The Tragic Death of an Adjunct Professor

I’ve written about being an adjunct professor before. While I’m grateful for the three schools who currently employ me as an adjunct prof (St. Cloud State University, United Theological Seminary, and Fuller Theological Seminary) and those who have done so in the past (Rochester College, Andover Newton Theological School), one cannot help be see that the crisis in academia is coming to a head. Adjuncts currently make up over half of all teaching positions in the U.S. — we work without tenure, without insurance, without benefits.

The class I’m currently teaching pays me $267 to teach a 2-hour class — that does not include prep time.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette carries this story that backs up the meta-trends, about a long-time adjunct professor at Duquesne University who died in her front yard of a heart attack, penniless and without insurance (HT: JR Rozko). The writer, an attorney for the union that has tried to organize Duquesne adjuncts, writes,

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Get a Masters in Missional Leadership

I’ve often commented how much I think theological education needs to change.  For instance, I’m not interested in moving from my home to join the faculty of a residential seminary.  I’d rather have the students come to me.  That’s not just because it’s convenient for me (which it is), but also because I have a lot more to teach about here, where I’m rooted, than in a classroom.

The D.Min. cohort I’m teaching for Fuller Seminary will meet here in Minnesota at least once during our three-year journey.  But even before that, a cohort from the Masters in Missional Leadership Program at Rochester College is coming here in August.  Those ten students will have the opportunity to attend Solomon’s Porch on Sunday evening, meet with SP personnel and other Twin Cities pastors on Monday and Tuesday, and spend Wednesday through Friday in the north woods at my family cabin.  None of that would be possible in a classroom.

So, if you’re in the market for a Masters degree, consider joining one of the new cohorts at Rochester.  And if a Doctor of Ministry is more your speed, check out the Christian Spirituality cohort at Fuller, beginning a year from now.

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