What Books Should Young Christian Scholars Read?

Later this month, I’ll be representing the Emerging Scholars Network at Urbana 12, InterVarsity’s triennial student missions conference. I’m leading a seminar called “Serving Christ as a Professor,” and I’m looking for books to add to our recommended reading list for undergraduates. From my post at the Emerging Scholars Blog:

One of my favorite things about conferences is learning about new books — or, even better, old books that I somehow hadn’t known about. Most of the attendees at Urbana are undergraduates, so the conference is a great opportunity to send them away with a fresh reading list for the new year.

What books about the life of the mind, the academy, and spiritual formation should we recommend?

Visit the Emerging Scholars Blog to see the list of books we recommended at Urbana 09, as well as the great suggestions we’ve received from the ESN community.

A New Chapter for the New Year

Whew – this is big. I am beginning a new full time position tomorrow with an incredible organization, the Scripps National Spelling Bee. While I am (with many tears) ending my term as Associate Director for the Emerging Scholars Network, InterVarsity has asked me to continue blogging for the Emerging Scholars Blog. I’ve written a very nice letter about my change, so you can read the whole thing right here.

Emerging Scholars at Ohio State University

ESN Lunch at Ohio State

Nearly 20 ESN members gathered at Ohio State last Thursday.

Last Thursday, the Emerging Scholars Network hosted our **fifth** luncheon at The Ohio State University. These luncheons have been co-sponsored by the [Fellowship of Christian Faculty and Staff](http://www.fcfs-osu.org/), [Christian Graduate Student Alliance](http://www.osu-cgsa.org/), and [Student Christian Fellowship](http://scfosu.org/), which is the independent Christian Church student ministry at Ohio State.

We gathered three Christian faculty, a postdoc in the sciences, 10 PhD students, and even a couple of undergraduates. Our topic was “What I Wish I’d Known about Graduate School,” based on our recent [Emerging Scholars Blog](http://blog.emergingscholars.org/2011/08/what-i-wish-id-known-about-graduate-school-intro/) series, but more importantly, the faculty and students encouraged one another, build relationships, and discovered that there are **other academics at Ohio State who love Jesus**.

Why do we host these lunches? ESN’s mission is to **help Christian students become Christian faculty**, so that they will have a redeeming influence in higher education. Students who develop friendships with professors outside the classroom are more likely to become faculty themselves. Further, when we ask ESN members what they want us to do, **face-to-face gatherings** with fellow Christians are always near the top of the list. Finally, Jesus himself showed us that **sharing a meal together** can be more than “just” sharing a meal. These lunches provide an opportunity for cross-generational friendships, as well as encouragement for students and faculty who often feel isolated from both their colleagues and fellow believers. It’s also a chance for them to discuss **what it means to follow Christ within the university**.

*Praise God for the work he is doing through these simple gatherings.* I hope that lunches like these will spread to other campuses – in fact, a colleague at another major Midwestern research university is thinking about starting a lunch series himself. If you’re interested in learning more, [let me know](http://www.mikehickerson.com/contact/).

*Photo credit: Howard Van Cleave*


Four Things I Learned about Students and Faculty from Academically Adrift

Earlier this year, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa created quite a stir with their book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. Their central claim: if the goal of college is to teach students how to think critically, then colleges are failing at their primary purpose.

My latest Emerging Scholars Blog post. The whole thing is here.