ESN Fall 2016 Preview Series: What Does ESN Do?

The Secular Academy as a Mission Field: Urbana Panel Discussion

Image: The Secular Academy as a Mission Field: ESN Urbana 15 Panel Discussion

Connecting with ESN has really enriched my experience at Urbana because it expanded my mind to see that God called me into the engineering field for a reason. Missions and academic/vocational pursuit are not two separate ideas, but rather beautifully intertwined to fulfill a piece of God’s bigger story for my generation. —Galina Pylypiv, ESN Urbana liveblogger and photographer for the image above, transitioning into graduate school and InterVarsity graduate ministry this fall


What is the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN) all about? Maybe you’ve recently found the ESN blog and want to know more, or maybe you’ve been following ESN for years. Either way, at this start of the academic year, we want to share about ESN’s vision and mission and update you on some new ways of accomplishing it we’re pursuing this year. To that end, we’re running a short series on the blog this week exploring our vision and some of the ways we’re seeking to live it out this year, before we launch our fall blog lineup next week.

A lot has changed since ESN began in 2004, and even since the ESN blog launched in 2008. For the past two years, we’ve been in a process of refining our vision and direction, and we’re excited to share some new ideas and features with you this fall. Our mission and vision are still very much in tune with ESN’s original purpose of supporting early career Christians with an academic vocation, but we’ve found some ways to adapt to changing circumstances and launch some new initiatives. More on that soon. But first, a quick tour of our updated descriptions: what ESN is, what we do, and how we do it.

What is ESN?

The Emerging Scholars Network (ESN) is a national network within InterVarsity’s Graduate & Faculty Ministries which supports those on the academic pathway as they work out how their academic vocation serves God and others. We encourage and equip undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and early career faculty as they navigate each stage of their academic vocation and transition to the next step in or beyond the academy. We welcome the participation of more experienced faculty members and partners as we serve emerging scholars.

What does ESN do?

Hannah Eagleson connects with a delegate at the Emerging Scholars Network/InterVarsity Press table at the 2016 ASA Annual Meetings.

Hannah Eagleson connects with a delegate at the Emerging Scholars Network / InterVarsity Press table at the 2016 ASA Annual Meetings.

ESN supports Christians with an academic vocation through:

  • An ongoing blog (right here!)
  • Opportunities to connect with peers and mentor figures online and at conferences
  • Partnerships with InterVarsity campus fellowships and conferencing
  • Partnerships with other likeminded organizations such as the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA)

How do we do it?

  • Building/encouraging/publicizing networks of Christians within academic fields
  • Connecting students in transition to InterVarsity events/campus groups and other resources
  • Producing material to support groups and individuals exploring their academic vocation and sharing it on our blog
  • Providing emerging scholars opportunities to connect with peers and mentor figures online and at conferences
  • Providing emerging scholars training and opportunities to grow as public intellectuals and bless the church and the world through blogging and speaking opportunities
  • Engaging InterVarsity alumni who have a desire to serve emerging scholars

We ask for your prayers and welcome your participation as we launch into the 2016/2017 academic year. Thank you for reading and for praying for us. Stay tuned for more on what ESN has planned for this year, at the blog and elsewhere.


Invest in the lives of emerging scholars like Galina by giving to ESN. We’re seeking to expand conference and online ministry this year, and need to raise a significant amount by December 2016. Would you consider becoming an ongoing partner with ESN? You can give here or contact us here. More specifics will be shared in future posts.

A student shares "Thank-you!" to those who invest in the Emerging Scholars Network. To God be the glory! 2016 ASA Meetings.

A student joins me in sharing “Thanks!” to those who invest in the Emerging Scholars Network. To God be the glory! 2016 ASA Meetings.

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ESN Announce

The Emerging Scholars Network is always seeking opportunities to identify, encourage, and equip the next generation of Christian scholars to be a redeeming influence in the academy, church, and the world. As you have an announcement, a "call for papers", an event, a prayer request (e.g., campus, field, higher ed), a resource suggestion, a review, etc., which is in concord with our Kingdom of God endeavor, please send materials (marketing/sales material not accepted) for consideration to post via email or the ESN Writer Survey. Thank-you. To God be the glory! ~ Thomas B. Grosh IV, Associate Director, Emerging Scholars Network

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