The Liberal Education of Students of Faith

The Ninth Annual Conversation on the Liberal Arts

February 26-27, 2010


Overview Speakers Program
Let the Conversation Begin Conversation Audio Conversation Continued
Conversation Papers Participant List


Conversation Speakers


Alexander W. Astin is Allan M. Cartter Professor of Higher Education Emeritus at the University of California , Los Angeles and Founding Director of the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. He has served as Director of Research for both the American Council on Education and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. He is also the Founding Director of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program, an ongoing national study of some twelve million students, 250,000 faculty and staff, and 1,800 higher education institutions.


Dr. Astin has authored 20 books and more than 300 other publications in the field of higher education, and has been a recipient of awards for outstanding research from more than a dozen national associations and professional societies. He has also been elected to membership in the National Academy of Education, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University , and a recipient of eleven honorary degrees.


A 1990 study in the Journal of Higher Education identified Dr. Astin as the most frequently-cited author in the field of higher education. In 1985 readers of Change magazine selected Dr. Astin as the person "most admired for creative, insightful thinking" in the field of higher education. His latest book is (with H.S. Astin) Leadership Reconsidered :Engaging Higher Education in Social Change (W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 2000).


Dr. Astin is currently Principal Investigator on two major HERI research projects: A long-term longitudinal study of the impact of the undergraduate service learning experience on the post-college life of former college students (funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies) and (with Helen Astin) a national study of students’ spiritual development (funded by the John Templeton Foundation).



Helen S. Astin, a psychologist, is Professor Emerita of Higher Education and Senior Scholar at the Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA. She served as the Associate Provost of the College of Letters and Science at UCLA from 1983 to 1987.

Helen Astin has been a trustee of Mt. St. Mary's College since 1985, and served as a trustee of Hampshire College from 1972 to 1979. She has served on the Board of Governors of the Center for Creative Leadership, and on the Board of the National Council for Research on Women. In the American Psychological Association Dr. Astin has served on its Boards of Policy and Planning and Education and Training. She has also served as a member of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable of the National Academy of Sciences, and as Chair of the Board of the American Association for Higher Education. She is a recipient of three honorary degrees, numerous other awards including the Howard Bowen Distinguished Career award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE).

Dr. Astin's major books include: Women of Influence, Women of Vision; Human Resources and Higher Education; The Woman Doctorate in America; Higher Education and the Disadvantaged Student; Some Action on Her Own: The Adult Woman and Higher Education; Sex Discrimination in Career Counseling and Education; The Higher Education of Women: Essays in Honor of Rosemary Park.


Her current research is on Spirituality in Higher Education. She has coauthored a monograph on the Meaning & Spirituality in the Lives of College Faculty, and two reports, The Spiritual Life of College Student and Spirituality and The Professoriate. Before coming to UCLA, she was director of research and education for the University Research Corporation in Washington, D.C.



Stan D. Gaede (Westmont, B.A.; Vanderbilt, Ph.D.) is currently the President of the Christian College Consortium and Scholar-in-Residence at Gordon College.  Prior to his current position, he served ten years at Westmont; first as Provost from 1996-2001, and then as President from 2001-2006.  From 1974-1996 he was on the faculty at Gordon College, rising to the rank of full professor in 1985, and serving as department chair, division chair and provost.  A three-time recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award at Gordon, he has been a regular speaker in chapel at both Gordon and Westmont.


Dr. Gaede is a sociologist by training, focusing on the sociology of knowledge and the sociological intersection of history, philosophy and religion.  He is the author of seven books and multiple articles, and a frequent speaker on college campuses, conferences and churches.  His books include An Incomplete Guide to the Rest of Your Life and When Tolerance is No Virtue, both published by InterVarsity Press; and Life in the Slow Lane and For All Who Have Been Forsaken, published by Zondervan (Harper Collins).  In a forthcoming article in The American Sociologist (Practicing What We Teach), he argues for the benefits of a faithful sociology, whereby sociologists (and indeed all scholars) live out the implications of their teaching (including the author of the article).



Alan Wolfe is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. He is the author and editor of more than 20 books, including, most recently, The Future of Liberalism (2009), Gambling: Mapping the American Moral Landscape, (co-edited with Erik Owens, 2009), Does American Democracy Still Work? (2006), and Return to Greatness: How America Lost Its Sense of Purpose and What it Needs to Do to Recover It (2005), The Transformation of American Religion: How We actually Live our Faith (2003), and An Intellectual in Public (2003), School Choice: The Moral Debate (editor, 2002), Moral Freedom: The Search for Virtue in a World of Choice (2001), One Nation, After All (1998), and Marginalized in the Middle (1997), Both One Nation, After All and Moral Freedom were selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year.  He is currently writing a book on Political Evil: What It Is and How To Combat It, under contract with Alfred A. Knopf publishing, 2010 manuscript delivery.

Professor Wolfe attended Temple University as an undergraduate and received his doctorate in political science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1967. He has honorary degrees from Loyola College in Maryland and St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Wolfe currently chairs a task force of the American Political Science Association on “Religion and Democracy in the United States.” He serves on the advisory boards of Humanity in Action and the Future of American Democracy Foundation and on the president’s advisory board of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities.  He is also a Senior Fellow with the World Policy Institute at the New School University in New York.  In the fall of 2004, Professor Wolfe was the George H. W. Bush Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.

A contributing editor of The New Republic, The Wilson Quarterly, Commonwealth Magazine, and In Character, Professor Wolfe writes often for those publications as well as for Commonweal, The New York Times, Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, and other magazines and newspapers. He served as an advisor to President Clinton in preparation for his 1995 State of the Union address and has lectured widely at American and European universities.

Professor Wolfe has been the recipient of grants from the Russell Sage Foundation, the Templeton Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Lilly Endowment. He has twice conducted programs under the auspices of the U.S. State Department that bring Muslim scholars to the United States to learn about separation of church and state. He is listed in Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America and Contemporary Authors.