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Academics in Athens  Retreat and Mentoring Program 2023-2024

Led by Dr. Charles White, Dr. Teri McCarthy,

and Dr. Daryl McCarthy

Mentoring Overview

GOAL:  To bring Christian academics together to form whole-life friendships through learning, encouragement, relationships, and training to enable effective service in higher education.

 

PLAN:   An Introductory Webinar will be held on September 22, 2023, 15.00-17:00 GMT. After that, over the next several months, there will be four two-hour webinars with assignments.  We will gather for a three-day retreat in Athens, on January 3-6, 2024.

 

PARTICIPANTS:  Ten to fifteen Christian academics who are willing to commit to a learning community for one year

 

QUALIFICATIONS: All participants should be actively involved in higher education—either in teaching, research, or administration.  They must be spiritually mature Christians with the ability to communicate in English.  Participants should have completed at least one post-graduate degree.  Participants will be a combination of those who have completed their doctorates, those who are still in postgraduate programs, and those who are seeking their habilitatus.

 

COMMITMENTS:  In order to be accepted as a participant, an application is required and each participant must be committed to:

 

  1. Thoroughly review the pre-assigned materials before each webinar. These assignments will consist of readings and videos.

  2. Attend all sessions, including a workshop at the Academics in the Alps 2023 Conference, a three-day retreat in Athens in January 2024, and the four webinars.

  3. Pay the necessary fees for the January 2024 Academics in Athens Retreat:

  • €290 before October 1, 2023; €380 after October 1, 2023.

  • Scholarship recipients: €145 if you pay before October 1, 2023; €200 after October 1, 2023.

 

SCHEDULE OF SESSIONS

Introductory Webinar.  There will be an Introductory Webinar on October 6, 2023, 15.00-17:00 GMT. 

 

Academics in Athens Retreat, January 3-6, 2024

 

Four Webinar Sessions:

  1. October 27, 2023, 15.00-17:00 GMT

  2. February 23, 2024, 15.00-17:00 GMT

  3. April 26, 2024, 15.00-17:00 GMT

  4. June 21, 2024, 15.00-17:00 GMT

 

Fees

The Leadership Anvil provides the funding for the overall program, so there is no fee for participating, except for the registration for the Academics in Athens Retreat, the cost of which is partially subsidized by the Anvil.

 

Scholarships

A limited number of scholarships are available on a first come, first serve basis.  Scholarship application required.  All scholarships must be approved.

Academics in Athens Retreat

All participants will meet in Athens for a three-day retreat, from 17:00 on Wednesday, January 3, 2024, until 11 am on Saturday, January 6, 2024.  Besides outstanding speakers and workshops, we will spend time at the Acropolis contemplating the long-term impact of scholarship as we consider how ancient Greek scholars still influence our world today.  On Mars Hill we will reflect on Paul’s sermon to the Athenian academics and discover principles and practices which illuminate our work today among unbelievers in an age of skepticism and hostility to the faith.  We will visit Corinth and contemplate how Paul’s letters to this troublesome young church gives us direction for ministering in the academy as well as in the Church today.  Please make sure you reserve this time in your schedule and allow for travel time. 

 

Leaders                               

Dr. Charles White is Professor of Christian Thought & History

at Spring Arbor University in Michigan, USA.  He graduated

from Harvard with his bachelor’s degree and his M.Div. from

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  He began a PhD in

church history at Cambridge and finished it at Boston

University.  He has published a popular commentary, academic

articles, and been involved in Bible translation in seven different

languages. He and his wife Carol have four grown children and

16 grandchildren.

 

 

 

Dr. Teri McCarthy serves as Director of Educational Programs for

The Leadership Anvil. She is a dynamic speaker with a vital story to

tell. She has traveled, taught, and conducted research in 50 countries

throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and the former Soviet Union.  "I was

not the most talented or the most intelligent person to send, but I

was available," Teri explains.  Teri taught in universities globally for

many years, including Lithuania (Lithuania University of Educational

Sciences), remote northeastern China, the Soviet Union (including

time as a Junior Fulbright Scholar), Nigeria, and Holland.  She led

two pioneering academic teams to Afghanistan.  Teri co-authored

Teaching in a Distant Classroom (InterVarsity Press), which is in its third printing and translated into Korean. Teri is a passionate speaker and speaks at universities, churches, conferences, and Bible studies around the world.  Her blogs (www.terimccarthythinks.com) and hosts a podcast Truth Matters (https://truthmatterswithteri.podbean.com/).

Dr. Daryl McCarthy serves as Executive Director of The Leadership

Anvil and as a Theological Education Teaching Fellow with One

Mission Society. He was Vice President of Academic Programs and

Strategy at Forum of Christian Leaders (FOCL) 2015-2021 and

Director of the European Leadership Forum Academic Network and

the Cambridge Scholars Network. He served as a founder and

President of Global Scholars 1988-2014.  Daryl earned a D.Min. from

Fuller Theological Seminary, M.Div. from Nazarene Theological

Seminary, M.A. in Philosophy of Religion from Trinity Evangelical

Divinity School, and B.Th. from Kansas Christian College.  Daryl and

his wife Dr. Teri McCarthy lived and taught in Lithuania 2010-2015,

where they both taught at Lithuania University of Educational

Sciences in Vilnius.  Their son and daughter are both married and have blessed them with six grandchildren. 

Also Speaking at the Academics in Athens Retreat

Daniel Hill studied Classics at the University of Oxford, and did his

PhD in Philosophy under Paul Helm at the University of London.

He is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at University of Liverpool and

has taught philosophy since 2000. He is Chair of the Tyndale

Fellowship’s Study Group in Philosophy of Religion. He has written

and/or edited numerous books and articles including Reason in the

Service of Faith, Entrapment, Divinity and Maximal Greatness, Christian

Philosophy: A-Z (co-written), God, The Meaning of Life, and Meaningful

Lives, and The Right to Wear Religious Symbols (also co-written). He

helps co-ordinate the Staff Christian Fellowship at his workplace,

and is an active member of a local church. His passion is to apply the

Word of God wherever it speaks: in theology, history, ethics, science,

or philosophy. He lives with his wife and three sons in rural Cheshire.

 

Sponsor—The Leadership Anvil

The Leadership Anvil is an international NGO devoted to engaging, equipping, and empowering Christian academics and leaders. 

Core Convictions

The work of The Leadership Anvil is motivated and guided by six Core Convictions.

  1. Worldview. Academics need to develop a Christian worldview so they see their academic work and all aspects of life from a biblical perspective as being under the Lordship of Christ.

  2. Calling.  Academics need to embrace their calling to higher education and seek ways to serve Christ there.

  3. Christlike.  Academics need to consistently spend time in the Word, prayer, and fellowship, so they are becoming more and more like Christ.

  4. Communication. Academics need to become effective communicators both in writing and speaking.

  5. Networking.  Academics need to connect with other academics so they can learn best practices, receive and give encouragement, and grow in their faith and understanding.

  6. Public. Academics need to address public and cultural issues from a Christian perspective.

Webinars

 

Webinar One:  Why are scholarship and education important for the Church?

October 27, 2023, 15.00-17:00 GMT

 

The first 15 minutes of the meeting will be devoted to answering questions you may have about the assignments.

 

Reading, Listening, and Reflection Assignments

 

  1. Listen to:

 

Dirk Jongkind, “Christians in Higher Education:  Living Worthy of the Calling.”   ELF 2016, http://foclonline.org/talk/christians-higher-education-living-worthy-calling

 

2. Read the following:

  1. Stott, John. Your Mind Matters. Downers Grove: IVP Press, 2006. Chapters 2-3

  2. Daryl McCarthy, “The Problems Christians Have with Higher Education.”

  3. Daryl McCarthy, “Why We Need Christians in Higher Education.” 

  4. Malik, Charles Habib. The Two Tasks. Westchester, Illinois: Cornerstone Books, 1980.  

  5. Willard, Dallas. “Jesus the Logician,” Christian Scholars Review, 1999, XXVIII:4, 605-614.

  6. Lewis, C. S. “Learning in War-Time,” in The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, pp. 41–52. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1975.

 

3. Reflect on the following questions.  Please be prepared to explain your answers.

  1. Why is scholarship an important part of God’s work in the world?

  2. What are some of the key issues facing your community, your city, or your nation which need to be addressed from a Christian perspective and how might you address them?

  3. How can you help your church create an environment where new believers, young people, and others as well feel free to ask questions and develop a deeper understanding of Christian truth while maintaining faithful adherence to biblical teaching and doctrine?

 

 

Webinar Two:  How do I develop a Christian worldview and let it shape my life, my research, and my teaching?

February 23, 2024, 15.00-17:00 GMT

 

The first 15 minutes of the meeting will be devoted to answering questions you may have about the assignments.

 

Reading, Listening, and Reflection Assignments

 

  1. Listen to the following:

 

  1. Daryl McCarthy, “Curing Worldview Myopia: How Christian Academics Can Develop a Clear Christ-Centered Worldview.”  ELF 2018.  You can watch this on https://foclonline.org/talk/curing-worldview-myopia-how-christian-academics-can-develop-christ-centered-worldview

  2. Dirk Jongkind, “How to Think Biblically About Computer Science – and Every Other Academic Discipline as Well.”  ELF 2018  You can watch this on https://foclonline.org/talk/how-think-biblically-about-any-academic-discipline

 

2. Read the following: 

  1. Wolters, Albert M. Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview.  Second edition. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2005.  Chapters 2, 3, and 4. 

  2. Blamires, Harry. Its Supernatural Orientation,” pp. 67–85, The Christian Mind: How Should a Christian Think? First American Edition. Ann Arbor: Servant, 1978.

  3. Noll, Mark A.  Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind.  Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 2011.  Chapter 2, “Jesus Christ: Motives for Serious Learning,” pp. 23-42.

  4. Williams, Peter J., "How to Approach Any Intellectual Discipline from a Christian Worldview."

  5. Naugle, David, "Renewing Integrity: A Christian Worldview and Educational Practice."

3. Reflect on the following questions.  Please be prepared to explain your answers.

  1. How did these readings change your thinking about a Christian worldview and what insights did you find most helpful?

  2. What are some of the implications of the fact that Christ is redeeming, restoring, and renewing His original creation?

  3. Explain why the sacred/secular dichotomy which is common among evangelicals is unbiblical.

 

4. If you want to read more on this area, we recommend the following:

 

  1. Plantinga, Cornelius.  Engaging God’s World—A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living.  Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 2002.  150 pp.

  2. Naugle, David, "A Vision of the Heart--A Biblical Worldview and Christian Higher Education."

 

 

Webinar Three:  What does it mean to faithfully serve Christ and others in the academy and beyond?

April 26, 2024, 15.00-17:00 GMT

 

The first 15 minutes of the meeting will be devoted to answering questions you may have about the assignments.

 

Reading, Listening, and Writing Assignments

1. Listen to the following:

  1. Daniel Hill, “Serving Christ in Academia.”  ELF 2016  http://foclonline.org/talk/serving-christ-academia.

  2. John Lennox, “Lessons from a Fruitful Lifetime in the Academy”

 

​2. Read the following:

1. Plantinga, Alvin. “Advice to Christian Philosophers.” Faith and Philosophy: Journal of the Society of Christian Philosophers, Vol. 1.  18 pp. 

 

2. Plantinga, Alvin. “Reformed Thinking:  Christian Scholarship” and “The Twin Pillars of Christian Scholarship,” in Seeking Understanding: The Stob Lectures, 1986-1998, pp. 121-161. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001.

 

3. Pritchard, Greg, “How PhD Students Are Sociologically Seduced by Their Education.”  27 pp.

 

3. Please reflect on the following questions.  Please be prepared to explain your answers.

 

  1. In what ways do you need to display more integrity, courage, faith, and independence from secular thinking in your academic work?

  2. How can we live up to Plantinga’s challenge that our primary responsibility is to the Church?

  3. Based on Plantinga’s advice, how might you, in your particular field of study, respond to naturalism, humanism, and relativism?

  4. How do you think the socialization you have experienced in your education may have affected or changed you?  How has it affected others you know?

 

4. If you want to read more on this area, we recommend the following:

  1. Moreland, J. P. Kingdom Triangle: Recover the Christian Mind, Renovate the Soul, Restore the Spirit's Power. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2007

  2. Lennox, John.  Against the Flow: The Inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism.  Oxford:  Monarch, 2015. 

 

 

Webinar Four:  How can I develop and articulate a clear, biblically-grounded philosophy of education which will guide my academic work?

June 21, 2024, 15.00-17:00 GMT

 

The first 15 minutes of the meeting will be devoted to answering questions you may have about the assignments.

 

Reading, Listening, and Writing Assignments

 

  1. Listen to the following:

 

  1. Amy Orr-Ewing, “How to Be a Scholar and an Evangelist at the Same Time.”  https://youtu.be/JiiTz27tj-4

  2. Dirk Jongkind interviewed by Greg Pritchard. “Evangelicals in Academia,” http://foclonline.org/interview/evangelicals-academia.

  3. Ken Elzinga, “Models of Ministry as an Academician.”

 

2. Read the following:

  1. Noll, Mark A.  Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind.  Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 2011.  Chapter 3, “Jesus Christ:  Guidance for Serious Learning,” pp. 43-64.

  2. Marsden, George. The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Chapter 3: “Christian Scholarship and the Rules of the Academic Game,” pp.44-58.

  3. Romanowski, Michael H., and Teri McCarthy. Teaching in a Distant Classroom: Crossing Borders for Global Transformation. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2009.  Chapter 3, “Philosophy of Education 101,” pp. 56-77 

  4. Romanowski, Michael H., and Teri McCarthy. Teaching in a Distant Classroom: Crossing Borders for Global Transformation. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2009. Chapter 7, “Qualities of Excellent Teachers:  Competencies for Effective Teaching,” pp. 127-144.

  5. Elzinga, Ken, “The Academy and Jesus,” in Hove, Rick and Heather Holleman, ed. A Grander Story: An Invitation to Christian Professors. 2017, pp. 73-85.

3. Please reflect on the following question.  Please be prepared to explain your answer.

  1. In what ways does Jesus provide “guidance for serious learning,” as Noll phrases it?

  2. Write out your philosophy of education, using the template in Teaching in a Distant Classroom, p 75-76.  (You may use 500-1,000 words.)

 

4. If you want to read more on this area, we recommend the following:

  1. Burge, Gary M. Mapping Your Academic Career: Charting the Course of a Professor's Life. Kindle ed.  Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2015.  144 pp.

  2. Lawson, Michael S. The Professor's Puzzle: Teaching in Christian Academics.  Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2015.  296 pp.

  3. Guinness, Os. Impossible People: Christian Courage and the Struggle for the Soul of Civilization. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Books, 2016. 

  4. Guinness, Os. Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times. Kindle ed. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2014.

  5. Köstenberger, Andreas J. Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2011. 

  6. Newman, Randy. Questioning Evangelism: Engaging People's Hearts the Way Jesus Did.  Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 2004. 

  7. Hove, Rick and Heather Holleman. A Grander Story: An Invitation to Christian Professors. 2017.

 

Final Session

 

A portion of our final webinar will be devoted to evaluating our progress during this mentoring program.

 

Please prepare a written response to the following questions:

  1. How do your beliefs affect your teaching in the following areas:

    1. Classroom management

    2. Instructional strategies

    3. Teacher/student relationships

    4. Assessment/grading

 

2. In what ways has this year-round mentoring program changed the way you approach your academic work? 

 

3. What are the areas in which you feel better equipped as a Christian academic?

 

4. What areas and questions do you wish we would have covered?

 

 

Application Process for the Mentoring Program and the Athens Retreat 

 

  1. Fill out an online application at this link.  Please be sure to fill out every field.  

  2. Return the application to info@leadershipanvil.org

  3. You will be notified if you are accepted into the program within seven days after the submission of your application.

 

If you have questions, contact us at info@leadershipanvil.org.

Download a PDF informational flyer about the Academics in Athens Mentoring Program.

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