Dr. Joseph McRae Mellichamp is Emeritus Professor of Management Science in the Manderson Graduate School of Business at the University of Alabama and National Faculty Representative for Christian Leadership Ministries. For 25 years, Dr. Mellichamp combined successful academic pursuits with effective Christian ministry activities.
One of the fun things about Christian Leadership Ministries is to see what happens when an idea catches on. This is what happened when the student newspaper ads first started. Within a year of the first appearance at Texas A&M University, ads were cropping up in student newspapers all over the country. This is what happened with the Tenure workshop idea. And this is what is happening with Worldwide Web home pages. We don’t know exactly where and when the first Christian Faculty/Staff Fellowship home page came on-line -- we think it was the University of California at Santa Barbara in the spring of 1996, but Indiana State University and Penn State University have also laid claim to being first. Whoever thought of it, it is a great idea, and it doesn’t matter who gets the credit as long as the Lord gets the glory. If you have a Christian Faculty/Staff Fellowship, you need to have a home page.
Simply stated, a home page is a location for general information about a Christian Faculty/Staff Fellowship and specific information relating to activities and members of the fellowship. Let me describe the home page for UCSB and you’ll get the idea. The title is FACULTY/STAFF CHRISTIAN FORUM followed by the phrase "Let There Be Light." Below this is a fragment of Michelangelo’s painting from the Sistine Chapel -- this is a really nice touch of class that grabs one’s interest. The remainder of the first page is a table of contents that presents the user with the following options:
Info Q&A. This section contains basic Christian apologetic information presented in a question-and-answer format.
Recommended Reading. Current books of interest to Christian academics are highlighted.
Bible Study. An investigative Bible study answering the question "Who is Jesus?" is included.
Faculty & Staff at UCSB. A brief history of the Faculty/Staff Christian Forum at UCSB is given here and the current membership as shown on the most recent newspaper ad.
Info Calendar. This section contains the calendar for the current quarter including meeting topics, speakers and locations, as well as meeting times.
News. Included here is information relating to events and conferences that might be of interest to Christian academics.
Library. The library section contains references to various articles of interest to users under several categories including: economics, education, history, mathematics, and philosophy.
Related Web Sites. This section gives addresses of other Web sites including Christian Leadership’s Leader U, Campus Crusade for Christ’s site, and sites for several Christian ministries at UCSB.
The UCSB site was made possible by Christian Leadership’s 1996 Erick Nilson grant to Professor Jeffrey B. Russell and is a fine example of excellence in presenting Christianity to the academic community, which we should be striving for in our outreach efforts. Spend some time and browse through this home page. I suspect that many students and faculty colleagues at UCSB and at other places have stumbled onto this location and come away with a very different impression of Christianity. If your fellowship doesn’t already have a home page on the Web, don’t waste another moment. Identify a person in your group with good computer skills, tell him to check out the UCSB site and some of the other examples of fellowship Web sites (which can accessed from the Christian Leadership Ministries Website -- http://www.leaderu.com), and see what happens.
© Copyright 1997, Joseph McRae Mellichamp
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