Sunday, February 21, 2010

Freelance Scholars?

The Wesleyan Church and Indiana Wesleyan University have found a way to tame my blog... they made me Dean of a seminary :-) You might have noticed not only that my blog posts are fewer but that they are probably less hard hitting. I am still writing, but my brain is stretched pretty thin.

I don't regret it. The seminary we've founded will minister to an awful lot of people who otherwise would not have gone to seminary. I believe we will raise the level of competency and depth among ministers not only of my own denomination, but of a host of denominations that do not require seminary. And we are piloting possible paths for the future of ministerial education. It's a good thing.

I did have an idea, not for me, not for now. You all may know that we are in a bit of a conundrum when it comes to musicians and writers. The internet has made so much available for free that, at some point, there will be no motivation for musicians to write songs or for writers to write. For example, the IWU book store rents my New Testament Survey to students. That means I get nothing from the 100s of on campus students who use my book.

Why blog then? Why read books and put my summaries out here for free? Why share my thoughts, especially the ones that reflect competencies I have that most of my readers would not (like my ability to read Greek and Hebrew)?

I think we bloggers do it because we love ideas and we like talking. An awful lot of us would teach for free as long as our living expenses are covered.

Well, here's the idea. What if some bloggers went freelance? For a dollar every 10 pages we'll summarize x book for you. For 300 words of blog explanation, we'll describe "game theory" for you or "Schroedinger's equation." A certain amount to post it publically; maybe double to send it to you privately.

We know of freelance writers for public institutions. What about freelance scholars for the public in general? You want to know something? We'll study it for you and report back.

Not me, not now... but an idea.


Craig Moore said...

Ken, you are just speading your wealth. From each according to his ability to each according to his need. Isn't that you creed? I think you should just be glad you are not being taxed for your brilliance since it is so unfair that the rest of us are not as smart as you.

Ken Schenck said...

That's what I'm here for, to share my brilliance with you, Craig :-)

Andy said...

I like it. I'm totally in support of this. It needs to be either created as a social networking site, or an extension of an existing one. That way people could browse through a list of topics/foci and scholars. And it fits our post-modern text message instant information world perfectly...

Pastor Rob Henderson said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your blogging and your web site info. I and my church have benefited greatly as I have perused through and used/quoted you in a variety of sermons and teachings. Your thought patterns have challenged me to think through more clearly what I am teaching and preaching.

My son has been at IWU for four years and will graduate this spring from with a psych degree. His increased understanding of the scriptures, Christianity and how to live this out in a sensible way is because of profs like you who give of themselves. You guys have fostered a tremendous atmosphere of learning not for academia's sake but to live life for real. My only regrets of his four years is that he has not had you for a class and I have not had opportunity to sneak into one of yours on my visits.

Please keep blogging and posting so that ministers and ministries can have some solid resource tools- and challenges to our thinking.

John C. Gardner said...

I am the "friend' who asked this question. I would like to thank Ken for such a well written, reflective answer. It will help me with my response to this student this coming week.
In Christ,
John C. Gardner