May 01, 2015 | Phil de Haan


David Smith stands on the Commons Lawn with the Hekman Library in the background.

A new journal whose focus is the relationship between Christianity and educational theory and practice will be housed at Calvin. (The first print edition will be out in early May.)

The International Journal of Christianity & Education (IJCE) is sponsored by the Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning and Graduate Studies in Education at Calvin. It will bear the college’s colors and logo and also operate under the chief editorship of David Smith, director of the Kuyers Institute and director of Graduate Studies in Education.

IJCE results from a several-year process that has culminated in the merger of two existing journals. One, the Journal of Education and Christian Belief began in the United Kingdom and was more recently published by the Kuyers Institute, while the second, the Journal of Christian Education, was based in Australia.

Providing a platform

IJCE will be published three times a year by SAGE Publications, an independent publisher that Smith says has a strong presence in the world of scholarly journals and an excellent infrastructure for bringing journal content to its readers. As one of four or five major journal publishers in the world, SAGE publishes more than 800 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas.

Indeed, having SAGE as publisher is a big upgrade for IJCE, Smith says, as it will now try to sell the journal to every university library in the world and already has secured a spot for the journal in several libraries that had not carried the prior two journals.

"This change opens new possibilities for the combined journal," Smith says. "Print journals are increasingly difficult to sustain and maintaining the infrastructure needed to produce a 21st-century scholarly journal of any scope is increasingly taxing for small organizations.

“Our new partnership with SAGE offers increased visibility, a stronger publishing platform, a well-developed online environment for individual articles and journal issues, and professional production and marketing. All of this comes without any sacrifice of editorial control or loss of the journal’s distinctive mission."

Exploring myriad topics

Articles appearing in the first issues of the International Journal of Christianity and Education already address a range of topics, including:

  • How Augustine’s reflections on humility help us understand the relationship between character education and education for critical thinking.
  • How a focus on hospitality to students in teaching and learning can inform specific teaching choices.
  • The role of religion in citizenship education in Australian schools.
  • How postmodern cultural changes affect faith formation in schools in the Netherlands

The journal draws on the work of scholars around the world and already has regional editors in the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, the U.K., Singapore and Australia.

Smith says the goal is to increase the engagement of scholars around the world with Christian educational questions of all kinds.

"We will publish articles across a wide range of educational topics and contexts," he says, “and we will welcome a variety of research approaches. It’s not just a theology journal. We will welcome theological, philosophical, and sociological approaches to the field as well as qualitative and quantitative empirical research.

Pursuing excellence

“The goal is to be the flagship journal in this discipline and to help create a global conversation about how Christian faith informs education. It’s exciting to have the Kuyers Institute and Graduate Studies in Education at Calvin College at the heart of this development."

The folks at SAGE also are excited to get in on the ground floor of this new venture and are on board with Smith’s goals for IJCE.

Says Karen Phillips, SAGE editorial director: "We are delighted to be partnering with Calvin College. SAGE is developing a strong program of journals representing leading scholars and societies across theology and religion, approaching these disciplines from a variety of perspectives including both an educational and sociological perspective. We see IJCE as a key forum for discussion of the interface between theology and education and look forward to developing this journal as part of our portfolio."

To celebrate the addition of International Journal of Christianity & Education to SAGE Journals, SAGE is currently offering free online access to the journal at http://ice.sagepub.com. After the initial free period, the journal will become a subscription-based publication.

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