Are you looking for summer readings for faculty small groups or individual reflection? We have curated 12 weeks of ESN content to help you rest and flourish as a faculty member following Christ in academia. We hope the overarching theme of rest and flourishing helps you thrive this summer. All of the material is drawn from Scholar’s Compass, our ongoing online devotional series for academics. If you’re looking for a shorter series or starting later in the summer, each module can stand on its own, and the length of the last one is customizable. You can bookmark this page to access the whole series, or follow along with us on social media as we share the week’s reading each Monday from June 17 through September 2. We also have graduate school focused summer readings here.
-Hannah Eagleson, Interim Associate Director, ESN
Rest and Flourishing: 12 Weeks of Summer Readings for Christian Faculty Members
Module 1: Flourishing in Transitions (4 weeks)
Whether it’s the yearly transition of starting summer research and travel, the step from one job or career stage to another, or the change involved in starting a new scholarly project or class, most faculty experience transition over the summer. Christian Brady, a scholar of ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature and Dean of the Lewis Honors College at the University of Kentucky, provides reflections for your summer transitions.
Week 1: Reshaped, Reworked, and Redeemed
Week 2: “Where You Go, God Is”
Week 3: Living in Transition
Week 4: Living in the Moment
Module 2: Resting and Celebrating (4 weeks)
Summer is a full time for most academics, with research and conferences and summer teaching. Join us in reflecting on ways to enrich your academic experience and your broader life, including making space for movement and good food. While this series by Dana Ray was originally written about graduate school, we believe it has much to say to faculty life as well. May it help you to flourish this summer.
Week 1: The Samurai Number
Week 2, Movement and the Graduate Life
Week 4, Sleep and the Graduate Life
Part 3: Finding God in Our Daily Work (4 Weeks, adjustable)
As you enjoy the last month of summer and look toward the semester, we hope these reflections on finding God in the daily work of academia will encourage you. Harvey Mudd professor Dave Vosburg reflects on creativity in his discipline of chemistry, in a way that invites all Christian scholars to ponder where they can reflect God’s creativity in their work. Carmen Acevedo Butcher invites us to cultivate the virtue of humility in the academy. Deryck Chan describes how his academic work in civil engineering provides an analogy that dovetails with his confidence in Scripture, and invites other Christian scholars to look for similar analogies in their work. We conclude with a reflection by Bethany Bear on the scholarly virtues she learns from teaching the Iliad, a meditation that also serves as an invitation to embrace our tasks of research and learning as the fall semester approaches.
Note: We’re proud of our authors at ESN, and we hope you have time to read all of these reflections. If your small group is working with a short summer semester, though, you could customize the length of this module since each reflection in it can stand on its own.
Week 1, Creativity That Delights
Week 2: Academics and Humility
Week 3: Words of Authority
Hannah Eagleson is Interim Associate Director of InterVarsity’s Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). She launched and still edits ESN’s collaboratively written devotional for academics, Scholar’s Compass. Hannah also crafts other community-building events and materials for ESN. She holds a PhD in English literature from the University of Delaware, and an MA from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD. she’s working on a novel about a dragon who gave up fending off knights to become a tea importer in eighteenth-century England.