Mapping Your Academic Career: Charting the Course of a Professor's Life, By Gary M. Burge
Mapping Your Academic Career
  • Length: 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: July 09, 2015
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2473
  • ISBN: 9780830824731

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One of Nijay Gupta's Best Academic New Testament Books

You're finishing your first year of teaching. It's been exciting and gratifying, but there've been some wobbly episodes too. How will you carve out a space to flourish?

You're feeling secure in mid-career, with some accomplishments to be proud of. But what should success really look like?

You're nearing the end of your career, and sometimes apprehensive about the blank slate of retirement. What might it look like to finish well?

In Mapping Your Academic Career Gary Burge speaks from decades of teaching, writing and mentoring. Along the way he has experienced and observed the challenges and tensions, the successes and failures of the academic pilgrimage. Now, with discerning wisdom and apt examples, he hosts the conversation he wishes he'd had when he started out as a college professor, identifying three cohorts or stages in the academic career and exploring the challenges, pitfalls and triumphs of each. Wherever you are in your teaching life, this is a book that will reward reading, reflection and discussion.

"I experienced the blessing of team teaching with Gary Burge at Wheaton College for several years. Like his teaching, Mapping Your Academic Career is filled with wisdom, insight and the sort of interdisciplinary courage that makes scholars grow and prosper. This book will be a treasure to faculty members at any stage of their academic careers."

Mark R. McMinn, professor of psychology, George Fox University

"Gary Burge, in his book Mapping Your Academic Career, brings needed wisdom for those who are on lifelong journeys as academics. He draws on the insights of developmental psychology but grounds it in an understanding of the practice of spiritual disciplines in order to assist independent-minded academics in navigating the ongoing tensions of working within the constraints of an institutional mission, while being on their own life journey of identity formation."

Janel Curry, provost, Gordon College

"This book is wonderfully humane: humane because it does not say what a generic faculty member should look like, but instead carefully considers the developmental stages that take place in a professor's life; wonderful because Burge's book is brimming with deep insights, helpful anecdotes and wise counsel. His vision for faculty mentoring could especially yield great fruit for all who will follow it. Highly recommended to administrators and faculty alike."

Kelly M. Kapic, professor of theological studies, Covenant College

"Professor Burge has offered the academic community an exquisite gift: a guide to those called into the teaching vocation within higher education. It is a handbook of sorts—a resource for faculty at each stage of their careers so that they can effectively steward their lives and the work to which they are called. The book reflects a theological vision for this good work and is also eminently practical, with timely advice for young, middle-aged and older faculty."

Gordon T. Smith, president, professor of systematic and spiritual theology, Ambrose University

"Writing with the careful insights and institutional understandings of a seasoned academic, Gary Burge offers wise counsel and sage advice for those who serve in the academic community. Framing the various aspects and stages of an academic career in terms of security, success and significance, Burge applicably, sensitively and skillfully guides the reader through this pilgrimage in a most helpful manner. Mapping Your Academic Career should be required reading for all new faculty development programs. Morever, this highly reflective and valuable work deserves a wide readership among those who have been teaching for many years, as well as administrators and board members alike."

David S. Dockery, president, Trinity International University

"Gary Burge aptly applies classic theories of psychological development to the experiences of faculty across the career path. With the turn of each new page, Gary unveiled both my fears and hopes as a junior faculty member. This book inspires self-examination and emotional growth as a means to a meaningful career. Mapping Your Academic Career would be an invaluable addition to any orientation program for new faculty."

Elisha Eveleigh, assistant professor of psychology, Wheaton College

"Gary Burge proves himself to be a faculty sage with these wise, perceptive and practical words for faculty at every career stage, and for those who work with them."

Joel B. Green, dean of the School of Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Mapping Your Academic Career is an important contribution to the faith-based literature on higher education. Burge offers an enormously helpful model of faculty development for those who desire to be more effective servant-practitioner-scholars. This book should also be read by anyone seriously interested in preparing the next generation of college students and teachers. Frankly, there is no other book quite like it!"

Richard E. Butman, professor of psychology, Wheaton College

"Mapping Your Academic Career is written for professors, and every professor ought to read it. . . . However it is used, it sheds clear light on every major stage and aspect of a professor's life, wisely advising how to navigate risks and pitfalls, and how to become and stay healthy and truly successful as a professor."

Joseph D. Wooddell, Criswell Theological Review, Vol. 14, No. 1

"As a midcareer professor who recently faced unexpected twists and turns in my career, I found the book quite helpful. Some of the opportunities and situations he described are ones that seem to speak to me directly. I could imagine this book being one of the resources in a new faculty orientation program. In addition to new faculty, I suspect many faculty from other cohorts may find this a helpful resource as they reflect on their own academic careers."

Derek Schuurman, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, June 2016, Vol. 68, No. 2

"Here lies a short and easy-to-read book about how academicians can thrive in the academy. Thanks to Dr. Burge and IVP."

Scott, The Prodigal Thought, September 11, 2015

"The roadmap of Burge's model is insightful, yet simple. 'Charting the course of' a professor's vocational trajectory is sharpened as he or she actively reflects on and responds to various life and vocational challenges. This process potentially leads a professor into the next cohort, reflecting a more adequate perception of one's professorial motivation, values, role and relationships. On the other hand, as Burge warns us, 'We can fail in any cohort if we are not self-aware.' . . . Burge's book serves as a refreshing resource for individual professors wishing to understand the particulars of their development, and for campus resource people who champion faculty development, including new faculty mentors, faculty learning communities, and executive-level college administrators."

Phil Howard, Advance, Fall 2015


Introduction: Mapping Our Lives
Cohort 1: Will I Find Security?
Addendum: Mentoring
Cohort 2: Will I Find Success?
Addendum: A Financial Plan
Addendum: Sabbaticals
Cohort 3: Will I Find Significance?
Addendum: Retirement
Select Annotated Bibliography
Subject Index


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Gary M. Burge

Gary M. Burge (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is dean of the faculty and professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary. He previously taught for twenty-five years at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. Among his many published books are The New Testament in Seven Sentences, Theology Questions Everyone Asks (with coeditor David Lauber), A Week in the Life of a Roman Centurion, Mapping Your Academic Career, The New Testament in Antiquity (coauthored with Gene Green), and the award-winning Whose Land? Whose Promise? What Christians Are Not Being Told About Israel and the Palestinians.