“There is a free speech crisis on campus,” wrote Sarah Jones yesterday for The New Republic, “but it’s not at Yale or Middlebury. It’s at Liberty University and schools like it.” In other words, the true threat to free speech in higher education does not come from leftist students and professors trying to stifle conservative voices, but … More Is There a Free Speech Crisis at Christian Colleges?
I know, there are a lot of ways you could fill in that sentence to make it a joke. But in seriousness, it’s struck me in the last few years that the rarest thing in higher education is a truly distinctive academic program. At least among four-year, residential, non-profit universities that lay any claim to … More The Rarest Thing in Higher Education Is…
Dear madam or sir, I write in hope that you exist. Honestly, it’s hard for me to imagine that there are individuals in this or any society who have the ability to donate $75 million to their favorite good cause. (Subtract a few zeroes and I’d still need to battle my budget a bit.) But … More An Open Letter to Anyone with $75 Million to Give to Christian Colleges
According to research by higher education scholar Robert Kelchen, former students of religious private colleges were much more likely to be married — and earlier — than those at other types of institutions. For example, Dordt College (a Christian Reformed school in Iowa) and two campuses of Brigham Young University topped the field in having … More Marriage, Friendship, and the Mission of Christian Colleges
Fake news. Alternative facts. Post-truth. When those are the catch phrases of the moment, this portion of my employer’s statement of core values can seem both quaint and urgently needed: As learners, we are critical thinkers and problem-solvers committed to academic excellence and intellectual rigor. At the same time, we are truth-seekers, recognizing that all truth-scientific, artistic, philosophical, … More How Christian Scholars Seek Truth in a “Post-Truth” World
If your image of Christian higher education is a Donald Trump commencement address or a scandal-plagued football team, let me share a sample day in my life as a professor at Bethel University. Yesterday was atypical in a sense (no classes, since it was the study day that breaks up our final exam week), but it still provided … More A Day in the Life of a Christian College Professor
Okay, let’s try this again: the college lecture is neither obsolete nor fool-proof. Like anything, it can be done badly, but rightly understood, it’s still a highly important mode of teaching. Two reasons I’m thinking about a topic I’ve addressed several times before: First, Wired just offered another of its biennial critiques of the lecture. Entitled “The Traditional … More The Lecture Lives. I Would Know — I’m a Professor.
It’s been a few weeks now since a Washington Post profile of Second Lady Karen Pence reminded everyone of comments made by her husband back when he was still an Indiana congressman: that Mike Pence “never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, … More The Graham Rule and Barriers to Women in Leadership at Christian Colleges
It’s been a long time since I last tried to blog my way, chapter by chapter, through a book. But a recent collaboration between two of my Bethel University colleagues fully deserves that level of attention. Certainly for Christians who — like Marion Larson, Sara Shady, and myself — work in higher education, but also for churches … More From Bubble to Bridge: Introduction
Two weeks ago today, I had the chance to talk about Pietism and teaching with college and seminary faculty, staff, and administrators at North Park University in Chicago. It was the third time that I’ve been invited to another Christian college campus to reflect on themes from our 2015 book, The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education, … More God’s Glory, Neighbor’s Good: Revisiting the Pietist Vision for Christian Higher Education