It is important to find ways to rest this summer, knowing that when autumn arrives, your desk will be plenty full with books to read and papers to write. We also know that many in our community enjoy curling up with a good book in the sun to read and reflect. So, we asked faculty to share titles for those of us who love a good book recommendation!

These books are not required for any particular course, but instead are a peek into our hearts and minds as we enter this new season. The suggestions are listed by faculty member, in alphabetical order.

As you discern what books you’d like to add to your summer list, we invite you to consult this resource and consider buying a book from a Black-owned independent bookstore.


Faculty Recommendations

cover of Now and Then by Buechner  

Now and Then by Frederick Buechner

Recommended by Peter Hopkins, MA, Adjunct Faculty:

Buechner recounts his experience of going to graduate school—seminary—and the ambivalence, confusion, as well as insight that came from it all, and bringing a theological lens to his lived experience:

 “I [look] also in the hope of encouraging others to do the same—at least to look back over their lives, as I have looked back at mine, for certain themes and patterns and signals that are so easy to miss when you’re caught up in the process of living them.”

Cover of the Art of Noticing book T

The Art of Noticing by Rob Walker

Recommended by Dr. Pat Loughery, Affiliate Faculty

This quote from the introduction sets the frame:

“Paying attention, making a habit of noticing, helps cultivate an original perspective, a distinct point of view. That’s part of what I try to teach my students, and it’s part of what I try to practice myself.

“But paying attention isn’t easy.”

cover of Loveless 2 book  

Loveless by Alice Oseman

Recommended by Dr. Kj Swanson, Affiliate Theology Faculty

As a student, you will be reading a ton of texts that challenge, inform, and inspire through the concepts and critiques they introduce. Before your fall fills up with academic material, I recommend leaning into fiction that refreshes as well as informs and inspires.

Alice Oseman’s novel about a young person awakening to their sexual orientation is powerful in its simplicity and kindness—a big-hearted reflection on the meaning of friendship and the gift of finding language for self-understanding.

Additional Faculty Recommendations

Dr. O’Donnell Day, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology

Dr. Paul Hoard, Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology

Dr. Stephanie Neill, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology

Dr. Ron Ruthruff, Associate Professor of Theology and Culture

Dr. Chelle Stearns, Associate Professor of Theology

We look forward to being in conversation with you about the places your own readings and curiosities take you this summer when we enter into learning together this fall. Until then, we hope each of us can find some good time in the sun.