple have three daughters: Gabrielle (15), Annalise (16) and Michaela (18).

Contemporary Theatre and Faith
GEED 130 I (2481) - Friday, 1–2:50 p.m.
Rhett Luedtke

Rhett Luedtke

During this course we will explore the vibrant and award-winning plays of several contemporary playwrights through the lens of our Christian faith. This course is designed to introduce students to the various issues and challenges facing Christian artists in contemporary American theatre, and to help students wade through the murky gray areas between faith and art.

Rhett Luedtke is a professor of theatre at George Fox, with a special emphasis in acting and directing. He is the recipient of the university’s 2010 Undergraduate Teacher of the Year Award and the 2010 National Directing Fellowship from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Rhett received his BA in theatre and English from Valparaiso University in Indiana and his MFA in directing from Illinois State University. He lives in Newberg with his wife, Julie, and two boys, Isaac and Simon. Learn more at

Why College Matters
GEED 130 J (2482) - Monday, 6:45–8:45 p.m.
Rick Muthiah

Rick Muthiah

You're making the transition from high school to college, pursuing a university education. But why? Why go to college? For some people, a college degree is seen primarily as a ticket to a good-paying job. If you're like me, college was just the next thing to do after high school. But what if there is more? What if your college experience can be about becoming more fully human and more aware of God’s work in the world? What if studying science, history, psychology, English, and everything else actually matters to God?

In this class, we will use the book Why College Matters to God to consider these and other questions. We’ll also examine how each of us can use our strengths to inform the choices we make, ways we study, and the future we see for ourselves, all of which “matter to God.”

Rick Muthiah thrives by helping students thrive! His education and work have centered around helping students develop into faithful and fulfilled stewards of God’s gifts in their lives. He has been at George Fox since 2003 and directs the Academic Resource Center (ARC), the Disability Services office, the First Year Seminar program and the Academic Success Program. In his spare time, he and his wife Beth coach, cheer, play with, chase and fully delight in their three sons and one daughter (Caleb, Corban, Malachi and Esther).

Deep Roots: Developing Spiritual Habits To Nourish Your Soul During College
GEED 130 K (2483) - Monday, 3–5 p.m.
Jamie Noling-Auth

Jamie Noling-Auth

If you chose George Fox University because you were interested in taking your faith to a deeper level but would love a little help knowing where to get started, this is the class for you! Utilizing strengths-based curriculum and the classic spiritual disciplines of the Christian faith, this course offers you the opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with God. Some of the conversations you can look forward to having are:

  • What If I'm Not Listening Well Enough? – Learning to Hear the Voice of God
  • What Will I Do With the Rest of My Life? – Discerning Vocation and Major
  • Broken People and Boring Sermons – Finding Christian Community in a New Place

Jamie Noling-Auth is the university pastor and dean for spiritual and intercultural life at George Fox University. Jamie joined the George Fox community last summer after working as a campus pastor and adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University in southern California for the last decade. She has a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a master's degree in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a bachelor's degree in communication from Pepperdine University. Jamie and her husband John Auth are the proud parents of sons Andrew (2) and Luke (1). For fun, Jamie loves travel, swimming, reading, and time with friends.

Bittersweet: Thriving in Transition
GEED 130 L (2484) - Tuesday, 6:45–8:45 p.m.
Mark & Olivia Pothoff

Mark and Olivia Pothoff

How do you navigate the intricacies of change and transition? We’ll use digital media, excerpts from Shauna Niequist’s book Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way, and interactive class activities and discussions to explore both the challenges and gifts that accompany change, especially as it pertains to the college experience.

We’ll discuss what it means to not simply survive, but thrive during this pivotal time of growth in decision-making, prioritizing, new relationships and your academic endeavors.

God and Pop Culture, a Conversation
GEED 130 M (2485) - Tuesday, 1–3 p.m.
Steve Sherwood

Steve Sherwood

George Fox University has the motto, “Christianity and Culture” on its crest. What might that mean? How might Christians engage with American popular culture in positive ways? We will interact with music, TV and film in theological ways. We will also consider the idea of George Fox as a Christian liberal arts university. What is that, and why does it matter?

Steve Sherwood has been at George Fox since 2004, where he teaches in the College of Christian Studies. His wife is on the pastoral team at Newberg Friends Church, and he has two teen-aged daughters. He spent more than 20 years working with the ministry Young Life, and more than 15 years coaching high school track and cross country. He’s written a book Gospel, Embraced: Prodigals at the Cross, and co-wrote a text for Bible Survey with Brian Doak, PhD, called, The Bible: Ancient Context and Ongoing Community.

Creatively Balancing College
GEED 130 N (2486) - Wednesday, 6:45–8:45 p.m.
Breanne Sherwood

Breanne Sherwood

College is an exciting time full of new experiences and figuring out how to get all your studying done! Creativity can be a key element for us to find balance and success. Everyone can be creative in his or her own way. Maybe you feel that you have always had a creative side, or maybe its something you would like to explore. Creativity can be as simple as you like the arts, or it could mean you like to creatively problem solve. How do you apply creativity to your major? Or how could you apply creativity to studying or time management? This is course we will learn what it means to be a successful creative student at Fox.

Breanne Sherwood is a part of the art and design faculty at George Fox and is also an alumna. She and her husband, who is also an alumnus, live in Newberg and have two ridiculous cats. You can see her work at

Imaginative Literature and Theology: C.S. Lewis’s ‘The Great Divorce’
GEED 130 O (2487) - Monday, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Phil Smith

Phil Smith

Writers often use imaginative worlds to shed light on human experience in this world. This seminar explores the intersection of literature and theology found in C.S. Lewis's fantasy story, The Great Divorce.

Phil Smith is a philosophy professor at George Fox and chair of the College of Christian Studies. His blog, devoted to questions of philosophy and literature, can be found at

Spiritual but not Religious: An Invitation to ‘SpIL’ at Fox
GEED 130 P (2488) - Thursday, 3:30–5:30 p.m.
Rusty & Stephanie St.Cyr

Rusty St.CyrStephanie St.Cyr

“Spiritual but not religious.” More than one-fifth of Americans describe themselves with this phrase. What do we even mean when we speak about all things “spiritual”? Is it possible to be “heavenly minded” and yet still be of some “earthly good” at the same time? And what might this have to do with figuring out my vocation or what I'm supposed to do with my “one wild and precious life?” With this seminar, you will be invited to risk and experiment together, in the laboratory of real life, and explore what Jesus both modeled and taught about how we might set out to live lives to the fullest as God intended.

Rusty serves as the associate pastor for outreach and service and Stephanie serves as the director of student activities at George Fox. They have enthusiastically worked as a team in ministry and friendship with students for the past 14 years in Missouri, Scotland, California and, for the past six years, in Oregon here at Fox. They have educational backgrounds in biblical studies, education, spiritual formation & communication studies, have been married for 15 years and love the privilege of sharing life with 6-year-old Ella, 3-year-old Matea Frances, 1 year-old Jack, and one Jack Russell “Terrorist” named “Woody.”

Intersections – Journeying with Intentionality
GEED 130 Q (2489) - Monday, 6:45–8:45 p.m.
Sarah & Dan Taylor

Sarah Taylor

Getting lost is a dying art. Unless your phone dies and you forgot your charger, you’re not often at a loss for which way to turn. When we wind up at an intersection and nothing looks familiar, which way do we go? How do we make choices consistent with our purpose? What if we don’t even know where we want to go?

Our class will explore, and maybe get lost, together, in our stories, paying special attention to intersections, the big and small moments where our decisions begin to define us. As a community of learners we will engage our own as well as others’ stories to discern how to live with intentionality – learning about ourselves as decision-makers and growing in wisdom – so we become more attentive and faithful (not perfect!) followers of Jesus.

Sarah works in residence life, and she and her husband, Dan, have loved living alongside college students over the past 13 years. They live in LeShana Hall with their two daughters, and they enjoy tea, making pancakes for crowds of students, playing at the coast, and being a part of students’ journeys.

Forward Movement: Finding Direction in the Unknown
GEED 130 R (2490) - Monday, 6:45–8:45 p.m.
Joe Thouvenel

Joe Thouvenel

Designed for students who have not yet selected a major, this course will focus on cultivating a deeper understanding of who you are by identifying how your interests, values, strengths and personality can clarify your sense of calling and directly impact your academic and career objectives. This will occur through the use of various assessment tools, time for individual reflection, and meaningful conversations with other students.

Joe Thouvenel is an alumnus of George Fox and currently works as a Career and Academic Planning Coach in the IDEA Center. He is passionate about encouraging and equipping students for growth and success in all areas of life. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children, playing board games, and reading (or re-reading) books by C.S. Lewis, Charles Dickens and Jane Austen.

Welcome to George Fox...
GEED 130 S (2491) - Monday, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Linda Warberg

Linda Warberg

Thinking back on your last year at home with all those forms, letters, applications, essays and resumes you filled out and all the time you waited for acceptance letters; my, you have worked very hard to get to this moment. Congratulations! Job well done! But, are you ready for your next steps?

We will study the life of Wes Moore – his struggles to find himself and a life that mattered. We will talk through what his journey was as he began the process of figuring out who he was and what you can become throughout the next four years. But first … What do you do on the first day of classes? The first week? How do you organize all of “this”? What, keep a calendar? And what is FoxTALE? So many things to put in place. Have no fear; you’ll be a pro in no time at all!

Linda Warberg is in her second year at George Fox. She is having a blast! She works with students who desire to become special education teachers. She has enjoyed integrating her faith with her profession. What a gift! Linda lives in Keizer with her husband Bob and they both enjoy playing with their four grandchildren: Allison (10), Mason (8), Cole (7) and Grace (2). On most Friday nights, you can find them eating pizza at either Pietro’s or Chuck E. Cheese with the rest of the world! What joy!

GEED 130 First Year Seminar-Transfer Experience (6 weeks, 1 credit)

GEED 130 First Year Seminar-Transfer Experience is an elective course designed to assist transfer students in becoming engaged members of the George Fox University community. Courses meet with an instructor and two peer advisors for two hours a week for the first six weeks of the semester. The course is a pass/fail course.

Transfer Seminar – Discover Your Story
GEED 130 T (2492) - Monday, 6:45–8:45 p.m.
Krissy Findley

Krissy Findley

We make decisions every day that guide our lives. We will have the opportunity to learn from other people’s stories as we learn to articulate our own life story. Hear from George Fox alumni about how they got involved at George Fox to prepare for life after college. The main themes of this course will be leadership and story. Come ready to learn. Come ready to share. Come ready to have fun.

Krissy Findley loves helping students discover their leadership potential. She is an adjunct professor in the College of Business and an outreach coordinator at Providence Community Connections. She previously worked in student life for 11 years overseeing student leadership programming. Important pieces of Krissy’s story are: amazing people (college kids, little kids, big kids, old kids), delicious food, crazy sports games, good ’80s/’90s movies, laughter, tears, bonfires with s’mores, the beach, Jesus, and several interesting travel journeys.

Transfer Seminar -Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
GEED 130 U (2493) - Tuesday, 6:45–8:45 p.m.
Sue O'Donnell

Sue O'Donnell

This seminar is designed for transfer students who already have some college experience and don’t need a typical freshman orientation. We will focus on Carol Dweck’s research on mindsets. We’ll look at how you can use what we know about your mind and habits to maximize your success in school and in life. This isn’t a pep talk or cheer session; rather, it is a systematic examination of the science of how you think about ability, and why you react to success and failure the way you do. We’ll learn how different mindsets affect outcomes and how to change them if we want. We will also take stock of the variety of campus resources available to you, and hopefully have some fun while we do it.

Sue O’Donnell has been at George Fox since 2001, when she completed her PhD in developmental psychology at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She loves teaching at Fox and hopes to help students in their quest to “Be Known”! She is married to Sam and has four kids – Mike, David and Kim, and Liz. In January of 2013, she became a grandma for the first time – just ask her about her beautiful, smart and strong granddaughter! She loves cats, photography, barbecues with students, and knitting. More questions? Just ask!