Reimagining the Student Experience
Formative Practices for Changing Times
by Brian Jensen and Sarah Visser
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Pub Date 09 Jul 2019 | Archive Date 28 Jan 2020
Abilene Christian University Press, ACU Press
Understand the times. Respond faithfully. Higher education stands at a crossroads. However, there is a way forward that recognizes our current realities while also embracing the possibilities of what higher education could and should be. In this volume, Jensen and Visser have brought together a collaboration of diverse voices from among those devoted to the endeavor of Christian higher education—voices that enrich the conversation surrounding the lives of current and future students. Offering a professional, robust vision of human flourishing, Reimagining the Student Experience invites educators, administrators, chaplains, and university professionals to think deeply and faithfully about their journey with students, from their arrival on campus to their pursuit of faithful living. Foreword by David S. Guthrie
“Jensen and Visser bring together a powerful message that addresses important trends in Christian higher education. This book is a rich, insightful exploration of current issues facing the upcoming generation of students that also provides practical, tangible resources for faculty, staff, and administrators serving for the glory of God in Christian higher education. Reimagining the Student Experience is an essential read and a reminder of the kingdom work we engage in daily.”
—Shirley V. Hoogstra, President of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
“Jensen and Visser have assembled scholar-practitioners who skillfully invite us to dive deeply into the current dialogue in higher education. The chapters are brimming with relevant questions and challenges for this generation of campus leaders. Student development professionals who are committed to a Christian posture will be served well by immersing themselves in these sometimes uncomfortable yet critically important conversations.”
—Stephen T. Beers, Vice President for Student Development, John Brown University
“Jensen and Visser clearly understand the issues facing twenty-first century higher education practitioners. Equally clear and perhaps even more compelling, they understand the heart of higher education—its truest nature and its truest possibilities. This volume will not only help educators practice their craft more effectively but will dare them to think more deeply about the formational nature and potential of their work. Reimagining the Student Experience is a treasure that will bless many, both those who work with students and the students themselves.”
—Tim Herrmann, Director of the MA in Higher Education and Student Development program, Taylor University, and coeditor of A Calling to Care
“At a time when our nation is deeply divided and change is the norm, faith-based higher education must embrace the purpose and promise of preparing servant leaders who will exemplify knowledge, wisdom, empathy, and compassion. However, this calling can only be fulfilled if educators unite in their efforts to reimagine the student experience as a holistic endeavor. Jensen and Visser have edited an engaging, persuasive volume that will surely inspire a new generation of student affairs professionals.”
—Kim S. Phipps, President, Messiah College
“Reimagining the Student Experience takes on the most difficult questions—both old and new—that challenge educators who are committed to guiding students in the twenty-first century. The authors of each chapter address the historical context and current thinking on each topic, as well as thoughtful discussion questions, a meditative blessing, and a host of additional resources. This volume is an ideal resource for both veterans and new arrivals to the challenging privilege of helping young people set the trajectory of their lives.”
—Shirley A. Mullen, President, Houghton College
“Building upon the foundation laid by David Guthrie, Jensen and Visser have tapped an impressive array of scholar-practitioners to address real-world issues that are directly relevant to Christian higher education today: diversity and inclusion, human sexuality, individual and institutional wellness, service-learning, and guiding students in discerning their calling, to name just a few. The oft-referenced need to balance challenge and support is modeled in every chapter as scholarly insights are coupled with calls to action.”
—Karen A. Longman, Professor and Program Director of the PhD in Higher Education, Azusa Pacific University, and editor of Thriving in Leadership and Diversity Matters
“Christian faculty and administrators desperately need mature Christian writing that provides the best wisdom about student affairs practice. This wonderful volume delivers it, offering deep yet practical insight into how Christianity shapes and transforms the work of student affairs professionals. The authors remind readers that navigating current realities requires a corporate and personal immersion in Christian thought, virtues, and practices, sustained by the Holy Spirit.”
—Perry L. Glanzer, Professor of Educational Foundations, Baylor University
“As a faculty member, I am constantly searching for books that are timely and practical for my graduate students pursuing careers in higher education. This important work is seminal in helping current and future educators consider Christ-centered approaches to understanding, challenging, and supporting their students. By providing thoughtful, relevant practices, Reimagining the Student Experience advances the aims of higher education in a significant way.”
—Dottie Weigel, assistant professor and program director of higher education, Messiah College
“This book offers a beautiful theological framework for the daily work of student formation. Each chapter, written with insight and compassion, outlines both contemporary examples of and practical next steps for integrating faith, living, and learning in the student experience. Incorporating the themes of this book into the ongoing work of a university will provide a seamless, forward-thinking, hopeful, and Christ-centered approach to the modern challenges and opportunities facing today’s professionals.”
—Kimberly C. Thornbury, Vice President, The King’s College
“Reimagining the Student Experience is thought-provoking in its winsomely written exposition of contemporary issues facing Christian higher education. This thorough compilation takes us on a hope-instilling journey to fresh perspectives, interpersonal vigor, and a renewed sense of cocurricular duty and vision.”
—Toussaint D. Whetstone, Director of the Wheaton College Counseling Center
“Through the lenses of diverse Christian educators, leaders, and practitioners, Reimagining the Student Experience offers timely and relevant insights into some of the most pressing issues in student affairs today. This book fosters hope, creative new strategies, and fresh perspectives for Christian higher education.”
—Dr. Kris Hansen-Kieffer, Vice Provost for Student Success and Engagement, Messiah College
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 4 members
Jensen and Visser provide a text that has valuable questions for what it means to be an institution based on faith and aimed at helping students improve their lives. This book provides the basis for a valuable academic evaluation. What frightens me most for potential readers is the trap of thinking that a faith-based insitution has arrived and has no room for further work. Jensen and Visser stoke conversation about what it means to move forward and I would recommend this book as an adminstrative and faculty read to be approached with open eyes for areas to improve.
** Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with the digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review **
Al haber cursado mis estudios de grado en una institución cristiana, estaba muy interesada en este libro. El libro me parece una importante herramienta, para quienes trabajan en dichas instituciones, para prepararse para el futuro, si no para el ahora mismo. Tienen una interesante visión de los problemas, los desafíos que se les plantean a dichas instituciones, y brindan en esta obra recursos para quienes se desempeñan en las mismas.
This is a title that I am very excited about exploring further with the staff I currently serve with. Geared towards the Christian Higher Education professional, this text is structured for group study or graduate-level discussion. Jensen and Visser have gathered together a group of well-known voices from Christian Higher Ed to speak on various topics, from vocation in college to service-learning and the intersection of academics life and student affairs.
"Reimaging the Student Experience" is a timely addition to the conversation on navigating decreasing enrollment and institutional effectiveness and may help student affairs administrators reimagine their purpose at their various institutions. Thank you to the editors for pulling this great text together at such a pivotal time in our field.
I must admit from the outset that this book is not really in my wheelhouse. I'm not involved in an official capacity within student affairs at a Christian college or university. I did graduate from three of those types of schools however!
I found the topics of the chapters to be engaging enough to complete the book. There were times when not knowing all the background of someone within the discipline, I admit that I was a bit lost in the maze so to speak. Yet the issues in the chapters are not that far removed from my work as a campus minister at public universities for a denominational (Baptist Collegiate Ministries) entity.
The overarching takeaway from the book for me was the perceived need to integrate academic and student affairs success in order for Christian colleges and universities to thrive in the years to come. Perhaps that is my takeaway and not the intended target for the editors. My experience of working with Christian students in a secular institution provided an outsiders look into this topic. If I have missed the mark, it is not a result of the work of the authors or editors but my own lack of direct experience in student affairs.
I'm not sure I am in a position to recommend this book to the intended audience, but I found the book to be engaging, well-written, thoughtfully articulated, and beneficial to one who works with students outside of the Christian higher education world. I can only image the benefit it will be for those who do live and work in that realm.
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