Friday, September 28, 2012

Dr. Melody Knowles to Join VTS Faculty as Vice President of Academic Affairs

Dr. Melody Knowles to Join VTS Faculty as Vice President of Academic Affairs


Media Contact: Susan Shillinglaw
Tel: 703-461-1764

Alexandria, VA  - At their September 24 board meeting, the trustees of the Virginia Theological Seminary unanimously approved the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Melody D. Knowles as the new Vice President of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Old Testament. Knowles, who is currently the Associate Professor of Hebrew Scriptures at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois, will join the VTS community part-time in February 2013 and will become the full-time Vice President for Academic Affairs on July 1, 2013. 

Dr. Knowles is an outstanding scholar of the Old Testament, and deeply committed to theological education,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president of Virginia Seminary. “As we enter a new phase of the Seminary's life, where program is the focus, Melody is the ideal person for this leadership role.” 

Knowles will be taking the place of Dr. Timothy Sedgwick who indicated last year that he would like to step down in June 2013 from the position of Academic Dean. Sedgwick has served his position with distinction and will continue to teach and write at Virginia Seminary. 

Since 1999, Knowles has taught courses on the religion of Israel, the Psalms, Hebrew, and the Bible in film. Her principal research interests include the reworking of historical traditions within the Psalter, women’s use of the Psalms, and the ancient practice of religion. She has also been involved in archaeological excavations at various sites in Israel, and has worked to make McCormick’s rich archaeological collection a visible and well-used educational resource for students.

Since coming to McCormick, Dr. Knowles was ordained in the Episcopal Church, USA, and has been active in congregations in Chicago and Poughkeepsie, NY.

Her published works include Centrality Practiced: Jerusalem in the Religious Practice of Yehud and the Diaspora in the Persian Period (SBL Press, 2006), and Contesting Texts: Jews and Christians in Conversation About the Bible (editor and co-author along with John Pawlikowski, Esther Menn and Timothy Sandoval; Fortress Press, 2007). She was also the lead translator of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah for the Common English Bible, and wrote the notes for the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles in the study edition of the CEB. She is currently writing a commentary on Psalms 107-150 for the Illuminations Commentary Series (Eerdmans).

Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women for service in the Church worldwide, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas. The Seminary has significantly shaped ministry and mission across the Anglican Communion for generations, and with its diverse faculty currently serves students from more than 45 Episcopal dioceses, over 10 different countries across the world, and over 10 different Christian denominations, for service in the Church and the world.

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