Jennifer Matheny

Associate Professor of Old Testament; Director, Wynkoop Center for Women in Leadership


Jennifer Matheny

Associate Professor of Old Testament; Director, Wynkoop Center for Women in Leadership
[email protected]

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I have taught Biblical and Theological Studies at the undergraduate level for the past 8 years. Two years into this university teaching adventure, God began calling me to return to school for doctoral studies. I often describe this “invitation” similar to the dwarves (Thorin and Company) popping into Bilbo’s home (An Unexpected Party) in The Hobbit. Saying yes to this adventure in doctoral studies has given me the research space to seek interdisciplinary methods and reading strategies for some of the violent and difficult narratives in the Old Testament. From my years of teaching, preaching, and ministry, these difficult texts have been the ones that I have experienced as road blocks for many on their faith journeys. Thinking through ethical reading strategies with others has created welcome paths through some of this difficult terrain.

Journeying with students as they seek next steps in life and ministry is one of my greatest joys. In the classroom, my hope is to create a safe space for theological dialogue and equip students to engage in the tough questions of the text (and life!). My desire is that this educational experience in seminary will be a transformative and inspiring space of integration in all contexts that students are called to participate in Kingdom work.

My family has served for over twenty years in ministry, from youth ministry (Kansas, Missouri, California, Oklahoma, Canada) to church planting (Oregon) and church revitalization (California).

My husband Art and I have two children and we enjoy watching them play sports. Emma (rugby and basketball!), is currently in her undergraduate studies at Westmont College. Samuel, (basketball and soccer!), is in high school.

Recent/Forthcoming works (books, articles, reviews):

Illustrated Joshua in Hebrew. Illustrated Hebrew-English Old Testament Series (GIHEOT)
Willmore, KY: GlossaHouse (Fall 2019).

“Ruth: Recent Research.” Currents in Biblical Research (forthcoming 2020)

“Ruth” in Encountering the Love of God in the Old Testament. The Foundry Publishing (forthcoming 2020)

“The Apocalyptic Nature in Daniel” for Bible Study Magazine. Bellingham, WA: Faithlife. (Jan/Feb) 2018.

“Mute and Mutilated: Understanding Judges 19-21 as a משל of Dialogue” in The Future of Biblical Studies in the Biblical Interpretation Series. Leiden: Brill, 2017.

Book Reviews:

Review of Goy: Israel's Others and the Birth of the Gentile by Adi Ophir and Ishay Rosen-Zvi in Review of Biblical Literature (Oxford University Press, 2018) (forthcoming)

Review of The Last King(s) of Judah: Zedekiah and Sedekias in the Hebrew and Old Greek Versions of Jeremiah 37 44 :1-40 4 :6 by Shelley Long Birdsong in Review of Biblical Literature (Mohr Sieback: Forschungen Zum Alten Testament 2.Reihe 89, 2017) (forthcoming)

Review of Narrative Desire and the Book of Ruth by Stephanie Day Powell in Review of Biblical Literature (New York: T & T Clark, 2018) (forthcoming)

Review of Images of Joshua in the Bible and Their Reception by Zev Farber in Review of Biblical Literature (De Gruyter Series: Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 457 (March 2019)

Selected Conference Papers/Presentations:

“Ruth as a Voice of Canonical Resistance” Paper Presentation for Society of Biblical Literature in the Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible Unit
SBL Annual Meeting (November 23-26, 2019)
San Diego, CA

“Congregational Support: How Churches Can Create Safe, Welcoming, and Supportive Spaces” Invited Presentation for SERVE conference. Women Empowerment Series: Learning to Boldly Equip Women and Girls (March 28-29, 2019)
Baylor: Diana R. Garland School of Social Work
Houston, Texas

“Grotesque Realism in Judges 19-21” Paper Presentation for SBL/AAR
Women and Religion Unit (May 3-5, 2019)
Central Washington University
Ellensburg, WA

“Covering and Uncovering: The Use of Clothing in Ruth for Prowess, Protection and Provision” Paper Presentation for the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Hebrew Bible Unit (May 3-5, 2019)
Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA

“Ruth as a Voice of Canonical Answerability to Judges 19-21” Paper Presentation for the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) in the Megilloth Unit
SBL Annual Meeting (Nov. 17-20, 2018)
Denver, CO

“An Embryonic Exodus: Stories of Becoming in J. Mallozi's and P. Mullie's Dark Matter: Rebirth” Paper Presentation for the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) in the Bible and Popular Culture Unit
SBL Annual Meeting (Nov. 17-20, 2018)
Denver, CO

“A משל of Dialogue: Judges 19-21” Paper presentation for The Futures of Biblical Studies Symposium: Celebrating David J.A. Clines (June 1-3, 2016)
University of Kent
Canterbury, UK


Ph.D. (VIVA successfully defended), University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
M.A. Theological Studies: Old Testament Concentration, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada
B.A. Biblical Literature, Ozark Christian College, Joplin, Missouri

Academic Affiliations

Society of Biblical Literature
American Academy of Religion
Wesleyan Theological Society
Institute for Biblical Research

Teaching/Research Interests

Old Testament Literature, Ruth, Addressing ethical reading strategies with violent texts in the Old Testament, such as Judges 19-21

Classes Taught

Old Testament Theology
Poets and Prophets
Old Testament Literature
Systematic Theology I
Systematic Theology II
Bible and Cinema
Women and the Bible
Life of Christ
Bible Survey
Prophetic Books
Old Testament Literature
Bible Study Methods

Local Church Involvement

Westview Community Church (Manhattan, Kansas)

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