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Patricia Tull receives emerita honor

by Louisville Seminary | Nov 10, 2010
The Rev. Dr. Patricia K. Tull has been named A.B. Rhodes Professor of Old Testament Emerita by the Board of Trustees of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. The honor was conferred at the fall meeting of the Board, October 21-23, 2010.

The title of emeritus/emerita may be conferred upon retired professors who are specially commended to the Board of Trustees by the Seminary faculty. Following the recommendation of the faculty, trustees voted unanimously to recognize Dr. Tull for “her 16 years of exemplary service to Louisville Seminary, her outstanding scholarship, her excellence in teaching, and her many contributions to the collegiums.”

Tull announced her retirement in May 2010 and concluded her full-time teaching at the Seminary on September 1.

After serving in parish ministry as an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Tull joined the faculty of Louisville Seminary in 1994. In 2005, she was appointed to the A.B. Rhodes Professorship in Old Testament.

In her teaching career she has shared her expertise in scriptural interpretation and its history, as well as in interfaith relations, through her numerous published articles, lectures, and presentations, and her books, including "1 Samuel" and "2 Samuel,” in Theological Bible Commentary, edited by Gail O'Day and David Petersen (Westminster John Knox Press, 2009); As Those Who Are Taught: The Interpretation of Isaiah from the LXX to the SBL, co-edited with Claire Matthews McGinnis, (Scholars Press, 2006); Esther and Ruth (Interpretation Bible Studies, Westminster John Knox Press, 2003); Esther's Feast: A Study of the Book of Esther (2001-2002 Horizons Bible Study for Presbyterian Women, Presbyterian Publishing House, 2001); and Remember the Former Things: The Recollection of Previous Texts in Second Isaiah (Scholars Press, 1997). Dr. Tull is currently finishing volume 1 of a 2-volume commentary on Isaiah, to be published by Smyth and Helwys.

In addition to teaching required courses in Hebrew, Hebrew exegesis, and the introduction to the Hebrew Bible for Master of Divinity and Master of Arts (Religion) students, Tull has offered elective courses related to the Holocaust, Wisdom Literature, and Psalms, among others. She will again lead, with Louisville Seminary Professor Brad Wigger, the very popular Middle East travel seminar, entitled “History, Religion, and Culture in the Land of the Bible,” January 8-25, 2011, which has included pastors, graduates, and other friends of the Seminary as participants. "Her early use of instructional technology in teaching Hebrew demonstrates the innovative quality of her teaching and her concern for student learning," added Seminary Dean Dr. David C. Hester. Power point presentations of Hebrew grammar and syntax structures and slides introducing easy to sing Hebrew songs to reinforce language skills were thoughtfully intended to make a difficult foreign language more accessible to students and easier to learn, engaging as they do multiple intelligences, he said.

Outside of the Seminary, Tull lectures and preaches in a variety of settings. She teaches a regular adult Bible study class at her local church, serves as consultant and speaker on environmental issues, and will continue to serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Biblical Literature.

In announcing her retirement, she stated that her immediate focus would be given to completing writing commitments and then “developing ideas that have been on the back burner for years,” including biblical studies and areas of interfaith and environmental concerns.

Dr. Tull is the first female professor at Louisville Seminary to receive the emerita honor. Since 1969, twelve women have served as full-time professors on the Louisville Seminary faculty. Today, nine of these women professors continue to teach as part of a faculty body comprised of 21 full-time and visiting professors, accomplished scholars who care deeply preparing men and women for ministry in a world of religious difference. Dr. Johanna Bos, the Dora Pierce Professor of Bible and Professor of Old Testament, has been teaching on the faculty since 1976 and was the first female professor to receive tenure at LPTS. Dr. Catherine Gunsalus Gonzalez taught from 1969 to 1973 and became professor emerita at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., and Dr. Nancy J. Ramsay, who taught from 1982 to 2005, is currently Dean of the Seminary at Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University, in Ft. Worth, Texas.

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