The Church needs a stake among scholars. Christians must actively engage in the work of nurturing professors, authors, administrators and students to contend for and apply biblical truth in the marketplace of culture-shaping ideas—today’s equivalent of Mars Hill. In the words of the Lausanne Cape Town Commitment, because of the rise of ‘postmodern, relativist pluralism [which] allows for no absolute or universal truth, . . . we need to identify, equip and pray for those who can engage at the highest intellectual and public level in arguing for and defending biblical truth,’ and we must ‘equip all believers with the courage and the tools to relate the truth . . . to everyday public conversation, and so to engage every aspect of the culture we live in.’
Christian academics are called to promote the good, true, and beautiful through their research and teaching. This in turn helps those in the university and beyond understand the gospel is plausible and truly good news, accelerating the proclamation of the gospel to every person. Christian professors also shape Christian students who will in turn have great influence in their professions and nations. In this way they play a vital role in helping provide Christlike leaders for every church and sector of society, leading to disciple-making churches for every people and place and kingdom impact in every sphere of society. Therefore, we dare not neglect the Academy as we are engaged in God’s Missio Dei.
However, only a small handful of universities have ministries geared toward equipping Christian faculty, administrators, or postgraduate students to share and defend biblical truth in such a milieu, or to engage in culture-making in God-honoring ways.
To respond to this need, a network of those ministering to scholars in the academy is imperative. In forming this network we seek to advance the vision of the Cape Town Commitment: ‘Bearing witness to the truth of Christ in a pluralistic, globalized world’ within the academic sphere, both by ministering to and with current academics, as well as those considering serving the kingdom in academe.
To this end, the aims of the Academic Ministry & Educators Network are to:
1. Help Christians who minister to and with Christian scholars. We connect with one another, collaborate on joint projects that are mutually beneficial, and share ideas, materials, and strategies to help one another be more effective in academic ministry.
2. Serve those in other ministries that intersect with Christian scholars. We provide insights into their unique challenges and opportunities, helping you best minister to those called to the academic life.
Resources: Start Here
Issue 01 of SOPHIA: Cultivating Redemptive Influence in Pluralistic Universities (available in French, Spanish, English, and Chinese)
Resources: Go Deeper
by Paul M. Gould with D. Keith Campbell, Li Ma, Omar Montero, Granville W. Pillar, Osam E. Temple, and Bee-Lan C. Wang
by David I. Smith
by Nicholas Wolterstorff
edited by Paul Anderson
Professor Osam Temple, PhD (Nigeria)
Professor Temple has had a rich professional life as an academic, a missionary, and a public servant. He has been a Professor of Philosophy at the American University of Nigeria, a visiting Professor at Sogang University in Seoul, Korea, a Visiting Professor at The University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and an Adjunct Professor at Bakke Graduate University, USA. He has also served as Strategist to different governments in Nigeria both at the state and federal levels. He has been a Technical Adviser on Policy Development to Nigeria’s Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
He was also a Special Adviser on Strategic Planning to the Governor of Cross River State and a Special Adviser on Ethics and Orientation in the same period. In the last seven years, Professor Temple has been devoted to ministry in universities, developing networks among Christian academics in different regions of the world. He is the Society of Christian Scholars’ Anglophone Africa Regional Representative and past Chair of the Society’s Executive Committee. He has recently relocated to the Middle East where he is working towards developing a network of Christian academics.
Denise-Margaret Thompson, PhD (Trinidad & Tobago)
Dr Thompson previously served as Vice Chair of the Board of the Inter-School and Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of Trinidad and Tobago. She also served as Professor of Design and Manufacturing Engineering and Director (President) of the Cipriani College of Labour and Co-Operative Studies, where she leveraged teaching, research and administration with a vision of supporting faculty and students to: become witnessing communities of life-long disciples with redeeming influence in the academy, workplace and society; respond to contemporary challenges from a Christian perspective; and demonstrate the integration of faith, life and academic and professional disciplines as effective and relevant witnesses for Jesus Christ in the academic and other workplaces.
Dr Thompson currently serves as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship-USA’s Graduate and Faculty Ministries’ National Director of ministry to Black Scholars and Professionals. She also serves as a volunteer campus minister for the Stanford University InterVarsity Graduate Student and Faculty fellowships and as the volunteer Coordinator of the Caribbean Fellowship of Evangelical Students Graduates and Faculty Ministry. Dr Thompson continues to advise government, private sector, and not-for-profit national, regional, and international organizations to influence policies for innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainable job creation, and decent work.
Stan Wallace, DMin (USA)
Dr Wallace has been in university ministry since 1985, and faculty ministry since 1991, including serving as National Director of InterVarsity/USA’s Faculty Ministry and founder of InterVarsity/USA’s Emerging Scholars Network. In 2010 he joined Global Scholars and has served as its president since 2014. The mission of Global Scholars is to equip Christian scholars serving in pluralistic universities to have a redemptive influence among their students, colleagues, universities, and academic disciplines.
One of the primary ways Global Scholars seeks to fulfill its mission is as a principal partner of the Society of Christian Scholars, helping support the Society’s 14 programs and services which include grants, curricula, mentoring, webinars, English-language editing, and an online resource library. Earning his Doctor of Ministry in Engaging Mind and Culture from Talbot School of Theology (USA), Dr Wallace has served as an Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at several institutions, has published on issues of faith and scholarship integration, and is currently contracted to publish a book tentatively titled Have We Lost Our Minds? Neuroscience, the Soul, and Human Flourishing. Dr Wallace produces two monthly podcasts: College Faith: Exploring the Intersection of Christian Conviction and Higher Education and, with Dr J.P. Moreland, Thinking Christianly: Conversations in Pursuit of ‘Faith Seeking Understanding’.