I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be at Messiah College on April 30th to give a variety of presentations related to our book, The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education: Forming Whole and Holy Persons!
We’ll kick off at 9:45am with a chapel talk on “New Persons, New Church, New World: Pietism and Today’s Christian College.” After lunch with faculty and dinner with some graduate students, I’ll then give an 7pm talk asking, “Does Pietism Offer a ‘Usable Past’ to Churches Today?” You can find details at the website for the Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan Studies.
Among others, I’ve got to thank Devin Manzullo-Thomas, the director of the Sider Institute, and Rhonda and Jake Jacobsen for making this event possible.
It’s exactly the kind of thing that I hoped would result from the publication of this book. In its introduction, I described The Pietist Vision as but “the beginning of a conversation that is both specific to one institution and widely resonant with sisters and brothers in Christ serving at an array of other colleges and universities—especially those that might yet recover their own ‘usable pasts’ from Pietism” (pp. 31-32).
And I can’t think of a better place to continue the conversation than Messiah, which claims Pietism alongside Anabaptism and Wesleyanism as a founding influence. One of our contributors (anthropologist Jenell Paris) is on faculty at Messiah, and her colleagues the Jacobsens played a catalytic role early in the project. (They also joined Messiah history professor John Fea in contributing generous endorsements to the book.) The “ecumenical particularity” that Jake once attributed to former Messiah president Rodney Sawatsky became an aspiration of ours as we thought through the tone of the volume. Sawatsky’s successor, Kim Phipps, is a leading figure in Christian higher ed, and her opposite number at Bethel, Jay Barnes, came to us by way of Messiah.
There are a couple of similar events in the works for other schools, and I’ll share details as they solidify. If you’re interested in having me speak on your campus or at your church, let me know!