Department Chair of Religion, Associate Professor of Religion
- Phone Number:
- Office Location:
- Mary Berry Hall 220
- Office Hours:
- During spring 2014, my office hours are normally MWF 10:15 – 11:15 and Tu/Thurs 2:10 – 4:00. I am also available by appointment, and will happily talk with students who simply drop by if I’m not already working with someone.
- 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 eleventh year at Simpson College, and in my eighth 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 during Epiphany 2014 I will lead a 4-week ecumenical Bible study sponsored by the Indianola Green Team. 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, and Methodist history. During the summer I usually spend time in Denver where I can use the resources of the Iliff Theological School library for my research.
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. Recently I drove a van to Dallas where students in 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 in an 1890 farmhouse about 10 miles from campus. We enjoy the wildlife and the peacefulness of the country, and 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, 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.
To learn more about our department, click here.