Gordon in the News: last updated 10/24/2008

The Future of Christian Learning

July 16, 2008
Cyndi McMahon
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA-The Future of Christian Learning: An Evangelical and Catholic Dialogue was recently released by Brazos Press. The book, edited by Dr. Thomas Albert Howard, Associate Professor of History at Gordon College, emerged from a one-day dialogue on the campus of Gordon College titled "Evangelicalism, Catholicism, and the Future of Christian Learning" which took place on September 25, 2006 as part of the Faith Seeking Understanding lecture series.

Howard is the director of the Critical Loyalty Project at Gordon College which is funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. The Faith Seeking Understanding lecture series is a major aspect of the project. "My vision for this book is to have it fruitfully contribute to and shape an ongoing dialogue about Christian higher education in this country, as well as promote knowledge about the differences and commonalities of these two faith communities, their approach to learning, and how to recognize what similar challenges they might face or are already facing," says Howard.

The discussion on "Evangelicalism, Catholicism and the Future of Christian Learning" brought together two prominent scholars, Mark Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, and James Turner, Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, CSC Professor of the Humanities at Notre Dame, to reflect on the state and future of religious higher education. "Their contributions to this important dialogue conceptualize the importance of learning from one another," shares Howard when asked about the key talking points of the new book. "Faced with the juggernaut of the secular academy, it simply no longer makes sense for Catholics and Evangelicals to pursue education with a self-ghettoizing mentality, in ignorance of what another is doing. Deeper Christian educational purposes are served by greater knowledge of and collaboration with one another.

Timothy George, Dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University says "This volume is a sign of hope in the changing landscape of Catholic and evangelical relationships. And the dialogue it records is a model for many others that need to take place both in the academy and among the churches--candid, insightful, drawing on the wisdom of the past but looking to the future, marked by respect yet filled with hope. That such an exchange should be sponsored by a historic evangelical institution [Gordon College], while no longer surprising, does show how far we have come."

The book was released in June 2008 and is available through Amazon.com, brazopress.com, and select bookstores. For information or to request an interview, contact Cyndi McMahon in the Office of College Communications at 978.867.4236 or email .

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Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The College offers majors in 37 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges.


Future of Christian Learning