Dr. Rand Michael Muender has been teaching online for Grand Canyon University over three years. He is ordained and has been in pastoral ministry for over 20 years; now in his tenth year on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. His associate degree from Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute is in religion and church ministries. His Bachelor of General Studies from Wingate University is in Philosophy, Religion, and NT Greek. His Master of Divinity in Advanced Biblical Studies and Master of Theology with a faculty reviewed thesis in OT canonical theology are from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is ABD toward his doctorate of ministry in pastoral leadership at Liberty University.
In addition, he is published in the area of hermeneutics in Faith & Mission. His immediate research interests couple spiritual formation and Malachi. His mission trips include Peru, Ukraine, Mexico, China, and Dominican Republic. He holds a 4th degree black belt and holds weekly classes in a local YMCA and Christian school; where he teaches Traditional Kodokan Judo and Combat Japanese Jujitsu. He has been married to Melissa since 1985. They have two children: Alyssa and Andrew; a granddaughter-Vallory; and mini-schnauzer named Enu.
How has facilitating online courses at GCU helped you find your purpose?
It is a pleasure to find ways to integrate biblical principles in our everyday lifestyle. Grand Canyon University seeks to teach their students to engage and to incorporate the Scriptures within their own cultural situation. Therefore, facilitating the online classroom has been a perfect fit toward sharpening critical thinking skills for personal and professional application for me and my students.
What is one effective teaching strategy you use in your online classes?
Every student has a distinctive viewpoint; so, their responses and perspectives are accepted without criticism and treated as valuable to the ongoing discussion thread. Taking a core sentence or thought from their post and expanding upon their unique input with added commentary and resources, I post a general question within the Forum. This method has increased participation overall.
What is a GCU online student success story you can share?
The greatest success for me is building relationships where I am able to relate classroom objectives toward a student's real life situation. I often have the occasion to council and to pray with my students. One young man was seriously considering dropping out of school; feeling unsure that academic study was the right place for him. His presence in the Forum had slowed; so I called him and offered some encouragement. After a few conversations concerning his personal salvation and calling, he surrendered to the gospel ministry and determined to finish his studies at GCU-pursuing biblical studies. It is very satisfying to have a part in helping students recognize and surrender to God's clear calling for their life.