The Lamp Post: A Resource for Christian Faculty

Autumn Lamp Post

We’re suckers for a good lamp post photo.

On Friday, we sent out the first 2011-12 issue of the Lamp Post, the email chronicle of InterVarsity Faculty Ministry. “What is the Lamp Post?” you ask? And well you might: it had been a while since we sent out an issue, partly because we were trying to do too much with each one. The Lamp Post is an email publication specifically for Christian faculty, with articles and resources intended to help Christian faculty in their spiritual, academic, and community life on campus. A typical issue might feature a Bible study written specifically for faculty, announcements about upcoming faculty events, an article from a faculty member reflecting on some aspect of faculty life, or a review of a new book with particular relevance for Christian faculty.

If you’re wondering about the difference between ESN’s offerings and those of Faculty Ministry, ESN serves those on the path toward an academic vocation — undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, untenured faculty — while Faculty Ministry focuses squarely on those who have already become faculty. There’s quite a bit of overlap between those two groups, of course, so you might want to subscribe to the Lamp Post if you enjoy reading the Emerging Scholars Blog.

Photo credit: Don DeBold via Flickr

The Lamp Post is trying a new format and a new frequency this year: once a month, we’ll publish a new issue with 1 or 2 featured articles or resources, such as a Bible study, theological reflection, or a report “from the field.” In this September issue, we featured the 2010-2011 Faculty Ministry Annual Report (which I think you will find very encouraging) and a pair of prayers for the new academic year, one of which is reprinted below.

We’ll also include short links to other items from the past few months. In this issue, these included:

  • the upcoming Black Scholars and Professionals consultation and conference in Atlanta (which has the incredible theme “Jesus Christ: The Driving Force of Good Scholarship, Worthy Professions, and World Change”)
  • the upcoming faculty and graduate student symposium in the New York Capital District, featuring Dr. John Sommerville
  • a review of George Yancey’s important new book, Compromising Scholarship: Religious and Political Bias in American Higher Education.

If any of this sounds interesting or relevant to you, I encourage you to inquire about the Lamp Post.

A Prayer Before Beginning a New Study

One of the two prayers for the new academic year in September’s Lamp Post was this one, written by Samuel Johnson in 1752:

Almighty God, in whose hands are all the powers of man; who givest understanding, and takest it away; who as it seemeth good unto Thee, enlightenest the thoughts of the simple, and darkenest the meditations fo the wise, be present with me in my studies and enquiries.

Grant, O LORD, that I may not lavish away the life which Thou hast given me on useless trifles, not waste it in vain searches after things which Thou hast hidden from me.

Enable me, by the Holy Spirit, so to shun sloth and negligence, that every day may discharge part of the task which Thou hast allotted me; and so further with Thy help that labour which, without thy help must be ineffectual, such success as will most promote thy glory, and the salvation of my own soul, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.

May this prayer enrich your life on campus.

By the way, if you are interested in writing for the Lamp Post, we are currently updating the author guidelines. Please email us if you desire information.

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Micheal Hickerson

The former Associate Director for the Emerging Scholars Network, Micheal lives in Cincinnati with his wife and three children and works as a web manager for a national storage and organization company. He writes about work, vocation, and finding meaning in what you do at No Small Actors.

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