Saturday, October 31, 2009

Faculty Openings in New Testament

I know many of you may be looking for teaching positions and this is the prime time of the year to make those important contacts. I thought I'd include a number of the openings that I came by from the various job sites. Feel free to add more that you know of that are related to New Testament studies. For the record, I'm happy with my teaching position and I am not looking to move (just in case my boss reads this).

New Testament Faculty Openings

Westminster Theological Seminary

This is a full-time, tenure-track position, effective July 1, 2010. The initial appointment is for three years. Responsibilities include teaching both M.Div. and M.A.R. courses and graduate-level (Th.M., Ph.D.) courses, mostly on the Philadelphia campus (14-16 semester hours per academic year). Applicants should have or be near to completing an earned doctorate in New Testament studies or a related discipline, and show strong evidence of potential for scholarly writing and effective teaching. Membership in a Reformed or Presbyterian denomination is required, and ordination or candidacy for ordination is highly desirable. The candidate's personal commitment to the Westminster Standards and to the Seminary's core values, as set out in its Mission Statement ( is required. Salary will be commensurate with rank.

Applicants should send a copy of their curriculum vitae, including names of two references, to Dr. Carl R. Trueman, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Westminster Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 27009, Philadelphia, PA 19118. We request that applications be submitted, if possible, by November 1, 2009.

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Robert E. Cooley Chair in Early Christianity
The Charlotte campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary invites nominations and applications for the newly endowed Robert E. Cooley Chair in Early Christianity. This senior faculty position requires teaching competence and a publishing record in Early Christianity and either New Testament or Theology. Ph.D. or equivalent required along with a clear commitment to the Church and adherence to the GCTS Statement of Faith. Please send an electronic cover letter and CV to the Provost's Office, c/o

Spring Arbor University

Bible Ministry Faculty Position

Spring Arbor University is a four year, Christian liberal arts school affiliated with the Free Methodist Church. This community of learners celebrates the heritage of an evangelical Wesleyan tradition. Hiring practices are non-denominational and there is an institutional commitment to a policy of equal employment opportunity.

We are seeking qualified applicants for our full-time tenure track Bible Ministry in our Department of Theology. A Ph.D. in Old Testament, New Testament, or Ministry with an emphasis on scriptural studies is required. The candidate should have successful teaching experience at the university level, have a deep grounding in Wesleyan theology, church pastoral experience, and be able to articulate a Christian philosophy of faith and learning. All faculty members in the Department of Theology must be in agreement with the Articles of Religion of the Free Methodist Church (see

Complete the SAU faculty application which can be found at ( Please send along with the completed application a vitae, and a letter of interest describing your commitment to evangelical Christian higher education to:

Academic Affairs,
Spring Arbor University
106 E. Main St.
Spring Arbor, MI 49283-9799
1.800.968.9103 ext. 1356 or

Valdosta State University

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Philosophy/Religious Studies: Valdosta State University invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track position: Assistant Professor in Philosophy and Religious Studies, beginning August 1, 2010. Teaching load involves 8 courses per year (four per semester). Doctorate in Religious Studies must be in hand by June 1, 2010. A strong commitment to undergraduate interdisciplinary teaching is required. A major portion of the teaching load will be lower division including World Religions. The areas of desired teaching competence include: New Testament, History of Christianity, Women's/Gender Studies, Judaism and Hebrew Bible. Preference will be given to additional competence in Islamic Studies and some area of Philosophy. The successful candidate will value teaching, research and service. We encourage applications from women and minorities. Send complete dossier, including letter of application, faculty application form (found at, at least three letters of recommendation, unofficial graduate transcripts, a writing sample, and evidence of teaching effectiveness to: Dr. Fred Downing, Chair, Search Committee, Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies, Valdosta State University, 1500 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31698-0050 ( Review of applications will begin November 15 and continue until position is filled. VSU is an equal opportunity educational institution.

Trinity Theological College

Lecturer in New Testament

Trinity Theological College, Perth, Western Australia, seeks to appoint a Lecturer in New Testament from either July 2010 or January 2011. Trinity Theological College is a ministry within the evangelical Reformed tradition that aims to equip men and women for effective Christian service. As part of its commitment to this mission, the College wishes to appoint a person to teach in the area of New Testament. The successful candidate will possess (or be close to obtaining) a relevant post-graduate research degree, have experience in Christian leadership, possess strong interpersonal and communications skills and a proven record of teaching to large and small groups. Closing Date for applications: 30 November 2009. For further details of the position go to or write to: The Principal, Trinity Theological College, PO Box 115 LEEDERVILLE WA 6902. Email:

Seattle Pacific University

Instructor in Biblical Studies

Anticipated opening in one-year, renewable contract position in Biblical Studies, beginning September 1, 2010. Seattle Pacific University serves more than 3,800 undergraduate and graduate students in both liberal arts and professional studies. The University is committed to building an excellent and diverse teaching faculty. Women and ethnic minorities are especially encouraged to apply. QUALIFICATIONS: The candidate should have a Ph.D. or Th.D. in Biblical Studies. ABD may be considered. Preferred candidates will demonstrate exemplary classroom instruction, and be committed to student mentoring and theological formation in a Christian liberal arts setting. A strong record or promise of published research is desirable. The candidate must be committed to the Christian mission of SPU, as expressed in the University’s statement of faith (see: RESPONSIBILITIES: Nine-month load of 35 quarter credits. The instructor’s annual teaching load will consist primarily of undergraduate University Foundations courses: several sections of UFDN 2000/3001 and a couple of sections of UFDN 1000. (For descriptions of these courses, see The candidate will be expected to participate actively in the life of the School of Theology and the University. COMPENSATION: Salary and rank commensurate with qualifications and experience. Benefits include health, dental, disability, and life insurance as well as retirement programs. A moving allowance is provided. APPLICATION DEADLINE: Applications will be accepted until November 15, 2009. Screening of applicants will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. We will be meeting with candidates at the SBL annual meeting in New Orleans. Documents required of all applicants include the following: • SPU Employment Application: • SPU Application Insert for Faculty: • C.V. • 1-2 page Christian faith statement referencing SPU’s official Statement of Faith • Two letters of reference Pertinent supporting documents might include the following: • A sample syllabus for an undergraduate course candidate has taught recently • Documentation of teaching effectiveness (student evaluations, lesson plans, etc.) • A copy of a recent publication from a peer-reviewed journal CONTACT: Dr. Douglas M. Strong Dean, School of Theology Seattle Pacific University 3307 Third Ave West, Ste. 204 Seattle, WA 98119 Tel: (206) 281-2342 / Fax: (206) 281-2771 / Email:

Ashland Theological Seminary

New Testament Studies

Ashland Theological Seminary seeks to make a tenure-track appointment in New Testament Studies (rank and salary commensurate with experience), duties to commence in September 2010. The successful candidate will have a completed Ph.D., evidence of excellence in teaching, a proven commitment to research and scholarship, and a strong commitment to preparing students for Christian leadership. The area of specialization is open, but we are especially interested in candidates with expertise in the area of Gospels and/or women in antiquity. Candidates should be well-versed in and supportive of both traditional and more contemporary approaches to biblical interpretation. Candidates are encouraged to visit our website to learn more about the institution, its mission, and its programs and faculty. Review of applications will begin November 1, 2009 and continue until the position is filled. Preliminary interviews will be held at the SBL Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Send letter of application (with a statement of teaching and research interests), C.V., and three letters of recommendation to Dr. John Shultz, Ashland Theological Seminary, 910 Center Street, Ashland OH, 44805. Women and ethnic minorities are especially encouraged to apply.

Seattle University

Assistant Professor in NT and Christian Origins

Seattle University Department of Theology & Religious Studies invites applicants for an anticipated Assistant Professor, tenure-track position in New Testament & Christian Origins. The expected start date is September 2010. Ph.D. required. Primary teaching responsibilities will be undergraduate courses, such as the Gospel of Jesus Christ, John, Paul, Synoptic Gospels, Women and the New Testament, and Apocalyptic Literature, as well as occasional “special topics” offerings. Opportunities for graduate level teaching. A grounding in Catholic biblical scholarship and evidence of teaching and scholarly excellence are required. We are particularly interested in applicants with expertise in liberation, feminist, African-American, Latino/a, Asian, or ecological hermeneutics. Please send letter of application, curriculum vitae, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation to: Dr. Jeanette Rodriguez, Search Committee Chair, Department of Theology & Religious Studies, Seattle University, 901 12th Avenue, P. O. Box 222000, Seattle, WA 98122-1090. Email: For full consideration all materials should be submitted by October 15, 2009. Applications will be accepted until position is filled. Preliminary interviews will be held at the 2009 SBL Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. Seattle University, founded in 1891, continues a more than four hundred and fifty year tradition of Jesuit Catholic higher education. The University’s Jesuit Catholic ideals underscore its commitment to the centrality of teaching, learning and scholarship, of values-based education grounded in the Jesuit and Catholic traditions of service and social justice, of lifelong learning, and of educating the whole person. Located in the heart of dynamic Seattle, the University enrolls approximately 7,200 undergraduate and graduate students in eight colleges and schools. Students enjoy a university ethos characterized by small classes, individualized faculty attention, a strong sense of community, a commitment to diversity, and an outstanding faculty. Seattle University is an equal opportunity employer.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ph.D. Research and the Beginning Scholar

I've been thinking about the last four years of my Ph.D. experience and wondering if it was worth it and what a humanities Ph.D. actually accomplishes. I came by an interesting article on the future of Ph.D. programs in Harvard Magazine. One section was quite telling: 'That it takes longer to get a Ph.D. in the humanities than it does in the social or natural sciences (although those fields also have longer times-to-degree than they once did) seems anomalous, since normally a dissertation in the humanities does not require extensive archival, field, or laboratory work. William Bowen and Neil Rudenstine, in their landmark study In Pursuit of the Ph.D., suggested that one reason for this might be that the paradigms for scholarship in the humanities have become less clear. People are uncertain just what research in the humanities is supposed to constitute, and graduate students therefore spend an inordinate amount of time trying to come up with a novel theoretical twist on canonical texts or an unusual contextualization. Inquiry in the humanities has become quite eclectic without becoming contentious. This makes it a challenge for entering scholars to know where to make their mark.'

I remember having a discussion with a colleague concerning the way we subject canonical texts to various interpretive grids and wondering if it actually results in any new knowledge? Well, how should we think about the task of research and the search for 'a novel theoretical twist'? More importantly, how can 'entering scholars' figure out 'where they can make their mark'? Any thoughts or words of wisdom for beginning scholars?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

James D.G. Dunn and Paul's Identity

James D. G. Dunn’s latest statement on identity: ‘In using the term ‘identity’ I am conscious both that identity is at least in some degree a social construct and that it should not be regarded as something fixed or single. Precisely because it is in some degree a social construct, a person’s identity will inevitably change through time and at any time will be multiple in character (son, Jew, apostle, client, tent-maker, etc.’ (2009: 522n.12).

First, Dunn is conflating identity categories, a critique that I directed towards his work in my thesis. Second, he is also equivocating by bringing in the temporal dimension. This is actually the philosophical question of identity change over time. Third, he furthermore confuses identity positions and identity roles. Fourth, his broader approach to Paul’s identity does not fully account for the social constructedness of identity, i.e. Paul left Judaism but still a Jew is not a coherent position (524-26). Finally, the primary focal point for understanding Paul is social identity, Dunn still does not fully account for his group memberships. Though, this quote is from Dunn’s new book, his understanding of Paul’s identity has not changed much since his 1999 New Testament Studies article and his dismissive remark about the current fashionableness of ‘identity’ overlooks that studies on Paul’s Greekness and/or Jewishness (older language) goes back to the early 20th century in NT studies.

Dunn, James D. G. 2009. Beginning from Jerusalem. Grand Rapids, Mich: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.

Dunn, James D. G. 1999. ‘Who Did Paul Think He Was? A Study of Jewish Christian Identity’. NTS 45: 174-93.

SBL free one-year membership - I won

So, I won something, good thing I entered that material correctly, s.v. from the SBL October Newsletter.

SBL Optional Profile Drawing Winners
Completing the Optional Profile Information page in your membership profile automatically enters you in a random drawing to win a free one-year membership. Congratulations to our two winners for October:

1) Christoph Heil
2) Brian Tucker

So far, 4064 of 8600 members have completed this profile. If you have not yet filled out this information, please do so by logging in on our website using your SBL Member# and clicking "My Profile."