There is a little saying at Grove City College that goes: “Ring by Spring.” This “motto” refers to a stereotype that Grovers have a peculiar desire to get engaged to someone before they finish their final semester of college. Another stereotype that is based on the same idea is that some women at Grove City seek to receive an “MRS” degree upon graduation. Regardless of the validity of these perceptions of Grove City’s students (I myself know of a decent amount of classmates that have already tied the knot), it is something that can be pondered and analyzed for good purpose. A truly distinct class that our college offers is Jim Thrasher’s Courtship and Marriage. The title may be a little intimidating for students not currently enrolled, but speaking as someone who is taking the class this semester, I can attest that it’s certainly a “don’t judge a book by its cover” situation.
Dr. Thrasher is a seasoned professor and graduate of Grove City as well as a married man. He is extremely impassioned about tying a Christian worldview to any course that he instructs; Courtship and Marriage is no exception (after all, the covenant of marriage resembles the very relationship between Christ and the church). Many may think it would be, simply put, “weird” to take a class centered on Christian dating and marriage, but the course material goes beyond just telling men or women what the “should do” when they meet someone they are romantically interested in and eventually have thoughts of spending their lives with them.
The class delves deep into the question of what “love” truly means in a biblical sense. Comparisons are drawn between the current cultural and historical views of love and the scriptures’ take on the same. More than just teaching on couple “do’s and don’ts,” Courtship and Marriage (or SOCI 251 if you will) analyzes what the intention of human relationship is with our own species, and especially focuses on the differences between the sexes in regard to our communication, roles and actions.
Many people who have taken this class walk away with life lessons that go outside of the relationship with a significant other. I highly recommend it to any future or current student who is looking to learn a little bit more about what it means to be in a healthy, Christ-centered relationship with, quite frankly, anyone.