Explore the Bible, Theology, and Spiritual Formation: Take a Course at Northeastern Seminary!

I’ve blogged before about Northeastern Seminary, in Rochester, NY, where I teach biblical worldview and exegesis.

In that blog I called Northeastern Seminary “a hidden gem,” because of its amazing grounding in Scripture, combined with its focus on the ecumenical traditions of the church and its openness to addressing the complex issues of our times.

Changes in the Curriculum at Northeastern Seminary

Since I wrote that blog post, the Seminary has embarked on a pretty significant revision of its curriculum, which will allow more flexibility for students to take courses full-time or part-time, either onsite or online, in whatever order makes sense to them.

In the Fall of 2018 I will be teaching one online course (an introduction to biblical exegesis) and two onsite courses (one on the biblical worldview and an exegesis course on 1 Samuel).

How do we approach theological education at Northeastern Seminary? Here are three faculty perspectives on biblical interpretation and spiritual formation.

Dr. Esau McCaulley—Being in the Word

Dr. Esau McCaulley is Assistant Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Northeastern Seminary. He teaches an introduction to biblical study in the new curriculum called “Being in the Word,” as well as exegesis courses on particular New Testament books (such as Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, and Revelation).

In this short video clip (two and a half minutes) Dr. McCaulley shares his passion to help students read biblical texts carefully, beyond their untested assumptions, such that they might encounter the living God, who is the author of Scripture.

Dr. Rebecca Letterman—Being Human

Dr. Rebecca Letterman is Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation at Northeastern Seminary. She teaches a foundational course on formative spirituality in the new curriculum called “Being Human,” as well as other courses in pastoral and spiritual formation.

You can watch a two minute video here of Dr. Letterman speaking to the importance of personal and spiritual faith development for Christian authenticity.

Dr. J. Richard Middleton—Being in the Story

As Professor of Biblical Worldview and Exegesis at Northeastern Seminary, I teach a course on the biblical worldview in the new curriculum called “Being in the Story,” plus an introduction to biblical exegesis for teaching and preaching, and exegesis courses on selected parts of the Old Testament (such as Genesis, 1 Samuel, Job, and the Psalms).

You can click here for a short (minute and a half) video of my discussion of why it is important to study Scripture holistically, for its worldview, with a focus on our response to God’s claim on our lives.

Visiting Students Can Sample a Graduate Course: What Are the Options?

Northeastern Seminary is currently offering a good deal to anyone who wants to explore theological education by taking a course, either onsite or online.

You can find out more here, including the low cost for visiting students to sample a course (for either credit or audit); and you can explore which courses are offered when, to see what might fit your schedule.


Evangelical Theology—Challenges and Opportunities

Many theologians, pastors, and lay people who have used the term “Evangelical” to describe themselves recently have become quite wary of the designation.

This is largely due to the way the media has hijacked the term to describe a certain segment of the American population who are typically identified with a narrow range of political and ideological views.

But “Evangelical” was not always a term with such a narrow meaning.

On October 20-21, 2017 (Friday evening, all-day Saturday) Northeastern Seminary will host a theology conference to explore the full-orbed meaning of “Evangelical.” This conference will be co-sponsored with the Canadian-American Theological Association.

Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Richard Mouw, Professor of Faith and Public Life at Fuller Theological Seminary (where he previously served as President for twenty years).

Dr. Mouw is the author of numerous books, including Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World (rev. ed. IVP, 2010), Called to the Life of the Mind: Some Advice for Evangelical Scholars (Eerdmans, 2014), and his autobiography, Adventures in Evangelical Civility: A Lifelong Quest for Common Ground (Brazos, 2016).

Dr. Mouw’s will give two lectures on the theme of the conference: Evangelical Theology: New Challenges, New Opportunities.

These lectures will explore the continuing value of the term “Evangelical” in the twenty-first century, while tracing the history of its meaning and usage over the past hundred years.

  1. A public lecture on Friday evening, October 20: New Challenges for Evangelical Theology
  2. The keynote lecture for the conference on Saturday, October 21: New Opportunities for Evangelical Theology

Besides Dr. Mouw’s lectures, we are expecting to have a wide range of papers related to the conference theme.

Our first such conference in 2013, on New Creation, had 65 papers presented; and our more recent conference in 2016, on Participation in God’s Mission, had 45 papers.

Interested scholars, pastors, and students are invited to propose papers for the conference. You may download the call for papers here. The deadline for proposals is June 1, 2017.

Once the conference program is decided, further information will be made available on the dedicated Northeastern Seminary website for the conference. The site will include online registration as we get closer to the conference.

Graduate students, post-docs, and pre-tenured faculty are invited to submit finished papers by September 15 for the Jack and Phyllis Middleton Memorial Award for Excellence in Bible and Theology.

In a follow-up post, I will describe something of the history and mission of the conference co-sponsor, the Canadian-American Theological Association, which began in 1990 (under the name the Canadian Evangelical Theological Association) specifically as an alternative to the narrowness of the way “Evangelical” was being used in the USA.

Congratulations, Dr. Esau McCaulley!

Esau McCaulley, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Northeastern Seminary, successfully defended his PhD thesis on Monday, April 3, at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland (his supervisor was N. T. Wright, pictured below with Esau, after the defense).

The full title of Dr. McCaulley’s dissertation is: Sharing in the Son’s Inheritance: Davidic Messianism and Paul’s Worldwide Interpretation of the Abrahamic Land Promise in Galatians.”

Northeastern Seminary is proud of you, Esau, and we are delighted that you are part of our faculty. Congratulations!

For more on Northeastern Seminary, see my earlier blog post, “Northeastern Seminary—A Hidden Gem.