Religion faculty

James K. Mead, Ph.D.

Professor of Religion
Department Chair

Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary
M.A., M.Div., Reformed Theological Seminary
B.A., Georgetown University

VPH 115


Now ordained in the Reformed Church in America, Dr. Mead served as a Presbyterian pastor for 11 years prior to entering Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned a doctorate in biblical studies. His research interests include Old Testament prophets as well as the theology of the Old Testament’s historical books. In 2007 Westminster John Knox Press published a textbook by Dr. Mead entitled Biblical Theology: Issues, Methods, and Themes.


  • Elementary Biblical Hebrew and Culture

    Elementary Biblical Hebrew and Culture

    (4 credits, alternate years, consult department) This course will focus on learning the basics of biblical Hebrew (vocabulary and grammar) and the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the Old Testament. Readings from the different types of literature in the Hebrew Bible will be incorporated into the course work. The Old Testament writings will be studied against the historical and social backgrounds of the ancient Near East.
  • Topics in Old Testament Studies

    Topics in Old Testament Studies

    (2 credits) A study of a single book or larger section of the Old Testament or a current area of critical inquiry concerning the Old Testament. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the Pentateuch, the Historical Writings, the Prophets, and the Poetic and Wisdom books. Prerequisites: REL150 and sophomore class standing.
  • Topics in New Testament Studies

    Topics in New Testament Studies

    (2 credits) A study of a single book or larger section of the New Testament or a current area of critical inquiry concerning the New Testament. Possible topics include the Synoptic Gospels, the Book of Acts, the Johannine Literature, the Epistolary Literature, the Apocalypse. Prerequisite: REL150 and sophomore class standing.
  • Biblical Interpretation and Theology

    Biblical Interpretation and Theology

    (4 credits) An examination of the past and present methods and proposals for biblical interpretation and biblical theology. The course will analyze and critique various models for hermeneutics and theological interpretation and also assist students in constructing ex egetical methods that are biblically based, theologically informed and culturally relevant.Prerequisite: REL110.


  • For the past five years, Dr. Mead's major area of scholarly work has been in biblical theology. His introductory textbook for that field was published by Westminster John Knox in 2007. During a sabbatical in 2009-10, he studied Jewish biblical theology, particularly as the theological methods and themes of the primary sources (e.g. Mishnah and Talmudim) suggest points of contact for Christian biblical theology.

Professional experience

  • Pastoral Interim, Old Tennent Presbyterian Church, Tennent, New Jersey
  • Teaching Fellow, Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Magnolia, Arkansas
  • Pastor, Vidalia Presbyterian Church, Vidalia, Louisiana


  • Society of Biblical Literature
  • Institute for Biblical Research
  • Ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) since 1984


  • Northwestern Endowed Research Fellowship, 2009
  • Teaching Excellence Award, Northwestern College, 2004
  • Howard Clark Kee Presentation Award, for best student paper at the Mid-Atlantic Regional of the Society of Biblical Literature, 1998