The Future of CTX

June 27, 2019
CTX Professors at Conference

Written by Professor Jo McIntosh

As Dr. Jennifer Hofmann, Dr. Lucina Kimpel and I made our way to and from the conference at the University of Texas each day to meet up with Drs. Jeffrey Utzinger, Phil Schielke and Ann Schwartz, we gushed over CTX and the opportunities God is calling us to embrace.

Not a contrived “love-fest,” but conversations filtered through a critical analysis of the color of CTX's grass versus the hue of the grass on the other side.

We left some stones unturned for future critique, but I pulled into my driveway Saturday evening with confidence in each of our departments for the clarity with which we are pursuing our goals.

Here is my take away from my time with Jen and Lu, and from the conference:

  1. Students MUST read better so that they can effect change with those they lead and serve.

  2. Students MUST write better so that they can effect change with those they lead and serve.

  3. We are incredibly blessed with faculty of expertise and strong faith who continually pursue excellence in our fields; we often draw on each other's expertise for ours and our students' benefits.

  4. We see a long and exciting future at CTX, and we understand the work ahead of us. Our faculty understand that meaningful scholarship, research and teaching is a long game requiring dedication, determination and, at times, refusal to compromise the long game for the short game.

  5. Much of what faculty do at CTX seems easy because of our faith and attitudes. We MUST encourage each other through our year-round long days and nights, that no one sees, of reading, networking, planning, revising and planning again. We MUST encourage each other to research and be relevant in our fields. We MUST encourage each other through the emotional and mental exhaustion of pushing unprepared students to the finish-line semester after year after decade amidst continued condescension toward academia, academics and faith.

I know I'm only tapping the surface of the goals and challenges we greedily accept, and that faculty reading this list would put them in a different order, have their own lists and challenge what I've included, but this list is the result of Jen's and Lu's and my conversation from my perspective.

I hope you have your own teaching and learning conversations. I'm confident those will result in additions to the list. We each came away with a new tool or two for the classroom that we are excited about, so thank you professional development!

But more importantly, the conference discussions with my colleagues built in me an even deeper respect and admiration for our CTX faculty, which will certainly impact my students.