Meet the Associate Dean: Richard B. Steele

Rick B Steele
Think of the Seminary as a theater. On this analogy, President Martin would be the impresario, Dean Strong would serve as the director, the faculty and students would constitute the cast, the staff members of the School of Theology, the Graduate Admissions, Student Academic Services, and Student Financial Services would make up the set crew — and I’d be the stage manager.

My job is to coordinate everything that goes on “backstage,” so that the “show” — that is, classroom instruction, spiritual formation, scholarly research, and professional skill-building — can go on. The audience, presumably, would be the congregations and agencies who see our truly amazing cast and crew perform the work of ministry to the glory of God and for the betterment of humanity.

My duties as associate dean (aka “academic dean”) include the following: assisting in new student recruitment; overseeing curriculum and instruction; monitoring student learning; liaising with local clergy and denominational officials; counseling students on academic, vocational, and personal problems; and coordinating our Seminary’s relations with our secondary accreditation agency, the Association of Theological Schools.

Not all of my work is behind the curtain, however! I’m also fortunate to be a member of the cast. I teach two courses in our Global Christian Heritage sequence, as well as courses in the theology of Christian worship, pastoral care and counseling, and ministry to persons with disabilities. Occasionally I moonlight on other “stages,” too, teaching several undergraduate theology courses and co-teaching a course on medical ethics in the School of Health Sciences.

I even do a bit of “script-writing” on the side — though I’ve not much spare time for it these days. For some years I’ve been researching the history of Christian prison literature, investigating the ways in which disciples of Jesus who have been incarcerated for their faith nevertheless manage to bear witness to their faith before a hostile world.

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From the Associate Dean's Desk

Insights from the Associate Dean himself -- sharing stories, thought-provoking topics and anecdotes you would hear in a sermon, the classroom or over a cup of coffee.  Updated every Friday.

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