About me

In a nutshell

I am a professor for the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, teaching in the doctor of worship studies program.  I also am on faculty and a member of the board of directors at the Episcopal School for Ministry, Diocese of Missouri.  I serve within the local church as historical theologian, teacher, and artisan.  I have been on staff at the St. Louis branch of the Episcopal Service Corp, Deaconess Anne House, as teacher of Christian spirituality and theologian-in-residence.

I grew up in the United Methodist Church and am trained as a chemical engineer. I received my MDiv through Covenant Theological Seminary and then earned my PhD in historical theology (early church and medieval studies) at Saint Louis University. My research emphasis is the intersection of adult Christian identity formation, Christian spirituality, and the sacraments.

Degrees

PhD, Historical Theology (Saint Louis University, 2011)
MDiv (Covenant Theological Seminary, 2005)
DSc, Chemical Engineering (Washington University in St. Louis, 1994)
MS, Chemical Engineering (Washington University in St. Louis, 1992)
BS, Chemical Engineering (Missouri University of Science and Technology, 1984)

How I apply use these degrees

My research emphasis spans the time periods of patristics and early to high middle ages, focusing on the role of the sacraments in coming to know, embody, and live out Christian identity.  My secondary research interests are the history of catechesis, the history of Christian spirituality, Christian pedagogical practices, and Christian spiritual formation practices.

As an engineer, I have worked in the government sector (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and the private sector (Monsanto Enviro-Chem).  I have found that the works of philosopher of science Michael Polanyi, especially as advanced by epistemologist Esther Lightcap Meek, to provide an epistemological and philosophical bridge between engineering and practical theology.  My training as a chemical engineer provides me with skills in balancing the “big picture” and the “details.”  This chemical engineering perspective shows up in my research as I work with keeping an eye on the overall flow of thought of a text or collection of writings as I engage in detailed analysis of a concept within that author’s writings.

I have had the pleasure of teaching chemistry and physics at the community college level.  I have taught early and medieval Church history, Christian spirituality, sacramental theology, Christian beliefs, and introduction to theology at the undergraduate level.  Most recently, I have been teaching at sacramental spirituality at the graduate level.

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