Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Dr. John I. Kampen with the Founders’ Medallion at Graduation Ceremonies in Cincinnati on Sunday, June 6, 2010 at Isaac M. Wise Temple (8329 Ridge Road, Cincinnati). Dr. Kampen was honored for his 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumnus of HUC-JIR.
Dr. Kampen is the Professor of New Testament Studies at Methodist Theological School in Ohio. He received his B.A. in Sociology from the University of Saskatchewan. From 1971 to 1972, he attended Waterloo Lutheran Seminary in Waterloo, Ontario. In 1975, he received his Master of Divinity degree from the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. In 1985, he received his Ph.D. from HUC-JIR/Cincinnati. In 1997, Dr. Kampen received an honorary degree from Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, OH.
Dr. Kampen’s primary areas of academic specialization include Synoptic Gospels with an emphasis on Matthew, and Jewish History and Literature of the Greco-Roman Era. He explained, “Our changing perceptions of the history of the Jewish people in the late Second Temple period has been at the center of my research, impelled by my work on the literary and historical questions associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls.” He has published texts, essays, book reviews, and newspaper articles and has presented papers and lectures in his field.
Dr. Kampen served as co-chair of the Qumran section of the Society of Biblical Literature during the most contested period in the history of the study of those materials, helping to assure that a good spectrum of the scholars who were completing research at that time were adequately represented in the programs and that developments in the field were being encouraged and discussed in civil and informed conversation.
The relationship of the New Testament materials to the history of the Jewish people in the modern world as well as in antiquity has been at the center of his work both in the classroom and in public venues. In his classrooms, students have had the opportunity to develop an understanding of how Christian scholarship has contributed to the development of anti-Semitism throughout its history, beginning from its origins. He has spoken to issues that impacted upon the welfare of the Jewish people in denominational publications and other Christian venues.
Dr. Kampen has served in academic administration for 20 years as academic dean of three institutions of higher education: Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Bluffton College (now University), and Payne Theological Seminary. He has been committed to the development of each school with high academic standards that have the flexibility required to thrive in today’s higher education environment.
Since 2008, Dr. Kampen has been a member of the Board of Scholars and Practitioners for the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue. He has been a member of the Accreditation Review Commission for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 2006 and a Consultant-Evaluator for the Commission since 2001. He is currently a member of both the Society of Biblical Literature and the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies.
Dr. Kampen has continued to hold an active role at HUC-JIR. In Spring, 2008, Dr. Kampen was the Visiting Lecturer at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati. From 1983 to 1984, he was a Research Fellow, and prior to that, he was a Research and Editorial Assistant at HUC-JIR from 1977 to 1983. He stated, “I have taken the associations developed at HUC-JIR into each of the institutions I have served. HUC-JIR faculty and/or representatives of Reform Judaism have lectured or appeared in some forum on each of these campuses and relationships have been strengthened.”
Please click here to view the national invitation for event details.