At first of every semester, Invoice Catling, MFA, asks himself, “How can I take advantage of these 16 weeks to alter my college students’ lives for the higher?” Catling, who teaches in Azusa Pacific College’s Division of Artwork, believes in an open-ended academic expertise. He hopes college students fall in love with the training course of and are available into their very own. “I deal with my courses as group environments of independently motivated learners, not college students,” Catling mentioned. “They need a solution and I at all times need to give them one other query.” Slightly than asking questions with black-and-white solutions, he hopes to foster reflection and deep considering amongst his fellow learners. “If all of us simply paused for a second, earlier than we do one thing we love, we might uncover a deeper love of life and other people and issues,” he mentioned. “That motivates me within the classroom rather a lot.”
Though Catling has taught at APU for 32 years, his profession started in his hometown of San Francisco, the place he taught highschool for 10 years. Whereas he loved instructing highschool, Catling felt a robust calling to show on the collegiate degree. Nonetheless, after three years and 33 purposes, he was nonetheless within the Bay Space. A possibility lastly arose when he attended an artwork present at Biola College with different Christian artists the place he was provided a possibility to show a category for one semester on the faculty. Taking a leap of religion, Catling and his spouse moved right down to Southern California. After a short while at Biola, he accepted a full-time place at APU and has invested within the college and its college students ever since.
Catling’s most significant and memorable moments are present in genuine reference to others. Whether or not college students are part of his ceramics class, freshman yr seminar, or graduate degree programs, Catling hopes to open the door to studying each in school and thru the areas in between. “A few of my favourite moments are once I’m with one or a small group of scholars, we’re consuming espresso out of ceramic mugs, and we’re sitting outdoors speaking about artwork, life, and God,” he mentioned. Catling, who senses there’s a starvation for which means all through APU’s campus, is blissful to offer an area the place college students can replicate, study, and develop in unstructured, natural methods. “I’m hoping the concept of ‘spirit of place’ grows and we are able to decelerate, sit round tables, and join extra.”
For Catling, “spirit of place” at APU alludes to the work of the Holy Spirit amongst college students all through campus — a method to expertise God shifting amidst the minute and mundane. “We solely have moments, and if we’re not paying consideration, we miss our life,” he mentioned. Catling encourages college students to dwell within the current, being conscious of what’s in entrance of them, whether or not an individual, a spot, or an expertise. “Paying consideration requires a centered intentionality. It’s probably the most tough factor to do however probably the most highly effective as a result of Christ is current in every second with us,” he mentioned. “If we miss these moments, we miss our Christ relationship. If we’re not paying consideration, we miss the voice of God whispering by the bushes, by our conversations, and thru life.”
Whereas Catling has taught at APU for longer than most of his college students have been alive, his love for training, group, and artwork has not pale — a fact evident in his intentionality, his knowledge, and his life’s work.
Posted: March 10, 2023
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