For this week’s entry in our Blog of the Week, I look to The Pietist Schoolman, http://pietistschoolman.com/ a site ran by Chris Gerhz. I have been keeping an eye on this blog for the last year and it has become one which I find myself coming back to often. Chris’s blog focuses on Christianity, history, and education and how they intersect. He really pays a lot of attention to higher education and Christian colleges which lately has been a major topic.
Chris picked up his AB at the College of William and Mary in 1996 and his Ph.D at Yale in 2002. He is the Department Chair at Bethel University and helps to direct the Christianity and Western Culture program. Articles written by him abound in multiple publications and he also is the co-editor of The Pietist Impulse in Christianity. As an instructor he has taught multiple courses on various areas of history. He has edited a book, The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education: Forming Whole and Holy Persons.
I find this blog to be a thinking man’s blog. Chris delves into topics and explores them with a very open mind. I find that to be very refreshing. His posts almost always involve deep thinking. Admittedly, Christianity in the field of higher education is something I am not deeply involved in, but with today’s culture war raging on, I find myself drawn to at least looking at the subject. Chris’s posts are pretty interesting in this regard. They obviously are not doom and gloom posts like some religious fundamentalists seem to put up every other day. Instead, these are often posts that ask questions.
I like that because you can see the pedagogy of inquiry in Chris’s posts. They are meant to be considered and thought about. Rarely do I find Chris taking a solid stance on something without first exploring the subject. He usually has questions to ask when he first opens a topic as well. That is definitely the mark of an educator seeking to get people to considering what they’ve learned as opposed to just telling them what he wants them to know.
It looks like Chris began his blog on June 20, 2011. The archives show a pretty active blog with steady posting over its lifespan. It is on the Wordpress system and he just recently changed the format of the blog around. I have not decided if I am happy with it or not, but then I’m a Blogger fan myself. Readers can make comments and there are usually a few for most posts. I have not seen any of the trolls make appearances on the blog as of yet, so either they know they can’t deal with Chris or they get blocked. I know there’s one troll I would love to see debate Chris and I do not think that will ever happen as that particular individual does not have the intellectual firepower to go toe-to-toe with Chris.
So if you are interested in reading posts about Christianity, history, and education as they intersect together, I suggest this blog to you. John Fea over on The Way of Improvement Leads Home suggests it as well http://www.philipvickersfithian.com/2015/08/chris-gerhz-responds-to-remarks-by.html . John is constantly referring to posts by Chris and that speaks pretty highly in my opinion. So head over to The Pietist Schoolman and start learning. Make sure you find the reason Chris named it The Pietist Schoolman. You will discover some interesting and touching information there.