The Job Search, Part 2: The Interview Process

You have written a good letter—so good in fact that now you have some interviews scheduled. These could range from a phone call to some form of video conference. As you will learn, this means you are now in a group of roughly 15-20 people, down from the mammoth pool of 100-200 who applied. You may never have thought that Anonymous U or Nowhere U would call for an interview. And yet, here you are. Read more…

Liturgies of Calling, Post 1 (Highlighting Community)

Every summer, InterVarsity hosts the Midwest Faculty Conference as a time for faculty to rest, reflect, and meet with God and each other. This year’s theme was The Faculty Vocation: Exploring a Christian Anthropology of the Academic Life. Mike Gehrling, InterVarsity’s Director of International Graduate Student and Faculty Ministry, crafted liturgies for worship around the theme of vocation for the event. He shares them with us here.Read more…

Review: Mapping Your Academic Career, by Dr. Gary Burge

Based on the reviews on the back cover, this book is already striking chords with many faculty at all stages of their career. It also should be required reading for those in professional development programs, administrators, and organizations like Emerging Scholars that work with faculty. Dr. Burge highlights a lacuna in faculty development and gives some frame for those stakeholders to engage faculty in their midst.Read more…

Visions of Vocation on Labor Day

The word vocation is a rich one, having to address the wholeness of life, the range of relationships and responsibilities. Work, yes, but also families, and neighbors, and citizenship, locally and globally — all of this and more is seen as vocation, that to which I am called as a human being, living my life before the face of God. It is never the same word as occupation, just as calling is never the same word as career. Sometimes, by grace, the words and the realities they represent do overlap, even significantly; sometimes, in the incompleteness of life in a fallen world, there is not much overlap at all (Steve Garber. Visions of Vocation. InterVarsity Press, 2014, 11).Read more…

Fall Preview: Highlighting Community

As we wrap up our fall preview series today, we’d like to highlight one more way to engage with community. We’re inviting members and friends of ESN to share more about their own communities on the blog this year. We’d love to encourage emerging scholars by sharing what other believers are doing to build community in their own localities or online networks. Read more…

Fall Preview: Navigating Career Stages/Common Academic Experiences

Living out your vocation doesn’t just happen when you have the time for extended theological reflection or peaceful spiritual exercises on retreat. It also happens when you’re grading papers, starting a postdoc, going to conferences, and writing your dissertation. Some of ESN’s most widely read posts last year focused on wrestling through one’s vocation while navigating a particular career stage or working through a common academic experience. Read more…

Fall Preview: Scholar’s Call

Emerging scholars often tell us that they don’t know where to start when they begin trying to integrate faith and their subjects. Our goal with Scholar’s Call is to generate a series of documents for each discipline that can serve as springboards or starting points for exploring what it means to integrate Christian theology/spirituality and thoughtful engagement with an academic discipline.Read more…

The Courageous Christian Scholar (Scholar’s Compass)

Often, in the Old Testament, the familiar refrain, “Be strong and courageous,” is given by God to such leaders as Moses and Joshua. Biblical courage is not psycho-babble; it is based on the presence and favor of God, on behalf of His people, and is predicated upon God’s promises in the present concerning His future intervention.Read more…

Vocatio Christ: The Contours of Our Callings Part 2 (Scholar’s Compass)

It seemed like the whole world was on fire when C.S. Lewis stepped into the pulpit of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in Oxford in the autumn of 1939. Only a few weeks earlier Germany had invaded Poland, provoking declarations of war from Great Britain and France, igniting the great conflagration that would be the Second World War. Across the United Kingdom out of a sense of duty and urgency young men were enlisting in the armed services and citizens were preparing for the war effort. And Lewis, the great Oxford don, had been tasked with addressing a room full of anxious young men beginning their autumn term at Oxford University.Read more…

Loving Our Neighbors Through Research (Scholar’s Compass)

It’s easy to imagine an academic vocation as a solitary one, full of brilliant and prickly eccentrics who publish famous monographs but have no idea who lives on their street. But in addition to reminding me how deeply an academic life can be centered in love of God, the scholars at the Lausanne Creation Care and the Gospel Conference also reminded me how deeply it can be about love of neighbor.Read more…

The Earth is the Lord’s: Worship as Vocation (Scholar’s Compass)

I had an amazing week at the Lausanne Creation Care and the Gospel conference. Many of those present were involved in very active work to care for God’s creation, whether that meant working for a missions organization that helps communities improve agriculture and care for the environment by planting trees, or facilitating Christian academics to partner with local organizations in ecological research.Read more…

Vocatio Christi: The Contours of Our Callings (Scholar’s Compass)

“Follow me.” With these two simple words Jesus turned the worlds of Peter, Andrew, James and John upside down. Jesus called them away from the life that they knew in order to be apprenticed into a new Way, a new Truth, a new Life. He extended this call to Matthew the tax collector, to a rich young ruler, and to many, many more. Some followed. Some didn’t.Read more…

Missio Dei: The Context of Our Callings (Scholar’s Compass)

What, if anything, does my spiritual life have to do with my work life? Better yet, what does my spiritual life have to do with my life’s work? Is my specific vocation incidental or irrelevant to my spiritual formation? Or do these aspects of my life converge somehow? Similarly, are evangelical witness and the integration of faith and scholarship mutually exclusive concerns, one activity being suited to dynamic extroverts and the other to bookish introverts? Or is there a way in which these go together?Read more…

Community, Excellence, and Joy, Part 2 (Closing Interview, Faithful Is Successful series)

ESN: One of the largest themes of the series has to do with issues of faith and ambition. It seems that God has called us to do our best work for Him, and yet He’s also called us to seek humility and associate with the humble. Any further thoughts on navigating that tension?Read more…

Giving Thanks: A Christian Approach to Vocation (Scholar’s Compass)

The man standing at the podium swipes his hair back again and continues with is presentation. He has a new theory, challenging the one that has become the status quo, which has staved off competing explanations for decades. He drops numerous names and somehow in the mix mentions the deficiencies of his father. I begin to suspect that this proud, brilliant, and yet surprisingly insecure scholar is no longer filling just a lacunae in the field but a hole in his heart.Read more…

How Can the Church Care for Academics? (Scholar’s Compass)

On Tuesday I wrote about how academics can support the church. Today I’d like to spend a little time reflecting on how the church can care for believers whose vocation is to study, research, and teach. Academics are part of Christ’s body, with a role to play, even as they celebrate the roles of others with very different vocations. Read more…