What a joy to have Micheal Hickerson return to the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN) blog to share The Best Christian Book of All Time: One Year Later (2/13/2014). A slam dunk. Thank-you Mike!
I pray that many of you have been and continue to be inspired to draw from the library of books found in The Best Christian Book of All Time Selection Show.
This year we’re turning to . . .
Which topics must Christians be prepared to engage in today’s higher education?
What is the inspiration for ESN’s March Madness ’14? In January, I spent a significant amount of my time en route to, during, and after InterVarsity’s staff conference prayerfully considering the meaning/purpose of higher education for the Christian as part of the Body of Christ. I wrestled with the stories of students, faculty, and staff from the past year, in particular the complex vocational questions they face each and every day as missional Christians (individually and corporately). Some of these questions are generated internally, others externally. Some are spoken, some unspoken. But many are “classic” explorations of Loving God in the Flesh in the Real World, returned to generation after generation by individuals and the larger community of faith interacting with a dynamic academic context.
In addition I kept cycling back to Vinoth Ramachandra’s prophetic call for Engaging the University. The vision for missional campus ministry offered by Engaging the University spurs me to dig more deeply not only “in and across” particular disciplines, but also “up and down” the “academic ladder”
- undergraduate students
- graduate students
- assistant professor
- associate professor, most probably including tenure
- academic administration — of interest to some.
As I shared in Seek the Welfare of the University (Jeremiah 29:7) — Donald Hay (2/9/2014), I have recently pressed into a number of conversations exploring the importance of “the theology” of this task. In response, by Fall 2014 ESN’s resource section will have several pages on the “basics of theology in higher ed”. This will include coaching/mentoring through stories of how Christians have engaged significant topics/questions and recommendations of material not only to encourage, but also equip Emerging Scholars through their academic journey (i.e., “in and across” particular disciplines, “up and down” the “academic ladder”). How will we generate this material?
We will draw from and refine material offered by the learning community which has been coming together here on the ESN blog and in several local hubs — if you’re interested in writing for the blog and/or creating a local hub, please email me.
The next stage of development is to ask, “On which topics should we focus through this process?” Through March Madness 2014, I desire to create a platform to
- identify the most important topics and the questions they raise
- prioritize addressing these topics and questions
- invite members of ESN, special guests and/or work groups to engage the topics and questions. Note: work groups will have a variety of structures, e.g., local with periodic face-to-face gatherings, conference related, and virtual (regional, national, international).
Please help us extend sixteen “tickets to the Dance” by sharing nominations below. AND by passing along the invitation to all your friends, colleagues, and acquaintances so they too can join in March Madness ESN style :)
Next week I will offer some pre-tournament analysis on how I see the “games” unfolding. In two weeks the “selection committee of one” (with some distinguished additional advice — stay tuned) will announce the tip-off of what will truly be a “Sweet Sixteen” ;)
2/16/2014, drawn from post on The calling of Christian postgrad students and academics — Ard Louis
BONUS: Part of an InterVarsity fellowship group (undergrad, grad, faculty, focused ministry)? Please encourage their participation. How do we get this idea “into the paint”? If your fellowship “takes it to the hole” with 10 or more topics gathered through the collaboration of at least three members of your fellowship by
Sunday, February 23 midnight Wednesday, February 26 (ET) your “team” will be entered for a prize of $100 of InterVarsity Press publications. ESN will randomly select three winners from the teams who “bring their game to the court”.
How do you submit as a team? Include your fellowship group’s name and collaborators (first names) in the nominations submitted below AND email your fellowship’s name/contact information to ESN. Whether or not your team “hits the shot from downtown” with regard to the nominations prize drawing, you’ll be a part of the conversation which extends sixteen “tickets to the Dance”. AND maybe one or more of your nominations will be announced on the February 28 Selection Show :) Now that would we be fun, wouldn’t it? Let’s get our game on! To God be the glory!