I am delighted to welcome Bob Trube as the new Director of InterVarsity’s Emerging Scholars Network, and I very much look forward to working as assistant director with him to grow ESN. In his 43 years with InterVarsity, Bob is a consistent pioneer of new ideas within Graduate & Faculty Ministry, a talented leader who helps teams grow, and a skillful author and digital curator at his blog Bob on Books. Few people combine such vision for graduate and faculty ministry, such evident practical administrative skills, and such thoughtful ability with digital content curation. I believe Bob is exactly the right person to lead ESN’s ministry into the next season, and I am very excited about his ideas for expanding the ways ESN serves Christians using their academic gifts to honor Christ and work for the common good in the world. Please join me in welcoming Bob, and read on for his reflections on starting as ESN Director. -Hannah Eagleson, Assistant Director of Emerging Scholars Network
I am thrilled to say “yes” to this new opportunity to encourage and support all those who aspire to follow Jesus in his mission in the world of scholarship. I have long been a fan of the Emerging Scholars Network, from the very beginning. I regularly shared articles from the ESN site on social media for the graduate fellowship I worked with at Ohio State, and connected individual students and faculty with resources that complemented my work as a campus minister.
I realize that I am standing on the shoulders of some great work that has been done over the years in developing content and partnerships to encourage aspiring Christian scholars from their undergraduate years through to the early years of their faculty career. As I’ve been learning about ESN and listening to many of our partners both inside and outside of InterVarsity, there are three early priorities that I look forward to working on with Hannah:
- Review, update, and develop the digital part of our ministry. ESN was developed in a web and social media context that was cutting edge a dozen years ago. We not only want to update the look and accessibility of our website, but also assess our communications strategies, social media use, and use of other digital platforms from podcasts to webinars to offer resources for every stage of the academic journey and to foster the “network” aspect of ESN by promoting various conversations to help pursue the mission of Jesus in our disciplines and in the university.
- Serve our partners within InterVarsity’s field ministry well. You may be an undergrad staff looking for resources to encourage students in developing a Christian mind, their witness in the classroom and with faculty, or caring for those exploring grad school and academic careers. You may work with a fellowship of grad students or post docs and look for resources to help with students’ intellectual, vocational, and spiritual formation. Or you are working with post-docs and faculty and looking for material that will help in navigating the pressures of an academic life as a follower of Jesus among colleagues. We want to create and curate resources you can use, and would love to hear what you need. We hope to become a place you can gladly point your students and faculty to use. And we hope to be able to connect people who find us on the web into your communities, or to help you to start new ones at adjacent campuses.
- Serve our members, writers, and outside partners well. ESN has been blessed with students and faculty who follow and interact with our posts, a group of writers who have developed content including our Science Corner and Scholar’s Compass posts, and outside partners like the American Scientific Association, the Veritas Forum and others who share a vision for Christ and campus. I dream of students and future faculty and researchers who say ESN was a vital partner in their spiritual and academic journey, for writers who develop a voice and audience with us, and for mutually beneficial partnerships with every organization with which we work.
I started in this new role just over a month ago. It has been a steep learning curve. One of the things most important to me is to listen to all of those who are, or we hope to have as partners with us. I would love to hear from you about what has been most important to you about the Emerging Scholars Network and what we can do better. Drop me a note at email@example.com or leave your comments here. We’d love to learn from you.
–Bob Trube, Director of the Emerging Scholars Network