We’re really excited about our fall blog lineup and getting the word out about some directions the blog will explore. So here’s a preview of the blog, shared under some categories/themes that are important to us and valued by readers. These categories of topics grow out of our vision for serving God and others through academic vocation at ESN, and also out of our experience of what readers share and respond to.
Many of these categories overlap in one way or another, and most of them exemplify one or more of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA Graduate & Faculty Ministries’ Four Commitments:
- Spiritual Formation,
- Evangelism and Service, and
- Integration of Faith/Learning/Practice.
This is just a sampler of what we have planned, so stay tuned for these and much more!
Materials Especially for Campus Groups
This year, we want to expand the blog’s ability to deliver strong Bible study/discussion group material that groups of Christian academics can easily use on campus. To do that, we’re seeking to collaborate more with experienced InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA staff and campus fellowships to create and share material. Two upcoming series we’re very excited about:
- Bible Study Notes and Discussion Questions for the Book of Daniel, by Kathy Cooper, Director of Staff Training & Leadership Development and a Campus Minister for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA Graduate & Faculty Ministries (GFM): As we kick off the fall, we’ll share Kathy Cooper’s thoughtful Bible study notes applying the book of Daniel to graduate experience – it would make a great four-week kickoff study for campus grad groups.
- Monthly Faith/Science Discussion Group Curriculum, funded by a STEAM (Science & Theology for Emerging Adult Ministries) Grant and created in collaboration with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA campus groups in the South Central Region of GFM (Once a month during the 2016/2017 academic year): We’re also excited to announce our new monthly faith/science curriculum, which will be developed in response to actual student questions and tested out by GFM grad groups. We’ll be publishing it in booklet form next year, but if you’re excited to use it, it will be available on the blog this academic year. More on this soon.
Materials on What It Means to Be a Christian Scholar
- Christian Scholars Interview Series: This year, we’ll interview experienced Christian scholars about what it means to be a Christian academic, and what they have to share with emerging scholars. The series will be ongoing as we have material during the 2016/2017 year. For a range of previous interviews posted by ESN click here, for faculty interviews in particular click here.
- Ongoing Reflections from Christian Scholars at Different Career Stages: We’ll also continue featuring the thoughtful reflections of emerging Christian scholars at different career points, such as Kateri Collins and Will Mari. Hearing from colleagues at different career points offers insight, encouragement, and a variety of models for being a faithful Christian scholar at different life/career stages. Ongoing at various points this coming year.
- Advent Scholar’s Compass Series by Nan Thomas: We love to explore how the church calendar interacts with academic life here at ESN, and Nan Thomas, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA Faculty Ministry Leadership Team Member and Associate Director of Faculty Development at Union University, will share a special Advent Scholar’s Compass series.
- Scholar’s Compass the rest of the year: Scholar’s Compass, our devotional for and by academics, will continue to explore the integration of academic vocation and Christian faith at various points during the 2016/2017 academic year.
Short Pieces Sharing the Experience of Individuals or Groups in Our Network
- We’re delighted to share the experience of groups and individuals in the Emerging Scholars Network with their colleagues and friends among our readers, and we’ll continue to do that this year through our Highlighting Community feature and invitations like this one on Finding Christian Community in the Planetary Sciences. Our Summer Snapshot series elicited such thoughtful responses from writers and readers that we’ve decided to turn seasonal snapshots of one aspect of a writer’s experience into a regular feature, so expect a few Fall Snapshots soon.
- We’re also planning to start sharing “Survival Kits,” brief overviews of some of the material readers have found most helpful on various practical topics. Stay tuned for our “Graduate School Survival Kit” soon, and for more as time permits.
- We’re also looking forward to continuing some long-running features that are a key part of the ESN blog. Andy Walsh continues his excellent work at Science Corner, and we’ll continue to offer Scholar’s Compass and Scholar’s Call, as well as book reviews and other series as we have opportunity. A few examples: stay tuned for Jeff Neely’s thoughts on journalism and academia and Josh Wu’s occasional pieces exploring faith and political data from a nonpartisan data science perspective.
As we kick off the fall, we welcome your participation: If you’d like to write for any of these pieces, suggest topics, or try out materials in your campus group, please get in touch with us here. We’ll do our best to respond in a timely fashion, but please bear with us if it takes a while – we’re eager to connect with all our readers and writers, but launching the fall means a lot of details to juggle. But don’t hesitate to email us – it’s always great to hear from readers!