Alissa Wilkinson jokes that one of her hobbies is "overcommitting myself." She's not kidding. Her job, as a writing teacher and student adviser at The King's College, in New York City, consumes at least 40 hours a week. Another 5 to 10 hours are spent editing Comment, a Christian thought journal, and another 8 are spent writing. Add another hour or two per day reading, plus time with husband Tom (a location scout for filmmakers shooting in New York), and her slate is clearly full.
Through those outlets, Wilkinson is leaving her mark. King's grads typically go on to "transform society," says new president Dinesh D'Souza, by shaping and leading "strategic public and private institutions." And Comment—until recently helmed by Gideon Strauss, president of the Center for Public Justice—influences those influencers with essays on the intersection of faith and work, public policy, civic duty, social justice, the arts, and more. Wilkinson occasionally writes articles for Comment but mostly edits those from its many contributors, including Richard Mouw, Charles Colson, James Davison Hunter, David Batstone, and Stanley Hauerwas.
Wilkinson says her worldview is rooted in Abraham Kuyper's notion that "every square inch of this world is Christ's, and our role is to seek the redemption of all creation."
Question & Answer
What are your biggest challenges teaching students?
They are incredibly intelligent, but many have poor preparation in writing, particularly syntax, style, and structure. Some blame this on texting and the Internet; I believe the primary problem is that many haven't read and absorbed a lot of great literature for its text, not just its meaning. Many have been taught to view literature as a riddle to be solved, ...