The Group of 15, named after the Canadian Group of 7 – a cohort of Christian scholars and authors, meets at least once each year, normally during SBL to mutually admonish, encourage, and hold one another accountable in their academic pursuits. We aim to help each other to aspire to excellence in writing and publishing.
Michael Rhodes spent the previous 5 years serving as Director of Education at Advance Memphis, a faith-based economic development non-profit serving the South Memphis community where Rhodes currently lives. As the Director of Education, he has taught and overseen GED, job-training, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship programs in the poorest urban zip code in the state. He also co-authored a new job training curriculum designed for communities of generational poverty (Work Life). Work Life integrates job readiness, emotional health, life skills, and the biblical narrative of Christ’s redemption of all things. As of September, Rhodes is serving as an Adjunct Professor at the Memphis Center for Urban Theological Studies, and is founding a new project there which will equip local leaders to teach Advance-style classes in their churches. Rhodes is a deacon at Downtown Church (EPC), and has led a community group in South Memphis for years. Previously, he served as a missionary in Kenya. He has a BA in Community Development (Covenant College), an MA degree in Biblical Studies (Gordon-Conwell), and is a PhD candidate (Trinity College Bristol). His research interests center on the intersection of biblical studies, economic ethics, and community development. His chapter “‘Follow Us As We Follow Moses’: Learning Biblical Economics from the New Testament’s Appropriation of Old Testament Narratives, Practices, and Liturgies” will be published in the forthcoming volume Ecclesia and Ethics (Spring 2016). His beautiful wife Rebecca coaches urban public school teachers, and together they have 3 children.
Dru Johnson is an Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at The King’s College in New York City, chair of the Hebrew Bible and Philosophy program in the Society of Biblical Literature, associate director for the Templeton Jewish Philosophical Theology research project with The Herzl Institute in Jerusalem, and committee member of the Scripture and Church Seminar in the Institute for Biblical Research. Working as a pastor for ten years and training pastors in rural Kenya over the last six years, Johnson is a man of the church. He is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and attends Comunidade Cristã Presbiteriana in Newark, NJ. His books include:
- Biblical Knowing: A Scriptural Epistemology of Error (Cascade, 2013)
- Scripture’s Knowing: A Companion to Biblical Epistemology (Cascade, 2015)
- Knowledge by Ritual: A Biblical Prolegomenon to Sacramental Theology. JTISupp 13 (Eisenbrauns, 2016)
- Genesis 1–11, Transformative Word Series (Lexham Press, forthcoming)
- Epistemology and Biblical Theology: From the Pentateuch to the Gospel of Mark. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Biblical Criticism (Routledge, forthcoming)
Luke Stamps serves as assistant professor of Christian Studies at California Baptist University. He received his Ph.D. in systematic theology from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. His primary areas of scholarly interest include Christology, the Trinity, analytic theology, and Baptist theology. Luke is an ordained Baptist minister and lives with his wife and four children in Riverside, California.
Matthew Emerson is Dickinson Chair of Religion and Assistant Professor of Religion at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He earned his Ph.D. in Biblical Theology from SEBTS and is the author of Christ and the New Creation, along with a number of essays and articles. His research interests include the New Testament use of the Old Testament and early Christian interpretation. Matt is married to Alicia and has five beautiful daughters, including newborn twins.
A.J. Culp is Lecturer in Old Testament and Biblical Languages at Malyon College, Brisbane, Australia. Having long considered himself a man of diverse interests, A.J.’s recently realised he’s not nearly as interesting as he once thought. His many interests, it turns out, revolve around one thing: understanding scripture, in both its ancient and contemporary contexts, as a text for human formation. His work up till now has focused largely on the ancient side of things, using various interdisciplinary tools (literary, ethics, and mnemonic theory) to understand the purpose of the text in its world. His new projects, though, have begun to explore the contemporary side, especially looking at the role of scripture in education. Trained in the humanities, A.J. wants to see how we might bring literature and art to bear upon the task of Christian education. He is blessed to live with his family in a beautiful part of the world, where, in true biblical style, the trees are enchanting and the snakes deadly.
David Beldman is an Assistant Professor of Religion and Theology at Redeemer University College. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Bristol in the area of Old Testament Studies. He has a passion for the Old Testament, biblical theology, and equipping students to hear the Scriptures as the living Word of God for today. He is the co-editor of Hearing the Old Testament: Listening for God’s Address (Eerdmans, 2012) and is a contributor to A Manifesto for Theological Interpretation (Baker, 2015). David has been on the committee of the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar for many years. He has many interests beyond the academy, including his love of vintage motorcycles. David is married to Elsie, and they have four children.
Benjamin T. Quinn serves as associate dean for institutional effectiveness and assistant professor of theology and history of ideas at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and The College at Southeastern. Benjamin also serves as Associate Academic Director for BibleMesh, a ministry of the Emmanuel Foundation. He attended Union University and Southeastern Seminary before receiving his PhD in theology from the University of Bristol, UK. Benjamin lives with his wife and three children in Wake Forest, NC. Ben’s next forthcoming publication is Wisdom’s Way: The Book of Proverbs (tentative title).
Michael Spalione. I am a Ph.D. student at Trinity College Bristol. I received a M.A. in Biblical Counseling from the Southern Baptists Theological Seminary in 2014 and a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies from Boyce College in 2009. My research interests which at times feel vast and transdisciplinary really come down to the relationship of the church to the kingdom of God. This finds expression in my interests in global theology, ecumenicism, history of interpretation, spiritual direction, and Christian ethics. When I am not reading or writing, I love to play with my four children in our backyard, go camping, brew my own beer, and go to concerts.
Dr. Michael R. Wagenman is the Christian Reformed campus minister at Western University (London, Canada). He completed his PhD at the University of Bristol (UK) on the power of the church. He serves on the Race Relations Advisory Board for the Christian Reformed Church and represents the CRC at the Canadian Council of Churches to address racism in Canadian society and to equip churches for cross-cultural ministry. He also teaches New Testament part time at Redeemer University College.
After completing her undergraduate in The History of Ideas from The College at Southeastern, Amber lived n Milan, Italy from 2009-2013 serving as a missionary for the first two years and working as a history teacher at Collegio San Carlo for the second. She is now completing her Master of Arts in Philosophy of Religion at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Her main area of interest is Contemporary Continental philosophy, particularly the theological turn in French phenomenology.
Rev. Dr. Susan Bubbers
Susan Bubbers is the Dean of the ATLAS Theological Center in Orlando, FL. She and ATLAS share the vision of keeping faith firmly rooted in Scripture, and keeping study firmly rooted in faith. ATLAS is fully Trinitarian, devoted to furthering apostolic Anglicanism in a blending of all four streams (Evangelical, Charismatic, Anglo-Catholic, and Social). ATLAS seeks to bridge the gap that can exist between church and academy and is therefore a hybrid seminary-church. As Dean, Susan’s experience and education are fittingly also a hybrid of ministry and scholarship. She was ordained an Anglican Priest in 1995, served as Youth Pastor, Associate Pastor, Senior Pastor (Rector), and University Chaplain. She is now planting a new church in Celebration, FL. Simultaneously, Susan has also taught at the certificate, undergraduate, and graduate levels, primarily in Biblical Studies and Spiritual Formation. She has studied in several theological traditions, including an MDiv from Regent University, a DAS from VTS, a DMin from RTS, and a PhD from the London School of Theology. Her particular research interests include Biblical EcoTheology and Sacramental Theology.
Nate Collins is a New Testament PhD candidate and adjunct instructor at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. His primary research interests include social scientific approaches to early Christianity, theological anthropology, cultural hermeneutics, and contemporary gender theory. His dissertation explores the function of identity in the gendered and social experience of virgins during the NT era. He is the author of the forthcoming volume All But Invisible: Exploring Identity Questions for Gay, Lesbian, and Other Same-Sex Attracted Christians (Zondervan, 2017). Nate and his wife, Sara, both grew up overseas as missionary kids, and are the proud parents of three boys. When he’s not writing or spending time with his family, Nate likes to garden and dream about owning a Harley-Davidson again.
Ben Askins is a staff sergeant and a combat medic in the U.S. Army. He has degrees from Houghton College (B.S. Intercultural Studies, Outdoor Education), the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div. Christian Ministry), and is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). An Iraq War veteran, his professional career has focused on tactical medicine, wilderness medicine, and search-and-rescue. He intends to begin Ph.D. studies at Trinity College Bristol as soon as the Lord allows and his research interests include canonical and theological interpretations of Scripture, the Book of Job, the problem of evil, the psychology of trauma, and analytic theology/philosophy. Ben has been married to Jana for 11 years and they have four delightful children.