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CTS alumni have done some pretty amazing things in our world, and we love to lift up their stories. This month we celebrate Dr. Nick Buck (MTS ’15) and the impact he has had on CTS community life. Dr. Buck began his Master of Theological Studies program at CTS in 2010. He focused his studies on thinking relationally in the context of post-modernity, penning the thesis “The Theo-Politics of Reciprocity.” In 2011, he started work in the CTS bookstore as a part-time student employee, work that would continue for the next 3 years. Building on the work of the previous manager, Sarah Evans, Nick became known to CTS students and faculty alike as the face of the bookstore; he curated a space of learning and connection centered on good coffee, good conversation, and great people. He continued in this role until he struck out on a new adventure in 2016 and began studies at the University of Chicago in pursuit of his PhD.

From 2016 to 2022, Nick travelled back and forth between his home, family, and work in Indianapolis and his studies in Chicago. This June, Nick successfully defended his dissertation “Alienation and Political Belonging” and graduated, becoming Dr. Buck. His dissertation centered on what it is to belong to a political community and what it is to be kept from belonging with a particular focus on the thinking of WEB Dubois and Martin Luther King, Jr. Most recently, Dr. Buck worked at CTS in the Advancement office as a member of the creative team and as an adjunct faculty member for ethics courses. When asked what he will remember most fondly of his time at CTS, Nick says, “I built some incredible relationships with my professors when I was a student. What kept me here as an employee were my colleagues. It was a really fun thing to be able to shift from relating to my professors as teachers then as colleagues while on staff and adjunct faculty.”

Dr. Buck continues his endeavors in higher education this fall as he begins a new position at American University in Washington, DC as Professorial Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religion. Nick, his wife Libby, and their two children Eleanor and Samuel move to DC this month. When asked about this transition, Dr. Buck said, “I’m most excited to get back in the classroom. I pursued my PhD because I really wanted to teach at the college level. I’m also especially interested in living and working in an exciting new city, a city that will expand my children’s global awareness.”  In his free time, Nick will be found with his nose in a great book, hanging out with his kids, and loitering at coffee shops with great baked goods. While he will remain a loyal Pacers fan, he looks forward to “trying to be a Washington Nationals fan,” which should come naturally to a lifelong professional baseball fan without a previous home team.

As he embarks on this newest chapter in his journey, Nick reflects on his time at CTS and shares: “Through many roles on campus over the past decade, I’ve known the CTS community to be full of supportive, kind, and caring people. I found this to be especially true over the last six years as I’ve balanced my work at CTS with my PhD program at the University of Chicago. I have had the sincere privilege of working with colleagues who are as committed to the wellbeing of one another as they are the mission of the seminary, whose regular company I will surely miss. I am excited for this next chapter in my professional life, and my family and I are very much looking forward to the new adventure.” Congratulations, Professor Buck, and may the bookstores of DC be as richly blessed by your presence as we have been these last 12 years.