Situated in a global hub for medicine, Gordon College rests just north of Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute—institutions regularly ranked among the best medical facilities in the world.
Gordon has a long, but perhaps quiet, tradition of preparing students for graduate study in the medical and health professions. In addition to excellent scholarship and practical opportunities, Gordon offers a biblical foundation, an understanding that the human body is God’s handiwork.
Despite this foundation, the College has recognized a major opportunity for growth in medical and health professions—between 2015 and 2018, nursing was the fourth most common field of interest among Gordon’s “lost admits” (students who were offered admission to Gordon but declined to attend). But now, with the support of a generous alum, Gordon is equipped to take more strides in developing opportunities in this popular and influential field of study with two distinct degree pathways in health professions.
“Gordon is now poised to be the leading Christian college devoted to providing future health care professionals with an education grounded in the liberal arts and the integration of Christian theology as it relates to serving in healthcare,” says Professor of Kinesiology Sean Clark.
By developing three-year undergraduate degree programs and new graduate-level programming in a variety of health-related fields, Gordon will be able to take greater advantage of its Boston-area location by leveraging the city’s strengths in academic programming, and also respond to market demands among prospective and current student populations.
To enact this vision, Gordon will hire a director of program development for health professions. The director will be tasked with developing two program tracks in the health professions field building on the market research and medical community connections. Possible programs include physical therapy, occupational therapy, music therapy, gerontology and nursing.
Alongside these programmatic developments in the health professions, the College will also develop its digital learning in order to provide students with the most effective and pedagogically sound experience while also remaining sensitive to financial pressures. According to Dean of Academic Initiatives and Global Education Jewerl Maxwell, these flexible professional degrees mean that students will receive a Gordon-quality education without needing to relocate, and with the freedom to complete their program at their own pace.
These plans follow the College’s recent announcement of a dual-degree nursing program in conjunction with Curry College. Through this program, slated to begin in the fall of 2019, Gordon students will earn a B.S. in either biology or kinesiology through an accelerated three-year curriculum at Gordon; aided by the availability of online coursework at Curry, they will then complete an accelerated 16-month curriculum to earn a B.S. with a nursing major, spending their last year-plus of study at Curry’s campus in Milton, MA. The College is already seeing significant interest in the program from prospective students.
All new graduate-level programming within health professions at Gordon will be housed under the newly announced School for Graduate, Professional and Extended Studies.
“Through strong, science-based curricula, our students develop, among other skills, the ability to problem solve, to reason analytically and to read and think critically,” says Clark.
But humbly residing among medical giants, Clark says, Gordon’s distinction is its commitment to faith-learning integration. “We have a unique opportunity,” says Clark, “to guide the spiritual formation of our students by helping them develop biblical interpretations and theological understandings of the practical issues and challenges they’ll face in medicine and healthcare.”
Looking toward the future of medical and health professions, Gordon finds itself in a significant moment in its history thanks to financial partners—a catalyst for infusing Boston’s healthcare community and beyond with graduates who are prepared to integrate their faith with their work.