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#8: How Students Succeed at the Intersection of Christian Conviction and Higher Education – Dr. Ken Elzinga

Dr. Ken Elzinga is the Robert C. Taylor Professor of Economics at University of Virginia. As a professor at UVA for over 50 years now, he has nurtured several generations of students. Christian and non-Christian students alike have benefitted from his gentle, Christlike spirit, his winsome manner, and his extraordinary wisdom. He is the type of professor we all hope and pray our children will have–someone who cares deeply about both their minds and hearts.

Dr. Elzinga has been able to have such an influence on so many students due to his commitment to excellence in his calling as a professor, doing his work as unto the Lord. His honors are too many to mention, but include being the first recipient of the Cavaliers’ Distinguished Professorship at UVA, receiving the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Professor Award, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award, and the Thomas Jefferson Award, which is the highest honor UVA awards to a professor.

As an outstanding scholar and teacher, his introductory economics course is the largest class on campus, with over one thousand students taking the class each year. His upper-level Antitrust Policy seminar continually has a waiting list of two years.

Beyond the university, Dr. Elzinga is often asked for his expert opinion on issues of antitrust economics, including testifying before the Supreme Court as an economic expert in three cases. 

In addition to publishing over one hundred academic articles, he has also co-authored four mystery novels (under the pen name Marshall Jevons). These intriguing novels revolve around an economist who solves crimes by using concepts of economics. They are now available in seven languages, and are often used by others teaching economics to illustrate economic theory. 

In this podcast Dr. Elzinga shares his insights, wisdom, warnings, and encouragements to help Christian students flourish during their university years.

In this podcast we discuss:

  • How Ken’s faith in Christ influences how he teaches
  • How he ministers to students outside the classroom
  • How students can integrate their faith into all of life
  • The importance of not being ashamed of being a Christian on campus
  • Why it is so important to immediately find Christian fellowship, and how to do so  
  • How students can identify Christian professors 
  • Why students should ask Christian professors to be mentors
  • How Christian Study Centers can help Christian students
  • Spiritual disciplines Christian students should practice in order to thrive
  • Academic disciplines Christian students should practice in order to thrive
  • Ways Christian students can be used by God in their professor’s lives
  • Wisdom for life from his field of Economics
  • The unspoken assumption that often shakes the faith of Christian students
  • What students must do to counter this unspoken assumption 
  • Counsel for Christian students considering an academic career

Resources mentioned during our conversation:

One Comment

  1. James Huston
    James Huston May 13, 2021

    Excellent.

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