Last week I shared some quick thoughts on Ben Schmidt’s much-read report on the state of the history major. Using graduation numbers from the IPEDS database, he found that history has suffered a greater proportional decline since the Great Recession than any other major: in 2016-17, there were one-third fewer history grads than there were in 2011-12. … More The History Major at Christian Colleges
Today I’m happy to share a guest post from Anthony Minnema, assistant professor of history at Samford University. A specialist in Muslim-Christian relations during the Middle Ages, Tony studied at Calvin College and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and was a Lilly Graduate Fellow at Valparaiso University before coming to Samford. In this post, he responds … More What About a Farm? (Anthony Minnema)
This week I announced one more upcoming Pietist Option class and considered how we tend to misunderstand World War I. Here’s some of what else was happening in the blogosphere: • At our department blog, I suggested a few ways that Minnesotans can join in commemorating tomorrow’s 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. • … More That Was The Week That Was
As much as I talk about blogging as “thinking in public,” I’m rarely so incautious as to do such contemplation in the heat of a moment. But every once in a while, I decide that I ought to record a thought that I hold intensely, if transiently. I did that in the wee hours after … More Can Christian Liberal Arts Be Affordable and Sustainable?
As close readers know, this has been a tough year for the Christian university where I work — as it has been for many other high tuition-high aid private colleges that share Bethel’s economic challenges, if not its religious mission and culture. So after spending yesterday afternoon representing our faculty at a meeting of Bethel’s … More Want to Help Start a Christian Liberal Arts College with $10,000 Tuition?
Greetings from the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan! After a terrific couple days at the Conference on Faith and History, I’m waiting for my flight home and thought I’d share a few of the pieces I’ve been reading the last seven days: • With all that’s been going on at my … More That Was The Week That Was
Yesterday was a surreal day at Bethel University: In the morning, a couple hundred employees crowded into a room in our student commons to hear our president explain significant cuts and restructuring in academic programs and co-curricular/administrative staffing, necessary to avoid the multi-million dollar deficits projected for the next two fiscal years. In the evening, … More “He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how”
“These days,” my local newspaper reported on Tuesday, “English majors are an increasingly rare breed on college campuses.” Whether at the University of Minnesota or nearby Augsburg University, fewer and fewer students were majoring in English — or history, philosophy, or most of the other disciplines traditionally lumped together as “the humanities.” Robert Cowgill, chair of Augsburg’s … More A Counterintuitive Non-Economic Argument for Majoring in the Humanities
Yesterday Mennonite World Review reported that Fresno Pacific University (FPU) in California had removed the president of its seminary, Terry Brensinger, and announced that pastors Greg Boyd, Brian Zahnd, and Bruxy Cavey would no longer teach in the seminary’s M.A. program in ministry, leadership, and culture. According to MWR reporter Tim Huber, several students have complained to … More Open Theism, Evangelicalism, and Anabaptism (and Pietism)
Here… • The least risky way to prepare for work in the 21st century is to major in history or another of the humanities. (“Least risky” in one sense. In another, it’s terribly risky — more on that next week…) • Given one chance to speak to our faculty as president, I didn’t want to … More That Was The Week That Was