BEFORE THE FALL semester, we welcomed 17 new faculty members with a two-day orientation. Many of these new faculty began the application process almost a year earlier by submitting a curriculum vitae and a letter of inquiry. For some positions we may receive up to 200 applications with many curricula vitae clearly demonstrating a readiness for the rigors of serving on Wheaton’s faculty. But it is the letter of inquiry that leads to an invitation for a non-campus interview for a select few.
Promising applicants were more likely to have written about how they saw themselves fitting into Wheaton’s mission, clearly describing the interrelationships between their vital Christian faith, their scholarship, and their commitment to teaching. When invited to campus, these applicants once again articulated their wholehearted commitment to our Statement of Faith. They expressed an eagerness to live out Wheaton’s Community Covenant, an understanding of Christian liberal arts excellence, and a desire to bring their Christian faith and biblical theology into the classroom and into faithful scholarship.
Now these new faculty members have joined more than 200 full-time faculty who are equally dedicated to Wheaton’s mission and seasoned in their craft. The new Wheaton faculty are meeting monthly this year to discuss the integration of Christian faith with their teaching. Second-year faculty continue to drill down into these concepts in Wheaton’s faculty Faith and Learning seminar.
Faculty who plan to apply for tenure or promotion at Wheaton are required to complete a scholarly manuscript engaging their academic discipline with biblical theology or significant biblical texts. I must approve these papers before faculty may continue with their application. Fortunately for us, our faculty receive such strong mentoring from multiple peer reviewers that their papers are a pleasure to read. In fact I recommend to a majority of the faculty that they develop their papers further for academic presentations and eventual publication.
Wheaton’s faculty are required to demonstrate a depth of understanding of their Christian faith as it applies to their academic disciplines, not only for the benefit of the academy, but also to be equipped to mentor our students. Thanks to our faculty, Wheaton students continue to receive a rigorous education steeped in the Christian faith.
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