Friday, 30 November 2012

The Big Game

I look forward to watching the big game tomorrow--Georgia vs. Alabama. As impressive as Alabama is as a football team under the coaching of Nick Sabin, I really hope that Georgia wins. It's been awhile since the Bulldogs have been on top.

Another Shot at the Lottery

University of St Andrews, School of Divinity

Lecturer in Systematic and Historical Theology

Applications are invited for the post of Lecturer in Systematic and Historical Theology in the School of Divinity, an internationally renowned centre of excellence. Applicants are welcome from both established scholars and practitioners of outstanding promise, but you must have appropriate academic qualifications in Christian theology, including a completed PhD, and primary expertise in the field of Systematic Theology. You must demonstrate some appropriate experience of teaching and/or show exceptional potential to develop as a successful teacher of your discipline in a University setting. You must have a very strong commitment to research, with the capacity to make an immediate contribution to the established research excellence of the School and a clear programme of anticipated research activity over the coming years.
The School is committed to the integration of the biblical and theological disciplines, and you will be enthusiastic about working closely with colleagues across the range of Divinity’s activities. You will be interested in the history of theology, and may have a research background in any major area of classical or modern theology. However, you must also have demonstrable expertise in dogmatics and be interested in the exploration of constructive theology in a contemporary context. You will contribute to the School's programmes in these areas at both undergraduate and taught postgraduate levels, and supervise research students. You will also undertake administrative duties as directed by the Head of School.
Appointment will be from 1 September 2013.
Salary: £37,012 - £45,486 per annum
Informal enquiries to Professor Ivor Davidson, Head of School, e-mail, tel. +44 (0)1334 462850.
Closing Date: 11 January 2013
Interview Date: 18 February 2013

How to apply:
We encourage applicants to apply online however if you are unable to do this, please call +44 (0)1334 462571 for an application pack.
Please quote ref: SB1121
The University is committed to equality of opportunity.
The University of St Andrews is a charity registered in Scotland (No SC013532).

Playing the Lottery

Over at TWOILH, John Fea assesses some recent comments about the religious studies job market.

In case you have been living in a cave, the faculty job market for humanities professors is terrible, to say the least. Fea notes that some recent candidates have been "stunned" to find out they did not make it as a finalist for various religious history positions. But as Fea rightly notes, no one these days should be surprised to find rejection emails in their inbox. On the contrary, the shocker would be an invitation to participate in some form of a job interview. Basically, this means that at this point, you are one of the lucky people who have matched five of the white balls in Powerball. If you match the last one one, you win the lottery, a faculty job in the humanities.

Semester Break

The fall semester has come to an end. Today is the last day of regular classes, with final exams next week.

I look forward to having one month off. After having submitted the manuscript of Early Evangelicalism: A Reader, I intend to use the month of December to catch up on my reading. There are several books on my shelves that I have not had the time to read, and so I hope to tackle some of these titles over the next few weeks.

I recently finished Paul Gutjahr's Charles Hodge: Guardian of American Orthodoxy. I don't have time to write a proper review, but can honestly say that it was a joy to read. Gutjahr deserves a round of applause for bringing to life a key religious figure who has been neglected by scholars for decades. I especially appreciated the numerous images and charts that Gutjahr included as well as the contextual information that he provided throughout his narrative.
Hodge lived a long life (1797-1878) and taught several years at Princeton Theological Seminary and so Gutjahr had to do a lot of research on American history, from the establishment of the early republic to beyond the Civil War. The book is not very theologically rich in its delineation of Hodge's thought, but it is an enjoyable read and I would easily recommend it to non-specialists interested in American religious history and especially people who want to learn about the evolution of American Presbyterianism from the end of the eighteenth century to the latter half of the nineteenth century.

The last few days I have returned to Debby Applegate's The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher. I had to put it down about halfway through to complete other projects, but now I am determined to finish it. Applegate's book is truly one of the best biographies I have read in a long time. While I love reading a good monograph, Applegate's book could be recommended to family and friends without any caveats. It is funny, interesting, well researched and eloquently written. After each chapter I am continually amazed at her superb writing style. Henry Ward Beecher comes alive in her descriptions of him so that you feel as though you know the man as well as a lifelong friend.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

University of Aberdeen Opportunity

University of Aberdeen

PhD Studentships: 'Normativity'

The University of Aberdeen invites applications for 4 PhD studentships in the first tranche of a research project investigating conceptual and historical aspects of the problem of Normativity.
In the fields of legal theory, philosophical ethics and theological ethics, as well as at their many points of intersection, the abiding question of the nature, sources, knowledge and significance of normative claims and judgments is at the heart of many important contemporary scholarly and critical public debates. The project takes three terms—nature, narrative and nihilism—as rubrics under which to explore the important and vexing problems and questions related to normativity in these respective fields of inquiry.
Awards consist of full fee waivers (three years of full-time PhD study at the Home/EU or Overseas student rate as appropriate in each case) and annual maintenance stipends of £3,600 for three years of full-time study.
For further details of the project, the research supervisors involved and application procedures, please visit:
Informal inquiries may be directed to Dr. Philip G. Ziegler, Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology, School of Divinity, History and Philosophy:

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

When Students Don't Want to Take Exams

This morning UTC received yet another bomb threat, resulting in the evacuation of the campus. This is the second threat within a month. Apparently, calling in a bomb threat is one option for students who don't want to take exams. Thankfully, both times have occurred when I intended to lecture only in my classes, and not when I had scheduled an exam.

Unfortunately, whereas the last alarm took place on a beautiful sunny day when the temperature was about 70 degrees, today it is freezing--around 30 degrees.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Financial Consulting as Preparation for Being a Professor

I continue to be amazed at how my former profession as a financial consultant has shaped me in my current job as a professor.

When I was a financial consultant living in Florida, I had to start my business from scratch. I had no wealthy connections and no personal money to invest. The odds were against me succeeding. But I developed a strategy that targeted new retirees moving to Florida that worked for me.

In order for me to implement this plan, however, I had to do a lot of cold calling, seminars, and marketing. I remember staying in my office late at night returning calls and making initial connections. The key for me was making sure that my pipeline was always full, which meant that I was always doing something to grow my business. Even if I didn't experience quick results, I continued to fill my pipeline by making outgoing calls to new residents, following up on leads, planning seminars, and mailing information. Eventually, I was rewarded for my efforts as I added new clients and grew my asset base.

I have incorporated a similar strategy in my current profession as a professor. I continue to work at adding entries to my cv knowing that I will most likely not enjoy the fruits of my labor until much later. I spend hours each day in isolation reading monographs, preparing the material for the courses that I teach, and doing research for journal articles and books that takes months, and sometimes years, to see in print. As time progresses, my hard work pays off and I add entries to my cv: publications, courses taught, awards, presentations, and professional service. The more that I work to fill my pipeline, the more entries I add to my cv. The lesson that I learned in my former job as a financial consultant continues to hold true: work hard even if there is no immediate payoff.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Early Evangelicalism: A Reader "In Press"

I am happy to report that today I sent Oxford University Press the manuscript for Early Evangelicalism: A Reader. The manuscript consists of 170,000 words, forty-six images, and sixty-two excerpts and introductions from a variety of eighteenth-century evangelical authors. The authors represent a variety of denominations (Anglican, Baptist, Congregational, Presbyterian, Methodists, and Moravians), genres (conversion narratives, devotionals, diaries, history, hymns, journals, politics, revival accounts, satire, sermons, and theology), gender and race. It will be unquestionably the most comprehensive anthology of its kind.

My hope is that scholars and laypeople will use it for courses in religious history and the history of evangelicalism at churches, colleges/universities, and seminaries.

The most significant question I have at this point is: will a second book with OUP secure a good tenure-track job! Stay tuned.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Enlightened Evangelicalism on Sale for $25!

Happy Thanksgiving !

Today, I received a special holiday catalog from Oxford University Press in which the firm is offering Enlightened Evangelicalism: The Life and Thought of John Erskine for $25.90 (it retails for $74.00). If you are interested in the transatlantic revivals, Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, and George Whitefield, allow me to suggest that you take a look at my book, which highlights Erskine's connections with dozens of early evangelical leaders in America, Britain, and Europe.

If you are interested, go to or call 800-451-7556.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Faculty Job

Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Religion and Culture

Christianity in a Global Context - TENURE-TRACK POSITION

The Department of Religion and Culture invites applications for a tenure-track appointment in Christianity in a Global Context at the rank of Assistant Professor commencing July 1, 2013, subject to budgetary approval. Preference will be given to candidates with training in methods of textual interpretation and who are able to support the undergraduate and graduate programs, including the Laurier-Waterloo Joint PhD in Religious Diversity in North America. The successful candidate will be expected to teach four courses per year, to maintain an active research agenda and to engage in academic service. A completed PhD in religious studies or related disciplines is required at the time of appointment.
Applicants may apply by email to, but are also required to forward a hard copy of their cover letter, curriculum vitae, transcripts, sample publications, teaching dossier (course evaluations and outlines, etc.), and the names, addresses and contact information for three professional references, to:
Dr. Carol B. Duncan
Chair of the Search Committee
Department of Religion and Culture
Wilfrid Laurier University
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5 Canada
Questions may be directed to, or 519-884-0710, ext. 3692.
Information about the Department of Religion and Culture can be found at:
The deadline for receipt of materials is: January 7, 2013.
Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to employment equity and values diversity. We welcome applications from qualified women and men, including persons of all genders and sexual orientations, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal persons, and persons of a visible minority. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.
Members of the designated groups must self-identify to be considered for employment equity. Candidates may self-identify, in confidence, to the Acting Dean of Arts, Dr. Michel Desjardins ( Further information on the equity policy can be found at

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Faculty Jobs

Indiana Wesleyan University

Historical Theology

The School of Theology and Ministry in the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana invites applications for a full-time faculty position in Historical Theology. The primary focus of this faculty position is the teaching of Church History and Theology courses that form students in a theologically rich historical consciousness.
The successful candidate will demonstrate a proven record of innovative teaching that engages students in meaningful learning, significant scholarship and ministry experience, and a creative approach to undergraduate ministry education. He or she must also embrace a collaborative learning environment. The candidate must be a committed Christian who embraces a Christ-centered approach to undergraduate liberal arts education and operates from an evangelical Wesleyan theological perspective.

Responsibilities include teaching in the area of historical theology, church history, and an additional secondary area of expertise. Candidate must be an active member of a church in the broader Wesleyan tradition. A Ph.D. in a field related in church history, historical theology, or related fields is required. Preference will be given to members/clergy of The Wesleyan Church.
Especially welcome are applications from those who bring diverse ethnic, racial, and international perspectives to their teaching, scholarship, and Christian faith.
Interested candidates must complete the online application on the university website, Questions may be addressed to Darlene Bressler, Vice President and Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences via
Pending budget approval, the position will be open for fall of 2013. Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled. The final candidate(s) selected must have the ability to pass a comprehensive background screen.
Indiana Wesleyan University is an equal opportunity employer committed to fostering a diverse learning community of committed evangelical Christians from all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Application Information

Contact: Human Resources
Indiana Wesleyan University
Online App. Form: AN&cws=1&rid=2102



Bethany Theological Seminary

Brethren Studies

Bethany Theological Seminary invites applications for a full-time, potential tenure-track faculty position in Brethren studies, beginning fall 2013. Rank: open. PhD preferred; ABD considered. The appointee will be expected to develop and teach the equivalent of an average of five graduate courses per year, including at least one online course per year, and offer one Academy-level course biennially. Some of these courses may include introductory offerings in the history of Christianity or theological reflection. Other duties will include: student advising, supervision of MA theses in the area of Brethren studies as needed, serving on at least one major institutional committee annually, participating in the recruitment of new students through interviews and informal contacts, and regular participation in faculty meetings. The area of expertise and research may come from a variety of fields, such as: historical studies, theological studies, Brethren heritage, or sociology and religion. Commitment to the values and theological emphases within the Church of the Brethren is essential. We specifically encourage applications from women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. Application deadline: January 1, 2013. The appointment will begin on or before July 1, 2013. Send a letter of application, CV, and names and contact information for three references to:
Brethren Studies Search
Attn: Dean’s Office
Bethany Theological Seminary
615 National Road West
Richmond, IN 47374

Bethany Theological Seminary

Reconciliation Studies

Bethany Theological Seminary invites applications for a half-time faculty position in reconciliation studies, beginning fall 2013. Rank: open. PhD preferred; ABD considered. The appointee will be expected to develop and teach two graduate courses per year (one in conflict transformation offered annually), including at least one online course per year, and offer one Academy-level course biennially. Other duties will include: student advising, supervision of MA theses in the area of reconciliation studies as needed, serving on at least one major institutional committee annually, participating in the recruitment of new students through interviews and informal contacts, and regular participation in faculty meetings. Commitment to the values and theological emphases within the Church of the Brethren is essential. We specifically encourage applications from women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. Application deadline: January 1, 2013. The appointment will begin on July 1, 2013. Send a letter of application, CV, and names and contact information for three references to:
Reconciliation Studies Search
Attn: Dean’s Office
Bethany Theological Seminary
615 National Road West
Richmond, IN 47374

Gannon University

Theology Faculty

Theology Faculty

Join Gannon University, a Catholic university, and collaborate with a dynamic faculty that prepares motivated students intellectually, professionally and personally for leadership roles in their careers, society and church. Gannon is a comprehensive Masters L institution that is committed to student-centered learning, with an emphasis on professional education integrated with liberal-learning student outcomes, and interactive and collaborative teaching and learning styles. The University’s excellent faculty also advises students and engages in creative scholarly activities and in professional, University and community service activities and partnerships.

Gannon University is an Equal Opportunity Employer that seeks excellence through inclusiveness and invites women and members of underrepresented groups to apply.

The College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciencesinvites applications for a nine-month, tenure track position of Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology to begin August 2013. To be considered, candidates must provide evidence of effective teaching methods and productive scholarship in their respective fields. Qualified candidates will be expected to engage in scholarly activities in keeping with the Boyer Model of Scholarship as is appropriate to the application and receipt of tenure and promotion at Gannon. Appropriate terminal degree is required and must be completed prior to the beginning of the fall semester. Ideally, candidates will have experience using course management systems for purposes of instruction and advising. Candidates must be able to support and promote the University’s inclusive Mission, its Catholic identity, and its liberal arts and professional education traditions.

Requirements include an earned doctorate in Theology and/or Religious Studies and demonstrated teaching excellence in higher education. Scholarly and teaching interest in world religions is preferred. The successful candidate should possess a thorough knowledge of Roman Catholic Theological tradition from its inception to the present day; and be able to contribute to teaching General Moral Theology, Sacred Scriptures, Foundational Theology, Christology, Ecclesiology, and Sacraments. Additional responsibilities may include teaching graduate courses in the fields listed above in the Department’s Master’s program in Pastoral Studies.

Gannon University, located near Lake Erie in Erie, Pennsylvania, offers ready access to a variety of cultural and exciting seasonal activities and is within a two-hour drive of Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Buffalo.

For more information about what Erie has to offer visit

Application Procedure: Submit a cover letter, C.V., and the names and contact information of three professional references to

Review of applications will begin immediately and this position will remain open until filled. The finalist will be required to submit an original transcript from the institution awarding his/her terminal degree. References will not be contacted without prior notification to the applicants.

For more information about Gannon visit

Friday, 9 November 2012

America as "Conceived in Doubt"

Last night Amanda Porterfield, Robert A. Spivey Professor of Religion at Florida State University, wrapped up our series on religion and politics for the LeRoy Martin Distinguished Lecture Series at UTC. It was a very interesting lecture that was based on her most recent book, Conceived in Doubt: Religion and Politics in the New American Nation.

Porterfield has analyzed colonial American history and determined that much of the nation's Christian heritage was forged in skepticism. Throughout her lecture, she demonstrated a number of ironical twists in American religious history. Jefferson, for instance, although raised as an Anglican, grew suspicious of organized, elite religion. Furthermore, Jefferson--tarnished as an atheist by many American Christians--was ironically supported by evangelicals within the burgeoning Methodist and Baptist denominations. Even more intriguing, she posited that the best-selling pamphlet, The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine, ironically led to the galvanization of evangelicalism in America. Ministers outraged by the heterodoxy of the pamphlet doubled their efforts to preach to the masses about the need to embrace orthodoxy and reject the deism espoused by Paine and other iconoclasts. But even here, in this push to preach the gospel, Porterfield shows the presence of doubt and skepticism. The revivalists who urged Americans to have a conversion experiences embraced the sentiments of doubt in order to help guide their converts to an authentic, born-again experience. The presence of doubt within a potential convert was viewed by many evangelical preachers as a necessary part of the process that led to complete confidence in one's eternal state. All in all, a very intellectually stimulating lecture.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Too Many Books to Read!

Today, a new shipment of books arrived at my office: Mark David Hall's Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic, Les Standiford's Desperate Sons: Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, and the Secret Bands of Radicals Who Led the Colonies to War, and an older book edited by Peter Isaac and Barry McKay entitled, The Human Face of the Book Trade: Print Culture and Its Creators. Two days ago James Raven's The Business of Books: Booksellers and the English Book Trade, Robert Arner's Dobson's Encyclopaedia: The Publisher, Text, and Publication of America's First Britannica, 1789-1803, Richard Beeman's The Varieties of Political Experience in Eighteenth-Century America came by post, and on its way is Lisa Smith's The First Great Awakening in Colonial American Newspapers: A Shifting Story.

As much I would like to read these books, I just started a book that I will be reviewing for Books & Culture. I had been hoping to write a review of Paul Gutjahr's Charles Hodge: Guardian of American Orthodoxy on ESRH, but I can't seem to find the time to finish the book. I started it on my day of travel to the Conference on Faith and History meeting at Wenham a few weeks ago, and have read about 75% of the book, but had to put it down in order to complete my other tasks. Now, I'm not sure when I can get to it since my first priority is to finish the manuscript of Early Evangelicalism: A Reader and my forthcoming review article. I don't want to complain too much about the pile of books accumulating in my office. Being paid to read and write is a wonderful blessing!


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Many Faces of Evangelicalism

Today, I received the last images for my forthcoming book with Oxford University Press: Early Evangelicalism: A Reader. The book will consist of sixty-two excerpts and introductions from well known and lesser-known figures in the transatlantic evangelical world of the eighteenth century.

I have collected forty-seven portraits to include in the book. Thankfully, nearly all these images came gratis or cost a minimal amount to secure the rights to reproduce in the book.

The pictures below are NOT the ones that will be used in the book (they came off the web), but will give you a taste of the kind of images that will be placed next to each introduction to the excerpt.

My intent in editing Early Evangelicalism: A Reader is to produce the most comprehensive sourcebook available for people interested in reading about early transatlantic evangelicalism.