Spotlight on… Emerging Scholars Network

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Although there are a few places in the UK where Christian postgraduate groups are thriving (have a look at the list on cpgrad.org.uk to find one near you), there are many cities and universities where there is no such group. This blog is one attempt to provide an online community. In the US, InterVarsity’s Graduate & Faculty Ministries faced a similar situation, and they found a similar solution! It’s called the Emerging Scholars Network. Their main aim is to ‘support those on the academic pathway as they work out how their academic vocation serves God and others’. And the primary means by which they do this is, as you may have guessed… a blog!

As the USA is a larger country than the UK, and InterVarsity a larger organisation, their blog has a larger number of writers than ours (including some from the UK – and even some who also write for the FiSch blog!) and offers 4 to 7 posts a week. The blog focuses on three themes:

- academic vocation and calling: what does it mean to be an academic and why would a Christian follow an academic vocation?

- the role of faith and theology in specific academic disciplines

- spiritual formation in the academy: how can we be faithful Christian scholars?

Besides posts that cover similar topics as this blog, they also have a regular ‘Science Corner’ series. Furthermore, over the past few years, they have developed a devotional specifically aimed at scholars and their vocation. This devotional is called the ‘Scholar’s Compass’. I followed it when it was being put together, and found it hugely stimulating to find a new post in my inbox a few times a week to start my working day with. I have also used some of these to start off meetings of our local postgraduate group.

Although some posts of course are more relevant to particular aspects of academia in the USA, it is striking to see how similar many of my experiences in UK Higher Education are to those of our US colleagues. Although the internet has many problems, it has made it possible for people all over the world to be blessed by this work. I would encourage you to subscribe to their blog feed, and hope you will be blessed as I have been blessed!

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