University of Dubuque Theological Seminary Announces New Faculty Appointment and Promotions

Feb 9, 2015 | UD News

Dr. Bradley Longfield, dean of the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary (UDTS), announced the appointment of Christopher James as instructor of evangelism and missional Christianity and the promotions of Susan Forshey to assistant professor of discipleship and spiritual formation and Matthew Schlimm to associate professor of Old Testament.

James is a doctoral candidate in practical theology at Boston University School of Theology.  He holds a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, a bachelor of arts from Wheaton College (IL), and has significant pastoral experience, most recently as minister of community life at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church.  James is the author of several articles on missional practice and church planting including “Practices for a Missional Church Planting Order” (Journal of Missional Practice, 2013) and “Some Fell on Good Soil: Church Planting in Religious Ecologies” (Witness, 2013).

"I am excited to be joining a seminary community with such clear, curricular commitments to forming missional and spiritually formed leaders for the church in its changing contexts," said James, who will also lead the Master of Arts in Missional Christianity degree program.  "I’m especially excited to capitalize on the Seminary’s unique partnership with the University in training missional leaders who are in-tune with young adult culture and equipped for new forms of ministry.”

Forshey came to the University of Dubuque in August 2014 and recently received her doctor of philosophy in practical theology and spirituality from Boston University. Additionally, she holds a bachelor of arts degree from Western Washington University and a master of divinity degree from St. John’s University (MN).  Forshey has served at University Presbyterian Church and Bethany Presbyterian Church, both in Seattle, Washington. A popular retreat leader, she writes and speaks on spiritual disciplines in conversation with neuroscience and cognitive studies.  She writes about contemplative living and prayer at, and is also an artist and professional photographer.  

“I am thrilled to teach at a seminary so clearly focused on the theological, spiritual, and professional preparation of students for all forms of Christian ministerial leadership,” Forshey commented.  “The faculty holds a wealth of experience in both local congregational dynamics and the broader needs of the Church, a love for the Christian tradition, and a commitment to educate the whole person.  It is exciting to bring my interests in cognitive studies, education, and spiritual disciplines into the conversation.” 

Finally, Schlimm has taught at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary since 2008. He holds a bachelor of arts from Asbury University, and master of divinity and  doctor of philosophy degrees from Duke University.  Schlimm is the author of two books: From Fratricide to Forgiveness: The Language and Ethics of Anger in Genesis (Eisenbrauns, 2011) and This Strange and Sacred Scripture: Wrestling with the Old Testament and Its Oddities (Baker Academic, 2015).  He also served as an editor for the CEB Study Bible (Common English Bible, 2013) and contributed extensively to the CEB Student Bible (forthcoming, 2015).  An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, Schlimm has served churches in Michigan, Minnesota, and North Carolina.

Schlimm, whose teaching and scholarship explores how faith communities can use the Old Testament in life-giving ways, declared, “I love teaching at UDTS because of our firm commitment to preparing faithful pastors.”

“We celebrate the appointment of Christopher James and the promotions of Susan Forshey and Matthew Schlimm,” said Dean Longfield.  “These three faculty members embody the commitment of UDTS to nurture leaders rooted in the Scriptures and disciplines of the church, and committed to the proclamation of the Gospel in word and deed.  They are all productive scholars, winsome teachers, and faithful Christians who seek to fulfill our mission to ‘follow Jesus, walk in the Spirit, and join God’s mission.’  We look forward to their continuing contributions to the church and our Seminary.”