Department Chair of Religion, Associate Professor of Religion
- Phone Number:
- Office Location:
- Mary Berry Hall 220
- Office Hours:
- Spring 2017: MWF 9:15-10:45, M 1:00 – 2:30, Tu/Thurs 9:40-11:00 and by appointment.
- A.B. in U.S. History, University of California at Davis, 1978.
M.Div., Drew University Theological School, Madison, New Jersey, 1981.
Ph.D., University of Denver and Iliff School of Theology, Denver, 2003.
Ordained elder in the United Methodist Church since 1983.
College teaching is a second career for me, though in my first career (as a United Methodist parish pastor), I enjoyed teaching and was inspired by my parishioners to return to school to learn biblical languages. I am currently starting my fourteenth year at Simpson College, and in my eleventh year as a member of the Religion Department. I teach primarily in the area of biblical studies, and appreciate the opportunities at a liberal arts college to work with colleagues from other disciplines and to explore areas beyond my formal training. Currently I’m working on reading the Bible from an ecological lens, and I have led several programs for local churches focused on ecological readings. For the past three years I’ve enjoyed participating with Indianola’s Green Team, a group of community members dedicated to helping our town pursue sustainability. This fall, Simpson and the Green Team will co-sponsor a speaker: Col. Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for Colin Powell when he was Secretary of State, will speak on “How Climate Change Impacts National Security” (October 12, 7:00 p.m.). For Fall 2016 I have developed a new Simpson Colloquium class called “Why Walking Matters.” Among other things, we’ll explore parts of Indianola on foot.
I am an active member of the Society of Biblical Literature (the world’s largest organization of biblical scholars), and present regularly at regional and national meetings. My published work includes articles on teaching, feminist and queer biblical interpretation, ecological readings of biblical texts, and Methodist history.
I enjoy interacting with students outside the classroom, whether in my office, in the kitchen at Denver’s Casa Karibu during the May Term “Call of Service” class in Colorado, or in the van driving to our annual departmental field trip to St. Paul, Minnesota. One May I drove a van to Dallas where Prof. Steffen’s May Term class toured the sites related to the assassination of President Kennedy. It was fun to be part of a class I wasn’t teaching! My spouse and I live close to campus and we enjoy participating in the life of the college. We are both avid basketball fans and often travel to watch the Storm play at other schools. We also appreciate sharing meals with students when our dining room table fills to capacity with enthusiastic eaters.
When school is not in session, I enjoy playing with grandchildren and now great-grandchildren, practicing my fly casting on a pond near our cabin in the southern mountains of Colorado, or reading. I read A LOT and though I have a kindle, I still like to hold a book in my hands and make comments in the margins.
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