M. John Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D., the newest faculty addition in the College of Church Leadership, has received a Postdoctoral Fellowship placement at North Central University as Assistant Professor of New Testament and Louisville Institute Postdoctoral Scholar.
According to an Oct. 22 press release from Louisville Institute (Louisville-institute.org), “The Louisville Institute’s Postdoctoral Fellowship provides fellowships to support two-year, visiting professorship at a North American theological school, college or a university. As part of the Institute’s Vocation of the Theological Educator Initiative, Louisville Postdoctoral Fellows are accompanied by an academic mentor and pastoral mentor. Louisville Fellows also participate in a peer cohort that meets six times over two years.”
O’Connor is thrilled about the opportunity this provides him as a scholar. “The fellowship places me in an ecumenical cohort with brilliant theological educators around America—recent doctoral graduates teaching at places like Luther Seminary, Vanderbilt, Baylor, Wake Forest, Emory, and Garrett Evangelical—to discuss the future of theological education. I am excited to learn from others and to share my own unique experience teaching from a Pentecostal perspective at NCU.”
The experiences he gains will enrich O’Connor’s work with students in the classroom, as well, and he is confident NCU students are ready for in-depth learning. “I love our students. Whether we are discussing the Gospel of Mark or the Apostle Paul, North Central students always raise the bar with high caliber questions and genuine interest.”
Allen Tennison, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Church Leadership, sees great opportunities for O’Connor, North Central, and students through this fellowship. “His postdoctoral fellowship award highlights both Dr. O’Connor’s scholarly contribution and potential as well as the value of a North Central education with faculty like Dr. O’Connor teaching in the classroom,” Tennison said. “This award was given to only the best young scholars in the nation.”
In addition to bringing his expansive—and expanding—knowledge of the New Testament to North Central, O’Connor also brought a new staff member. His wife, Krista O’Connor, M.A., N.C.C., is serving in the Student Success Center as a Mental Health Therapist.