Posted tagged ‘conference on faith and history’

Signing Off: Greg Jones Bids Farewell

July 8, 2013

Friends and Colleagues:

After three years of service as the grad rep for the Conference on Faith and History, today marks my final work in the position.  I’m passing the torch to Mary Sanders, an Oklahoma State University PhD student and enthusiastic member of the CFH.  I’m certain Mary will do a great job for us.

Just by way of update, I am still finishing my doctoral work at Kent State University.  This fall I’ll be teaching via a temporary appointment at Geneva College, my alma mater.  I’ve been working as a part time instructor there for a few years and love it.  God is very good in His provision.

I thought I’d finish off my work at the CFH with a few personal reflections.  It is not an easy position to be both a Christian and a scholar.  I’ve learned that I need to spend a lot of time focusing more on Christ and less on my career.  Here are a few points of perspective for your consideration.

First, I learned that God provides.  I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a college professor.  In fact, I started talking about it in middle school.  My parents smartly reminded me that I might consider actually attending college before I thought about teaching it.  God opened the doors for my MA and PhD programs in ways that are hard to describe. When I faced the ending of my adjunct work at Kent State, God provided the opportunity at Geneva. I’ve learned a lot lately about the foolishness of cutting pieces of scripture out of context to suit our own needs, but I have to say the “seek ye first” passage [Matt. 6:33] seems true in any context.  Seek first God’s wisdom and righteousness, before personal career, and He will bless your work (albeit not always how you envisioned).

Second, I learned that no matter the work, my family matters most.  Without getting too autobiographical, I’d just like to say that time spent with family is never lost time.  For those of us with small children bouncing around our rooms, it may be difficult to focus on that book review or last minute edit, but time spent with family is never lost.  Don’t use family as a crutch to miss out on responsibilities, but remember that family is the root of life.  When you put them in the acknowledgements of your book one day, you want to mean what you say about their support.  Don’t cut yourself off from that which brings real blessing.

Third, I learned that nothing is promised.  Not a day is promised to us.  We have to live for the moment not in a hedonistic sense, but to do our best.  I may never teach another class.  The higher education bubble may burst any day, closing our access to ever teaching or researching again.  So enjoy today.  Read what you must, but also read what drives  you.  Tomorrow is not promised so work and play as hard as you can today.  When I hear colleagues whining and complaining about how much work they have to do, I can’t help but feel for them.  This “job” is such a blessing to me.  Do I always love grading?  Of course not.  Do I always love meetings?  No way.  But do I count it a blessing to work in the conditions I do with people that I love, reading and discussing the things that matter most?  Of course.

Wherever you are in your program, or even if you’re a non-academic that surfed your way to this entry, keep working.  Keep your hand to the plow.  Keep your nose to the stone.  Work, love, play, and embrace the world that we have.  God is good and His bounty is not complete.  Seek Him.  Listen to His guidance in career, in research, in writing, and in teaching.  Faith is more than a nice set of moral standards for conducting our lives.  Faith is the lived evidence of a Living God.  Testify with your life, with your work, and with all that you are.

Thank you, again, to the CFH for inviting me to this position.  Thank  you to my fellow graduate students who have shared in CFH panel discussions or corresponded with me.  Thank you to the grad students who will carry on after me.  It is my prayer that the organization continues to grow, beaming the Light of Christ in the midst of an ever-darkening Academy.  Let us be a beacon of hope for the Kingdom of God.

Greg Jones


Help Wanted: Reflecting on the Gordon Conference

October 7, 2012

I’ve got some notes to reflect on and some posts coming this week, but I wondered if anyone would be willing to volunteer to write on one of the following suggested (or your own) topics:

-President Robert Tracey Mackenzie’s address
-A panel that you attended that was particularly helpful
-Presenting at the conference
-A book (or books) that the conference encouraged you to read
-An observation on the relationship between faith and history
-A random allegorical story that expresses your deep feelings about the Academy

If you’d like to write a report on one aspect of the conference, please contact me:

From President Hankins – A Message to Grad Students

September 24, 2012

CFH Grad Students,

A new academic year is upon us. For some of you it is your first in grad school. For others, you’ve been at it for many years now, perhaps nearing completion of your Ph.D.

Both prospects and everything in between can be exhilarating and terrifying.

When I was in grad school, the job market was about like it is now, perhaps worse. At times I was tempted to doubt whether I should be preparing for a profession with such a dismal record of career placement. In order to keep moving forward, I often thought of my situation like this:

Question: What do I want to do with my life?

Answer: Read, think, write, and teach.

Question: What am I doing currently in my grad work?

Answer: Reading, thinking, writing, and teaching.

I concluded that the right door had already opened, and I had been successfully placed in the career to which I felt called. I decided that as long as that door stayed open, I would continue in this vocation. Thirty years later, I’m still doing those things.

As much as is possible, concentrate on your calling in the situation you find yourself in at the moment. As an act of faith, believe that the papers you write, the lectures you give, and the discussions you lead, all contribute to the scholarly enterprise and ultimately to the kingdom. Pursue your calling as long as the door of Christian scholarship and vocation remains open, and leave the future in God’s hands.

See you at Gordon for the biennial Conference on Faith and History meeting.

Barry Hankins

President, Conference on Faith and History

CFH at AHA in Chicago – Just a few weeks!

December 20, 2011

American Historical Association Meeting 

Chicago Marriott Downtown
Saturday, January 7, 2012

The annual breakfast reception of the CFH will be Saturday morning, January 7, in the Cook Room of the Chicago Marriott Downtown, from 8-9 am. All are welcome to join us, especially graduate students.

This will be followed by a stimulating panel discussion from 9 to 11 am in the McHenry Room of the Chicago Marriott Downtown on “Historians, Historiography, and the Confessional Divide,” in which historians from differing faith traditions discuss their perspectives on the intersection of faith and history. Will Katerberg (Calvin College) will chair. The panel will be composed of Bradley Nassif (North Park University), Mark A. Noll (University of Notre Dame), Dana L. Robert (Boston University), Lamin Sanneh (Yale University), and Leslie W. Tentler (Catholic University of America). We expect an interesting dialogue.

Announcement taken directly from:

Please comment, or email me ( if you’d like to get together.  PLEASE do attend the CFH breakfast and panel.

Featured Book Series: *History and the Christian Historian* Ed. Ronald Wells (1998)

February 17, 2011

After featuring the recent *Confessing History* on this blog, former CFH President Rick Kennedy (Point Loma) advised that we also feature an earlier, yet similar confessional history book.

*History and the Christian Historian* Edited by Ronald Wells

Kennedy explained, “The earlier book is rooted in our 1996 meeting at Calvin College and includes essays by an earlier generation than the essays in ‘Confessing History.’  The two together manifest great wisdom and the role of CFH at the center of thinking about historiographical issues that intersect Christian faith.”

Graduate student scholars of the CFH, particularly those concerned with the issues of integrating faith and vocation, can benefit greatly from both of these books.

Attending the CFH Conference?

September 20, 2010

Are you planning on attending the upcoming CFH Conference at George Fox University in Newburg, Oregon on Oct 6-7 and 7-9, 2010?

Great!  Get in touch with others to make travel arrangements.  A few people have contacted me via the Facebook group.  Check us out, CFH Grad Students on Facebook!

For more info on the conference itself, check out

These are great conferences to meet other like-minded historians.  Even if you are not prepared to present any of your own research, the opportunities to discuss the research of others is always enriching.