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Faculty Feature: Dr. Scott Jones
Faculty Feature is a series in the Blue Tribune that recognizes the excellent professors and staff of Covenant College through a series of questions.
This week we're highlighting Dr. Scott Jones, Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies.
What brought you to Covenant? How long have you been teaching?
An elder at my church in Princeton, NJ, was on the board of Covenant at the time and told me about the opening. I was working on my Ph.D. at Princeton Theological Seminary at the time and was starting to look for jobs. I have been teaching here for sixteen years.
What is your history with Covenant?
I have been at Covenant since 2005.
What do you love about teaching at Covenant?
I enjoy the unity and coherence we enjoy as a faculty. While there is enough difference among us to keep things interesting, we are all operating out of the same theological tradition and even have a pretty impressive understanding of that tradition. I think that makes it easier for our students to come away from something that sticks together well, and it offers them a more coherent paradigm to think and live out of.
What is your history with the PCA or Reformed Tradition?
The PCA is my family's denomination, so I grew up in it. I first started attending a PCA church in 1981, I believe.
What's your favorite Covenant tradition?
Commencement. It's fun to dress up in medieval garb with others doing the same. The students seem to like it too.
What is a current research project or area of interest you're excited about?
I am currently writing a commentary on the book of Job for the Old Testament Library series, published by Westminster John Knox Press. I enjoy the challenge of translating and interpreting such a difficult book. It can be maddening at times, but the hard work can also be quite rewarding. When I am away from it, I miss the "detective" aspect of working on ancient texts and doing comparative Semitic philology.
What's one of your favorite cultural or family traditions?
Anything else prospective students should know about you?
There are dogs in my office.
How do you/your department encourage each student to pursue academic excellence?
It is sometimes challenging to convey to students in Biblical and Theological Studies why academic excellence is important. Many students come to our department because they want to study something that is dear to them and meaningful in a personal way. To some, it can seem that an academic knowledge of the field is unnecessary or even a hindrance to their faith. We as a department work to challenge our students to see that Biblical and Theological studies has a history as an academic discipline, and that mastery of that discipline can in fact growth their faith. We don't seek to deconstruct anyone's faith, but we also don't shy away from hard questions.