August 18, 2015 | 8:45 p.m.
By Michelle Westlund ’83, communications specialist
Jeannine Brown, Bethel Seminary professor of New Testament, has been awarded a course development grant for Biola University’s annual research project. Brown’s course plan is one of two to receive a grant from the Center of Christian Thought, Biola University, California. The 2015-16 research project explores “The Meaning of Love,” and Brown’s course plan is entitled “Enemy Love and Solidarity with the Marginalized: An Interdisciplinary Conversation with Matthew’s Gospel.”
“I’m thrilled and grateful to be the recipient of this grant,” says Brown. “I proposed an interdisciplinary course centered around Matthew’s Gospel and specifically the themes of enemy love and solidarity with ‘the least of these.’ I’ll be teaching the course at Bethel Seminary during the 2016-17 school year.”
The course description gives further details, explaining that “many of the New Testament writings highlight love within the messianic community as an essential and central value. Matthew’s Gospel presses beyond this internal love ethic to exhort Jesus’ followers toward love of enemy and solidarity with the ‘least of these.’ …Students will explore Matthew’s exhortations to love broadly and deeply and will consider theological, ethical, psychological, and leadership dimensions of this framing of love.”
The course will include seven modules of two-week increments, says Brown, and will feature seven guest experts who will participate in an interdisciplinary conversation focused around, and stemming from, Matthew’s love ethic. In order to reach a wider student population, the course will be prepared for a second offering in a hybrid distance format utilizing distance-friendly technologies like Skype for guest contributors.
Brown is the first Bethel Seminary professor to hold a transregional position at both the seminary’s San Diego and St. Paul campuses. She has been a Bethel Seminary faculty member for 20 years, serves on the New International Version Committee on Bible Translation, and writes on numerous topics, from Matthew and the Gospels to hermeneutics and interdisciplinary subjects. Read a profile of Brown on page 27 of the most recent issue of Bethel Magazine.