McClung now leading Global Perspectives office; trip deadlines approaching

Global Perspectives is vital requirement Lee University experience, and it
is important to choose a trip to complete your education.

When Lee students talk about plans for an upcoming break, these conversations sometimes include plans for international travel to fulfill their Global Perspectives credit.

Global Perspectives is a requirement of the Lee University experience, and each student chooses a trip based on their interests in destinations and classes offered on the trip.

Patricia McClung, the new director of Global Perspectives, is passionate about helping students make informed decisions concerning Lee’s wide range of trip options.

McClung was considering retirement last semester, after 20 years as a member of the School of Education faculty, most recently serving as Chair of Early Childhood, Elementary and Special Education. She canceled her retired to jump on the opportunity to direct the Global Perspectives program.

“[My husband, former dean of students, Alan McClung, and I] love this and love the opportunities that Lee provides for students to go abroad,” McClung said.

There are four major types of trips facilitated through the Global Perspectives office. These trips include: faculty directed, individual group cross-cultural opportunities, individually arranged, and trips in the United States.

Faculty directed trips are traditional group trips led by faculty members and often include additional class credits.

“I think it gives one a greater appreciation for the global body of Christ in ways that we can't always capture in the classroom,” said Lisa Stephenson, professor of systematic theology.

Lisa Stephenson and Christopher Stephenson, associate professor of systematic theology, are leading a group of students on a pilgrimage trip to major cities in Italy during the spring of 2023.

Like any other trip, this theology-focused trip is available to students of all majors, and it is a fulfillment of the Global Perspective requirement and a class, Theology & Pilgrimage (THEO-399). The Stephenson’s previously planned Italy trip was postponed due to the COVID outbreak of 2020.

Lisa Stephenson believes this trip gives students the opportunity to “go see how the rest of the world embraces their faith ... and seeing people love and worship God, but just doing it in a very different way than we're used to, I think can be very impactful.”

Faculty trips also give students the chance to dive deep into the cross-cultural experience with professors they love and trust.

“You can go over by yourself, but you're not going to get the same experience because you're not going with someone who's knowledgeable in whatever area that you're going to go focus on,” said Lisa Stephenson. “It might be a little bit more money, but invest in that experience, because I think it will be a richer experience.”

Another type of trip to consider is the individual group cross-cultural opportunities. These trips are available to students within choirs, ensembles, athletic teams, and more.

Some upcoming ensemble trips include Campus Choir heading to Israel and Lee Singers going to Jamaica. By going on these trips with a group or team, students fulfill their Global Perspective requirements

Individually arranged trips are also an option for students who want to tackle their cross-cultural experience in a smaller setting or have the freedom to make personalized choices about their travel.

Connor Paxton, senior theology major, said his individually arranged trip stretched his educational boundaries.

“My trip gave me the freedom to take on the responsibility of planning, engaging, and navigating a cross cultural experience to learn without the instruction of professors,” Paxton said.

A final popular, and more cost-efficient, cross-cultural experience is a cultural trip in the U.S. These trips include visiting a local church of another culture for a semester, diving deep into the culture of the Cherokee reservation or a Jewish immersion trip.

Many students cherish their cross-cultural experience and the depth it brings to their education.

Bethany Briggs, senior studio production major, visited Spain and Morocco during the summer of 2022 and attests to the benefit of this program.

“I learned and lived more in those 10 days than I think I could have ever done in a classroom alone,” said Briggs. “From the people I got to know and the culture I got to experience, I will always be thankful for the opportunity.”

The Global Perspectives office offers a wide range of resources, information and opportunities for students to fulfill their cross-cultural requirement.

“The goals of the cross-cultural portion of the core curriculum are to help raise students’ awareness of increasing interdependence of our world and to emphasize that every human being has a potential for making a significant contribution to the kingdom of God,” according to their mission statement.

For more information on upcoming trips or how to best plan your trip, visit the Global Perspective website or their newly relocated office on the third floor of the Paul Conn Student Union (PSCU 301).

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