Talk:Princeton Evangelical Fellowship

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Notability and merger proposal[edit]

This article is well written overall, despite some boosterism in the "Growth and Change" section. However, I don't believe this one extracurricular activity at one university is notable enough for a standalone article. The notability guideline for organizations focuses on the level of coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject. Most of the coverage here is from the student newspaper and the alumni magazine, neither of which operates at arm's length. The other sources seem only to mention it in passing while discussing other subjects, which falls short of the requirement that the coverage be significant.

I'll reiterate that it's well written, and it's well referenced as far as it goes. I don't think deleting the content outright would serve Wikipedia well. Instead I'd like to propose merging it selectively to another article whose notability is not in doubt. History of Princeton University seems appropriate, but I could be persuaded to support other destinations, as well. Lagrange613 08:38, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

I appreciate the feedback on the article. On the question of notability I would respond that the Princeton Evangelical Fellowship rises to at least the same level of notability of other institutions found in the categories for Buildings and structures in Princeton, New Jersey and Non-profit organizations based in Princeton, New Jersey. It's true that there are no book length treatments of the subject but the PEF is credited by multiple notable figures, including John Whitcomb and John Frame as a primary influence in their own lives. The PEF is also notable, as referenced in one of the books cited, as a precursor to other national para-church collegiate ministries such as Campus Crusade for Christ. My response to the question of merging with the History of Princeton University is to note that the PEF is a separate organization, such as McCarter Theatre, though recognized by the University and certainly part of its history. djkeddieUser talk:djkeddie 12:53, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

A book-length treatment isn't necessary, but a more-than-a-sentence treatment is. None of the non-Princeton sources provide that. If, for example, some source described PEF described how PEF influenced the founders of Campus Crusade for Christ in some important way, then we might have something, but as it happens the source I think you're talking about only mentions in passing that PEF was around before Campus Crusade for Christ. It doesn't clear the "significant coverage" bar.
Comparison with other articles is generally avoided in discussions on notability, but looking at Category:Non-profit organizations based in Princeton, New Jersey is instructive. PEF doesn't have nearly the profile of McCarter or the National Organization for Marriage. Aluka is not as high profile as either of those, but it does have extensive coverage in independent, reliable sources, as documented in that article's References section. PEF has nothing close, so it shouldn't be the topic of a standalone article.
Merging with the history article wouldn't imply that PEF is part of the University, only that it's a part of the University's history. As I said, though, I'm open to other destinations, as well. Lagrange613 18:52, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

A significant treatment of the PEF by a notable source comes from John Frame's article Remembering Donald B. Fullerton. Why would local newspapers not be arms length? Why does McCarter Theatre have greater profile? It seems to have similar treatment in book sources and without being credited as a crucial influence in the life of multiple notable figures as is the PEF. My first article, Stone Hill Church of Princeton gained approval through submission to Articles for Creation which is why I added this article without going through that process. My intention is to go through the articles covering Princeton local and University subjects and seek to improve them, but I am at present uncertain about the criteria of notability. Djkeddie (talk) 00:37, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Frame's blog post is getting closer in terms of amount of coverage, but again it's not independent of the source. The information there could be used to supplement an article, but it doesn't go toward establishing notability. McCarter certainly has a greater profile; see for example The New York Times. Lagrange613 21:01, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Under Wikipedia:Notability_(local_churches_and_other_religious_congregations) guideline six reads: "The congregation has, or has had, notable leaders or clergy, for whom the particular church has had a formative impact. For a church to fit into this category, the leader should be notable enough to meet WP:BIO, by non-trivial external coverage, and should have their own article. The involvement of the church in the person's life must not be trivial, and should be significantly discussed in their biography.4" John Frame and John Whitcomb both fit this precisely, mentioning in their biographies decades on from their time in the PEF that it played a crucial role in setting them on the path that would lead to their notable contributions. The notability of a religious organization lies in its ability to influence members in a dramatic way. Frame himself points out that he's had no further interaction with the PEF since his time as a student over 50 years ago and yet credits it as a central influence. Also, Wikipedia:Notability_(local_interests), clearly would allow for an organization such as the PEF to be notable. That proposal failed primarily because it was viewed as too deletionist and yet even by its standards PEF would be notable. The local sources I have cited, The Daily Princetonian, and The Town Topics, are reliable sources at arms length from the subject. Their coverage starts in the 1930s and provides non-trivials articles over the decades. ""John Whitcomb and is a major figure in young earth creationism, which is a movement that has affected millions of people and public policy down to the present. He credits his life work as starting with the PEF. John Frame is a major figure in Reformed theology, affecting a movement of millions of people, and credits the PEF as the most important time in his spiritual development. PEF is notable by virtue of being a primary influence on multiple notable figures. In addition PEF has notability in local reliable sources which in and of itself should be sufficient following the widely accepted practices of Wikipedia. Djkeddie (talk) 14:28, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Neither of the guidelines you link was adopted, so I think we're back to looking at WP:ORG, which PEF clearly fails. The Daily Princetonian can't be used to establish the notability of a student group, or else practically every student group at Princeton (and every other college with a newspaper) would be notable, which they clearly aren't. Town Topics is likewise insufficient; see WP:AUD and WP:LOCALFAME. Lagrange613 16:21, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
WP:AUD states that at least one regional, national, or international source is necessary. I reference six books and surely the references in Coming to Grips with Genesis, Faith in the Halls of Power, and Redeeming Culture satisfy that requirement. WP:LOCALFAME does not apply to PEF as references can be found in books published for a general audience and a significant treatment is found from John Frame (theologian) writing with decades and a thousand miles of separation from the subject. He himself states in the article cited that he's had no further contact with the organization since graduation over fifty years ago. The talk page for Wikipedia:Notability_(local_interests) is prefaced by the statement that it constitutes "guidelines that have already been followed in practice, but have never been officially written." It's lack of adoption judging by the talk page was that the consensus was that it was too deletionist in sentiment. The consensus practice of wikipedia allows for articles of far less notability that this particular one. Djkeddie (talk) 19:33, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Again, those non-Princeton sources seem to mention PEF only in passing, so it doesn't amount to significant coverage. I'd be careful citing the reasons you think a five-year-old proposal failed. The discussion is stale, and consensus can change. Active guidelines like WP:ORG are much more useful because they incorporate all the changes in consensus since they were adopted. From my reading the local interests proposal failed as much because it was stepping on the toes of established guidelines like ORG as because of in/exclusion concerns. Lagrange613 21:21, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
On the question of the notability of this organization in comparison to other student organizations I would argue there is a profound difference. I wrote this article essentially because I found the Frame reminiscence combined with that of John Whitcomb. This organization is first and foremost not merely a student organization, it has sustained history for over eighty years, and most importantly it is cited as of paramount influence in the lives of multiple notable individuals unconnected to each other. Djkeddie (talk) 19:53, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

In pursuit of consensus I've sought additional input at WP:Proposed mergers and WP:WikiProject Universities. Lagrange613 20:08, 9 July 2014 (UTC)