One of the things we are aiming to do through Faith-in-Scholarship is to direct Christian postgraduates (and others) to helpful resources and initiatives. We’re planning to ‘spotlight’ a few of these over the coming months.

First up is C-A-N-: the Christian Academic Network.

C-A-N- was launched in 2003, with support from Agapé and UCCF, to support the Christian academic community in the UK. Its two aims are:

  • ‘to encourage the integration of Christian faith into academic life’, and
  • ‘to support and equip University and College staff and those academics working in research as witnesses for Christ in their workplace’.

I first encountered C-A-N- back in 2009, in York, at one of their conferences. (At the time I was doing research in astronomy at Sussex University, which is nowhere near York, but one of the reasons I was willing to travel so far is now my wife!) The conference was a workshop entitled ‘Practical Steps in Shaping Our Disciplines’. This was led by Professor Andrew Basden, who has been an influential figure within C-A-N-. We took time to reflect on our disciplines, and how we might like to see them shaped for Christ.

C-A-N- holds conferences most years, and I can warmly recommend them. Sometimes they take the form of a workshop, as in 2009; sometimes the focus is on contributions from delegates; and sometimes there are significant invited speakers, such as Alister McGrath or James K.A. Smith. Details of past conferences are on the C-A-N- website.

A notable recent development has been the appointment of Mark Surey as C-A-N-‘s Travelling Secretary. Mark has been supporting and encouraging early-career academics in various universities, both informally and through a series of workshops on ‘Shaping our disciplines for Christ’, co-led by Andrew Basden.

Why not sign up to the C-A-N- email list for periodic updates, or check out some of the many resources on their website?

Anthony Smith
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