This year we are excited to welcome to Calvin Seminary 3 new professors: Amanda Benckhuysen, Danjuma Gibson, and Sarah Schreiber. To help you get to know them, we’d like to spotlight each in a different edition of the Kerux. Our first new faculty spotlight is with Amanda Benckhuysen.
What brought you to Calvin Seminary? The Donuts !! More seriously, while I loved and benefited from my time at Dubuque University, as an ordained CRC pastor, serving in the seminary of my denomination was very appealing to me and felt like a homecoming. I think this is an important time in the CRC, and I am excited to be fully involved in it.
Where are you from? I grew up in the suburbs around Toronto and have since lived in Ann Arbor, where I was involved in campus ministry. Working in campus ministry whetted my appetite for a deeper engagement with the life of the mind and more particularly, a deeper understanding of the Christian Scriptures and their contemporary relevance. I chose to attend the University of Toronto because of the number of faculty there who were schooled in (and students of) Brevard Childs, an influential Old Testament scholar who reclaimed a tradition of reading the Bible theologically as Christian Scripture. My most recent home was Dubuque, Iowa, where I was a professor of Old Testament.
What are you/will you be teaching? I’m currently teaching the residential sections of Hebrew 1. Next semester I’ll be teaching the residential sections of Hebrew 2 as well as Psalms and Wisdom Literature for the distance program. Next year, quite likely Old Testament Prophetic Literature. So a variety of Old Testament studies courses.
What is your educational history and research interests? I completed a BA in English Literature and Political Science at Queens University, an M.Div. at Calvin Seminary, and a PhD at the University of Toronto (Toronto School of Theology). At the U. of Toronto, my studies focused on theological interpretation of the Old Testament and the history of interpretation of Old Testament texts. These foci are reflected in my current research project of recovering pre-20th century women’s interpretations of Scripture, specifically women’s readings of Genesis 1-3. I’m also doing some work on the Book of Psalms as a school for Christian Prayer and the contributions and challenges of the Old Testament to contemporary Christian ethics.
Introduce us to your family. My husband Martin is an ordained pastor in the CRC, who currently serves as a caregiver for our two daughters, Kiya (12), and Syann (8). He also preaches part time at Woodlawn CRC as well as teaching online at Dubuque University.
Where are you worshipping right now? Woodlawn CRC (pastored by Rev. Mike Abma), where my husband also serves as a part-time preacher, but we also enjoy visiting the wide variety of distinct flavors of the CRC in Grand Rapids.
What are your hobbies? Hiking, biking, running, and reading.
Any Advice for Seminarians? Make time for establishing and cultivating relationships with your fellow students.
Interview with Prof. Benckhuysen conducted by Monica Brands