Department Chair of Religion, Associate Professor of Religion
- Phone Number:
- Office Location:
- Mary Berry Hall 220
- Office Hours:
- Spring 2015: MWF 9:15-10:15, M 1:30-2:45, Tu/Thurs 9:45-11:00 and by appointment.
While I don’t have regular office hours on campus during the summer, I am available by e-mail. Feel free to be in touch.
- 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 in my twelfth year at Simpson College, and in my ninth 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 this semester I will lead a session on the “elements” in biblical texts as part of the Des Moines Area Religious Council’s “Winter Thaw” program. 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 my new great-grandson, 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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