Introduction to Environmental Science (4 Credits) is offered as a laboratory science for those desiring liberal arts credit. A well-equipped lab allows students to practice water analysis on drinking water from the local river and its tributary streams, as well as springs and wells.
This course covers basic chemical and physical principles relating to environmental issues; fosters understanding of the major environmental problems of our day, in particular those concerns that continue to plague post-communist central Europe; explores the connection between environmental problems and other social and ethical problems of our society, and encourages students to develop a philosophy relating to Christian stewardship of the environment.
Introduction to Romanian Literature (3 credits)
This course introduces students to a selection of literary works by some of the best-known Romanian writers accessible to us through English translation, giving them an overview of common themes and characteristics of Romanian literature, and helping them to recognize and appreciate Romanian cultural values expressed in literary form.
Students read a variety of pieces, starting with ancient examples of folk literature, and finishing with several short stories written during the second half of the twentieth century while Romanian was held in the grip of a repressive communist dictatorship. They will discuss formal aspects of each work, such as structure, narrative technique, and the use of imagery, bearing in mind that many of the subtleties of language are lost even in the best translation. They will consider how content and themes relate to historical and social context, and illustrate Romanian culture and values.
Personal Vocation and Ministry (3 credits)
Personal Vocation and Ministry exposes students to concepts of personal vocation, God’s call, and self-care. The course explores what it means to find a personal place of ministry and meaning within God’s kingdom. Leadership styles and characteristics of servant leaders are discussed. Biblical, theological and historical concepts of vocation and calling as well as practical aspects of ministry are included. The course consists of lecture, discussion, reading, presentations, group work, writing, and individual reflection.
Hiking in the Transylvanian hills and Carpathian Mountains – 20 hours of hiking on progressively demanding trails for 1 hour of credit. First hikes in the hills surrounding Sighisoara take students to an Orthodox monastery, a nature reservation with multi-secular oak trees (some are 800 years old), and one of the most spectacular Saxon fortress churches. Weather permitting more advanced hikes include climbing up steel ladders through a canyon carved out by a waterfall, and taking a cable car to join the trail that leads to a massive cross on Caraiman, one of the higher peaks in the Bucegi range of the Carpathians. This class aims to give students confidence in their ability to explore the natural world on foot, teaching them what safety precautions are needed, and fostering a lifelong love of hiking.
Directed Studies/Online Courses
If absolutely necessary students may take a course from their home school while in Romania, but are encouraged to find applications of the course content to what they are currently experiencing in Romania. RSP staff are pleased to discuss with the course instructors how readings or assignments might be tailored somewhat to the Romanian context. Students are discouraged from attempting to take more than one course at a distance, as it is likely to detract from their ability to focus on being present to the experience in Romania.