Fidelis Books

Living Spiritually in the Material World: The Lost Wisdom for Finding Inner Peace, Satisfaction, and Lasting Enthusiasm in Earthly Pursuits


You are holding a Christian self-help book based on the teaching of America’s early college presidents who—from the founding of Harvard in 1636 until the early twentieth century—inspired the most optimistic, prosperous, and generous society in history.

For almost three hundred years, almost every American college was run by a minister or prominent Christian thinker. Although representing many denominations, they collectively developed an enormously popular student seminar on how to find spiritual satisfaction in the larger world beyond home and church—a discipline that eventually inspired the entire country through a series of bestselling books. Combining historical research with the insights of modern psychology and his own experience as therapist and teacher, Dr. Andrews makes the insights of the early college president assessable to today’s Christian seekers.

“Before shelves were warping under the weight of self-help books, before the caring industries were promising happiness via therapy or pills, many Americans sought guidance and wisdom from—of all people—Christian college presidents. Lewis Andrews unearths the story of how these religious, educational, and social leaders came to be spiritual instructors, and he shows how their advice can still help us lead lives of greater courage, resilience, and grace.”—Adam Keiper, Books & Arts editor, The Weekly Standard

Living Spiritually in the Material World is a surprising and delightful book. Lewis Andrews has done us a great service by discovering and reflecting on classic insights that will help us, even today, to live with spiritual meaning in our everyday lives.” —Dr. Mark Roberts, executive director, Max De Pree Center for Leadership, Fuller Theological Seminary

“Few appreciate the connection between higher education and the higher authority of the divine, but now comes Lewis Andrews with this fascinating study of early college presidents in U.S. history and how their deep faith nurtured their work as our nation’s top educators. They not only educated our Founders; they also provided useful guidance for spiritual wisdom which Andrews translates for today’s modern audience.” —Mike McCurry, professor/director, Wesley Theological Seminary and former State Department/White House spokesman (1993-98)