I just thought I would give a little update on what I am up to these days. I thought I would answer nine frequently asked questions.
1. Where are you in the Th.D. program? Preliminary exams. I am doing preliminary exams from October 22nd through November 11th. What does that mean? I am starting my fourth year of the Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) program at Duke Divinity School at Duke University. The first two years I did coursework (12 courses total) then last year I passed my language exams (Spanish and German). What are preliminary exams? They are four exams on 50-75 books over a three week period: a 4 hour written exam on my primary concentration called "Theological Ethics" but more specifically "Church, Ministry, Evangelism, and Mission"); a 3 hour written exam on my secondary concentration "New Testament" but more specifically "New Testament Ecclesiology"; a 3 hour written exam on my dissertation area "The Formation of New Ecclesial Communities"; and an oral defense with the members of my committee. Who is on your committee? Curtis Freeman (chair), Richard Hays, Stanley Hauerwas and Laceye Warner. What are you reading? Download Andy Rowell - Reading list for Preliminary Exams What are the types of questions you will be asked? Download Andy Rowell - Questions for Preliminary Exams
2. Are you searching for a faculty position yet? Yes. I plan to be done with the dissertation and ready to teach in the the fall of 2012 though I'm inquiring about a few positions that are due to start in the Fall of 2011. I would be grateful to learn about searches for faculty positions in Christian ministry at Christian colleges and seminaries. My CV is on my About page. I would also be glad to hear about dissertation fellowships. Email Me
3. Are you teaching? I am a preceptor (teaching assistant) for two sections (15 students each) of Geoffrey Wainwright's Christian Theology course at Duke Divinity School. There are 156 students in the course. The Duke Divinity fall 2010 courses and book list are at the Duke Divinity Course Schedule page.
4. How can we keep up with you besides the blog? I continue to use my Twitter account of @andyrowell to record little thoughts and insights. (The same content is at my Twitter account's RSS feed). If I see an article I like or a quote or some piece of news, I usually put it there. I think of my Facebook account: andy.rowell as more personal and light-hearted stuff (e.g. stuff my kids say) with Twitter being more substantive in terms of church leadership and theology content. Therefore, I have kept my Facebook account for just people I know in real life like people from high school and college but I am starting to cave in and "be friends" with people beyond that.
5. Are you traveling this fall? Yes, I'm going to the Evangelical Theological Society, Institute for Biblical Research, and Society of Biblical Literature back-to-back meetings in November in Atlanta. I am presenting a paper at the Gospel in our Culture Network session at SBL entitled:John Howard Yoder’s Missional Exiles and Jeremiah 29: A Case Study for Missional Hermeneutics. I can't go to the American Academy of Religion meeting because it occurs during my prelims.
6. What are you getting for your birthday? My mom and wife are giving me Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics 31 volume Study Edition from Christianbook.com for my birthday this Thursday, September 9th. The Latin, French and Greek translations are a huge help in this new 2009 Study Edition. But there are quite a few typos and the prefaces are missing. The small print and big print distinction are great because they are not distinguished when reading online at the Karl Barth Digital Library (Link for Duke students). But the search capability and the availability of the German editions of the KBDL are awesome.
7. How do you like Duke's Th.D. program? Duke's Th.D. program continues to be great. I refer people who inquire about it to my post Advice about Duke Th.D. and Ph.D programs in theology (which is a bit dated now--March 6, 2009) as a decent place to start. I also often refer people to Advice about moving to Durham, North Carolina and my website TheologicalGerman.com: Theological German Advice and Resources.
8. How's church? Amy continues to work 20 hours a week as Director of Children's Ministry (Elementary) at Blacknall Memorial Presbyterian Church. Most of our social life is around church events, meals with church friends, small group, Sunday school, and mildly chaotic get-togethers with other families with small children from church. There are lots of connections with Duke at Blacknall as well. I recently tallied 17 of us who attend Blacknall who are Th.D. and Ph.D. students in religion at Duke.
9. How are the kids? Being a parent is a joy and a challenge! (Our Rowell Kids blog contains a bit of my ruminations on parenting). Ryan, 5, started kindergarten this week at a local public elementary school and is newly riding bike and swimming. He likes Legos and is on his first soccer team. Jacob will be 3 on September 16th. He loves his Hot Wheels cars and also likes beach balls, hitting off the tee, books, dancing, and wrestling. Allie is four months old today and is rolling over and talking lots of gibberish and sleeping well. There is no shortage of moments when we delight in them and no shortage of moments when we are appalled by what they do. God help us and them!
Here is a picture of the kids on Ryan's first day of kindergarten August 31st.
Thanks for your interest in me.
Grace and peace,