William Ringenberg Reviews Our Pietist Vision Book!

William RingenbergI’m new enough to publishing that I’m thrilled whenever anyone reviews my work. But I was especially tickled to find this morning that H-Pietism has a review of The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education from none other than William Ringenberg, the long-time Taylor University professor who is pretty much the leading historian of Christian higher education. His book The Christian College: A History of Protestant Higher Education (1984; 2nd ed. in 2006) is still the standard text on the subject, and was an important resource for me when my research began to shift in that direction.

You can read the full review here. Today I’ll just share a couple of excerpts that I particularly appreciated:

The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education is a significant work in that it defines and explains an underemphasized and even under-recognized tradition in Christian higher education. Editor Christopher Gehrz and his colleagues articulate what Douglas and Rhonda Jacobsen have shown before: that the widely celebrated “integration of faith and learning” concept is not the only viable model for explaining the mission of the Christian academy.

…The scope of this book is much broader than might first appear to be the case. All fifteen authors have an association with a single college, Bethel University of St. Paul, Minnesota, a Swedish Baptist (General Conference) institution. Furthermore, they promote a tradition that some associate only with early modern Germany. But Gehrz identifies thirty American colleges that have direct roots in Pietist denominations. When a person realizes that, as Baylor theologian Roger E. Olson states, “Pietism was and is a spirit or ethos more than any socially perceptible form” (p. 20), then one might argue that it expresses the best of Christian practice at least since the Reformation and perhaps since the New Testament era.

Thanks to Dr. Ringenberg for taking the time to review our work!

By the way, I’ve learned that The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education has received a fairly significant honor. I can’t share the details yet, but look for that announcement yet this fall!


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