32 (+5) Reasons Women Should Attend College via The Junia Project

So, there’s this article out there with 6 (+2) reasons not to send your daughters to college. Yes, this is for real…

The Junia Project, a new blog advocating for gender equality in the church, home, and world-at-large, posted a response with 32 (+5) Reasons Women Should Attend College.  You can also find the link to the original post here.

As a woman who has been attending college/grad school for a quarter of my life I am obviously in favor of women attending college.  (I’m also a Christian feminist and egalitarian so my position shouldn’t be a surprise.)  The Junia Project has pointed out several great reasons why college is a place for women which I would also affirm.  Though I recognize that the college experience for many has become more about the degree than the education (see original article), that has not been my experience.  College has taught me to be a critical thinker and to ask the hard questions.  It was when I started asking questions that I really began to learn.  Being in a classroom with others has also taught me that not everyone thinks like me (big surprise!) and that’s a good thing!  It has exposed me to many intelligent, influential Christian women, past and present, of whom I was not aware before I started college. (Side note: this is a problem that needs to be addressed in the Church [at least in my experience] in which you hear A LOT about ‘the old dead guys’ and nothing of the many women who were also formative in church history.)  I found my place in the classroom.  I found a way to love God with all of who I am through learning and leading others in the classroom.  I’m incredibly thankful for all the women who have gone before me and who have made it possible for me to be apart of the academic world.

Please, send your daughters to college! Or trade school! Or an apprenticeship!  Encourage them to learn something they didn’t know before that will help them whether they choose to stay home or to work outside the home… or both!  And again, please send your daughters to college – I want them in my classroom someday!

Be sure to check out the MANY reasons why women should attend college over at The Junia Project, which is ultimately a ‘Kingdom-of-God issue’.  The authors sum it up well:

These are Kingdom-of-God issues

Women are called—just as much as men are called—to participate in the restoration of the whole earth according to the gifts God has given them. Many women’s gifts are particularly suited for college campuses and workplaces. Without the opportunity to attend college, these women would falter, unsure of where to use their gifts. They might even feel pressured to bury their talents in the ground.

There was a time, before women had the vote in this country, when most colleges were not open to women. A time when married women were not allowed to own property. A time when it was legal to not hire a woman based on her sex and legal to pay her less for the same job based on her sex. There was also a time when marital rape was not a prosecutable offense. Let us not allow Fix the Family to cause us to wax nostalgic about those bygone days.

I’d love to say more on this topic, but I’ve got to finish reading and prepare to discuss the Desert Mothers for class tonight!  Perhaps there will be more to come?

What do you think?  If women are meant to work in the home, should they attend college?  Does the argument for ‘traditional’ gender roles assume college is only for men?  Would we think differently about gender roles and working in/out of the home if we placed a higher value on singleness in the church?  

Why am I here?

For those in academics, life has a pattern and it is called semesters. It is actually one of my favorite things about life in academia – a rhythm of life where seasons of intense growth are followed by seasons of fruitful rest.

Thus, every August brims with excitement and expectation as students dream about all the new year holds. From the new class of freshman and their excited but nervous looks on the first day of class…to the final semester senior and their excited but nervous thoughts about life after school, campuses fill with an energy that is hard to match in other settings because college is place where we expect to grapple with the big questions of life. And so it is that August, and its new beginning, is often a time of reflection in my life.

I stand in an interesting place in the ethos of campus life as both student and professor. On one hand, I am a student excited yet nervous about what the semester holds. (Read Stanley Hauerwas’s wonderful letter to Christian college students – here)

  • What will I encounter?
  • Whose ideas will change my perspective?
  • Whose ideas will transform me?
  • Where will I succeed?
  • Where will I fail?
  • How will I respond to success and failure?

On the other, I am a professor and my excitement and nervousness stems not from being unsure of what lies ahead (after all I did prepare the syllabus, the lectures, the assignments, and the exams) but from my desire to be faithful to the task given me as a professor.  (These ideas are drawn from Bryan Bibb’s excellent lecture – here)

  • Can I communicate in way that informs, challenges, and excites the students?
  • Can I be a model of excellence in scholarship for students?
  • Can I provide wise, faithful mentoring to students?

Therefore, as this new semester begins, I am left to ponder, “Why am I here?” As a student, what am I doing that will prepare me to be a better professor? As a professor, what am I doing that will make me and those I have the privilege of teaching better students? And even beyond that as a student and professor, what I am doing that will make me and those I encounter this semester better people…people who live in a manner worthy of our calling as students and professors. For ultimately, this is the goal for which I toil and strive.

Houston Colloquium at Lanier Theological Library (10.11.2012)

Houston Colloquium

Thursday, October 11


3:30pm – 6:00pm

at the

in the
West Wing
3:30 – 4:00: Timothy Brookins, Houston Bapist University

“The Name ‘Erastus’ in Antiquity: A Literary, Papyrical, and Epigraphical Catalog”

4:00 – 4:30: John Wilsey, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

“American Exceptionalism and Christian Citizenship”

4:30 – 5:00: Jesse Rainbow, University of Houston

“The Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart: A Ritual Explanation”

5:00 – 5:30: Chad Chambers, Houston Baptist University

“Sons, Heirs, and Slaves: How Conceptual Metaphors Lend Coherence and Structure to Paul’s Analogy in Galatians 4:1-7”

5:30 – 6:00: Emran El-Badawi, University of Houston






Directions and Parking:  
(Please note that we park through the Falba Gate and that,
upon arriving at the gate, we call 281-477-8400 for entry)
Please feel free to email Jonathan Zecher!
Many thanks to the Lanier Theological Library for hosting this event.
I look forward to seeing you all at the Colloquium!


Warp and Woof (8.24.2012)

Note: The title has nothing really to do with what I am posting, I just like the phrase and amazed how regularly I find it in academic writing.

The Mindset List (2016) – Published every year since 1998 The Mindset List looks at the world in which the incoming class of college freshman live. It is always worth a chuckle or two and if nothing else a reminder of how old I am (we are). Four stuck out to me this year:

  1. The Biblical sources of terms such as “Forbidden Fruit,” “The writing on the wall,” “Good Samaritan,” and “The Promised Land” are unknown to most of them.
  2. Having grown up with MP3s and iPods, they never listen to music on the car radio and really have no use for radio at all.
  3. Probably the most tribal generation in history, they despise being separated from contact with their similar-aged friends.
  4. Slavery has always been unconstitutional in Mississippi, and Southern Baptists have always been apologizing for supporting it in the first place.

God’s Grace in the Newspaper – John Barclay is one of my favorite New Testament/Pauline scholars and besides that he is a genuinely nice fellow. But I am not sure which impressed me more Barclay’s description of grace or the fact it was published in an actual newspaper.

School can be a Stressful Place – As school begins, around the US this article is great reminder of the stresses of the academic grind and its effect on other areas of students lives. This is something I personally have to deal with as a husband, father, professor, and student. The emotional fatigue that each of these can carry can lead me to be ineffective in every area of my life. While this article doesn’t deal with the spiritual ramifications those are also very real.

Writing Advice as Motivational Posters – I am not sure if these are actually made as posters, regardless the advice is good. My favorite because it is true so often for me is:












And the most practical:











Finally, God has really been impressing on me that I need to learn to accept new! It is quite easy for me to fall into line (or some might call it a rut) and jsut continue doing the same old things because it is just what I do. To be honest, I like it…I like the same old thing…I like to have consistency in certain areas of my life because with three boys ages 5, 3, and 2 so much of my life can seem out of control!

Yet, God has been quite clear this past week that new things are coming no matter if I like it or not…and clear that it will be OK because they are coming from him. It is not very often that he uses the different areas of my life to confirm his message, but Isaiah sums it up well:

Isaiah 42:8-9 – “I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

Lord, I accept new things are coming from you. Give me the courage to accept them and a willingness to give you all the praise for them.

Let the Writing Begin…My Blog and My Thesis

After a short spurt, it might look like the blog has once again gone dormant… Actually, I spent the week at my parents house which has the wonderful benefit of being without the internet. I would not like to be permanently without it, but for a week or so it is great to unplug if only a little bit (I still had twitter and email on my phone!).

I continued to write while I was there with the thought I would drop it all on the blog when I got back, but have decided to keep the week’s ponderings to myself.

But today’s post is not about what I wrote, but what will be starting to write…starting Monday the blog will become my place to think out loud about my thesis (US dissertation). After a self imposed break, I am starting year two (started in January of this year but officially now entering my second year) of my thesis currently entitled Embodied Biblical Interpretation and Christian Identity: Galatians 3 & 4 as a Metaphorically Structured Continuum.

After 6 months of researching, outlining,  identifying and developing the key components of my project, it is time to start writing.

In short, my thesis integrates cognitive linguistics’ conception of the metaphorical structure of thought (Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CM) – Lakoff, Johnson, Turner, Fauconnier, etc) with a narrative interpretation of Galatians. The aim is to incorporate CM at the structural level of Paul’s soteriological discourse, to examine how conceptual metaphors lend coherence and structure to Paul’s narrative of Christian identity.

This blog is going to be a place where I ask questions that come with taking my thoughts from theory to real (in this case from my head to the page). And hopefully a place where you will help me sort through these questions critically. Just don’t tell me advisor where all my good ideas came from!

See you Monday (one last weekend of leisure) as we discuss narrative interpretations of Paul.