2014 April Workshop

Shaping Disciplines for Christ Workshop, 29th April 2014, Lavender Hill, Clapham

This workshop was one of the first of its kind where Prof Andrew Basden had the opportunity to present the idea of shaping disciplines for Christ (SDC) to a small number of people in a group. Previously, since its inception in 2007, SDC has been presented in the context of one of C-A-N-'s larger conferences or bigger workshops, which have a somewhat different format.
 
The morning started off with introductions, opening prayer this was followed by a talk from Mark Surey (The mind of Jesus: his wisdom and supremacy), followed by Andrew's introduction to shaping disciplines for Christ. Time was also given to prayer before heading off to lunch. All of these things worked very differently to how they would in a larger group context. A very good lunch around a round table in a local Chinese buffet was also enjoyed by all, this was very quality time, where much was exchanged about shaping disciplines and the life of a Christian in the academic world. A shorter final afternoon session followed on after lunch which provided a useful opportunity to finish going through the questions asked in SDC and a chance to consolidate.
 
This was the first time where a SDC has been introduced in a more "cosy" setting, where one could say it was delivered a bit like a short course. The engagement from participants was very positive indeed and I think that going through the questions in the way it was done asking people in the group what they thought was relevant to their discipline this also gave others a chance to deepen their thoughts seeing how others responded.
 
Following the event, many were keen to stay on so we went around to the café afterwards for some further discussion and that was good. Secondly it came more aware to me that there is now an emerging track in academia of where academics are more focussed on teaching as opposed to research. This observation has been since considered further by C-A-N- in terms of how SDC can be applied to the pedagogy of teaching,  which is indeed just as important as applying to research and indeed scholarship.
 
We are very thankful to the efforts of Mark and Andrew in helping to get this workshop going and I very much hope that future workshops we do in different locations around the country will encourage many more young academics to shape their discipline for Christ in the coming years.

2014 Conference Details

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2014 Conference Report

2014 Conference “Mission and Minds: Cultural Challenges and Priorities for Christian Academics”

Academics in the current political climate of higher education are heavily pressured to perform.

A large number of academics now have the expectation to not only take up teaching, publish but also to submit proposal bids and expect to win significant amounts of money. At the same time any University department is loaded with increasing burdens of administration – admissions, examinations, accreditation, programme reviews and handling student complaints and appeals are to name but a few.

It is as though some are tasked with these undesirable administrative activities while their ability to do research is hindered and the chance to develop their careers is slowed.

Should an academic have the heart to care for the needs of students and the day to day matters of the University or should they be focussed on developing their careers as the chance of any Christians remaining in senior academic positions goes down day by day?

These are exactly the conversations we had at the 2014 Conference held at Birkbeck. We were warmly encouraged and inspired by God’s word brought to us by Dr Wesley White starting with the topic of Christ and the Enlightened Mind, where Paul opens his letter to Colossians referring to God’s kingdom of light. Encouraging papers were also presented in the afternoon which brought together a number of new acquaintances in our network, which was a much valued time together.

Papers / Abstracts

Daryl McCathy: Ten Pitfalls and Ten Commandments for Christian Academics

Abstract
Handout
Discussion Questions

David Booth: Fundamental challenges for Christians in the culture of academic psychology and the cognitive sciences

Abstract

PowerPoint (pdf)

Notes (pdf)

Esther Lui: Crossovers in Translation Studies and Christianity

Abstract

Recordings

Wesley White: "Cultural Challenges and Priorities for Christian Academics" (45 mins.)

Small file (mp3) 18 MBytes download
Large file (mp3) 82 MBytes download

Mark Surey: "Face to Face with the Fountain of Wisdom: knowing Jesus in the ocean of knowledge”:" (26 mins)

Small file (mp3) 10 MBytes download
Large file (mp3) 47 MBytes download