Biblical Seminary Welcomes Dr. Cyndi Parker - Clarke Endowed Professorship in Biblical Studies
President Frank A. James III is pleased to announce that Dr. Cyndi Parker has been appointed to serve as the Clarke Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, Old Testament, a newly-funded position at BTS. She brings international experience teaching in Israel at the Jerusalem University College and holds the following degrees: BA in French and Business Studies from Butler University, MA in Old Testament and MA in Religion from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and in Theological and Religious Studies from the University of Gloucestershire.
Some of Dr. Parker’s mentors include those who encouraged her in the student years such as Dr. G. Hugenberger, Pastor of Park Street Church in Boston. He encouraged his students to get their PhD and work within the church – people are hungry for more about the complexities of space and place regarding the Bible. Dr. Carol Kaminski was a role model and first female professor of Old Testament for Dr. Parker, and encouraged her to not only see the Bible as an academic object of work but as a source of wisdom for life. The third mentor is Dr. Sandy Richter, a navigator of the practical and route to the created space for intentional friendships, even if only over coffee.
Embedded in Dr. Parker’s love of “place,” she encourages her students to embrace the geography and physical reality in the Bible by hiking the land, embracing the culture, and enjoying the food in Israel. Parker enjoyed the role of chef before becoming a biblical scholar, adding a natural “umami” to her teaching. “I never lost my interest in growing and creating yummy food, but now my interests have broadened to include questions related to how a biblical view of place can be applied to modern life. I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation on Deuteronomy’s perspective of constructing a healthy ‘Place,’ with humans interacting well with each other, with nature, and with God. Many of these Deuteronomic concepts can be translated to modern life.” You can learn more about Dr. Parker and her perspective on place, culture, and the Bible at her website, http://www.narrativeofplace.com.
Dr. Parker hopes her work challenges students and future leaders of the global Church to pay attention to the physical context of the Bible as an additional tool for biblical interpretation and to learn how to invest in the present physical context in such a way as to have a powerful impact on local communities. “I want to continue to learn from the innovative grass-roots organizations that are making dramatic headway in this area and to match their work with the theological ideas that will create a holistic picture of how the Church can impact the place where God has placed them.”