Are you looking for summer readings for small groups or individual reflection? We have curated 12 weeks of ESN content to help you rest and grow as a graduate student following Christ in academia. Our readings start with a series on resting and celebrating, move on to a series of practical tips on identifying a good mentor to help you grow, then conclude with reflections on becoming more Christlike in grad school from several writers. We hope the overarching theme of rest and growth helps you thrive this summer. 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.
-Hannah Eagleson, Interim Associate Director, ESN
Rest and Growth: 12 Weeks of Summer Readings for Christian Grad Students
Module 1: Resting and Celebrating (4 weeks)
As you settle into the summer, we hope this module will help you find rest and enjoyment. Summer is a full time for most academics, with research and conferences and summer teaching. Join us in reflecting on ways to enrich grad school life, including making space for movement and good food. This module features a series by Dana Ray from Scholar’s Compass, our ongoing online devotional series for Christian academics.
Week 1: The Samurai Number
Week 2, Movement and the Graduate Life
Week 3, Feasts and Revelry: Good Food and the Grad Life
Week 4, Sleep and the Graduate Life
Module 2: Finding Mentors to Support Your Growth (3 weeks)
Working with great mentors is often key to spiritual and academic growth, but it’s not always easy to find the right mentor. In 25 years as a scientist, physician, and campus minister, ESN author Scott Santibanez has learned a lot about mentoring. Here, he walks us through some key traits to look for in a grad school mentor.
Week 1: 5 Characteristics You Probably Didn’t Know to Look for in a Mentor
Week 2: Characteristics of a Good Mentor: A Doer, Life Experience
Week 3: Characteristics of a Good Mentor: Seeks Understanding & Your Best Interests
Module 3: Growing More Like Christ in Grad School (5 weeks, adjustable)
We hope you’ve been refreshed and renewed by the series so far, and that you’ve picked up some good ideas on finding the mentors who can help you reach your goals for growth. One of the most important end goals for Christian grad students is becoming more like Christ through academic life. For this final summer module, we have put together five reflections on growing in the virtues that help us grow spiritually. Scott Santibanez reflects on developing Christlike character in grad school, Tamarie Macon invites us to be grow our capacity for thankfulness, and Mark Hansard offers a 3-part series on cultivating the fruit of the Spirit in academia.
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 by omitting either or both of the first two standalone meditations, or the 3-part series that concludes the module.
Week 1: Developing Christ-like Character in Grad School
Week 2: Continuing Thanksgiving
Week 3: The Fruit of the Spirit in Academia, Part 1
Week 4: The Fruit of the Spirit in Academia, Part 2
Week 5: The Fruit of the Spirit in Academia, Part 3
About the author:
Dr. Hannah Eagleson loves building the ecosystem Christian scholars need to flourish and create positive impacts, in the university and beyond. She is Associate Director of InterVarsity’s Emerging Scholars Network, a digital first ministry serving thousands of early career Christian scholars. Dr. Eagleson launched the ESN student/early career track at the American Scientific Affiliation annual faith and science conference. She is the editor of *Science and Faith: Student Questions Explored* (Hendrickson, 2019), and the one-semester guidebook *Scholar’s Compass: Connecting Faith & Work for Academics* (InterVarsity Emerging Scholars Network, 2021), with design by noted liturgical artist Ned Bustard. She also launched the Scholar's Compass online devotional series in her previous role as ESN Editor. Dr. Eagleson holds an MA from St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD) and a PhD in Renaissance literature from the University of Delaware.
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