March Madness ’14: Higher Ed Bracket

A few higher ed titles from Tom’s shelf. What is on yours? Please share in the comments section below 🙂 In addition, please let me know if you’d like to join the team by writing a book review or a piece on higher ed in general for the blog 🙂

Page in dynamic development as we explore the most pressing issues for the Christian to engage when journeying in higher ed during March Madness ’14 and in months/years to come. . . . To God be the glory!

Higher education

1) Purpose of higher education: The most visited post on our blog is entitled, What’s the purpose of a university? (5,430 views). Although there is more to bring to the table, don’t miss John Mulholland’s perspective on Shalom/human flourishing as the goal of academic work, drawn from Nicholas Wolterstorff:

– “…It eventually became clear to me that there is a biblical category of flourishing, of shalom. [It is] “peace” in the New Testament, but ‘eirene’ in Greek is a pretty weak translation of what the Old Testament means by shalom. It means flourishing. That’s what a Christian college [Christian scholarship] should be about. Not just planting thoughts in people’s heads and getting them into professional positions – but flourishing, in all its dimensions….”

– AND on 3/1 (9:30 am): “The End of Education” with Santa Ono, President of University of Cincinnati. Live at

16) Ethics in higher education: Although broader than these nominations and overlapping not only with 11) Defining Relativism, but also 14 Realizing Justice in Social Action, we return to this question again and again in articles with a higher education focus on our Facebook Wall.

– Is all morality relative? and, Does ‘being tolerant’ of another person’s beliefs mean that you must affirm their beliefs as equally true or valid?

– Morality: How should I live?

– Morals: Where do they come from, and are they absolute or relative? In our increasingly pluralistic society, how can we decide on one set of morals and laws to guide the nation? How much power should the federal or state government have to enforce the opinion of the majority, or of a powerful minority, on localities, religious groups or individuals that may not agree?

8) Academic freedom in higher ed

From a faculty perspective: The issues seem to me to be different for those that teach in a “Christian” university or college from those that teach in a “secular” university or college. However, I would guess that there are acceptable boundaries for each group. How do you navigate these and maintain Christian witness on one side and how do you navigate these and maintain connection to the Christian community on the other? [Note: related material in 10) Church and academia]

9) Diversity in higher education

– Diversity: As the nation is becoming more diverse (ethnically, religiously, including bi-cultural families), how do we as a church and society deal with the differences What is unalterable, what is negotiable, and why? Do we understand, let alone appreciate, the opinions and perspective of the newcomers? Should they adapt and adopt white American traditions, should they maintain their own separate communities, or is there a third way?

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Tom Grosh IV

Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!

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