Who’d of thought a physics professor could help me with my thesis?
There are three Christian professors on campus, and they all have an incredibly strong impact on the Christian students. Wesleyan is a great place, but it doesn’t naturally attract a large Christian community. In some ways, it is quite hostile to the faith.
I do believe it sometimes makes them a little uncomfortable, but we look up to them as role models. These professors understand better than anyone else what it is like for us to live our faith out on this campus, but they know the culture. They participate in it. They help form it.
Tonight, Prof. Voth ate dinner with the WesCF leaders and at CF discussed the intersection of physics, Christianity, and his life. I initially had a little bit of a hard time trying to relate to him (So what classes are you teaching this semester doesn’t lead to a good follow up question when you don’t understand the graduate physics course’s title).
But soon enough, I found out that he was a Mennonite preacher’s kid who grew up in rural Oklahoma and went to Wheaton College (interestingly enough, at the same time as Rob Bell). And now he’s at Wesleyan. Boggles my mind completely.
Furthermore, I briefly described my thesis question to him and he knew exactly what I was getting at. And why shouldn’t he? I’m contrasting conservative protestant churches of the 1980s and 1990s with the post-modern emerging church of today. In going from conservative, Mennonite Oklahoma, to Wheaton, Cornell, Haverford, and eventually Wesleyan– he lived that. And he’s still a devote Mennonite Christian.