Why you should support The Bell Tower 

By: Aidan Charron
Two weeks ago, The Anchor published a lovely article reporting on a student panel that was held by The Bell Tower on Jan. 22. I want to take this opportunity to personally, and on behalf of the whole Bell Tower team, thank The Anchor, the reporter Tacy Kratt, and The Bell Tower’s very own Claudia Hwang (whose idea it was to get the Anchor involved) for helping their fellow student-run publication get word out about our event and the hard work of the Bell Tower’s student authors. So, thank you for supporting us!

I wanted to, however, also take this opportunity as the Bell Tower’s Editor-in-Chief to offer some context and insight into Kratt’s article to hopefully encourage greater support and engagement for The Bell Tower’s mission. I want to do so because I realize how important it is to garner more awareness of a fledgling publication such as this; I truly believe that the journal’s work is important for Hope College and the church as a whole.

The Bell Tower was the brain-child of Dr. David Ryden of the Political Science Department and a small group of students who wanted to showcase the distinctly Christian research that students and their professors have been doing at Hope. Ryden and the students firmly believed that the spiritual life and the intellectual life are not mutually exclusive. In the Spring of 2021, they hired the first group of editors and staff. Thus, The Bell Tower was established in name and mission, which is “to foster deep Christian thought at Hope College, to nurture a loving, ecumenical community of scholars and artists, and to engage with Christ in every square inch of his creation. On these pages, undergraduates can integrate historic Christian faith with academic learning while cultivating and promoting wisdom, wonder, beauty and joy, thus bringing glory to Christ and encouraging true Spera in Deo.”

At that time I was hired as the Editor for the Humanities under the first Editor-in-Chief, Lydia Harrison (‘23). Thankfully, Harrison was a master administrator and excellent leader because no one on the team had ever, at least to my knowledge, worked for an academic journal before. With God’s help, however, we published our first issue the following year and another the next. Since then we have been working to garner greater student engagement and participation through events like faculty and student panels, respectively. Now our authors and editors are working hard to publish another issue this spring.

If you are reading this article, or have also read Kratt’s article, and any of this resonates with you, or you have ideas or pieces you would like to faithfully develop, then The Bell Tower is for you. If you believe, as we do, that the Christian faith is crucial to academic life and engaging in difficult, relevant questions, then the Bell Tower is for you. We hope that, even if you aren’t interested in writing, your interest is peaked and that you will read our forthcoming issue to expose yourself to Christian thought and encourage your fellow classmates. And we hope that if you are writing or creating a piece now, or have one already, you will submit it to our team for consideration for our 2025 issue.

My final shameless plug is that if you believe yourself to be a good fit as an editor or staff member, please reach out to belltower@hope.edu for more information, we would love to have you.


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