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.