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United Faculty Recommended Books for Incoming Seminarians (Summer 22)

As incoming students get ready to embark on their seminary journey this fall, faculty members took a moment to consider books they read at the beginning of their journey, or books they wish they’d read at the beginning. While you will soon have plenty of reading once the semester starts, here are a few books to whet your appetite between now and September!

If you are searching for spiritual and vocational direction...
by Parker J. Palmer
Recommended by President Molly T. Marshall, “I have been recommending this book for beginning students since 1999, the year it was published. It is primarily about discernment and how we move toward living the life that is ours to live, not what we think others expect of us. It is a call to authenticity as we learn to listen to and value our true selves.”
by Jurgen Moltmann
Moltmann integrates his own biography with his theological questions. Memorable is the line: "the road emerged as I walked on it" as he recounts his journey.
If you are trying to figure out what on earth it is we're actually doing at a seminary,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Packman suggests the following excellent reads:
by Kristine A. Culp
Feminist theological Kristine Culp shows us what theology can do when it poses old questions in a fresh way. She finds that Christian theology has much more to say about the possibilities for resistance and delight in light of our vulnerability to forces that alternatively threaten and transform us. 
by Michael Fishbane
This book is what happens when a world-renowned scholar of the Hebrew Bible and rabbinic literature distills his immense knowledge into a short, provocative account of spiritual life.
by Christian Wiman
Wiman probes the theological depths of his experience with cancer. Death and suffering haunt this beautifully written book and it is in his honest and unflinching confrontation with his own mortality that Wilman discovers a religious faith worth clinging to.
If you can’t wait to dive into religious history:
by Carlos Eire
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean Dr. Kyle Roberts says, “Let me recommend a very well-written book on the history of the Protestant and Catholic reformations. It's a very enjoyable and thorough narrative of the transformation in religion and society prompted by sweeping changes in theological perspectives, interpretation of religious texts, and the intertwining of politics and religious beliefs and practices.”

If you’re interested in Queer and Trans theology:
in Religion
by Melissa M. Wilcox
Recommended by Rev. Dr. Justin Sabia-Tanis, an introduction to Queer and Trans topics in religion and religious history.
If you’re ready to make an impact through
social transformation:
by Kelly Brown Douglas
Recommended by Rev. Dr. Gary F. Green, this book materializes white supremacy in helpful but troubling ways.
by Lewis, Williams, and Baker
Recommended by Rev. Dr. Justin Sabia-Tanis for those planning to enter the Social Transformation program.
If you're pursuing chaplaincy,
by Wendy Cage
edited by Swift, Cobb, and Todd
by Gardon Hilsman
If you are passionate about theology and the arts:
edited by Robin M. Jensen and Kimberly Vrudny
Dr. Jennifer Awes Freeman recommends this book in part because it is dedicated to Wilson Yates, emeritus professor at United and one of the foundational thinkers in the study of theology and the arts.
For those specifically interested in theopoetics, Dr. Awes-Freeman also recommends...
by Silas C. Krabbe
by L. Callid Keefe-Perry.
If you’re interested in congregational ministry and preaching,
by Eugene L. Lowry

Cynthia Bohrer

United Admissions Associate. Social Transformation Student. Relentless Optimist.

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