QUI DOCET IN DOCTRINA \ Let the teacher teach.
As many of you are well aware, I have for some time felt called to pursue doctoral education. After careful discernment and due consideration, I am happy to share that I have accepted an offer to begin a Ph.D. program in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Chester. Chester is a British university, founded by the Church of England, and rooted in the richness of the Anglican tradition. It is a place dedicated to research excellence, particularly in the fields of practical theology, and since its founding has been an institution with a strong and historic focus on the value of teaching.
A Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) is a research-based degree that will require me to spend the next few years doing quite a bit of reading and writing with the ultimate goal of completing a dissertation that makes an original contribution to academic discourse. I will be working with faculty in contextual, practical, and public theologies to explore and help further define the relationship between queer theology and homiletics.
Walker and I will not be moving to the United Kingdom. I will begin the program from a distance, making full use of the academic resources here at the University of the South. The realities of COVID-19 mean that future travel to and from the United Kingdom remains uncertain, but I do hope to spend some time there in the years to come.
I will continue to serve as a pastor, priest, and teacher to the wonderfully faithful folks in the congregations that compose Southeast Tennessee Episcopal Ministries (STEM), and I look forward to continuing to learn and grow with them in faith and service to the Lord of the Church. I also look forward to continuing to teach here in Sewanee as Visiting Instructor of Rhetoric as long as the program has a need for me.
I cherish your prayers as I prepare to begin this exciting journey, which will last for (at least) the next three to four years. I am humbled when I think of the family, friends, and mentors who have supported me, encouraged me, and made this possible. So much so, in fact, that I can scarcely put it into words. Perhaps the best–or only–thing to say is, “To God be the glory!”