Over the years, ESN has published prayers for various field areas and seasons of academic life. From searching the archives, this appears to be the first (and long overdue) time we have posted a prayer for adjunct and contingent faculty. Thank you, Ciara Reyes-Ton, for sharing this prayer!
Thank you, God, for the opportunity we have to serve our students and institutions of higher learning.
Whatever the circumstances that have brought us to our current position of contingency, whether we are working towards a more tenure-track position, in between jobs or are content remaining in our current role, we know that you know all and see all, and that to you our work is valuable no matter how long or short we are contracted to do it. Help us to see ourselves in the light in which you see us. And to see others in that light as well.
While we may escape the additional burdens that our tenure-track colleagues face, like the responsibility of research, student advising and serving on committees, we often juggle other responsibilities and face other challenges like working additional jobs, lack of job stability, low wages and even the luxury and privacy of having our own office.
Provide for us in all the ways that we need, and that you see fit. You are more than enough, and we pray your best for us and our institutions.
We acknowledge that we can often feel on the margins even though we make up large portions, if not the majority of the college campuses we serve. We may feel disconnected from the larger campus community and our departments, but we yearn to be included.
Our work may be contingent, but our commitment is not. We are devoted to the students you have called us to serve, and we uphold the missions, values and statements of faith of our institutions.Â
While our roles may inherently have challenges, we are grateful, and careful to remember what we do have. And we trust you with our future, and the future of our institutions, especially during these uncertain times.
Thank you for the campuses that have committees that advocate for us. Thank you for faculty lounges and co-working spaces. Thank you for the access to printers and office supplies, and the secretaries and admins that support us just as well as full-time faculty. Thank you for our colleagues, especially those who go out of their way to befriend and help us. Thank you for our students who we have been entrusted to teach.
Bless us, so we can be a blessing to those around us, our colleagues, students and institutions. Grant us the strength and grace we need to finish each semester. Be near to us as you always are, and help us to draw near to you. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.
About the author:
Ciara Reyes-Ton is a biologist, science writer and editor who is passionate about science communication to faith communities. She has a Ph.D. in Cell & Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan, and a B.S. in Biology from Valparaiso University. She has served as Managing Editor for the American Scientific Affiliationâ€™s God & Nature Magazine (https://godandnature.asa3.org/), and previously taught Biology at Belmont University and Nashville State Community College. She is currently the Digital Content Editor for BioLogos and an Adjunct Professor at Lipscomb University. Outside science, she enjoys singing as part of her band Mount Carmell (https://www.mountcarmell.com/) and drinking coffee. She recently released a new single "To Become Human (https://music.apple.com/us/album/to-become-human-single/1648561459)," a song that explores the biology and theology of what it means to be human. She is also the author of "Look Closely (https://scienceforthechurch.org/product/look-closely-ebook/)," a science and faith devotional that explores the life of Christ by bringing scripture in conversation with science, from water walking lizards to dividing cells and resurrecting corals.