Trinity Western University is a private liberal arts university. The school, located in Langley, British Columbia, was recently rated by the Globe and Mail (sort of like the Canadian version of the US News and World Report publication) as one of the best universities in all of Canada.
Trinity Western University requires a handful of “core” classes for all college students to take. These include your university-wide regulars like English and the sciences, to more TWU-specific classes such as Human Kinetics and religious courses.
Because all students need to take these classes to graduate, there are several professors and variations of each class for freshman and sophomore university students to choose from. And as anyone in the university world will know, not all professors and classes are created equal, even if they purport to teach the same thing.
As a junior student at Trinity Western University, I’ve nearly completed all of my core requirements. From my personal experience, and the experience of my friends, I’ve drawn up a list of three required class genres that all Trinity Western students need to take. Not only that, but I’ve also included exactly which course to take and which professor to choose to make sure your first couple of years at TWU are fun, enjoyable, easy, and friendly toward your GPA. Contrary to belief, a 4.0 GPA like mine is not just about being smart, but also about being lucky (or, in your case, educated) enough to get the right classes with the right teachers.
Take English 103 and English 104 (both required courses) with Professor Vic Cavalli. He is one of the best professors I’ve ever had. You’ll get excellent grades if you follow his instructions on all of his assignments, a big bonus for people who don’t like to read too much literature and analyze poetry. For example, on my midterm essay that was worth 30% of my final grade, I could have gotten an B just by following all of his instructions, before even writing the paper itself. Speaking of analyzing poetry, he’ll even incorporate rock music and music videos into his class. Take that, Shakespeare!
Verdict: Borders on easy if you’re good at following directions, although actual class time can get heavy on the, well, English stuff. Take this class!
All Trinity Western students will need to take three religious courses: One on the Old Testament of the Bible, one on the New Testament of the Bible and one higher-level religious course.
For the Old Testament requirement, I can’t tell you what course to take, but I can tell you which one to avoid: Do not take the Introduction to the Old Testament with Professor Dorothy Peters. Please don’t get me wrong; Ms. Peters is a very friendly and warm gentlewoman who tries to put the interests of her class ahead of everything else. Unfortunately, this class is unbelievably boring. If you’ve spent any less than a year in a Sunday School at your local church, you will know enough about Moses and Abraham to pass this course. On the other hand, it’s so boring you will – like a lot of the other students in my class – just stop going to class. I also found her disorganized at times, and I wish she would have been more forceful with her discussions. We had lots of discussion times and “debates,” but not enough theorizing from her end. Sometimes, it’s nice to know what your professor thinks about a controversial topic, but that did not happen enough in our class. Overall, she is an excellent woman, seriously. I cannot emphasize enough my positive view of her as a person. The class itself is just a bore.
Verdict: Easy, but terribly boring.
For the New Testament, take Introduction to the New Testament with Professor Casey Toews (Note to future students: It is pronounced “taves”). He likes to bring up interesting factoids and alternative theories, and seems to really enjoy deconstructing everything you’ve learned in church as a child. This is the sort of professor that makes your parents feel uneasy (Where are you getting all of these heretical ideas, they might ask you). He’ll challenge your ideas on a lot of religious things you’ve always taken for granted. Grading-wise, his tests can edge on being difficult, but nothing a bit of studying won’t hurt!
Verdict: Medium difficult, but very interesting.
3. Human Kinetics
This is basically PE for university students. You will need to take HKIN 190, which is an introduction to general physical health. It is worth two credits. You will also have to take two HKIN activity courses. There are a lot of these to choose from, ranging from rock climbing to running to snowboarding at Whistler.
For your HKIN 190, take 190A with Jack Reimer. This is an online class with only one in-class lab every week. The drawback is the lab time is at 8 in the morning, which is early and cold (if you take this class in the winter). The plus is that the class is beyond easy. I got more points than I needed to score an A+ in this class because of all the extra credit you can do. Quizzes are open-book and administered online. Seriously, if you get anything less than an A in this class, you just weren’t trying at all. I got by without watching ANY of the lectures or doing any of the textbook reading.
Verdict: Super easy.
For your activity courses, I’d strongly suggest “Run for Fun” with Lori Peters. She is a lot of fun and very encouraging. By the end of the course, you will be running 10 kilometers easily and will even compete in a real race. For your second activity course, choose something fun like snowboarding, skiing, or mountain climbing.
Have fun at Trinity Western University!