Graduate School Journey


Students at Urbana15 GFM Seminar Developing Your Mind for God’s Global Mission. Speaker: Greg Jao. Photo by Rebecca J. Carlson, ESN Scholars participant, Creative Commons license.

Many Emerging Scholars Network (ESN) members are either in graduate school, entering graduate school, or considering it in the near future. We’ve had several series and single posts related to the graduate school experience. Whether you’re already working toward your graduate degree or just thinking about it, these posts are intended for you. Note: If you’re an undergrad en route to graduate school start with . . .

Letter to a New Graduate Student

Monica Greenwood (pseudonym) waited impatiently for three years for the day she walked into her first graduate seminar in philosophy. Before that momentous day, she was an undergrad upperclassman studying philosophy at a state school known for its agriculture program. Today, she writes, studies, teaches, and her passion remains the same: the education of undergraduates, specifically underclassmen, in introductory philosophy courses.

Letter to a New Graduate Student’s Family

Chandra Crane (InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Graduate & Faculty Ministries) shares her journey of being family to a graduate student, unpacking ways of engaging in the unique journey of having a loved one in graduate school.

Little known fact: the Wicked Witch of the East was actually crushed by her graduate school workload, not Dorothy's house.

Little known fact: the Wicked Witch of the East was actually crushed by her graduate school workload, not Dorothy’s house.

What I Wish I’d Known About Graduate School

Hannah Eagleson, PhD, shares some hard-won advice from her graduate school experience.

Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship

George Marsden

George Marsden, PhD, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame

If you’re considering an academic vocation, George Marsden‘s slim volume The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship is on the short list of “must read” books.

A series on Dr. Marsden’s update of his earlier assessment, presented to InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries staff.

Where did you find your megaphone? Who gave it to you?

Finding Your Voice

A doctoral candidate in the history of religion shares her journey of finding her voice in the academy and the church.

Gender, Calling, and Courage: Lessons from Christian Women in Academia. — How can Christian women find the courage to follow the call of academia, and what does that life look like? At the Urbana 2015 conference, a panel of women in academia share insights into how they find life as Christians and women in the university setting. For seminar audio click here.

The Secular Academy as a Mission Field: Urbana 2015 Panel Discussion. How can Christians be faithful in secular universities, what challenges do they face, and how can we develop our sense of calling and purpose within academia? For seminar audio click here. The Secular Academy as a Mission Field: Urbana Panel Discussion

Returning to Graduate School – Thoughts by Michael Stell

A PhD student in theology at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Before life as a grad student, Michael was a teacher and principal in secondary education at various Christian schools in the Northeast.

  1. Returning to Grad School
  2. Being a Graduate Student
  3. Should I Attend Grad School? Or What was I thinking?
library photo

Image by jarmoluk at

Five Things I’ve Learned from Writing a Dissertation Series

Jonathan Warren, who recently finished his Ph.D. in the History of Christianity at Vanderbilt University and now serves with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Graduate & Faculty Ministries, reflects upon what he learned from writing his dissertation.

On Transitions series

While Heather would not likely use the word scholar to describe herself, she has always been surrounded by them. Raised by an academic father and then marrying an academic, she has been connected to several university communities throughout her lifetime. . . .


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