By Christina Bieber Lake and Jasmine Obeyesekere Fernando

Dr. Christina Bieber Lake: The Flourishing Teacher

“Just like we have to learn how to give grace to ourselves, we really have to give grace to our students. I'm giving more grace than ever before....Some students would really just appreciate being seen by you and recognizing that their struggle is difficult." 

— Dr. Christina Bieber Lake

Listen in on our book club conversation with author and professor Dr. Christina Bieber Lake where we discuss thriving in academia — even during a pandemic.

Whether you are a seasoned college professor or just starting out in your career, Dr. Bieber Lake offers a rich combination of spiritual insight and practical tips that will renew your love of teaching. Her intent is to help you thrive — rather than merely survive — in academia. Even though Christina wrote her book pre-pandemic, it was published during the pandemic and some of the issues she addresses in the book take on pressing and deeper significance. How do you adjust your expectations in the face of personal and societal crises and grief?  How can teachers practice habits of well-being and bring a sense of well-being to their students? How do you find the solitude needed for academic reading and writing?

These are just some of the questions around which we had lively discussions as we read The Flourishing Teacher at the Fall book club hosted by Women in the Academy and Professions. In November, we enjoyed having Dr. Bieber Lake join us for the book club finale to talk to us about thriving as a teacher during this season. This episode is a recording of that book club session from November 10, 2020. We hope you too will enjoy listening to Dr. Bieber Lake’s wisdom and be spurred to pick up her book!

Jasmine Obeyesekere

You can listen on iTunesSpotify, or at All Shall Be Well: Conversations with Women in the Academy and Beyond. We hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did.

Links mentioned in this interview

If you are interested in leading a discussion on this book, please see the book discussion notes prepared by our book club leader, Jasmine Obeyeskere Fernando.

Photo by JJ Sky’s the Limit from StockSnap.

About the Author

Christina Bieber Lake is the Clyde S. Kilby professor of English at Wheaton College where she teaches classes in contemporary American literature and literary theory. Her most recent books include The Flourishing Teacher: Vocational Renewal for a Sacred Profession and Beyond the Story: American Literary Fiction and the Limits of Materialism. The Pre-school Retreat and Master Class she designed for teaching faculty can be found online. Christina also coaches, consults, and occasionally blogs at

Jasmine is WSAP’s book club host and vocation specialist. She hails from Sri Lanka and has a thirty-year relationship with its national university ministry, the Fellowship of Christian University Students (FOCUS). She has also been involved with InterVarsity for twenty years. She has a BA (Hons.) in English from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and a MA in International Relations from Syracuse University. She loves writing about theology impacting real life and enjoys British, Korean, and Chinese drama. Jasmine lives in upstate New York with her professor husband and two teenage children.

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