Week in Review: Milliennials in Transition Edition

Our Week-in-Review feature has a new format. We know there’s way too much to read out there already, so we’re going to be highlighting the top five articles, books, websites, etc., that we’ve been reading or thinking about the past week. If you have items you’d like us to consider for the top five, add them in the comments or send them to Tom or Mike.

The Millennial Muddle (Eric Hoover, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 11, 2009) takes awhile to wade through but is worth it. Tom’s placing this topic on his to post about list ;-)  Anyone with research, reflections, or personal testimonies regarding how to understand/categorize/define/relate to (?) the Millennials?

Speaking of Speaking (Chronicle of Higher Education, October 15, 2009) by a Female Science Professor gives tips on public speaking, in particular how the type of introduction can have a significant effect, at least at the beginning of my talk, on my mood and presentation strategy. She gives several illustrations which you might find of benefit. Any illustrations of best/worst speaker introductions you’ve heard?

Tweed: Oh, You Lucky College Professors! Adjuncts, Too (Chronicle of Higher Education, October 14, 2009).  Do you agree with …

Memo to America’s college professors: You have the third best job in the country.

This is according to a list of “the top 50 careers with great pay and growth prospects” that will appear in the November issue of Money magazine. OK, so you’re behind systems engineers and physician’s assistants, but No. 3 wins you a red ribbon, right?

What Has Theology Ever Done for Science? – Quite a lot actually, writes Denis Alexander, Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge, in reply to a question that Daniel Dennett has been fond of asking lately. (HT: Bede Journal and Faith-Science News)

More on Souls in Transition – Christianity Today has published an interview with Christian Smith about his new book, Souls in Transition.  Smith and his fellow researchers followed up with the teens from Soul Searching to learn how their religious lives changed as they entered their early to mid-20s.  Overall, says Smith,

Most of what happens in emerging adulthood works against serious faith commitments and putting down roots in congregations. Most emerging adults are disconnected from religious institutions and practices. Geographic mobility, social mobility, wanting to have options, thinking this is the time to be crazy and free in ways most religious traditions would frown upon, wanting an identity different from the family of origin—all of these factors reduce serious faith commitments.

But – good news! – attending college is no longer the “faith killer” that it was in years past. Smith:

If anything, college is no different in terms of the faith corrosion outcomes on youth. It may even strengthen the faith of some. We think this is partly about a growing number of evangelical faculty at secular colleges. Another factor is the increasing presence and legitimacy of campus religious groups and ministries [InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Campus Crusade] that provide support systems—not just fellowship, but also intellectual engagement that may have been lacking in past decades.

The culture has also changed: “spirituality” is more acceptable now than in past decades. Most faculty know you cannot say stupidly anti-religious things in the classroom and get away with it.

Can we imagine a day when the college experience becomes known for introducing students to the spiritual and historical depths of the Christian faith?

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Tom Grosh IV

Enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa, four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he hosts the Christian Scholar Series), on campus as part of InterVarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministry (serving fellowships such as the Christian Medical Society/CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine), online as the Associate Director of the Emerging Scholars Network, in the culture at large, and in God's creation.

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