On Christian Higher Education

We will gather in St. Louis this coming October, at the historic Union Station Hotel. Our theme will be: On Christian Higher Education: Leading and Teaching in the Academy. Christian Higher Ed is the water in which we all swim. Our members, other fellow professors, and doctoral students are all stakeholders in Christian Higher Education.

As Christian Educators, we are all uniquely positioned to influence our respective institutions in ways that give our students the best possible opportunity to learn and flourish, redemptively. Education is learning, after all. Author Ken Bain says the best teachers ask good questions. We think that’s right. So here’s some big questions that we need to stare down in Christian Higher Education.

  1. First, how will God preserve confessional Christian higher education if orthodox confessionalism is culturally and/or federally deemed inappropriate or non-credible as a foundation for institutional identity and mission? What voice do professors in CE have to be heard on this?
  2. Second, how will Christian institutions of higher education pursue excellence in pedagogy and scholarship, compared to secular institutions? How will Professors in Christian Education lead and promote change among their respective faculty on this?
  3. Third, how will Christian higher education respond to, adapt to, and engage redemptively with rapidly shifting demographic trends in the United States? How will professors in Christian education articulate the path forward for the academy and the church?
  4. Fourth, how will Christian higher education intentionally champion racial reconciliation and diversity as a fundamental point of emphasis related to confessional, missional, and institutional priorities? How will professors in Christian education embody a unity in diversity that testifies to the eternal reality of every tribe and language and people and nation, gathered together?
  5. Fifth, will the bifurcation of theological centrality and expertise between seminaries and Christian colleges and universities persist, or will new modes of scholarly and collegial partnership continue to emerge and grow? How will professors in Christian education bridge the divide between siloed disciplines and oft-divisive scholarly specializations?

Did we mention that these are big questions?! They are. But we think they are vital to address. And we believe that we are just the group to lead in engaging these issues for the academy, for our churches, and ultimately for the equipping of our students as lifelong learners and missional leaders. We can’t wait to see you at the upcoming conference!