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The Leadership Anvil Engaging, Equipping, and Empowering Academics

  • Isolation - Most European evangelicals in higher education experience isolation.  Since very few evangelicals work at universities or tertiary institutions, they are isolated, often being the only Christian on their faculty.  With an underlying anti-intellectualism found in some churches, academics oftentimes experience isolation in their Christian communities. In addition, the academic tasks of research, writing, and lecture preparation bring even further isolation.                                  

  • Christophobia - The shrill hostility to Christianity across Europe is a threat to intellectual discourse. Christian scholars need to be armed to navigate the harsh environment of woke politics and the demise of academic freedom. Allegiance to Jesus has rarely been popular in higher education over the last several centuries, but now the hatred of Christ and of all those who dare to name His name is more visceral and aggressive than ever. 

  • Secularism - In the past, Christians were viewed as naive and gullible for believing in fables and myths, but overall harmless.   Today, however, secularists insist that Christians are warped, immoral, and dangerous because of their commitment to biblical principles.  Christian professors need instruction on how to think Christianly and to develop a biblically-grounded, theologically-coherent worldview of their academic discipline. 

  • Discouragement - Working in an environment which is viscerally opposed to God and Christianity can be oppressive and disheartening.  Academics need encouragement from the Word and from fellow believers, especially from brothers and sisters in the academy. Sometimes encouragement can come from simply realizing that others are facing the same challenges.   We can learn from one another and gain courage thereby.

  • Temptations - Beneath the bookish, stale, and seemingly boring atmosphere of academia, a host of dangerous temptations lurk.  Most academicians have felt the hot breath of Satan on their backs as the Evil One seeks alternately to lure, to lull, or to lacerate Jesus-followers.  Christian educators face temptations to pride, elitism, anger, greed, sloth, fear of sharing the Good News or standing for truth and righteousness, dishonesty, envy, and a lust for power, prestige, position, or illicit relationships. In light of the fact that much academic work is done in isolation, it is all the more important to recognize that we need accountability which can only come from on-going relationships marked by trust and transparency.

Challenges Facing Christian Academics


Charles Malik (1906-1987)--University Professor, Diplomat, Statesman, at the dedication of the Billy Graham Center, Wheaton

“The university is a clear-cut fulcrum with which to move the world.  Change the university and you change the world."

"Christ being the light of the world, His light must be brought to bear on the problem of the formation of the mind..."

"Responsible Christians face two tasks--that of saving the soul and that of saving the mind."

"Once a Christian…realizes that Jesus Christ will find Himself less at home on the campuses of the great universities, in Europe and America, than almost anywhere else, he will be profoundly disturbed, and he will inquire what can be done to recapture the great universities for Jesus Christ, the universities which would not have come into being in the first place without Him."

The Leadership Anvil
Equips Academics...

  • Growing in Christlikeness -To model faithful obedience to Christ through holy living, giving generously, demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit, and seeking to bring righteousness and truth to individuals and society alike; to love God and to love others, consistently maturing in Christ.  The foundation for being conformed to the image of Christ is a consistent and vital devotional life with time in prayer and reading the Word, as well as faithful involvement with a local body of believers.


  • Christ-centered Worldview -To think, teach, and live with a biblical, Christ-centered worldview, and to embrace and effectively defend the faith.  Christian scholars are uniquely suited to respond to opponents of the Christian faith in an informed, articulate, and persuasive manner.  A crucial part of this apologetical enterprise is to build plausibility structures for the truth claims of Christianity in response to the militant secular pluralism of modern European higher education and culture. By showing that the claims of Christ might possibly be true, plausibility structures can open closed minds and blind eyes to at least consider biblical propositions.  


  • Impactful Scholarship - To affirm the strategic value of scholarship in God’s work, valuing higher education as a high and holy calling.  Evangelical scholars must renounce the dualism that separates their spiritual life from their academic work and embrace their opportunity to serve God faithfully in the academy, shining like stars in a dark place, even though it will often bring difficulty and opposition.


  • Teaching and Writing with Excellence.  To maintain the highest standards in research, writing, and teaching effectively.  Classes taught by Christian professors should be marked by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and engaging teaching methods, while making knowledge and truth understandable and winsome as they serve their students and colleagues with Christ’s love.  Christian academics should be among the most effective communicators in the classroom and the best informed in the university.


  • Engaging with the Culture - To engage with the culture by identifying crucial questions facing the world and the Church, and then respond to these challenges from a Christian perspective.  Some can serve as public intellectuals who can articulate a Christian worldview not only in the academy, but with the media and in the public marketplace.  But all can seek to be catalysts for truth, holiness, and righteousness among students and colleagues at their institutions and in the broader culture.


  • Serving Others - To serve their families, their institutions, their students and colleagues, their church, and their community and world. They serve their families as they fulfill their biblical role and as they lovingly make them a priority, in spite of the pressures of academic responsibilities.  They serve their institution by doing their work well and by serving on committees and other ways the university needs their assistance. They serve their students and colleagues both through their work and by building relationships.  They serve the Body of Christ by teaching, mentoring, and equipping their brothers and sisters in Christ to understand, defend and live out the Gospel and to apply a biblical worldview to personal, social, and cultural issues. 


  • Joyfully Sharing Christ and Discipling Others - To share the claims of Christ with students and colleagues in ways which are appropriate within academic protocol.  They can do this by taking time for people, building friendships, and by bringing the fragrance of Christ into their world.  By their example, they can demonstrate that one can be an outstanding scholar as well as an infectious, joyful follower of Jesus. By virtue of their position, educators are uniquely positioned to share the Good News, explicitly or implicitly.  They can model a love for the good, the true, and the beautiful and seek to make others hungry for our Savior who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  As teachers, they are uniquely equipped to disciple new believers and help them grow in their faith.

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