Congratulations to the Bethel University Royals, winners of the 2019-2020 women’s basketball championship in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. We were there this afternoon at a packed Robertson Center, where Bethel eked out the victory over the Augsburg University Auggies, 72-70. Bethel gets the MIAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament. Since Chris … More Saturday’s Podcast: Live from a Basketball Championship Game!
Earlier this month I attended the memorial service for Dr. Jim Johnson, who spent thirty years teaching U.S. history at Bethel. Jim retired about a decade before I arrived, and we’d only met a handful of times over the years. So I felt a bit like an interloper in a room full of his closest … More A Funeral and Four Thanksgivings
If things seem quiet around this blog, it’s because I’m preparing to give my first Bethel Chapel talk this Friday morning. Having taken themes from my book with Mark Pattie and taught about “Pietist options” for Evangelical Covenant, Lutheran, and Baptist churches, I’m thrilled to be invited to explain for students, colleagues, and other … More This Friday: “The Pietist Option for Bethel”
This morning we recorded our first live episode of The 252: an interview with Steve Johnson, for 31 years the head football coach at his alma mater, Bethel University. Steve took time out of preparing for Saturday’s game at Concordia College in order to tell us about his childhood as a Cubs fan and pastor’s kid … More Thursday’s Podcast: The Ministry of a Football Coach
Okay, let’s talk about Beto O’Rourke. Last Thursday night, at a Democratic presidential candidates forum on LGBT issues, CNN host Don Lemon asked the former Texas congressman whether “religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities—should… lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage.” O’Rourke answered: Yes. There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax … More On Christian Colleges and Tax Exemptions
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