So you have your PhD. Now what? If you're fortunate enough to land a job, even a contingent one, how do you transition from slaving away at a dissertation in the bowels of the library to joining a faculty and standing at a lectern? The books below have helped me navigate this transition. I wish I could share them with every academic I know.
Disclaimer: I didn't set out to write a commercial for InterVarsity Press. IVP just happens to consistently hit home runs by publishing books that I want to read! They aren't paying me to write this. I'm sharing it in hopes that these books can help you reach your full potential.From Research to Teaching: A Guide to Beginning Your Classroom Career (IVP 2021) should be required reading for every newly minted PhD in Bible, theology, and related disciplines. Honestly, I couldn't put it down. Mike writes with candor and teaches with creativity. The Flourishing Teacher: Vocational Renewaal for a Sacred Profession (IVP 2020) procedes month by month through the academic year, offering honest reflections and sage advice. I have savored each month's chapter for most of this school year. Last weekend I indulged myself by reading to the very end. What a gift to help me find perspective and cultivate joy in the journey!Power Women: Stories of Motherhood, Faith, and the Academy (IVP 2021) is a collection of essays by academic mothers about how they've navigated the dual callings of raising children and being a professor -- simultaneously. Men, before you tune out, you need this book, too, especially if you work in academic administration. This book will show you proven ways to recruit and retain female faculty in your institution. It's a treasure trove of ideas for how to help academic moms flourish. I had no women to model for me how to get an MA with small children, and few who could strategize with me about how to navigate a PhD with school-aged children. I am currently the only academic mom at my institution. How many other women out there are alone and need support? Power Women is a wonderful first step. Editors Nancy Wang Yuen (Biola) and Deshonna Collier-Goubil (Azusa) have done us a great service by bringing us the voices of a diverse group of women who have approached the quest for work-life balance in unique ways.Institutional Intelligence: How to Build an Effective Organization (IVP 2017) when I transitioned from adjunct to full-time faculty. I wanted to know how to serve effectively in my institution. Gordon T. Smith is president of Ambrose University in Calgary. He has a keen sense of how to lead well and how to help others learn to lead well. Every generation has a tendency to try to re-invent the wheel, but lasting change comes through healthy institutions. My own passion will give out in time. A healthy institution harnesses the passion of a whole team and makes it last a generation or more. Though most professors would not identify the faculty meeting as the highlight of their week, a well-led faculty meeting can be a tangible generator of lasting change. I blogged about this book over at The Well if you'd like to learn more.Mapping Your Academic Career: Charting the Course of a Professor's Life (IVP 2015). It takes a much longer view and identifies the promises and pitfalls of each decade. I plan to keep this handy throughout my career.
Do you have another favorite that I haven't listed here? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. I never want to stop improving at the art of being a professor!