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Christ-Enlivened Student Affairs: 

A Guide to Christian Thinking and Practice in the Field

Perry Glanzer, Theodore F. Cockle, Elijah G. Jeong, Britney N. Graber


Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Abilene Christian University Press
Publish Date: June 2, 2020
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1684265002
ISBN-13: 978-1684265008

How does the Christian faith inform Christian student affairs practice? How should it? Instead of placing Christ outside the realm of education, Christ should serve as the motivating and animating force for all of Christian student affairs. With Christ at the center of education, the Christian story distinctly transforms the nature of the work education professionals do. With research from a national mixed-methods study, Christ-Enlivened Student Affairs avoids the common response of anecdotal evidence by providing a catalog of some of the best thinking and practices in the field. Glanzer, Cockle, Graber, and Jeong use the framework of educational philosophies to trace how Christianity animates the who, why, what, and how of student affairs, offering evidence-based resources, and new tools for engaging new practitioners in the field, and a larger theological perspective for Christian student affairs.


Perry L. Glanzer (Ph.D., University of Southern California) is professor of Educational Foundations at Baylor University and a Resident Scholar with Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion. He is the coauthor, author or editor of a dozen books including most recently:  The Outrageous Idea of Christian Teaching; The Quest for Purpose: The Collegiate Search for a Meaningful Life, and Restoring the Soul of the University: Unifying Christian Higher Education in a Fragmented Age.

Theodore (Ted) F. Cockle is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Higher Education Studies and Leadership program at Baylor University. Ted earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Wheaton College (IL) before serving as the Assistant Director of Wheaton’s student activities office.  He has co-authored several peer-reviewed articles about Christian higher education and also serves as the editor of Ideas, an online publication of the Association of Christians in Student Development (ACSD).  When he is not reading or writing, Ted and his wife Kate enjoy spending time outside and reading to their three boys.

Elijah G. Jeong is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Higher Education Studies and Leadership program at Baylor University.  Elijah earned his B.A. from University of Washington, M.A. from Wheaton College (IL), and MDiv from Reformed Theological Seminary. He has worked in various educational and ministry settings, including working as a high school teacher, working in college administration, and serving as a pastor for an Asian American church.  He has co-authored serval peer-reviewed articles and his research interest includes the intersection of race, religion, and higher education. Elijah loves spending time with his wife and son, playing basketball, and cooking Korean food.

Britney N. Graber is a Ph.D. Candidate in Higher Education Studies and Leadership program at Baylor University and works as the Director of Institutional Effectiveness at Trevecca Nazarene University. She earned her BS and MA from Taylor University, and MAT from Morningside College. Her published works and research interests include Title IX policy and practice at Christian colleges, faith-based higher education, accreditation and assessment practices, and higher education law and policy.


This is a landmark study of the lived experiences of Christian Student Affairs professionals in the 21st century. But it is not just a study. It is a guidebook, a map, and a manual for what it means to integrate the Christian faith into the field. In a world where the next generation is desperately looking for a sense of meaning and purpose, these authors challenge us to not simply check our faith at the door of our institutions and incorporate secular theories and practices uncritically. Rather, they challenge us to focus on Jesus Christ, who enlivens our work as Student Affairs professionals. This is a must-read for any new or seasoned professional!

— Felix Theonugraha
President, Western Theological Seminary

Perry Glanzer and his colleagues are convinced that effective student development on Christian and secular campuses requires something more than caring professionals who understand higher education. Forming whole persons in ways that honor God calls for a coherent theology that integrates academic learning with a life of faith. The result of their research is a redemptive, Christ-centered approach to student affairs with biblically-grounded principles and practices that will exercise wide influence on the field of student development and – even more importantly – make a real difference in the lives of college and university students.

— Philip Ryken
President, Wheaton College


In this much needed volume, Perry Glanzer and his colleagues capture the current state of the journey toward a distinctively Christian vision of Student Life within the world of Christian higher education. This work also serves as a call toward a normative theological foundation for Christian colleges and universities that will enrich their capacity to speak distinctively and constructively even beyond the world of Christian higher education into the perennial student life challenges of residential life, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual integrity, and student discipline, as well as the contemporary challenges of race relations and Title IX. Christ-Enlivened Student Affairs inspires an incarnational approach to inviting our students into their full inheritance as created and redeemed divine image bearers.

— Shirley A. Mullen
President and Professor of History, Houghton College

For the Christian leader in student affairs, a thoroughly faith-infused perspective on our work with students and colleagues is at the core of our calling. Part indictment and part call to comprehensive theological faithfulness, the authors provide a well-researched, compelling, and articulate Christian vision for our profession and for our campus communities. We would do well to pay attention as we prepare and equip the next generation of Christ-followers!

— Brad Lau
Vice President of Student Life and Athletics, George Fox University

These encouraging words remind me why I chose a career in Christian higher education. I find myself reflecting on how my life was deeply impacted by key student affairs employees and their ‘enlivened’ Christ-like influence. This book serves as a rich resource for those of us that desire to imagine and live out a Christian vision within the academy.

— Tom Middendorf
Provost and Senior Vice President, Trevecca Nazarene University