CTS is excited to announce that Timothy McNinch has been appointed Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible effective July 1, 2022.
McNinch (he/his) comes to us from Emory University, where he is a doctoral candidate in Hebrew Bible. McNinch is the creator and co-host of the popular weekly preaching podcast “First Reading,” serves as editor and regular contributor to the “Politics of Scripture” blog at the Political Theology Network, and curates a biblical languages YouTube channel with over 28,000 subscribers. He holds a BA from Kalamazoo College, an MDiv from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and he is certified for ordination in the PC(USA). In addition to his academic achievements, his background in pastoral church ministry will aide him in preparing CTS students to serve the public through the serving church.
McNinch grew up in southern Michigan near Kalamazoo. His wife grew up in southern Indiana, so they are thrilled to move closer to family with their three children, trusty dog, and newly acquired three rats. Beginning his career as a church-planting pastor whose church was geared towards people who felt on the outs from exclusive Christian culture, McNinch found that a lot of people in that context had little direct contact with the texts of Scripture. Even though they were participating in faith community, they had often not explored biblical texts for themselves. This led him to pursue teaching biblical texts in higher education. “The longer I was doing pastoral ministry, the less I was doing sermons and the more I was doing interactive conversations around the texts themselves. I found a growing vocation as a teacher – not to tell people what they should think, but to help people discover meaning together in community. I went to seminary, but instead of getting all the answers I was looking for, mostly my questions just multiplied and multiplied, and I came to embrace this as a great thing.”
When asked what he is most excited for teaching this fall, McNinch said he looks forward to helping students discover meaning for themselves. “Students at CTS have so many diverse experiences. I’m really looking forward to the insights students bring to these ancient texts. That’s one of the reasons I love teaching so much: I find that I learn the best when I’m teaching, and I’m always learning new things from my students. I enjoy the process of discovery and community. I continue to find myself drawn to this twin calling of academic exploration of Scripture and working meaning out in community. CTS is the perfect place for me to bring those callings together. I can’t wait to work that out with students who are going to be transforming the world.”
Outside of teaching, McNinch has an eclectic variety of hobbies. He is an amateur musician, most recently picking up the mandolin. As a constant learner, he loves to learn new things and has learned to juggle and do magic tricks. True to his latent Irish roots, he enjoys Irish music, fiddle tunes, and bluegrass.
McNinch has this to say to CTS students: “I recognize that I bring a certain expertise to the table in the education I’ve gotten and the access I have to the ancient cultures and languages of these texts, but I don’t bring everything to the table. My life experience is only my own. I value what you bring to the table as just as valid and important as what I’m bringing to the table. It’s together that we pool our resources of insight to learn from these ancient texts and try to wrestle with how we find meaning in them that is important and relevant for our world today. I value collaboration with you as the essential heart of learning.”
Please join us in welcoming Prof. Timothy McNinch to the CTS family! You can read more about his achievements and publications on his digital CV at timothymcninch.com.