Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana will offer a course which gives actual academic credit to students for meeting Muslims, hanging out at a Muncie mosque, and making a documentary film about Muslims who reside in the local area.
The taxpayer-funded course at Ball State is a seminar titled “Muslims In Muncie,” according to an informational email obtained by The Daily Caller.
The course is scheduled for the spring semester.
A flyer promoting the “Muslims In Muncie” course explains that enrolled students will “learn about the history and diversity of Muslims in America” by participating “in the social and ritual life of the Muncie Islamic Center.” Students will also meet Muslim leaders and collect oral histories from Muslims for a documentary film.
At the end of the course, students will “host a public showcase in May 2018” — presumably in relation to the film.
The for-credit seminar will help students become “empowered as critically engaged, globally aware citizens.”
Students who sign up for Ball State’s for-credit Muslim meet-and-greet course will receive credit through the honors college or for graduation requirements related to humanities, social science, fine arts or religious studies.
The course is billed as “a spring 2018 Virginia Ball seminar.”
Ball State’s Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry “provides distinctive, rigorous, and transformative immersive learning experiences,” according to the Ball State website.
Ball State philosophy and religious studies professor Elizabeth Agnew is organizing the course.
Students “need to be selected to join the seminar,” according to the email obtained by TheDC. “Dr. Agnew has already started to interview students for this seminar.”
Agnew did not respond to a request for more information about the “Muslims in Muncie” course.
Agnew’s faculty webpage shows that her teaching and research focuses on “topics related to religious diversity in American culture, religion and social ethics, and gender and religion.”
“From 2012-2015, Professor Agnew participated with a team of Ball State faculty in a U.S. State Department-funded partnership with Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan to advance the American Studies graduate program at QAU’s Area Study Center.”
Agnew’s webpage touts a handful of scholarly articles including one titled “Gender and the Social Gospel.”
The only course Agnew appears to be teaching this fall is called “Religion, Morality, and Public Debate.”
Students reviewing Agnew at Rate My Professors generally give her high marks. The consensus view is that she is “very enthusiastic about what she is teaching” and “very interesting to listen to.” “Tests are very hard.” Also, Agnew is “pretty strict on eating in her class, even the smallest thing.”