That Was The Week That Was

This week I wrote devotionals about everything from celebration to suffering, plus a Graham Greene novel, and I invited four Anxious Bench colleagues to share their experience of teaching under COVID. Elsewhere: • While undergraduate enrollments have declined less than expected, the pandemic does seem to be depopulating another kind of educational institution: public schools. • Conservative … More That Was The Week That Was

That Was The Week That Was

This week I reflected on the state of American democracy under Donald Trump and considered the importance of history and memory to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Elsewhere: • I don’t think it’s appropriate for the GOP to rush through Ginsburg’s successor mere weeks before Election Day, four years after refusing to vote on Barack Obama’s nominee … More That Was The Week That Was

That Was The Week That Was

This week I looked back at two weeks of teaching in the middle of a pandemic and looked back four years to a series of posts that anticipated my Lindbergh biography. Elsewhere: • Going back on campus has restored a sense of the weekday/weekend divide, but that’s certainly not true for everyone. • Molly Worthen … More That Was The Week That Was

How Christian Colleges Fare Under a Financial Stress Test

Earlier this week, Hechinger Report published an analysis of the economic problems facing many colleges and universities in this country. Readers of this blog know that this isn’t a new topic (here’s a 2014 analysis of financial sustainability), but “with the added pressures of the coronavirus pandemic,” began Sarah Butrymowicz and Pete D’Amato, “the fabric of American … More How Christian Colleges Fare Under a Financial Stress Test

How Are Christian Colleges Planning for the Fall?

Yesterday I shared some tentative plans I’ve made for fall classes, given that Bethel will be welcoming students back to campus in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. Even as I wrote, two of our peer institutions in Southern California — Azusa Pacific and Pepperdine — announced that they would move online for the semester. … More How Are Christian Colleges Planning for the Fall?

A Pietist (and Baptist) Vision for Academic Freedom

This week I’m co-leading a faculty development workshop meant to help Bethel colleagues write a tenure application essay on how they relate faith to learning. As that workshop concludes this afternoon, I’ll try to explain our topic in the context of Bethel’s religious heritage. I don’t expect that all of our faculty be Baptist (I’m … More A Pietist (and Baptist) Vision for Academic Freedom

That Was The Week That Was

This week I engaged in some hopeful thinking about the future of the humanities, announced my first online adult ed course, recruited some Anxious Bench colleagues to join me in identifying non-religious turning points in religious history, and recorded podcasts about math and e-sports. Elsewhere: • Another week, another inspector general fired after he tried to … More That Was The Week That Was

That Was The Week That Was

This week I finished another chapter in my Lindbergh biography and recorded podcasts about the Olympics and the importance of philosophy in a time of pandemic. Elsewhere: • I was doubly grateful to Elesha Coffman: not just for giving me a week off at The Anxious Bench, but articulating something about teaching online that I’d struggled … More That Was The Week That Was

“Nothing for your journey”: The Future of the Christian Liberal Arts

By the time this week is done, something like thirty members of the Bethel University faculty will learn that their positions are being eliminated after 2020-21. And even if I don’t lose my job, it’s likely that I’ll still be affected indirectly by restructuring and streamlining of departments and programs. For months, I’ve been dreading … More “Nothing for your journey”: The Future of the Christian Liberal Arts