End of March Musts: Madness, Reads, Opportunities . . .

ESN March Madness ’14 . . .

If you haven’t voted in this round of ESN March Madness ’14 (and invited others to do likewise), now is the time! I will keep this round open through midnight on Saturday. I’m very curious to see who rises to the top in the “losers” bracket.

Note: “Finding & keep vocation” and “Realizing justice in action” await their turn for a quick round to see who will go back up for the finals to face off against the winner of “Diversity in higher ed vs. Integrating faith & field”. What issue do you find “the most pressing for the Christian to engage when journeying in higher ed?”  Yes, this tourney is influencing our priority of focus as we prepare for Fall 2014. If you have a desire to address a particular topic or recommend a possible contributor (e.g., book to be reviewed, book reviewer, interview, offer a reflection), please let me know.

Must reads . . .

A lot of material has come across our screen since ESN’s Peek of the Week (3/17/2014). Below are a few I desire to give attention to, with lots more on ESN’s Facebook Wall 🙂 Please do not hesitate to share your must reads in the comments section below.

  • Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. — Ephesians 4:29-30
    • With Patience on my mind — this Tuesday I spoke on Patience for the Christian Medical Society (CMS)/CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine — Mark D. Roberts’ brief meditation on Why Your Words Matter So Much to the Holy Spirit (The High Calling. 3/27/2014) caught my attention. May the Spirit bring this text to my attention when engaging difficult interactions in the home, in higher education, in the health care system, at the CMS/CMDA retreat this weekend, at church on Sunday morning, wherever I find myself over the course of the next several days . . . I encourage you likewise not only to dwell on Ephesians 4:29, but also to incarnate it.
  • Thank-you to Mark Eckel for reviewing Incarnate: The Body of Christ in an Age of Disengagement (Michael Frost. InterVarsity Press, 2014) on his blog.

    • Recently my 8th grade twin girls were given the assignment to write a persuasive essay arguing whether human beings are inherently good or evil.  Personally I have found the question to be an unhelpful dichotomy. Yes, God’s good creation is marred by the fall, but I find a significant difference between sinful (marred, broken, fallen, etc) and evil (in this case inherently evil which was given synonyms such as permanently). Not to mention the fact that Jesus the Christ is both fully human (the way we are supposed to be) and fully divine. What an opportunity to share one’s faith in the local public junior high.
    • AND the incarnation is no less a concern in my campus visits (especially to a College of Medicine!) and the Survey of Christian Theology class which I am taking at Evangelical. FYI: We discussed Christology before break and salvation this week.
    • Teaser: In April Mark Eckel will write an ESN blog series on a 3-fold approach to higher education for professors: scholar, teacher, and disciple. Stay tuned.
  • A Narrative of Another Kind by Amy Brinkley, who is currently pursuing a PhD at Saint Louis University in Higher Education Administration, is another winner from The Well‘s Call for Stories (Women in the Academy & the Professions). You may find of particular interest that Amy seeks to work on partnerships between higher education and civil service organizations with a specific focus in international higher education.
    • The next of The Well‘s winning essays will be posted on Tuesday, April 1. As you may guess, I can’t wait!
  • If you have not already done so, take a few minutes to rest in Photo Essay: Walking in Winter by Thomas Jay Oord, a theologian, philosopher, and scholar of multi-disciplinary studies. If you have a desire to offer something similar to this excellent God and Nature piece to Emerging Scholars, please let me know.
  • On the ESN Blog, I hope that you haven’t missed . . .


April 4-5: 4th Annual Black Scholars and Professionals (BSAP) Consultation Conference: Love In The Academy? Love In The Profession? Do They Exist? Cambridge, MA. Registration: $75.

  • Dr. Alice Brown-Collins, Interim Regional Director for the Northeast region of GFM, shares that the BSAP Consultation Conferences have been “encouraging, inspiring and culturally relevant. People come to learn and hear from mentors on how to integrate faith with academic disciplines.” Truly looks amazing!
  • InterVarsity Press is giving away one set of their brand new Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity — $450 value! Only 3 days left.
    • As I’ve mentioned before, I’m interested in book reviews on several IVP books. Stay tuned, but in the mean time don’t forget your 30% discount!
  • The Ends and Goals of Higher Education in Twenty-First-Century America: Change and the Calling of the Christian Educator discussion group has been updated. Discussion will be starting shortly. Stay tuned 🙂
    • Note: tied to the March 2014 symposium with Dr. Santa Ono (president of the University of Cincinnati) and the upcoming 2014 Midwest Faculty Conference (June 21-27, Cedar Campus, Upper Peninsula, MI).

Andy Kim shares about Hospitality, Food and Mission at InterVarsity’s Graduate and Faculty Ministries (GFM) Staff Team Meetings (March 18-20). Your prayers were heard! Stay tuned for material drawn from this time of renewal in the Word and worship, training in cross-cultural competency, networking (including the confirmation of additional bloggers), fun sharing food from home cultures, supporting our IFES sister movement in the Caribbean (where grad ministry is just starting), and much more!

Guide My Feet

Thank-you to Katelin Hansen for sharing in another context, “The grad school journey can feel like a long marathon sometimes. Let us be grateful for a God who guides our feet.” Amen! To God be the glory!

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Tom Grosh IV

Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!

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