An ambitious program intended to enhance scholarship in the area of public policy from a Christian perspective is now in full swing.
Crossroads, run under the auspices of Philadelphia based Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA), links doctoral scholars who are both Christians and interested in public-policy issues with scholars and other experts in the field.
Twenty doctoral students, representing such institutions as Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Vanderbilt University, are in the program. Students choose a topic on which they intend to write a 40- to 50-page monograph over 18 months. The proposal must be approved by the program's director in consultation with a 12-person advisory council cochaired by ESA president Ron Sider and James Skillen, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Justice. Students have focused on such topics as promoting democracy abroad and the economics of nonrenewable energy resources.
Students are then linked with a monograph committee of experts, with whom they correspond for guidance and to whom they submit drafts.
ESA convenes students and scholars twice a year. Students receive direction from their mentors and have their manuscripts evaluated. "These meetings also give public-policy experts from various fields of specialty a reason to get together to discuss and debate issues," says Crossroads director Keith Pavlischek.1