Religion Magazine

“Only” an Adjunct

By Sjbedard @sjbedard

Many apologists and other Christians of an academic bent that I have spoken to have a dream of being a professor. They start their education and even as an undergrad they are planning their promotion from assistant to associate to full professor. They are already on the tenure track in their mind before it is possible in reality.

For some people, this will come to pass. They will earn their Ph.D and receive their dream position at a major university or seminary. For others, life may take a different turn. Many end up going the adjunct route.

I am an adjunct instructor at Emmanuel Bible College and a sessional instructor at Tyndale University College.  Some see the adjunct path as the kiss of death to an academic career. I would like to say that it is not that bad.

The first thing you have to do is ask yourself is: why are you teaching? Is it because you want the prestige of being a professor or is it because you love your subject and you love your students? Teaching is teaching, whether you are adjunct or a distinguished professor. The pay is not the same but you can have the same impact on a student’s life.

Adjunct teaching can also be good because you have a foot in two different worlds (or if you are me, three or four). It is easy to get immersed in the academic world and lose track of reality. One can teach youth ministry without ever talking to a teenager or teach evangelism without ever talking to a non-Christian. An adjunct instructor is forced by circumstance to have a life outside of the university or seminary.

If you find yourself as an adjunct instructor, do not see yourself as a failed professor. See yourself as blessed to be able to bring the mix of knowledge and experience that you have to the students God has given you. Share what you have and bless where you are.

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