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Academic Network

2020 European Academic Network

As Christian academics we often experience isolation. Being evangelicals within a secular university or liberal seminary setting isolates us from our peers, while at church, underlying anti-intellectualism may isolate us from our brothers and sisters in Christ. We may experience isolation because of the solitary nature of research, writing, and lecture preparation, or because of our own introverted and reclusive personalities.

At the same time, because of the far-reaching influence of the classroom and higher education in shaping leaders and the next generation, every Christian scholar possesses an outsized potential for multi-generational impact. Our calling is to bring glory to Christ in the university or the seminary where we serve. This is why, as followers of Christ in the academy, we must be intentional about connecting with other likeminded colleagues.

The primary purpose of the ELF Academic Network is to gather together Christian scholars throughout Europe for equipping, united, resourcing, prayer, and accountability. At the 2020 Network, you will be blessed by outstanding presenters. Each one is a recognized scholar who, in their own academic work, is living and modeling what they teach. You will have opportunities to ask questions, to discuss issues with your colleagues, and to reflect on how these principles should change the way you think and live and teach.

Participants should be teaching or working in a university, seminary, Bible institute, or other post-secondary educational institution.  Post-graduate and doctoral students who hope to serve Christ in the academy are also welcome.  Prior preparation will be set for all applicants

 

NETWORK LEADER


Daryl McCarthy serves as Vice President of Academic Programs and Strategy with the Forum of Christian Leaders (FOCL). Besides leading the ELF Academic Network, he also directs the Cambridge Scholars Network. Daryl has traveled to more than 55 nations, speaking at universities, conferences, and churches. In 1988 he helped launch Global Scholars and served as CEO/President until 2014. Earlier, he taught for several years at Kansas Christian College.  Daryl earned a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary, as well as graduate degrees from Nazarene Theological Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Daryl and his wife Dr. Teri McCarthy lived in Lithuania from 2010 to 2015, where they taught at Lithuania University of Educational Sciences in Vilnius. They have a son and daughter who are both married and they have five grandchildren.

 

NETWORK SPEAKERS

Ralf Bergmann, born 1962, is married and has three adult children. He received his degree in physics and a doctorate from German universities. He is or has been mainly involved in solid-state physics, semiconductors, photovoltaics and optical technologies at several research institutions in Germany and Australia and has also worked in industrial research. Since 2008 he has been a professor at a German university and head of a research institute working on optical technologies and optoelectronics. Beyond his research, he is interested in defending the reasonability of Christian faith, especially all around the border triangle of physics, philosophy, and theology as well as the relevance of Christian faith for modern western society. In 2019, he authored the book Gott und die Erklärung der Welt – Christlicher Glaube oder atheistische Weltanschauung: Was ist vernünftiger? (God and the explanation of the world – Christian faith or atheistic world view: What is more reasonable?). See also: https://erklaerung-der-welt.de/

 

Fraser Fleming is Professor and Head of the Chemistry Department at Drexel University. He earned his BS (Hons.) at Massey University, New Zealand, and a PhD under the direction of Edward Piers at the University of British Columbia, Canada. After postdoctoral research with James D. White at Oregon State University, he joined the faculty at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, in 1992. In 2013 he took a temporary position as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation working in the Synthesis Program and the Catalysis Program. His research interests lie in stereochemistry and organometallics, particularly as applied to the reactions of nitriles and isonitriles. He is a member of the American Scientific Affiliation and a founding member of the Christian Academic Fellowship (CAFÉ) at Duquesne University and a second CAFÉ at Drexel University. He has a long-standing interest in science and religion with the publication of his book The Truth About Science and Religion in 2016.

 

Michael Longinow is a senior faculty member in Biola University’s Department of Media, Journalism and Public Relations. He earned a BA in political science at Wheaton College (IL), an MS in news-editorial journalism at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), and a PhD in educational policy studies at the University of Kentucky. He has contributed chapters to numerous anthologies on the history of evangelical Christianity and the intersection of media, faith and culture. Longinow is active in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and was a founding adviser member of the Advisers of Christian Collegiate Media (ACCM). He is a frequent workshop presenter and panelist at national conventions of the Evangelical Press Association, Associated Collegiate Press, and College Media Advisers (CMA/ACP). Longinow has three grown children and two grandchildren. He and his wife Robin are active in Chino Valley Community Church in Chino Hills, CA. They live in Yorba Linda.

 

Teri McCarthy earned her PhD in education and second language acquisition from the University of Kansas.  She also has a Master’s Degree in education and a Bachelor’s Degree in mass communication and journalism.  Teri co-authored Teaching in a Distant Classroom (InterVarsity Press), a handbook for Christian professors, which is now in its third printing and has been published in Korean as well. She has traveled, taught, and conducted research in more than 50 countries.  Teri has taught in public universities internationally for over 30 years, including in China, Russia, and Afghanistan.  From 2010 until recently she taught in Lithuania, including six years as associate professor at Lithuania University of Educational Sciences in Vilnius.

 

Daniel von Wachter (www.von-wachter.de) is professor and director of the International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Liechtenstein (www.iap.li). He is German and studied philosophy and theology at Munich, Liechtenstein, Innsbruck, Hamburg, and Oxford. Before he moved to Liechtenstein, he was a professor in Chile. Metaphysics and philosophy of religion are the main areas of his research. His method is within what is associated with analytic philosophy, but he places himself in the broader tradition of European philosophy, especially Protestant scholasticism and the non-deterministic philosophers of the 18th century.

 

Charles White is Professor of Christian Thought and History at Spring Arbor University in Michigan, USA.  He finished his bachelor’s degree at Harvard University and his PhD at Boston University.  In the 1970s he was minister to students at Boston’s Park Street Church.  He has written two books and a score of academic articles.  Bible translation is one of his passions, and he has worked on twenty-five of the twenty-seven New Testament books in seven different languages.  He has taught environmentalists in Michigan, physicians in Mexico, pastors in Canada, university students in England, Bible college students in Australia, Muslims in Nigeria, evangelists in India, missionaries in the Philippines and Rwanda, church planters in Iraq, ministers in Jordan, and disciplers in Ethiopia.  He is the father of four grown children and has run more than 86,000 kilometers since he turned 40.

 

NETWORK PROGRAM

Day 1

Mere Spirituality: How C.S. Lewis Walked with God

Daryl McCarthy

As an Oxford and Cambridge scholar, C. S. Lewis provides us with an excellent example of what it looks like to follow Jesus as an academician.  Although we recognize Lewis’s human shortcomings and our theological differences, we are challenged to serve Jesus more faithfully by seeing how Lewis earnestly followed Christ, soaked his life in Scripture, and demonstrated the fruit of the Spirit in his actions.

 

Comenius: The Pedagogue of All Nations

Teri McCarthy

In 1928, the President of the Czechoslovak Republic, T.G. Masaryk, wrote, “Comenius was one of the first to demand an educational and cultural policy in the true sense of the word. Today he would have expressed himself as a believer in progress.  From a practical point of view the rebirth was attained by education--by a new system of education.  Thus Comenius became the teacher, the pedagogue, of all nations.” By looking at Comenius’s example and following his philosophy of education, we as Christian educators can help instigate real change in our institutions and in the lives of our students.


Day 2

The Bible and the Christian Academic

Phil Roberts

Although the Bible is the most influential book and most published book in the world, it is rarely referred to in higher education. What has been its impact in academia?  How can Christian academicians utilize the Bible in their various disciplines as well as in their personal lives and witness?  How can we promote its message and relevance in the secular academy?  Why should every Christian academic think biblically?

 

Learning from the Experts:  Best Practices in the Academy

Panel Discussion with Dr. Teri McCarthy, Dr. Ralf Bergman, and Dr. Charles White

This session is an opportunity to learn from experienced academicians who come from different countries, working in different disciplines, with different personalities and approaches.  You will learn from their experience--both good and bad--about teaching effectively, building relationships with atudents and faculty colleagues, sharing Christ with students and faculty colleagues, and maintaining your spiritual zeal and family life under the pressures of academic responsibilities.


Day 3  

Writing: The Power of Words to Change Your World

Michael Longinow

Words have never been more important. And they have never been more misunderstood by audiences that are increasingly post-literate in a digital universe. Your ideas, your vision for change are trapped within your mind and your soul unless you can find ways of turning them into narratives that reach hungry readers. Writers are not born; they are made. And the making of a writer is the journey of a lifetime. This session will guide you into understanding yourself as a person of words, of narratives, and of audiences. Just as you navigate a complex world with your feet, so should you navigate it through your words — crafted and shaped by the time and space, the moments in history that are unfolding all around you.

 

Christianity and Scholarship

Fraser Fleming

We usually think of Jesus as a great teacher, but very seldom do we think of Jesus as being a brilliant person in the same way as a Nobel laureate. Jesus' life indicates that he was profoundly intelligent, readily grasping complex situations for which he provided stunning solutions. This presentation will move from a biblical foundation to focus on the integration of Christianity and scholarship from the perspective of developing a Christian mind and how this can guide teaching, service, and scholarship.


Day 4

Neo-Marxism and Social Justice in Western Culture and the Academy

Daniel von Wachter

Many Christian academicians are upset and surprised about the rapid changes in Western higher education and culture regarding LGBT, the family, abortion, and free speech, but they do not know much more than that this is bad. This talk will demonstrate that neo-Marxism is the root of much of the current rejection of biblical principles in society and education.  This talk will explain what neo-Marxism is, how we can detect it, how it is related to man‘s fallen state, and most importantly how Christian academicians should respond.

 

So What? Where Do We Go from Here?

Daryl McCarthy

In this final session, we will work in small groups to clarify specific actions we will take individually and with others in applying the principles and lessons we have heard this week. How can we teach more effectively?  How can we think more biblically and theologically about our discipline?  How can we communicate our biblical worldview more effectively? What can we do to effectively share the Good News with others? What projects might be possible as we link with others in the Academic Network? What can we do to plan an Academic Network in our country?

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