Why We Teach

It’s made by one of my best friends. It consists of nothing but interviews with professors at a small university, plus images from public domain films. I’m in it. For all these reasons, you won’t want to believe what I’m about to write. But it’s still true: Why We Teach is the most compelling documentary you’ll … More Why We Teach

No, I Don’t Want To Lose My Faculty Office

We’re in the middle of a space planning conversation at Bethel, and I’m just hoping that we decide our department’s future location before this piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) has a chance to seep into anyone’s consciousness. I’m afraid some of our planners might be tempted by paragraphs like those below to think they … More No, I Don’t Want To Lose My Faculty Office

Is There a Free Speech Crisis at Christian Colleges?

“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?

An Open Letter to Anyone with $75 Million to Give to Christian Colleges

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

Marriage, Friendship, and the Mission of 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

How Christian Scholars Seek Truth in a “Post-Truth” World

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

A Day in the Life of a Christian College Professor

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

The Lecture Lives. I Would Know — I’m a 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.

The Graham Rule and Barriers to Women in Leadership at Christian Colleges

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