Professor of Religion, Department Chair of Religion
- Phone Number:
- Office Location:
- Mary Berry Hall 220
- Office Hours:
- Fall 2017: MWF 10:20-11:00, M 2:10-3:20, Tu 11:00-12:30; W 3:00 – 4:00; Th 11:00-11:45 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 fifteenth year at Simpson College, and my twelfth 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 have begun to explore interfaith perspectives on environmental care. For the past three several I’ve enjoyed participating with Indianola’s Green Team, a group of community members dedicated to helping our town pursue sustainability, and last year helped to reinstate Simpson’s “Tree Campus USA” status. For Fall 2016 I developed a new Simpson Colloquium class called “Why Walking Matters.” This fall another group of first year students will experience the class. 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. 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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