What follows is the text of a talk I gave yesterday evening at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California. Thanks to Ben Cater, who directs general education and the Humanities Honors program at Point Loma, for inviting me to share some thoughts on the value of the Christian liberal arts. He had enjoyed … More The Value of the Christian Liberal Arts
Last week Bloomberg posted an op-ed from Steven Gerrard, a philosophy professor at Williams College who was disturbed by what he saw as the decline of free speech at that elite private college (#1, again, in this year’s U.S. News rankings). Even as I could empathize with some of his concerns, I found it an odd piece to … More Are Christian Colleges “Comfort” Colleges?
Before he became Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska), he was Pres. Ben Sasse — head of a historically Lutheran college that turned around its enrollment crisis under his watch. So I can see why The Atlantic would publish Sasse’s 17 questions that any college searching for a president should ask its finalists. They’re definitely worth asking. For example: … More 7 Questions Every Christian College Should Be Asking Its Next President
Today is the first day of fall classes at Bethel University. So before I get too caught up in the details of particular courses, I want to take some time this week to step back and reflect on our larger mission and identity. Let’s start with the tag line that now shows up on Bethel … More What It Means to Educate “For God’s Glory and Neighbors’ Good”
I generally try to ignore the next academic year until the calendar hits August, but this summer that’s been harder than usual. For all of us at Bethel University, 2019-2020 promises to be an especially important year, as a search committee prepares to nominate just the seventh president in our nearly 150-year history (counting founder … More The Average Christian College President
I’ve only been on the campus of Gordon College once — and given what that school announced yesterday, I’m not sure I’ll have much reason to come back. I visited the suburban Boston Christian college in 2012, when it hosted the biennial meeting of the Conference on Faith and History, the leading society of Christian … More The “Next Chapter” in Christian Liberal Arts Education
Earlier this month I had the honor of delivering the keynote address at the 2019 Twin Cities Undergraduate Theology Conference, a joint effort of four evangelical colleges: Bethel University, Crown College, North Central University, and the University of Northwestern St. Paul. I decided to use the occasion to think in public about another kind of … More A Sacramental Vision of the Liberal Arts
This week on The 252, we talked with two Bethel colleagues about the life and work of coaches in college athletics. Gretchen Hunt (previously a guest on season 1 of The Pietist Schoolman Podcast) is head volleyball coach and associate athletic director at Bethel University; Alisha Hvistendahl is our men’s basketball assistant coach, after previously serving as head athletic … More Wednesday’s Podcast: Coaching College Sports
“What are we history professors for?” That’s the existential question asked by Rachel Wheeler in the current issue of Perspectives, the monthly magazine of the American Historical Association. Wheeler urged fellow Americanists, at least, to respond to white nationalism by offering students a different kind of national story. But she acknowledged that this was not … More Is Teaching Like Preaching?
As recent episodes of our new sports history podcast have touched on the history of the NCAA, debates over amateurism, and the role of sports in college admissions, we’ve talked a lot about student-athletes. So it seemed like it was high time we talked to a couple of actual student-athletes. This week on The 252 we’re joined by Bethel University students Jana … More Wednesday’s Podcast: The Student-Athlete