Tag Archives: PUC theology

Academic Spotlight: Theology

PUC’s department of theology strives to prepare each student with the knowledge and skills to live a lifetime of effective Christian ministry and service. By interacting with engaging professors in small classes, students will receive theological and practical information in their religion courses along with spiritual inspiration. Students deepen their understanding of scripture and are equipped for a lifetime of culturally relevant ministry that will impact the world for God.

Programs offered:

  • B.A. in Theology
  • B.A. in Religion, Biblical Studies Emphasis
  • B.A. in Religion, Health Professions Emphasis
  • B.A. in Religion, Mission Emphasis

A Student’s Perspective

Josue Hernandez, ’15, is in the middle of his third year of ministry as associate pastor at the Modesto Central Seventh-day Adventist Church. He graduated from PUC with a degree in theology and will begin MDiv classes in January. Josue spoke at Fall Revival this past October on the theme of “Beyond,” sharing spiritual insights and food for thought with the campus. We talked with Josue about his experience as a relatively new pastor, his time at PUC, and what it was like as a transfer student from UC Davis.

Read “A Conversation with Fall Revival Speaker Josue Hernandez” now!

Fast Facts

  1. Theology students are eligible to receive the Adventist Mission Scholarship, a renewable $3,000 grant per year available to students majoring in theology, early childhood education, or actively pursuing a teaching credential for elementary or secondary education.
  2. The college’s new Holistic Living religion course introduces freshmen to college life, makes the transition into college more manageable, and makes them aware of a variety of resources, support networks, and key college success tools. The inaugural courses were first taught in fall 2018, and included units on getting good sleep, making healthy food choices, making use of PUC’s Career & Counseling Center, and a guided walk through PUC’s Back 40, several hundred acres of walkable, bikeable, wooded trails behind the main part of campus.
  3. The department of theology spends an annual weekend spiritual retreat to Albion on the coast, which many majors see as one of the highlights of their time at PUC.
  4. Department graduates have been accepted into master’s programs at several prestigious universities, including Andrews University, Loma Linda University, and the Pacific School of Religion.

What You Can Do With This Major

With a religion or theology degree, you never know how or where God will lead you to serve others.

  • Chaplain
  • Church ministry/administration
  • Church pastor
  • General Conference official
  • Hospital chaplain
  • Lawyer
  • Military chaplain
  • Non-profit organizer
  • Physician
  • School counselor
  • Teacher

Learn more about the department of theology at puc.edu/academics. Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have about PUC’s religion and theology programs, or the other majors the college offers. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email admissions@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you!

#FacultyFriday: Meet Jean Sheldon

Dr. L. Jean Sheldon has been with PUC for an impressive 23 years, a stalwart professor in the department of theology. Her area of doctoral study is the Old Testament and ancient Mesopotamia. Previously, she worked as an instructor of religion at Hong Kong Adventist College and as a graduation analyst for PUC. She is known for her writings, and gardening, music, and cat psychology.

For the last #FacultyFriday of the year, let’s spend some time getting to know Dr. Sheldon!

Name: Dr. Jean Sheldon
Title: Professor of Old Testament
Email: jsheldon@puc.edu
Faculty since: 1995

Classes taught: Honors: Engaging Scripture, Women & the Bible, Holistic Living, Christian Ethics in Society, Books of Moses, Babylon & the Bible, Intro to Christian Ethics, God & Human Suffering, Kings & Conquest, Psalms & Wisdom Literature, Biblical Ethics

Education: B.A. from Andrews University, 1982; M.A. from Loma Linda University, 1984; Ph.D. from Graduate Theological Union and University of California, Berkeley, 2002

What made you decide to be a teacher?

1) Impromptu leading my academy freshman class in discussion when the other members of my group refused to help with making the presentation. 2) God’s call and anointing to be a theologian. 3) God’s leading in that direction.

What are some of your hobbies?

Research, writing, gardening, singing, cats

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?

The natural setting—the back 40; and the freedom I have here to teach about God.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

The prayer chapel

What’s your favorite song?

“Be Still My Soul”

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?

Take time for God and nature.

Professional activities (Note: Only presentations and works published most recently are listed)

June 16, 2018 – “Wrong Time but Move Forward!” Baccalaureate address, Pacific Union College.

October 13, 2017 – “Divine Anger in Ancient Mesopotamia and the Hebrew Bible.” Presentation for the Character of God Conference. Garden Grove SDA Church, Garden Grove, California.

October 13, 2017 – “Babylon and the New Jerusalem.” Presentation for the Character of God
Conference. Garden Grove SDA Church, Garden Grove, California.

August 5, 2017 – “God’s Violent Acts.” Presentation for a regional chapter of the Association of Adventist Forums, Orlando, Florida.

August 5, 2017 – “The Conquest of Canaan.” Presentation for a regional chapter of the Association for Adventist Forums, Orlando Florida (Sermon at the University Church).

August 4, 2017 – “Two Kinds of Relationships: A Canonical Critical Study of Old Testament Covenants.” Presentation for a regional chapter of the Association for Adventist Forums, Orlando, Florida.

General Publications

Over 20 articles for such publications as Spectrum, Signs of the TimesAdventist Review, and Insight since 1973.

“No Longer Naked and Ashamed: Discovering That God Is Not an Abuser.” Parker, CO:
Outskirts Press, 2009

“Chasing Heaven to Avoid Hell,” Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1984
Reprinted in Heritage Series, 2012.

“Ribbon of Lies, Knife of Truth,” Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1982.
Reprinted in Heritage Series under new title: And God Cried Out, Why This Suffering?, 2017

“Sharing Jesus,” Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1980
Reprinted in Heritage Series, 2014

“Sabbath School Teacher’s Aids for Ephesians” (1st Quarter, 1986)

#FacultyFriday: Meet Ross Winkle

It’s time for another #FacultyFriday! Meet Dr. Ross Winkle, professor of new testament and chair of the department of theology who has taught at PUC since 2005. He has a professional focus on the New Testament and has received several PUC Faculty Development Research and Honors awards, as well as two Herber Faculty Development Awards. He has also served as a student missionary in Tokyo, Japan, and as a pastor for 13 years in three successive church districts in Oregon. He is an ordained minister and occasionally leads adult Sabbath School discussions on campus and preaches in surrounding churches. Dr. Winkle has also had several pieces published in various publications and given a significant number of presentations at professional conferences around the world, including Edinburgh, Scotland; Izmir, Turkey; and Vienna, Austria.

Name: Dr. Ross Winkle
Title: Professor of new testament and chair, department of theology
Email: rwinkle@puc.edu
Faculty since: Fall 2005

Classes taught: Discovering Jesus (Honors), Encountering Jesus, Parables of Jesus, Book of John, Studies in Daniel, Studies in Revelation, Advanced Studies in Apocalyptic, Biblical Greek I, II, III, Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs, Theology of the Sanctuary, Last Day Events

Education: Bachelor’s degrees in theology and biblical language, from Walla Walla College, 1983; M.Div., from Andrews University, 1987; Ph.D. in religion, from Andrews University, 1987

Professional activities:

Editor’s note: Since Dr. Winkle’s professional activities are extensive, we have listed only a few of his most recent accomplishments.

Scholarly Publications

1 Peter. Seventh-day Adventist International Bible Commentary (co-written [1 Peter 3-5] with Tom Shepard, Ph.D.). Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, forthcoming.

“Navigating the Aqueous and Fluvial Imagery of the Liquid Temple.” In Sacred Space, Sacred Thread. Wipf & Stock, forthcoming, 2018.

“Resistance Is Not Futile: Restraint as Cultic Action in 2 Thessalonians 2.” In Jewish Cult Identity: Constituents and Critique, eds. Henrietta Wiley and Christian Eberhart. Resources for Bible Study series. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2017.

“‘You Are What You Wear’: The Dress and Identity of Jesus as High Priest in John’s Apocalypse.” In Jewish Cult Identity: Constituents and Critique, eds. Henrietta Wiley and Christian Eberhart. Resources for Bible Study series. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2017.

“A River Flows From It: The ‘Sanctuary Doctrine’ and the Hydrological Ecclesiology of the Temple.” Spectrum 43/2 (2015): 8-15.

Selected Scholarly Presentations

“‘Clothes Make the (One Like a Son of) Man’: Dress Imagery in Revelation 1 as an Indicator of High Priestly Status.” Daniel and Revelation Symposium, Chico, CA. May 28, 2017.

“(The) Speaking of the Altar: Animate Architecture in the Heavenly Temple in Rev 16:7.” Daniel and Revelation Symposium, Chico, CA. May 27, 2017.

“Crystal Clear—The River Flowing from the Throne of God and of the Lamb as a Symbol of the Spirit.” Annual Meeting of the Adventist Theological Society on “The Triune God.” San Antonio, TX. November 19, 2016.

“Navigating the Aqueous and Fluvial Imagery of the Liquid Temple.” “Sacred Space, Sacred Thread” Global Conference. University of Southern California. Los Angeles, CA. November 4, 2016.

“Fluvial Fantasies? The Liquid Temple and the Spirit.” Plenary Session Presentation. North American Division Asian/Pacific Pastors Convention. Sacramento, CA. February 23, 2016.

What made you decide to be a teacher?
I first decided I wanted to teach Bible classes while I was in academy. I personally liked one of my Bible teachers there, but I felt the Bible class for the students was a disaster, and I thought I could do better. When I got to college, though, I decided I’d rather teach at the college level than at the academy level. My year as a student missionary in Tokyo while in college, teaching conversational English to Japanese students, helped solidify that desire.

What are some of your hobbies?
Reading, genealogical research, piano/keyboard, strategy games, hiking

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I like making freezer jams with interesting, fruity flavors (e.g., elephant heart plum, blackberry rhubarb, blackberry orange, blueberry peach raspberry, etc.).

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?
I like the fact that it is “in nature” and surrounded by lots of hiking trails.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
The water fountain in front of Paulin Hall—although I don’t spend a lot of time there!

What’s your favorite song?
There’s too many to pick from! And they are “favorites” for different times of the year, different emotions, different experiences one is going through. But since you’re forcing me, I’ll pick one: Currently, one of my favorite religious songs is “Somewhere in Your Silent Night” by Casting Crowns.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
Try several “different” courses to see whether you might like that direction for a career; manage your time well; and read your email!

Interested in learning more about PUC’s religion and theology programs? Visit puc.edu/admissions!

#FacultyFriday: Meet James Wibberding

Welcome to our latest installment of #FacultyFriday, where we feature a different faculty member each week.

Joining the college’s department of theology, Dr. James Wibberding has a wide variety of experience as a pastor, professor, author, chaplain, and speaker. Since 2014, he has served as the lead pastor for the Journey Seventh-day Adventist Church, a 700-person church in Kelso, Wash. Dr. Wibberding has also served as an adjunct professor at Andrews University since 2013.

During the 2013 legislative session, Dr. Wibberding was the senate chaplain for the state of Idaho where he provided daily inspirational talks to the Senate while they were in session and also offered social support to the senators and their families. For many years, he has also worked as a pastor at the Cloverdale Seventh-day Adventist Church in Boise, Idaho, and throughout the Pennsylvania Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, where he also served as the lay training director, developing curriculum for an annual lay pastor training course. Additionally, Dr. Wibberding has published several books, including “Learn to Preach Before Next Weekend” and “Sabbath Reflections: A Weekly Devotional.”

Name: James (Jim) Wibberding
Title: Associate professor of applied theology and biblical studies
Email: jwibberding@puc.edu
Faculty since: July 1, 2017

Classes taught: Pastoral Ministry, Biblical Foundations, Ministry Extern Program I

Education: Bachelor’s in theology, from Southern Adventist University, 2000; masters of divinity, from Andrews University, 2005; doctor of ministry, from Andrews University, 2010

What made you decide to be a teacher?
I have wanted to be a teacher for the past 20 years because I believe every person is a unique masterpiece of God with an exquisite potential that I find joy in helping them develop.

What are some of your hobbies?
I enjoy hiking, building musical instruments, and furniture out of wood, and finding new ways to create.

What is something people might be surprised to know about you?
I have been a pastor for 17 years and still disdain neckties.

What are you looking forward to the most about teaching at PUC?
Contributing to the life of a community that is intended to nurture the best in humanity.

So far, what’s been your favorite thing about PUC?
The incredible diversity of our student body and the potential that represents for making a difference in the world together.

Interested in learning more about PUC’s religion and theology programs? Visit puc.edu/admissions!