Community at Au Sable
Community is one of the pillars of Au Sable and part of what makes it such a life-changing experience. As students attest,
- “My time at Au Sable was one of my best experiences, academically as well as in general. It was amazing to spend that time with other students with the same field of study and interests.”
- “Au Sable offers a unique opportunity for students with an interest in creation care to learn from the best professors in a field setting, network and form lifelong friendships.”
- “Not only did I learn a lot [academically], I learned so much about God's world and our place in it, and how we are to function as a Christ-centered community.”
Life at Au Sable is first and foremost about being part of a supportive Christian community. Students, staff, faculty, and families share in all aspects of life together: learning, eating meals, recreating, exploring, worshipping. The learning and growth that takes place outside of the classroom is just as vital as what takes place in the classroom. It’s also incredibly fun. Being part of an Au Sable community means never having to search far for a group of people interested in getting a pick-up soccer, volleyball, or ultimate frisbee game going; taking a weekend trip to backpack Jordan River Valley; going running, fishing, biking, hiking, or swimming around the Au Sable campus; talking around a campfire on the beach; having deep discussions about what it means to be a Christian; finding a faculty member willing to share their life experience with you; incubating new ideas about creation care projects on campus, in your community, or around the world; putting together worship services that praise God as Lord and Creator.
Faculty-student interaction is especially unique and important at Au Sable. Faculty often work with and assist students outside of class, engaging in research, and spending time together during meals, recreation, and vespers worship services. In the field, we explore and share the order and wonder of the natural world as fellow believers in an environment that proclaims the glory of God. And when faculty and students observe God’s creation being abused, we seek ways as God’s stewards to protect and restore a degraded environment.
Worship and Fellowship
The Institute provides opportunities for worship and fellowship with various churches in the area, and arranges or provides necessary transportation to them. Au Sable also holds mid-week integrative sessions on Christian environmental stewardship as well as weekly vesper worship services held at the Institute. The Institute's classes meet Tuesday through Saturday on its India, Costa Rica and Great Lakes campuses in order to make Sunday a day free from the pressures of class and assignments on the following Monday and to make Sunday a more intentional observance of Sabbath rest. Attendance at integrative sessions and vespers services is expected of all students. Due to extremely heavy traffic and associated difficulty in traveling on, to and from Whidbey Island on Saturdays PacRIm classes follow a Monday through Friday schedule.
The Au Sable academic week is 8 a.m. Tuesday through 5 p.m. Saturday. Courses are restricted to this period with some exceptions for field trips. The community gathers for Vespers each Sunday evening. Thursday is the Integrative Session (Wednesday at PacRim) during which all students and faculty address an environmental stewardship theme or issue, each including a field component. The Integrative Sessions are part of each course and complementary to its content. Integrative Session material is covered in class discussions, assignments, and examinations, and participation in integrative sessions and completion of associated assignments contributes to a student's final grade in every course.
Recreational opportunities provided by Au Sable are extensive and vary by site and season. At our North American sites, they include swimming, hiking, volleyball, birding and other wildlife observation, soccer, frisbee, cross-country skiing, sledding, mountain and road biking, running, tennis, softball, canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing, broomball, basketball, tide pool exploration, and snorkeling.
Au Sable welcomes students regardless of creed, denomination, race, color, or national origin. We expect students to conduct themselves both on and off Institute grounds in accordance with biblical principles and the rules of conduct required by their home institution. Students are expected to behave positively toward the mutual building up of the Christian community. Consistent with its focus on stewardship, we do not permit smoking, drugs, or alcohol of any kind on Institute grounds or in its facilities.