Category: Education


Kyle Roberts on Evangelical Gotham

Gotham. The Big Apple. The City that Never Sleeps.  New York City. We have many images of New York City, but how many of us as thinking of that worldly city having a vibrant evangelical community in the 19th century?  Kyle Roberts, an assistant professor of history at Loyola University (Chicago), takes us on a journey […]

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Joshua Hall on Adam Smith, Religious Competition, and the Simpsons

What did Adam Smith have to say on the effects of religious pluralism in a nation? And can what Smith hypothesized be tested today to see if it bears out? And what does this have to do with The Simpsons? Prof. Joshua Hall of West Virginia University explains a recent study he conducted that shows countries with higher levels of religious diversity have less regulated religious markets, just as Smith would predict. We also think about endogeneity and other fancy words, culminating in the economics of The Simpsons, which is not related to the main topic, but which is really cool nonetheless.

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Aaron Saiger on Religion & Charter Schools (Encore Presentation)

The rise of charter schools over the past quarter century has altered the way in which we think about the nexus of religion and state with respect to education. Prof. Aaron Saiger of Fordham University Law School documents changes in the American educational system and how religious communities are reacting to the charter school movement.

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William Wubbenhorst on Serve, West Dallas and FBO Evaluation

Are faith-based efforts to transform an impoverished community in Texas effective? William Wubbenhorst, co-president of Social Capital Valuations, discusses this unique collaborative program to reduce social ills in West Dallas and how he has measured the program’s effectiveness. We cover the various component parts of Serve and discuss the various difficulties in evaluating programs such as this one.

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John Rees on International Development and Faith-Based Organizations

Why have faith-based organizations been ignored by the international development community for so long, and how are they starting to be integrated into efforts to improve the lives of individuals around the globe? Prof. John Rees of the University of Notre Dame in Australia provides us with a survey of the role religious groups have played in promoting economic development and social flourishing. We peer into the world of the World Bank, large international FBOs, and some grassroots efforts to see the problems and promise of foreign assistance.

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Aaron Saiger on Religion and Charter Schools

The rise of charter schools over the past quarter century has altered the way in which we think about the nexus of religion and state with respect to education. Prof. Aaron Saiger of Fordham University Law School documents changes in the American educational system and how religious communities are reacting to the charter school movement.

If you are a Tweeter, tell your followers about this free educational resource!

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Chris Gehrz on The Crisis of Chistian Colleges

Picking up on an earlier theme from two other interviews we’ve conducted over the past several months, Prof. Chris Gehrz of Bethel University (MN) shares his thoughts on the financial problems facing many small Christian colleges and universities, and how the changing pedagogical landscape may affect these institutions as well. Chiming a more pessimistic note than some of our previous guests, though echoing many similar points, we discuss what role the Christian university has to play in higher education and how these schools can continue to influence students and the mission of their denominations.

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Hunter Baker on the Future of Higher Education

With students heading back to college all across the nation, we take a slight pause from our typical discussions on religion to examine the current state and potential future of higher education with Dr. Hunter Baker, dean of instruction at Union University, and author of two important articles on the future of higher education and Christian universities.

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Joseph Castleberry on Religious-Based Higher Education

President Joseph Castleberry of Northwest University (NU) in Kirkland, WA discusses what it is like to run a religiously-based institution of higher education. We discuss the change NU recently made from college to university, Dr. Castleberry’s pathway to his position as president as well as the various challenges a small religious university faces in recruiting students and faculty, and maintaining a high level of scholarship while staying true to one’s religious mission. This is an excellent podcast for parents and high school students thinking about where to attend college.

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Ann Wainscott on the Politics of Islam in Morocco

What explains the emergence of political Islam, particularly a Salafi variant of this movement, in Morocco? Ann Wainscott, a graduate student at the University of Florida, advances a novel explanation relating to educational reform. In an attempt to forestall advancing leftist influence in society during the 1960s and ’70s, the regime of King Hasan II promoted greater Islamic education within the country’s public school system that had the unintended consequence of creating new space for Islamists. While this is not the only reason for the emergence of an Islamist movement in Morocco, it represents an often-overlooked piece of the puzzle.

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