I thought I was done blogging about Bishop Tom for a while, but then the big news came out today: he is headed for St. Andrews University in Scotland as Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity. Both the University and the Diocese of Durham released statements today.
The good Bishop said it was the most difficult decision of his life (other than turning down the offer we made a few years back ). In my conversation with him in Chicago, he dropped a hint in this direction, but I think most people are quite surprised. I know he is sad to leave the ministry in Durham, but this move certainly feels (w)right to me.
Why? He will now have time to actually get some writing done! (It’s about time.) No more slouching!
Seriously, he will be able to continue his pastoral writing, increase his scholarly output, and guide graduate students. In fact, I know that some people already inquired today about the Ph.D. application process at St. Andrews for the fall and learned that it is closed! I’m sure this was well planned.
Tom joins some interesting people at St. Andrews (which has a very strong biblical faculty and is currently rated the top school in theology in Scotland), including Philip Esler, Trevor Hart, and Alan Torrance
not to mention Richard Bauckham (emeritus) (RB has moved to Cambridge in retirement), plus a young American gospels scholar, Kelly Iverson, a good friend of my colleague Chris Skinner.
Bishop/Professor Tom will be 62 in the fall—still a young and energetic man, with many productive years left, we hope and pray. (His colleague C.K. Barrett at Durham, who is 92, remains active to this day as far as I know.) May the next phase of his scholarship and ministry be blessed.
What do others think of this development?