One evening in April 2013, I left a dispiriting meeting of beleaguered humanities department chairs at Bethel University, walked back to my office, and wrote up a tentative proposal for a new major in the digital humanities: the emerging field that seeks to use computing and other digital techniques and tools within the context of … More Meet Our First Digital Humanities Graduate
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
By now, I suspect that many of my readers have either read Ben Schmidt’s report for the American Historical Association or glanced at summaries of it in Inside Higher Ed or the Chronicle of Higher Education. Short version: since 2011-12 (“the first years for which students who saw the financial crisis in action could easily change their majors”), … More Quick Thoughts on the History Major Report
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
While I was starting a new podcast season and sharing some final thoughts on the affordability and sustainability of Christian liberal arts colleges, here’s what some other writers had to say: • A Reformation Day question from Jay Phelan: what does it mean to be Protestant? • If an annual listen to “The Reformation Polka” … 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?
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”
Earlier this month I wrote a couple of posts making economic and non-economic arguments for the continuing value of college majors like history, English, philosophy, and the other “humanities.” Today, I want to take up an important consideration raised by Inside Higher Ed blogger Matt Reed. A humanities professor who became a community college dean, Reed contends that … More What To Do If Law School Is No Longer a “Safety Valve” for Humanities Majors?