A Christian College of the Liberal Arts & Sciences

Houghton Reads: Open a Conversation

The Houghton Reads program utilizes a selected book each fall semester to bring thought-provoking ideas and perspectives to the forefront of our community.  Everyone--faculty, staff and students--is encouraged to be part of the annual selection process, to read the chosen book, and to participate in formal and informal campus discussions about it. Not everyone will agree with the perspectives shared within each selected book, and such points of discussion and even disagreement are part of the intent and design of the program. Through dialogue about thought-provoking topics, all of us are challenged to evaluate our perspectives as well as the perspectives of others, and to develop a thoughtfully Christian way to address the complex cultural issues we face. While members of the Houghton community are involved in selecting the book each year, the topic or perspectives represented in each book should not be assumed as the official perspective or belief of Houghton College.

The goals of the Houghton Reads program are to:

  • Provide opportunities for significant ideas and issues to be viewed through a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses
  • Encourage reflective Christian response to important issues
  • Create common reference points and areas of inquiry for the College community
  • Encourage thoughtful discourse that extends beyond the classroom

To facilitate these goals, Houghton Reads selections are chosen from a variety of academic subject areas on a rotating basis. For 2011, the focus was Natural Science, for 2012 it is Religion, Social Science for 2013, and Arts and Humanities for 2014.

For 2011-12 the selected book was The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, by Nicholas Carr.

For 2012-13 the selected book is The Reason for God, by Timothy Keller.

For 2013-2014 the selected book is Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults, by Christian Smith and Patricia Snell. 

The Houghton Reads book is available each year in the Campus Store as well as in the Library. Incoming first-year and transfer students for fall 2012 will receive a free copy of the book for use in the required Transitions 102 course.

Check the Integrative Studies home page and college calendar during the coming year for information about campus events and discussions related to Houghton Reads.