Capital Religion professor not to return next fall

News, Student Life

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After four years of teaching, Chris McAlister has decided to leave Capital University. McAlister, an adjunct professor in the philosophy and religion department, announced via Twitter that he will not be returning to teach this upcoming fall semester.

McAlister joined the university in 2010 when a friend of his notified him of an open adjunct professor position in the religion department. During his time at Capital, McAlister was a favorite among many students by inspiring constructive thought in his sections of UC 220: Religious Foundations and the Bible. But, after several years teaching higher education, he has decided to stop teaching due to economic reasons.

When McAlister first started teaching, he had been a pastor for 10 years and was earning a pastor’s income. The McAlister family finances were stable when Chris earned a pastor’s and professor’s income and his wife worked. But, as the couple became aware of their daughter’s severe food allergy, McAlister’s wife became a stay-at-home mother to aid their child. For the past 10 years Chris McAlister has been sole financial provider for his family and also decided not to continue being a pastor in September, 2014.

When asked why he cared so much about money despite devoting his life to intrinsic well-being, McAlister stated that he cares because his daughter needs braces and the vegan food his daughter needs is incredibly expensive.

In regards to teaching at Capital, McAlister said, “I’m losing money to be there.”

With the development of his company, Sight Shift, the time that he would be putting into teaching, travel, and planning would lose him a significant amount of money that he could be making with Sight Shift. The decision to stop teaching was not personal, but rather a business decision to best provide for his family. He needs to invest time into his company.

Sight Shift teaches leaders how to be resilient and how to order their internal world to affect their external world. Through his specialization of identity formation, McAlister helps leaders lead from a secure identity. By coaching CEOs and organizational leaders, Sight Shift helps organizations unlock their creative potential.

As his business continued to develop and flourish, it became clear that McAlister cannot continue to teach. But before he leaves, McAlister advises students to demand three elements from their educational institution:

  1. World-class education- informed experts that live and breathe what they teach. This kind of education is most accessible through educational videos such as “Ted Talks.”
  2. Guided conversation that students are forced to have- professors should be better trained interpersonally to not only be experts in their field, but also experts in the classroom. Discussion needs to happen in the classroom for students to fully understand what is being taught.
  3. Guided action- professors need to present how the subject matter is applied to life outside of the classroom.

McAlister admits he struggled with number two, but said, “Any class that doesn’t teach you to think is a waste of time.”

In the near future, McAlister will be speaking this Friday, May 8 in Columbus, Ohio at “Start Up Week,” a week packed full of seminars and presentations devoted to start-up businesses. Along with presenting this Friday, McAlister has set aside this month to write his third book, titled “Seven Mistakes We All Make, but Few Learn From.” One of the seven mistakes featured in the book is “when someone makes a future plan to distract them from their current pain.” He plans to write 1000 words a day for 28 days this month.

On a final note, McAlister thanks Dr. Wray Bryant for being his champion while at Capital, and when asked if there was anything he would change, he wished there were more vegan restaurants in Columbus.

Zach Gerhardt

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