UDTS Faculty and Staff


Mark Ward (2018)


Mark D. Ward

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty
PhD, University of Illinois - Chicago
MBA, University of Denver
BA, Calvin College

Phone: 563.589.3202
Email: MWard@dbq.edu
Office: Lower Level, Smeltzer-Kelly Student Health Center

Dr. Ward joined the University of Dubuque in 2010 and serves as the Chief Academic Officer of the University. He earned a BA in Business and Economics from Calvin College, an MBA from the University of Denver, and a PhD in Business from the University of Illinois - Chicago. His research centers on work values and beliefs. He and his wife, Annalee, have two adult children and five grandchildren.

Elmer Colyer (2018)


Elmer (El) Colyer

Professor of Systematic Theology
Stanley Professor of Wesley Studies / Director of the UM Studies Program
PhD, Boston College / Andover Newton
MDiv, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary
BS, University of Wisconsin

Phone: 563.589.3389
Email: EColyer@dbq.edu
Office: 313 Van Vliet Hall

"Vital ministry is always deeply theological. Vibrant theology arises out of the evangelical and doxological life of the church. Systematic theology articulates and clarifies the content of the Church's faith in the Triune God of the Gospel. The Church's entire faith and life are explicitly and tacitly theological. Worship, community, discipleship, mission, are all profoundly shaped by our ultimate beliefs. Systematic theology engages and enriches the Church's entire faith and life by helping the Church better understand its ultimate beliefs about the Triune God of the Gospel. Systematic theology leads the church into the theological riches of the Gospel and corrects the Church’s ultimate beliefs when they are incompatible with the Biblical witness to the Love of God the Father through the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ in the communion of the Holy Spirit. The Church thrives when it lives and breathes the ultimate theological beliefs bound up with the Biblical Trinitarian faith. The Church withers when it does not."

Dr. Colyer is an ordained United Methodist Pastor and Elder in the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church. He has served churches in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Iowa. A summa cum laude student in college and seminary, he received his Ph.D. from Boston College/Andover Newton in 1992. Dr. Colyer has received numerous awards for his excellence as a teacher. He is Professor of Systematic Theology and a Stanley professor of Wesley Studies.

Mary Emily Duba


Mary Emily Duba

Associate Professor of Theology
Chair of the Theology Program
PhD, University of Chicago Divinity School
MDiv, Yale Divinity School
BA, Seattle University

Phone: 563.589.3102
Email: MDuba@dbq.edu
Office: 206 Van Vliet Hall

A systematic and constructive theologian, Mary Emily's work responds to theological questions raised by human displacement and ecological collapse. We speak liturgically of God's presence and action in creation, but what can such words mean in a world of borders and barbed wire? How ought we to speak of God's presence and action in the ruins of war and the toxic waste of capitalism? What emerges from this work is an invitation to reconsider the Christian faith as a risky, embodied, and inhibitory response to a God who makes room at the center of God's own triune presence for the fullness of creaturely life.

Mary Emily received the PhD from the University of Chicago Divinity School and the MDiv from Yale Divinity School. She was raised in an intentional, ecumenical Christian community in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington State. Before beginning her doctoral studies, she and her husband Jason, lived for year in Cochabama, Bolivia in community with displaced people and with members of the Maryknoll order. She is a Louisville Institute Postdoctoral Fellow (2018-20) and an active member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Nick Elder


Nicholas A. Elder

Associate Professor of New Testament
PhD, Marquette University
MDiv, Iliff School of Theology
BA, Colorado Christian University

Phone: 563.589.3104
Email: NElder@dbq.edu
Office: 209 Van Vliet Hall

Nick Elder's teaching and research revolves around how Scripture has been experienced in different media throughout history. From scrolls to codices to books to smart phones, how we encounter God's word alters its impact on us. In our day and age, Scripture is a multimedia phenomenon, but we often forget that this was also the case in antiquity.

Before coming to UDTS, Dr. Elder served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Marquette University, where he received his PhD. He also holds degrees from the Iliff School of Theology and Colorado Christian University. He is the author of several articles in journals such as Catholic Biblical Quarterly, the Journal for the Study of Judaism, and the Journal of Biblical Literature. His first book is titled The Media Matrix of Early Jewish and Christian Narrative (T&T Clark, 2019) and he is currently writing his second book, Gospel Media: Reading, Writing, and Disseminating Jesus Traditions, which will be published with Eerdmans.

Outside the classroom, Dr. Elder spends most of his time wrangling four children, especially his identical twin toddlers, riding a bicycle, and eating mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Susan Forshey (2021)


Susan Forshey

Associate Professor of Christian Discipleship
Director of the MACL Program

PhD, Boston University
MDiv, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University
BA, Western Washington University

Phone: 563.589.3353
Email: SForshey@dbq.edu
Office: 318 Van Vliet Hall

"Always a lover of the latest and greatest technology, I embraced the smartphone, social networking, and blogging world seven years ago, but not long after, the close reading of scripture and spirituality texts I loved was becoming more difficult. At the same time, I noticed that my students in master and doctoral level courses were struggling with the deep reading necessary to engage theological texts. My commitment to contemplative living and education, as well my own long-standing practice of lectio divina, launched me into researching how the brain pays attention, learns and remembers, and place this into conversation with the practices of Christian devotional and monastic traditions. This research is helping me understand what is happening at a cognitive level, balance its impact, and most importantly, offer ways to help Christian educators as they help students learn in the 21st century technological context."

Beginning in the Roman Catholic Church, Susan Forshey has sojourned with Assemblies of God, Episcopalian, and Methodist congregations, and was a twenty-year member of Bethany Presbyterian Church, Seattle. She has worked in youth and campus ministries; music ministry; liturgical leadership; adult Christian education; and intentional community. For the past 15 years, Susan has been a facilitator with Museum Without Walls, an educational non-profit that connects students with the stories of those who have experienced racial, ethnic, or religious prejudice, and teaches them about efforts toward reconciliation.

Drawn by a love of monastic history and contemplative prayer, Susan received her MDiv at St John's University, a Benedictine abbey, and a PhD in Practical Theology and Spirituality from Boston University. While at BU, Susan coordinated the spiritual formation project in the Center for Practical Theology and worked as a campus chaplain, pastoring students and leading retreats. She has presented conference papers on lectio divina and practical theological research (Association of Practical Theology), and lectio divina and internet technology (International Academy of Practical Theology). Prior to coming to UDTS, Susan was on staff at Bethany Presbyterian Church, as manager of communications and systems, and was an adjunct instructor of Christian Formation at Seattle Pacific University, where she delighted in introducing freshman to spiritual disciplines and sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

Christopher James (2018)


Christopher James

Professor of Evangelism and Missional Christianity
Director of the MAMD Program

PhD, Boston University School of Theology
MDiv, Fuller Theological Seminary
BA, Wheaton College

Phone: 563.589.3859
Email: CJames@dbq.edu
Office: 210 Van Vliet Hall

"From the greed-laced appeals of charlatan televangelists to the apocalyptic condemnations of megaphone-toting street preachers, the word "evangelism" brings up all the worst associations outsiders to faith have with organized religion. Moreover, among Christians, the word commonly evokes an unholy cocktail of guilt, inadequacy, and disgust. Such is the disrepute of the fundamental Christian practice the resurrected Jesus spoke of when he told his disciples, "You will be my witnesses." In this context, Christian leaders today face the critical challenge of cultivating communities that are learning to live in the light of their missional identity and are simultaneously attuned to the Spirit and their context, so that they might join God in the renewal of all things. This ecclesial witness makes incarnate the good news of the availability of the Reign of God, and is the heart of missional Christianity."

Drawing on formative experiences in diverse contexts that include an evangelical megachurch near San Francisco, a Korean-American church plant in Boston, a Charismatic Anglican church outside of Chicago, and a small Presbyterian congregation in Los Angeles, Christopher's teaching reflects a unique set of ecumenical influences and ecclesial expressions. His research and teaching focus on missional engagement with contemporary contexts, and his pedagogy features an emphasis on experimentation and praxis.

Christopher is the author of the award-winning "Church Planting Post-Christian Soil: Theology and Practice" (Oxford University Press, 2017) as well as numerous articles. Dr. James is a regular presenter at academic and ministry conferences and has been featured in print, radio, and television, with stories featuring his research in SeattleMet Magazine, and NBC and NPR affiliates. When he's not in the classroom you're likely to find him park-hopping with his wife, Lindsay, and their two spunky kids or hosting a community conversation at the local nano-brewery.

Bradley Longfield (2018)


Bradley Longfield

Professor of Church History
PhD, Duke University
MDiv, Yale University
BA, Wesleyan University

Phone: 563.589.3776
Email: BLongfie@dbq.edu
Office: 326A Van Vliet Hall

"The study of church history frees us from ignorance of the past and thereby provides us with the background necessary to proclaim the Gospel faithfully in the present. By disclosing the diverse traditions within the Christian faith the discipline of church history opens us to insights and perspectives that allow us to make informed theological and pastoral responses to contemporary issues and situations in the church."

A minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Bradley Longfield served as a pastor in Indiana and taught at Duke Divinity School before coming to UDTS. He served as Dean of the Seminary from 1998 - 2016. He published, The Presbyterian Controversy: Fundamentalists, Modernists, and Moderates, investigates the fundamentalist/ modernist conflict in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. in the 1920s and 1930s.

Dr. Longfield has also co-edited The Secularization of the Academy, a collection of essays addressing the history of religion and higher education. His current research and publications focus on the history of church conflict and twentieth-century denominational history.

Beth McCaw (2018)


Beth McCaw

Associate Professor of Ministry
DMin, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
MDiv, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
AB, Hope College

Phone: 563.589.3390
Email: BMcCaw@dbq.edu
Office: 326C Van Vliet Hall

Beth McCaw teaches ministry at UDTS with special attention given to caregiving, mission, and congregational life. As an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) she served as Associate Pastor of Care and Outreach in a church in Florida prior to coming to UDTS in 2004. Between 2019-2022 she was on part time release to serve as Presbytery Leader for Glacier Presbytery (MT), with special focus on models for small church life and leadership nurture. A sense of privilege in shepherding disciples in their call to ministry grew while she served on and moderating Florida Presbytery Committee on Preparation for Ministry. The concentration for her M.Div. was in pastoral care and counseling and her D.Min. work focused on congregational systems and spiritual renewal. In other chapters, with her husband Scott Beth ministered in new church development and education in Namibia, Africa; while in Massachusetts she provided crisis counseling and administration in a crisis respite home.

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Karen Nelson

Lilly Grant Project Director
DMin, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary
MDiv, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary
BA, University of Northern Iowa

Phone: 563.589.3122
Email: KSNelson@dbq.edu
Office: Van Vliet Hall

"Once I came, I just couldn't completely leave. That is how Rev. Dr. Karen Nelson describes her relationship with UDTS. Her first contact with this seminary was as a participant in the United Methodist Licensing School in 1996. She came back to receive her MDiv, graduating in 2001. She came back again to receive her Doctor of Ministry in 2010. Karen says she has been shaped for ministry and life through this place. She has served on the Council of Advisors and as an adjunct professor in the past. Karen is currently the Project Director of the Lilly Grant the seminary received in 2018. She is also teaching Leadership Ethics as well as co-teaching a DMin cohort with Dr. Elmer Colyer and Rev. Dr. Jaye Johnson. Karen is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church in the Iowa Conference. She has pastored several congregations and served as a Field Outreach Minister for the Iowa Conference. Karen is passionate about the local church and desires to see both congregations and the pastors who serve them healthy and thriving. Karen is also a trained Spiritual Director believing that it is through a strong connection with our God that we can serve others. Karen and her husband Gary have three grown children and eight grandchildren. They live in Cedar Falls, IA where they enjoy their family and any adventures that come their way.

Matthew Schlimm (2018)


Matthew Schlimm

Professor of Old Testament
PhD, Duke University
MDiv, Duke University
BA, Asbury College

Phone: 563.589.3101
Email: MSchlimm@dbq.edu
Office: 316 Van Vliet Hall

"I am continually amazed by the Bible's capacity to capture our imaginations and cause us to think in fresh ways about God, ourselves, and our world. Scripture may be thousands of years old, but it continues to surprise, inspire, disturb, astonish, and ultimately transform us."

Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Matthew R. Schlimm is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. He has served churches in Michigan, Minnesota, and North Carolina. He completed his PhD in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Duke University. His research interests focus on biblical theology and biblical ethics. He is the author of three books: (1) From Fratricide to Forgiveness: The Language and Ethics of Anger in Genesis, (2) This Strange and Sacred Scripture: Wrestling with the Old Testament and Its Oddities, and (3) 70 Hebrew Words Every Christian Should Know. Schlimm has also served as one of the editors for the CEB Study Bible and published in a variety of journals.

Timothy Slemmons (2018)


Timothy Matthew Slemmons

Professor of Homiletics and Worship
Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program

PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary
MDiv / ThM, Columbia Theological Seminary
BS, Kansas State University

Phone: 563.589.3578
Email: TSlemmons@dbq.edu
Office: 326B Van Vliet Hall

Timothy Matthew Slemmons, professor of homiletics and worship, has served two Presbyterian congregations, as pastor (Tarentum, PA) and interim pastor (Titusville, NJ). His research interests include lectionary expansion (Year D: A Quadrennial Supplement to the RCL); the Reformed tradition of expository, lectio continua preaching, particularly Johannes Oecolampadius; revival preaching in the first and second Great Awakenings; catechetical preaching; the Biblical Reflections of Johann Georg Hamann; and the vein of dialectical homiletics running from Kierkegaard to Forsyth, Barth, and Bonhoeffer (Groans of the Spirit: Homiletical Dialectics in an Age of Confusion). His current approach to homiletical pedagogy seeks to leverage the wisdom of devotional, edifying literature for practical and effective approaches to preaching. Slemmons is the author of Our Father Knows: The Prayer that Jesus Taught, and a four-volume lectionary-based series of Liturgical Elements for Reformed Worship, which includes Lightning from the East (Year A); When Heaven Stands Open (Year B); The Joyful Feast (Year C); and Greater Attention, a collection of resources to encourage and support the use of Year D. Timothy Matthew Slemmons is available to teach and/or facilitate workshops in: Year D: Selected Texts and their Relevance for the Church Today; The Psalms in the Devotional and Worship Life of the Church; The Structure of the Liturgical Year; The Essentials of Preaching for the Ruling Elder; Foundations of Worship in the Reformed Tradition; An Author for Authors: How to Read and Make Sense of Kierkegaard; John Oecolampadius: The Reformer of Basel.

Lindsey Ward (2018)


Lindsey Ward

Interim Director of Seminary Vocation
EdD, Edgewood College
MSE, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
BS, University of Wisconsin - Platteville

Phone: 563.589.3418
Email: LWard@dbq.edu
Office: 208 Van Vliet Hall

Dr. Lindsey Ward is responsible for the oversight of field education, assessment, advising, and other administrative duties in the Seminary. Having started her career in undergraduate student life roles, she spent eight years in the trenches of young adult formation working with student organizations, advisors, and student leaders, then chased that passion for student growth and development into the classroom, where she now coordinates curriculum and instruction for a series of courses that help undergraduates explore their purpose, worldview, and vocation through a distinctly Reformed Christian lens. In her free time, Lindsey seeks adventure. You can find her at the top of a mountain (37 14,000' peaks and counting!), on a bike, on a run, on a yoga mat, in a tent, or out exploring with her husband and three growing boys.


Emily Blue (2021)


Emily Blue

Director of Continuing and Lay Education
Pastor to Seminary Students

MDiv, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary
BA, Utah State University

Phone: 563.589.3630
Email: EBlue@dbq.edu
Office: 205 Van Vliet Hall

Jill Dodds (2018)


Jill Dodds

Adminstrative Assistant to the Dean of the Seminary
BA, University of Dubuque

Phone: 563.589.3122
Email: JDodds@dbq.edu
Office: 204 Van Vliet Hall

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Samuel Felderman

Director of Seminary Admission
MACL, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary
BA, University of Dubuque

Email: SFelderman@dbq.edu
Office: 207 Van Vliet Hall

Professors Emeriti

John S. Baird, Professor of Homiletics and Ministry, Emeritus, 1976-1994; B.A., Maryville College; B.D., San Francisco Theological Seminary; S.T.M. and S.T.D., Temple University

Annette Bourland Huizenga, Professor of New Testament, Emerita, and Dean of the Seminary, Emerita, 2008-2022; B.A., Vassar College; M.R.E., Wesley Theological Seminary; M.A.R, McCormick Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of Chicago Divinity School 

Arlo D. Duba, Professor of Worship, Emeritus, 1982-1992; B.A., B.D., University of Dubuque; Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary

William Jamison, Professor of Ministry, Emeritus, 1955-1971, 1990-1996; B.A., University of Southern California; M.S., Pennsylvania State University; Ed.D., University of Colorado; B.D., University of Dubuque Theological Seminary

Bonnie Sue Lewis, Professor of Mission and World Christianity, Emerita, 1996-2020; B.A. Whitworth University; M.A. Fuller Theological Seminary, PhD. University of Washington

Lyle Vander Broek, Professor of New Testament, Emeritus, 1983-2017; B.A., Northwestern College; M.Div., Western Theological Seminary; M.Phil., Drew University; and PhD., Drew University

C. Howard Wallace, Professor of Biblical Theology, Emeritus, 1959-1996; B.A., Park College; B.D., McCormick Theological Seminary; D.Theol., University of Basel