Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Wrap-Up

Happy New Year and thanks for reading The Way of Improvement Leads Home in 2014.  I am thankful that our number of readers continues to rise each year and I appreciate your comments, reposts, retweets, links, and mentions.

As many of you know, this blog is part of a larger attempt to bridge the distance between the academy and the general public on matters pertaining mostly to American history.  Here is our annual report for 2014:

Virtual Office Hours:
We filmed 20 episodes this year as part of our Spring 2014 "How to Be a Public Scholar" series and our Fall 2014 "History of American Evangelicalism" series.  This episode was the most popular.  I am working with Megan Piette on our Spring 2015 series.

Author's Corner Series
We interviewed sixty-two authors as part of this series and it has proven to be a huge success.  We already have several interviews in place for January 2015.

If you have a book coming out soon don't hesitate to send me a query about participating in the Author's Corner.

Public Lectures
I did public lectures this year at: Kean University (New Jersey Forum), Southern Methodist University. Stephen's Episcopal Church of Harrisburg, PA (9-11 Remembrance Lecture), the Union League of Philadelphia (Gordon College alumni event), the North Bergen (NJ) Revolutionary War Roundtable, Lancaster County (PA) Historical Society, Geneva College, and Messiah College (Religion and Society Lecture).

I always enjoy discussing my work with public audiences.  Feel free to drop me a note if you are interested in setting something up for 2015 or beyond.  This year I was pleased to announce that I was appointed an Organization of American Historians "Distinguished Lecturer."

Church Events
I taught history-based Sunday School classes at the following churches: West Shore Evangelical Free Church (Mechanicsburg, PA), Derry Presbyterian Church (Hershey, PA), and Elizabethtown (PA) Brethren in Christ Church.

I love working with churches to help Christians of all kinds understand their history or the relationship between Christianity and American life.  I have done one-class events, day-long events, weekend retreats, and weekly series that can last up to five or six weeks.  Drop me a note if you might be interested in setting something up.

Academic Conferences and Academic Seminars
I was on the program in some capacity (presenter, chair, commentator) at the following conferences: Organization of American Historians, American Society of Church History, Conference on Faith and History, and the Columbia University Seminar on American Religion.

I am trying to limit my appearances at academic conferences this year, but if you need a chair or commentator for a session please don't hesitate to ask.

Commencement Addresses:
Just one--at Boston Trinity Academy.

This year I skyped with Eddie Carson's "American Jesus" class at the Brooks School in North Andover, MA.

If you are using one of my books for a class I am happy, if time allows, to Skype-in.

Radio Interviews
KRKS (Denver), WVOX (Westchester County, NY)

I have done a lot of radio over the last few years--both Christian and mainstream.  I am happy to consider engagements broadly related to Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? and Why Study History?  I also occasionally go on the radio to provide historical perspective on current events.

Work with Teachers
"Rethinking the American Colonies":  Messiah College Teachers as Scholars Program Seminar
"The 13 Colonies":  Week-long Gilder-Lehrman Seminar for K-8 teachers at Princeton University
"Religion and Public Life":  Seminar for history teachers at Southern Methodist University
"Slavery and Colonial America:"  Gilder-Lehrman teachers workshop for Milwaukee Public Schools

I have been also doing a lot of work with teachers over the last five years.  Let me know if you want to think about a workshop or seminar.

Consulting Work
Northwestern College (IA) History Department External Review.

My time for external review work is limited, but don't hesitate to ask if you need a reviewer.

Book Chapters
"Does the United States Have a Biblical Heritage?" in The Bible in the Public Square ed. Mark Chancy, Carol Meyer, and Eric Meyers.  

"America: A Christian Nation or a Secular Nation?" in Secularism on the Edge ed. by Jacques Berlinerblau, et. al.

I am continuing my work on The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society (Oxford University Press, 2016).  Although I have not blogged about it in a month or two, progress is still being made.  I will have more to say about this project soon.

I continue to serve as chair of the Messiah College History Department.  I am ecstatic about the fact that Jim Grossman and Anthony Grafton featured us in a recent American Scholar article.

2015 should be an interesting year.  I am currently lining up some more speaking engagements, will hopefully finish The Bible Cause, will increase my workload with the Gilder-Lehrman Institute, and will be taking a sabbatical from teaching.  More on all of this later.

In the meantime, enjoy the year and keep reading The Way of Improvement Leads Home.

Now back to the Twilight Zone marathon!