I am an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Ferrum College, a small liberal arts college in Virginia’s beautiful Blue Ridge. I earned my Ph.D. in Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity from Marquette University in 2014, and I live in Roanoke with my family.
The focus of my research is on early Christian literature, with an emphasis on “apocryphal” or “non-canonical” texts (i.e., texts that were important to early Christians but for a variety of reasons were not included in the New Testament). I have a particular interest in a text called the Protevangelium of James (also known as the Protevangelium Iacobi or the Proto-Gospel of James), which is a collection of stories about the birth and childhood of Mary the mother of Jesus. I wrote my doctoral dissertation on this text, and later published it as a book with Bloomsbury T&T Clark.
At Ferrum College I teach a range of courses related to religion and biblical studies. Much of my teaching responsibilities are aimed at helping students fulfill their general education requirements. Every year I offer sections of Literature of the Old Testament (REL 112) and Literature of the New Testament (REL 113).
I also offer a range of upper-level elective courses, including American Gods, Religion in Film, Studies in the Gospel, Life and Letters of Paul, Jesus and His Afterlives, Biblical Archaeology, Prophetic Literature, Non-Canonical Literature, Historical Jesus, and Biblical Greek.
I recently completed two book projects. The first (published by Fortress Press) is a reception history of the Matthean Magi entitled The Magi: Who They Were, How They’ve Been Remembered, and Why They Still Fascinate. The second (published by Lexington Books) I co-edited with my colleague Dr. Christy Cobb. It is entitled Sex, Violence, and Early Christian Texts.
I am currently at work on another edited book with Dr. Sarah Rollens and Dr. Meredith JC Warren. This volume, entitled Judeophobia and the New Testament: Texts, Contexts, and Pedagogy, aims to discuss the various ways in which the texts of the New Testament have been used to fuel and promote anti-Jewish rhetoric. This project is under contract with Eerdmans Publishing and will be published at some point in 2023.
I am currently co-chair of the Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative program unit of the Society of Biblical Literature, as well as one of the general editors of the Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies. I am also a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the North American Society for the Study of Christian Apocryphal Literature, the North American Patristics Society, and the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas.
(updated 1 September 2023)