JUFL offering new spring courses

KISSIMMEE – Three new courses are being offered for Spring 2020 in the Johnson University Florida schools of Arts and Sciences, Intercultural studies, and Congregational Ministry.

Gyasi Byng Francisco, a new professor at JUFL, will be teaching African American Science Fiction.

Belief and Practices of Islam will be taught by JUTN professor, Gerald Mattingly, and take place in three sessions.

Culture, Race and the Church will be a J-term course (taught in one week before classes begin) by adjunct professor Travis Hurley.


“In-class writing discussions and presentations will help students develop an understanding of how African-American authors use genre to examine issues pertaining to race and gender,” a JUFL student life email said about the African American Science Fiction course, that will be taught by Fransisco.

Fransisco said that there are critical, interesting things happening in science fiction that people miss.

“People don’t think about how science fiction talks about the culture that is producing it or sometimes playing off of folklore from native american traditions or even celtic mythology sometimes,” Fransisco said. “And [they don’t think about] how historically well-versed some of these authors are, how smart they are politically to think about things that are happening in their particular society and critiquing it through far-flung premises.”

The Practice and Beliefs of Islam course will take place three Saturdays: Jan. 24 and Feb. 8 and 15.

“For people not going to the middle east, world religions are coming here,” Mattingly, an Intercultural Studies and World Religions professor, said. “Islam has been one we have chose to give special attention to because of immigration.”

Although Tennessee has offered a seperate course on the history of Islam and Belief and Practices of Islam, both apsects will be in this course – although it will be focused on belief and practices.


The Race, Culture and the Church course is a three-credit, accelerated course on multicultural church leadership.

“[I’m] convinced that visible unity – unity that the world can see crossing ethnic, socioeconomic, generational and denominational lines – is a powerful testimony of the power of the Gospel of Jesus to reconcile people to Him and to each other,” Travis Hurley, The Race, Culture and the Church professor, said.

For more information on the courses being offered, contact registrarfl@johnsonu.edu.

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