Posted by: chuckbumgardner | September 30, 2012

McKnight on Professorhood

“If you want to be true to your calling as a professor, you have to shape your life to that calling and that means at least four things: (1) staying conversant with your field by reading the major journals, abstracts, and contributions; (2) being a member and participating in your central academic society; (3) reading the major studies in your discipline, which is probably wider than your “field”; and (4) constantly revising your class notes, whether they are more formally lectures or more informally discussion points.”

Scot McKnight, “The Professor as Scholar: Exiled to Eden”

Obviously, these items relate to the professor as scholar.  The professor as Christian will clearly have a number of other necessary commitments to add to the mix.

The entire essay is quite interesting (it was originally given as an address at a faculty colloquium), giving an inside look at the world of an evangelical scholar/teacher.  Comments on publishing are particularly noteworthy, including this advice on writing to “get young scholars going”:

…write one book review a year (and before sending the review to the publisher, send it to the author for her or his comments – you make friends that way and you might save yourself from errors; besides it reflects the community that we all are in the spirit of the Golden Rule: “review as you would be reviewed”); write one journal article a year; and plan on one book every decade. And, if your mind can withstand the pressure of long-term goals, work toward one significant book in your career.


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