Nathan Kerr, Assistant Professor in Religion at the Trevecca Nazarene University in the United States, gave an acceptance speech for an award for teaching excellence on what constitutes educational excellence for the Christian.
At the heart of his speech is that “excellence” for the Christian should not parallel secular counterparts, which focus on success and material wealth. In a Christian institution of higher learning, “excellence” should be a revolutionary stance over and against the powers of this world, even as we try to live with them. “Excellence” for the Christian should assist the student and teacher in resisting the seduction by the secular world to buy into its game of material success.
The speech is invaluable food for thought and can be found here.
Further reflection is also necessary on just how to instantiate this Christian mode of excellence. Ideas, important as they are, may face an uphill battle in becoming sedimented when physical space has been colonised by secular cultural forms such as the shopping mall and fast food outlet, and with them their institutionalisation of the logic of excellence as material success. This would make sense if one considers an old post on the need to redeem micropractice.