Addenda 2.10 (October 2019)

We need your input!

Do you have time to answer two brief questions to help make our Society even better? Thank you in advance!

From the Executive Chair
Professor Osam Edim Temple

A voyage of discovery on Flight SCS Member SiteThe Society of Christian Scholars is just 7 months old and we are already counting so many blessings. 

Our membership is growing and scholars have started enjoying the benefits of interacting with one another across continents. Through this platform, it is now possible for a Senegalese or Russian Christian scholar to interact with Christian peers from Mexico, Lithuania, or China. Furthermore, our Editorial Services (included with Full Membership) are helping scholars send well-written articles to highly rated journals. In addition, our Mentorship Programme is finding its rhythm as mentees locate suitable mentors to guide them in different aspects of their careers. 

In this short period, slowly but inexorably, small groups are beginning to spring up in different places. Recently, we facilitated, via Society Grants, the travels of 15 scholars from Francophone Africa to the IFES World Assembly in South Africa. Currently, Society scholars in Europe are making plans to attend the International Network for Christian Higher Education (INCHE) conference in Budapest, slated for April next year. In the Africa region, Anglophone African scholars are preparing to meet with Francophone scholars in Kinshasa next month. That all these things have happened within only 7 months of the Society’s existence is amazing. What else can one do but chant, “To God be the glory!!!”

By the grace of God, I see much more coming. I see a future where the voices of Christian scholars will echo loud and clear in the pathways of contemporary culture. However, we must ask ourselves a few questions: are we prepared to take advantage of the opportunities offered by our Society? How well do we even know the Society of Christian Scholars? Have we studied the member site assiduously to know what is available? If you have not yet done so, please permit me to invite you on a journey of discovery. Fasten your seat belt as we board Flight SCS Member Site!

Right in front of us are treasures and opportunities begging to be discovered. All you need to do on board this flight is to open your laptop or turn on your handheld device and click here!

Our first stop is the Resource library.
Are you familiar with these resources that will help you flourish as a missional Christian academic?

The sections cover Theology and Academy, Loving God with the Mind, Growing Spiritually, Pursuing Vocational Excellence, Interacting with Culture and Engaging Unbelief.

The next stop is at the Research Databases
which contain literally millions of resources to aid your research. The EBSCO and Open Access databases are treasures that cannot be quantified. No one can exhaust the books and journals contained here, and they are all for your use! 

From here, let us move on to explore PartnershipsThe Society offers organizations the opportunity to join as institutional partners and collaborate in many ways.

From here let us fly to see the Seminars, Conferences and Webinars  taking place in different regions of the world. Do you know of any conferences happening near you? Please do not hesitate to inform us.  

You are also invited to promote your own conferences on our member site, and don’t forget to join our webinars that are advertised on the site.
There are still many more areas to explore. Have you ever visited the Job Board? There you will find employment opportunities in various disciplines in different parts of the world.

Our next flight takes us to Local Communities.
Wherever you travel, we would like to help you find a small group of Christian scholars near you. We encourage scholars to form small groups in their community and to inform the Society of their existence.

The next stop is Group Video Conferencing. Do you need to video chat with a group of colleagues or students? Zoom™ allows you to meet with up to 100 people with no time limits. This is a rare opportunity for scholars.

We have already mentioned our Mentorship program and our free Editorial Services. I almost forgot our Member Directory, which provides opportunities for interaction among scholars in various fields of interest. 

As we begin our final descent, Society Grants will be our final destination. The purpose of these grants is to assist members with research and projects related to the Society’s purpose. 

Time and space do not permit us to dwell on all the treasures of our member site, but I call on every Society member to undertake this personal voyage of discovery. Spread the word to your friends and colleagues and invite them to join the Society.

One more thing. As you disembark, please do not forget to get your free copy of The Outrageous Idea of the Missional Professor. This is the international edition of Paul Gould’s book, garnished with African, Oriental and western flavours.

Thank you and God bless you.
Osam Edim Temple

Prof. Osam Edim Temple
Chair, Executive Committee

Meet a Society Library Curator
An Interview with Dr. Obert Hodzi

Our Society Resource Library is curated by an international team of experts. The Library is a place to nurture respectful, charitable, and meaningful conversations through a variety of resources about what it means to think, live, and grow as missional Christian academics. (We are always looking for new suggestions for the Resource Library. You can make a suggestion here).

Dr. Obert Hodzi, Lecturer in Politics at the University of Liverpool and a native of Zimbabwe, serves as one of our Library’s curators. Dr. Hodzi focuses on international politics, conflict and security issues, and the role of non-Western emerging powers in global governance. His empirical research experience has been in China and Africa.

We asked Dr. Hodzi what it means to be a missional Christian academic and why he believes the Society is vital to his academic vocation.

Society Administrator: Dr. Hodzi, tell us a bit about your academic journey.

Dr. Hodzi: It wasn’t a straightforward journey. In Zimbabwe, when a child loses both parents, the chances of that child going to school are usually slim. Though I lost my parents, my uncle and aunt took me in as their own child and supported my primary and high-school education. From there, government loans and scholarships paid from my undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. I see this as God’s hand and indeed a miracle.

Initially, I trained and worked as a lawyer in Zimbabwe. When the Zimbabwean economy collapsed in the late 2000s, I wanted to change careers and join a non-governmental organization. So I enrolled in postgraduate studies and worked for a regional and international NGO on governance and civil society in Zimbabwe. As we approached 2013, China’s influence was increasing across Africa; this trend puzzled me and I wondered what effect it would have on governance and development on the continent. Those questions inspired me to do a PhD.

Getting to Liverpool is a miracle because I applied prayerfully for more than 50 53 jobs over a two-year period. I attended more than 5 interviews, some of which seemed to have gone so well but I still didn’t get the job. Then Liverpool interviewed me on Skype. Within a few hours, I was offered the job. My wife and I were overjoyed! 

Society Administrator: How do you seek to bring the gospel to bear in academia today?

Dr. Hodzi: I believe that ‘a man’s heart plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps’ (Proverbs 16:9). James Pounder, whom I met at Lingnan University, played a great role in helping me understand that academia can be a service to God and to see it as a mission field. That’s how I now see academia–as a mission field that allows me to meet a diverse range of people of different age groups, most of whom are grappling with life questions.

Society Administrator: How do you see the Society impacting Zimbabwe, the University of Liverpool, and/or your academic discipline?

Dr. Hodzi:  In addition to spiritual guidance and prayer, I think mentorship initiatives for people in Zimbabwe and other academic institutions would be great to enhance their effectiveness and impact. At the University of Liverpool, there are other Society members and a group of us meet periodically to pray. Partnerships with Christian groups at universities would also help in developing missional Christian academics to meet local needs for academics in Zimbabwe.

Society Administrator: Many thanks for your efforts Dr. Hodzi to be the salt and light of Christ in the university and for your service to the Society as a Curator in the Resource Library.

Society Resources

Local Communities
Do you attend a small group of scholars? Many scholars feel isolated in the challenging context of public academia. Help them connect to a local community by advertising your group on our Member site.

Access to Webinar Recordings
Did you miss a previous webinar? We have the recorded sessions on the Member site to view at your convenience. Click below to find out more!

Society Webinars

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Public Theology and
Global Governance 

Friday, 25 October 2019 at 1400 GMT

Who makes law for the world? Who sets the rules for global trade? In short, who rules the world?

On 25 October 2019 at 1400 GMT, Dr. Terry Halliday, Honorary Professor at Australian National University and Adjunct Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University, will discuss how to engage global lawmaking and governance in a dialogical way from a theological perspective. Terry will address the ‘Big Questions’ of the legal profession and will examine how theology, lawmaking, and governance intersect.

Register Here

Webinar: Spiritual Formation and
the Workplace

Thursday, 14 November 2019 at 1700 GMT

Work will occupy most of our academic life. Amid the mundane and hectic, it’s too easy to become disconnected from God and his work in the world.

In partnership with InterVarsity-USA, Dr. Steve Garber, Professor of Marketplace Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada, will discuss on Thursday, 14 November 2019 at 1700 GMT what it means to be called by God to serve in the academy, exploring the practices that shape our faith and witness on campus.

Register Here

Addenda Volume 2.10 (October 2019)
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