Finding this article [link] on the differences in Christian experience commonly found amongst students at different UK universities reminded me of vague thoughts I’d had concerning potential research topics for evangelical scholars in NZ – perhaps particularly people at some of our bible colleges (two in Auckland come to mind in particular).
I’ve added the book mentioned (to be published in October this year) to the long wishlist- there are 30 or so fairly recently published books that I think would be good to buy and read ASAP, in addition to those that I’ve bought in the last couple of years but not found time to read yet, and the 100+ on the longer form of my wishlist. There’s always more to read!
In any case, here are possible research topics that come to mind:
– A history of university student mission in NZ.
– Sociological study of faith amongst university students in NZ.
– Assessment of recent trends in beliefs of university students.
– Study of which ideas/people are most influential in shaping the worldviews of university students in NZ.
– Study of converts to different religions/worldviews. Take into account personal/individual factors (that the converts cite as important) and broader societal factors.
Student ministry relies largely (I think) on anecdote for its analysis of culture. This is not ideal. Careful study of James Davison Hunter’s book “To Change the World” is also very much recommended! I found it extremely eye-opening, even though it is one of the books sitting on my shelf that I’m yet to finish reading properly. One day.