By Andrea Bridges

Meet the New Editor at The Well: An Interview with Andrea Bridges

Andrea, we're so delighted to have you as our new editor at The Well. We'd love to have our readers know more about you as you enter this position. Can you tell us where you’re from and a little bit about your background?

I grew up in Gig Harbor, Washington, a small town about an hour south of Seattle. I moved cross country to attend Gordon College, just north of Boston, where I studied theology and anthropology, and then moved to Durham, North Carolina originally for my husband to attend Divinity School at Duke. When he finished school, we decided to stay in Durham so I could do an MDiv, and we’ve stayed here for 15 years. We love it, but my heart is still with the trees and mountains of the Pacific Northwest. 

I’ve worked in publishing, Divinity School admissions, with college students at church, with The Veritas Forum and a local Christian Study Center.

I live with my husband, Matt, who’s a high school teacher, my three kids, aged 9, 7, and 4, and our furry dog, Chinook. I happily spend my time at children’s sporting events, cooking, and reading.

Had you been involved with InterVarsity?

I’m totally new to InterVarsity in terms of personal experience. I’ve had the chance to interact with lots of IV staff and people who were part of IV while they were students, and I’ve consistently been impressed with the centrality of prayer, thoughtfulness, and love for the university that I’ve seen. I’m so glad to be here!

What are the things about this job that really excite you?

In the different spaces I worked, I noticed repeatedly the specific challenges facing women in graduate school and the academy, while also understanding how valuable the gifts and voices of the women I met were.  Women in the Academy and Professions was the only place that I found in ten years of existing in the “Christians-in-the-academy” world that was specifically thinking about and working with women pursuing their callings in the university.

I see the value of The Well as an important place for connection. I really resonate with the quote from the film Shadowlands: “We read to know we are not alone.” A website — a place to read — as connection-point makes sense. Women get pulled in many directions, and having a spot for alliance with likeminded people seems really important, even if they’re not physically near you.

What is your vision for the future? Where do you want to press in with articles or writing for The Well?

The Well is an incredible resource, and I’m looking forward to continuing in our work of publishing quality articles, making connections between readers, and serving as an online hub for smart women to have conversations.

A couple of new things I’m excited about are WAP Woman Wednesday and a new weekly newsletter. (Sign up here!)

WAP Woman Wednesday is a new feature that highlights a WAP Woman each week — this could be a current graduate student, professional woman, or faculty member (have an idea for someone? let us know!). We’ll get to do a quick introduction with four questions.

The new weekly newsletter will feature links to this week’s articles at The Well and our favorite things from around the web that week. We hope you get to use it as a launching point for some reading.

What are you reading these days?

I always end up in a few books at a time. In July it was:

  • The Sabbath World by Judith Shulevitz
  • The Land by Mildred Taylor
  • Middlemarch (for the first time!) by George Eliot
  • Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
  • Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
  • Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
  • Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine by Alan Lightman
  • Raise Your Voice by Kathy Khang
  • The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall

I just picked up Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather and The Sacred Enneagram by Chris Heuertz to start in August.

What would you like to say to graduate students and faculty starting a new school year around this time?

I’m proud to know you and I think what you’re doing is so cool! I’m grateful for the ways you are following God’s calling to develop and use your gifts as scholars, researchers, teachers, advisors, and professionals. What you are doing is important and it is part of the kingdom of God.

About the Interviewer

Andrea Bridges works in the Graduate College at the University of Illinois. She is a former Editor at The Well and believes words can create connection over space and time. Andrea has an MDiv from Duke Divinity School and lives in Urbana, Illinois with her husband, Matt, three kids, and one dog. You’ll often find her in the garden or cheering at various youth sports.