WILSON, N.C. — Dr. Rodney A. Werline, Marie and Leman Barnhill Endowed Chair in Religious Studies and professor of religion at Barton College, has been named general editor of the “Early Judaism and Its Literature” series published by the Society of Biblical Literature. His term is effective immediately and will continue for a three-year period through 2014. This appointment is usually renewed for a second three-year term.

“Dr. Werline’s selection for this role is a clear affirmation of the strong scholarship he has been conducting and reporting,” shared Dr. Norval C. Kneten, president of Barton College. “His work enhances the national and international reputation of Barton College and provides our students with a great example of how good teaching and outstanding research work together in creating a quality undergraduate experience.”

Dr. Werline succeeds Judith Newman, professor at the University of Toronto, in this newly added role. Among his responsibilities as editor, he will search for suitable monographs, collections of edited essays, and critical editions of ancient texts and their translations for the series. He will also review submissions and request other scholars to review specific volumes for publication.

Working with an editorial board of scholars from prestigious institutions across the globe, Dr. Werline will oversee the editing and publication process of each volume. This series generally produces four to five volumes each year.

The focus of the series, “Early Judaism and Its Literature,” encompasses the history and literature of Judaism from approximately 400 BCE (before the Common Era) to 300 CE (Common Era).

“I was surprised and honored to be invited to hold this position,” said Dr. Werline. “I never imagined that I would one day be the editor of this series. Judith Newman has done a wonderful job assuring the high quality of each volume in the series. I will give my best effort to maintaining this. There are projects already underway, and I look forward to working with scholars from around the world in bringing their research to print.”

Dr. Werline’s other professional positions have included co-founder and co-chair of the Religious Experience in Early Judaism and Early Christianity Consultation for The Society of Biblical Literature, and founding member and steering committee member of Penitential Prayer: Origin, Development, and Impact Consultation for The Society of Biblical Literature.

He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at Kentucky Christian College in Grayson, Ky., in 1983. Dr. Werline continued his studies, earning a Master of Divinity degree at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., in 1986, and a Ph.D. in Religion at The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1995. His area of study focused on Judaism and Christianity in the Greco-Roman World.

Proficient in six additional languages, including: Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Ethiopic, French, and German; Dr. Werline also has a working knowledge of Syriac and Latin.

While serving appointments in both the classroom and the parish ministry, Dr. Werline has maintained a strong focus on research and publishing. Widely respected for his work, he has numerous books, projects, articles, and book reviews in print. He is the author of two books, his most recent being “Pray Like This,” written for a lay readership. He has co-edited five books of collected essays, and a sixth volume should be published by summer, 2012.

As an expert in early Judaism and religious experience, Dr. Werline has delivered a number of conference presentations across the United States and abroad, including Lisbon, Portugal; Rome, Italy; and London, U.K. Last spring, he was invited to give a lecture to the New Testament graduate students and faculty at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

In spring 2011, Dr. Werline was recognized with the distinguished Jefferson Pilot Faculty Member of the Year award at Barton College for teaching excellence in the classroom and faculty commitment to student success.

Prior to his appointment at Barton College, Dr. Werline served as senior minister of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Greensboro, while also teaching as an adjunct professor in religion at Greensboro College. Previous faculty positions have included appointments at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Emmanuel School of Religion in Johnson City, Tenn., Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.

Dr. Werline is the son of Wanda Werline of Lexington, Ky., and the late Delbert Werline. He and his wife Kathy, also an educator, have two college-aged daughters, Madison and Baylee. The Werlines make their home in Wilson.

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Questions?  Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: kdaughety@barton.edu.

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