In this regular feature, we hear from women academics and professionals about their lives, their faith, and the way it all intersects. Pull up a chair and join us as we chat with philosophy and ethics professor Rachel Ferguson.
Welcome, Rachel! Tell us about yourself.
Name: Rachel Ferguson
Current position: Professor of Managerial Philosophy and Director of the Liberty and Ethics Center.
Current location: St. Louis, Missouri (working at Lindenwood University nearby in St. Charles)
Schools attended: Lindenwood for my BA and Saint Louis University for my PhD
A Few Favorites: The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard. Indian food. Fall.
What was the hardest part of grad school and what kept you sane?
The learning curve! I came into the PhD program from a no-name undergrad at 22 years old. The faith community in the philosophy department there kept me sane by being the most loving, humanizing, thoughtful, and authentic group of Christians I’d ever met.
What do you love most about your job right now?
That’s tough because I do a lot of different things and I love them all! But I have to say that NOTHING compares to a great class discussion with my students. Socratic conversation with them is what makes this job meaningful (and incredibly stimulating, too).
How does your faith inform the way you think about or do your work?
At first, my faith was most integrated with my actual content. Teaching Vice and Virtue in a Dante course, natural law theory in political philosophy, or labor economics and the dignity of vocation with my managerial ethics students — these things all give me a chance to make God and spiritual questions an issue for my students to contemplate. More recently, though, our InterVarsity Faculty Bible Study has challenged me to think about my role as a Christ-follower on my campus. How can I influence my campus for the kingdom outside of the classroom as well? Recently, we’ve established prayer stations by hanging a tassel outside of any professor's office who is willing to pray with students. I’ve been able to encourage Christian colleagues as well. But I see this question as an animating one now, and I continue to be challenged by it.