Last week I shared some quick thoughts on Ben Schmidt’s much-read report on the state of the history major. Using graduation numbers from the IPEDS database, he found that history has suffered a greater proportional decline since the Great Recession than any other major: in 2016-17, there were one-third fewer history grads than there were in 2011-12. … More The History Major at Christian Colleges
By now, I suspect that many of my readers have either read Ben Schmidt’s report for the American Historical Association or glanced at summaries of it in Inside Higher Ed or the Chronicle of Higher Education. Short version: since 2011-12 (“the first years for which students who saw the financial crisis in action could easily change their majors”), … More Quick Thoughts on the History Major Report
Today I’m happy to share a guest post from Anthony Minnema, assistant professor of history at Samford University. A specialist in Muslim-Christian relations during the Middle Ages, Tony studied at Calvin College and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and was a Lilly Graduate Fellow at Valparaiso University before coming to Samford. In this post, he responds … More What About a Farm? (Anthony Minnema)
As much as I talk about blogging as “thinking in public,” I’m rarely so incautious as to do such contemplation in the heat of a moment. But every once in a while, I decide that I ought to record a thought that I hold intensely, if transiently. I did that in the wee hours after … More Can Christian Liberal Arts Be Affordable and Sustainable?
As close readers know, this has been a tough year for the Christian university where I work — as it has been for many other high tuition-high aid private colleges that share Bethel’s economic challenges, if not its religious mission and culture. So after spending yesterday afternoon representing our faculty at a meeting of Bethel’s … More Want to Help Start a Christian Liberal Arts College with $10,000 Tuition?
Every other January since 2013, my Bethel colleague Sam Mulberry and I have taken students to Europe for a three-week course on the history of the two world wars. Whether we’re in Trafalgar Square or at a Canadian memorial in France or on the chilling grounds of Dachau, that travel course has become my favorite kind … More Announcing My “World Wars in Western Europe” Trip – June 6-16, 2019
Earlier this month I wrote a couple of posts making economic and non-economic arguments for the continuing value of college majors like history, English, philosophy, and the other “humanities.” Today, I want to take up an important consideration raised by Inside Higher Ed blogger Matt Reed. A humanities professor who became a community college dean, Reed contends that … More What To Do If Law School Is No Longer a “Safety Valve” for Humanities Majors?
“These days,” my local newspaper reported on Tuesday, “English majors are an increasingly rare breed on college campuses.” Whether at the University of Minnesota or nearby Augsburg University, fewer and fewer students were majoring in English — or history, philosophy, or most of the other disciplines traditionally lumped together as “the humanities.” Robert Cowgill, chair of Augsburg’s … More A Counterintuitive Non-Economic Argument for Majoring in the Humanities
Yesterday Mennonite World Review reported that Fresno Pacific University (FPU) in California had removed the president of its seminary, Terry Brensinger, and announced that pastors Greg Boyd, Brian Zahnd, and Bruxy Cavey would no longer teach in the seminary’s M.A. program in ministry, leadership, and culture. According to MWR reporter Tim Huber, several students have complained to … More Open Theism, Evangelicalism, and Anabaptism (and Pietism)
It happened again this summer. I was faced with further evidence of declining enrollment in history, English, philosophy, theology, and other humanities disciplines at our institution. So after making a few other arguments, I arrived at my typical last line of defense: “Anyway, these things are cyclical. The humanities will come back. Just look at … More A Counterintuitive Economic Argument for Majoring in the Humanities