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To Be or Not to Be: Why Pursue a PhD in Bible?

To Be or Not to Be: Why Pursue a PhD in Bible?
This will be a luncheon webinar aimed at recruiting more minoritized scholars into biblical studies. The webinar is a follow-up to the recent #BlackScholarsMatter symposium and is co-sponsored by the Society of Biblical Literature and Forum for Theological Exploration.
Panelists will discuss why one should pursue a PhD in Bible, how to position oneself for it, support structures one can avail to succeed in their PhD program, and the various available career paths in the changing landscape of theological education.
The webinar is scheduled for 31 October 2020, 1:00–2:30 pm (EST) and is free for students of color interested in pursuing a PhD. Registration will be limited to 100.
The recording of this event is available below.
Eligible participants will receive complimentary registration to the 2020 Annual Meeting and may order their own meal and be reimbursed by SBL for up to $25.*
Each registrant will also receive a copy of one of these books:
  • Jesus in Asia by R.S. Sugirtharajah (Harvard University Press)
  • The Dawn of Christianity by R. Knapp (Harvard University Press)
  • Reading While Black by Esau McCallley (InterVarsity Press)
  • A Multitude of All Peoples by Vince Bantu (InterVarsity Press)
  • Christ in Latin America by Samuel Escobar
  • Brown Church by Robert Chao Romero (InterVarsity Press)
  • Theological Formation: Making Theology Your Own by Mark Ellingsen (Mercer University Press)
  • A Biblical, Historical and Theological Guide for Students by Kathryn Muller Lopez, et al. (Mercer University Press)
  • The Edward Wimberly Reader: A Black Pastoral Theology edited by Mary Clark Moschella and Lee H Butler (Baylor University Press)
  • Church in Color: Youth Ministry, Race, and Theology of Martin Luther King Jr. by Montague R. Williams (Baylor University Press)
  • Prepare, Succeed, Advance: A Guidebook for Getting a PhD in Biblical Studies and Beyond by Nijay Gupta (Cascade Books, an imprint of Wipf & Stock Publishers), with a new chapter “Advancing Towards a More Healthy, Diverse, and Inclusive Academy.”
We are grateful to Harvard University Press, InterVarsity Press, Mercer University Press, Baylor University Press, and Wipf & Stock Publishers for their support.
SBL is gathering information from several PhD programs about their application process and the support they offer minoritized students to succeed in the program and during job search.
Valarie Bridgeman, Methodist Theological School in Ohio
Jacqueline Hidalgo, Williams College
Jennifer Kaalund, Iona College
Uriah Kim, Graduate Theological Union
Luis Menendez-Antuna, Boston University
Jean-Pierre Ruiz, Saint John’s University (Moderator/Presider)
Mitzi Smith, Columbia Theological Seminary (Moderator/Presider)
Jeremey Williams, Harvard University
*Complimentary Annual Meeting registration is available for undergraduate and Master's students who have not previously been members of SBL.



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