The Lamp Post: A Resource for Christian Faculty

Last Friday, Faculty Ministry sent out the September issue of the Lamp Post.

The Lamp Post is an email publication specifically for Christian faculty, with articles and resources intended to help Christian faculty in their spiritual, academic, and community life on campus. A typical issue might feature a Bible study written specifically for faculty, announcements about upcoming faculty events, an article from a faculty member reflecting on some aspect of faculty life, or a review of a new book with particular relevance for Christian faculty.

You can see a summary of the contents here, and subscribe for free on the Faculty Ministry website.

How to Choose a College

InterVarsity’s Gordon Govier recently published a very helpful article called “How to Choose a College…and Keep Your Faith.” Gordon asked me (among others) for suggestions, and he quotes from a recent interview on the Emerging Scholars Blog that highlights the importance of choosing your collegiate friends wisely.

The College Transition Initiative of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding also offers a college prep seminar. In an interview with InterVarsity’s Mike Hickerson on the Emerging Scholars blog, Initiative director Derek Melleby offered four questions that every college bound student should ask. One of the four is, “With whom will you surround yourself?”

If you’re in the process of choosing a college, or know someone who is, Gordon’s article is a great resource, with links to excellent websites, books, and articles about making your college choice wisely.

InterVarsity in Kentucky

Christian professors can be found on every college campus – in fact, there are usually more than you might expect. However, they often don’t know more than one or two other Christian faculty, and they usually aren’t connected with Christian student groups on their campus. Part of my role with the Emerging Scholars Network is helping students and student ministers build relationships with Christian faculty. If students have a “working friendship” with a few of their professors, they’re more likely to see academia as a possible career path. For student ministers, professors can be great allies in serving and transforming the campus.

This past Tuesday, I traveled to Louisville to meet with InterVarsity’s campus staff team for Kentucky. They serve on campuses across the state – the Universities of Louisville and Kentucky, Bellarmine, Berea College, Eastern Kentucky University. I shared with them ESN’s vision of raising up the next generation of Christian professors, gave them some tips on identifying and working with potential ESN members, and suggested key books that they can read with their students. We also talked about Christian professors they know on campus.

Bonnie Lecompte, who works with international students at UofL, gave me a new insight about the importance of Christian professors: they bring credibility to the Gospel. Most international students are working on PhDs or Masters degrees, which brings them into close contact with professors, and most of them come from cultures that give a great deal of respect to elders, scholars, and people in authority. A professor who is also a Christian carries a lot of weight with them when they are considering the Gospel.

Over the next few months, I’m going to be working with these campus ministry staff to connect the professors they know with ESN and to introduce them to the ESN faculty on their campuses. On November 17, I’ll be making my first trip, to Berea College, to speak with students and faculty there about ESN.

Please pray for these trips to be successful in building strong partnerships between Christian professors and campus ministers around Kentucky. Pray also for “divine appointments” as InterVarsity staff and I meet with Christian faculty and staff.