Dr. Robert A. Bryant


Kristin Herrington Professor of Bible
Chair, Department of Religion and Philosophy
Office location: Neville Hall 305
Office phone: 864-833-8348
B.S., Virginia Tech
M.Div., Union Presbyterian Seminary
Ph.D., Union Presbyterian Seminary
Joined PC faculty in 1998

Courses Taught:

Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, Studies in the Synoptic Gospels, Pauline Epistles, Johannine Literature, Hebrews and the General Epistles, Ecology and the Bible, Science and Religion, Women in the Bible, Beginning and Advanced Greek.

Professional Interests:

Professionally, my area of specialization is biblical studies. I work with the Bible’s original languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) in the quest to better understand and interpret biblical and other related ancient texts for today. It is a discipline I find infinitely fascinating and important for our time, but as much as I love it, it’s certainly not a field I could have anticipated in high school or early in college. My present areas of research include: Paul’s letters and theology, Gospel Passion Narratives,
Greco-Roman rhetorical and epistolary practices, and interfaith religious pedagogy.

One of the reasons that I enjoy teaching in a liberal arts college is that its broad interdisciplinary approach to learning helps students appreciate life’s interconnectedness even as it helps them discover and develop their passions while strengthening their weaknesses—all in a highly supportive community. Certainly, my favorite thing about teaching and doing research at PC, however, is the people. Our students make learning and teaching a joy, and faculty colleagues make serving together a pleasure. I’m also enthusiastic about the college’s mission as a church-related liberal arts college. Faith and reason find ready traction here for a life of service.

Along with my work at Presbyterian College, I have served as a Visiting Scholar at Duke University, taught at Union Presbyterian Seminary, and been a Visiting Professor at the Pädagogische Hochschule Karlsruhe (Germany) as a German Academic Exchange Fellow. I am also an Adjunct Faculty member for the Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies and have been taking students to Israel, the Palestinian territories, and Jordan since 2001. My professional associations include the Society of Biblical Literature, the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion, and the Catholic Biblical Association.

Personal Interests:

Recreational, if it’s outdoors I’m in! Hiking, camping, backpacking, canoeing, bird watching, or just spending time outdoors in most any other activity is always a pleasure, especially with family and friends. I also enjoy woodworking and have been steadily renovating my family’s old bungalow-style home. I’m an avid reader, too, and I love to travel. I find refreshment in playing my guitar and banjo, and my wife and I also enjoy serving in the Clinton community and in others.


The Risen Crucified Christ in Galatians (The Society of Biblical Literature, 2001); The Gospel of Matthew: God With Us (Kerygma, 2006); First Corinthians: One in Christ (Kerygma, 2010).

Articles and Reviews:

Interpretation, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Lectionary Homiletics, Feasting on the Word Commentary Series, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, and the Handbook of Biblical Criticism.


Martha O. and Fred R. Stair Fellowship; James A. Jones Fellowship; Belk Fellowship; Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst Stipendium; Presbyterian College Faculty Scholar Award; Kyle Spencer Oxford Fellowship.

Dr. James J. Thompson

Associate Professor of Philosophy
Ph.D., University of Chicago
M.Div., Union Theological Seminary in Virginia
A.B., Princeton University

Dr. Craig Vondergeest

Craig Vondergeest
Assistant Professor of Religion

Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education
M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary
B.A., Concordia College

Courses I Teach

Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, Prophets, Genesis, Judaism, Contemporary Use of the Bible, Freshman Seminar

Biographical Information

I have been in the religion department of Presbyterian College since 2005, following a number of years of service as a United Methodist pastor in South Dakota and North Dakota, my home state. I came to PC because I have always wanted to teach at a church-related liberal arts college, and I especially like getting to know the students and watching their personal and academic growth. My research interests are Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical prophecy and the Pentateuch. I have a son and two daughters: Nathan, Maren and Rachel

Dr. Kirk J. Nolan

Assistant Professor of Religion
Office location: Neville Hall 306
Office phone: 864.833.8358
BS, Princeton University
M. Div., Princeton Theological Seminary
STM, Andover Newton Theological School
PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary
Joined PC in 2009

Courses I Teach:

Christian Doctrine, Theology & Ethics of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, International Mission, Business Ethics, Religion & Politics in the United States, India Maymester

Professional Interests:

Virtue Ethics, Karl Barth, Christian practices, comparative theology (particularly inter-religious discussions between Hinduism and Christianity)

I joined the faculty in 2009, while finishing up my dissertation on moral virtue ethics and Karl Barth. It’s difficult to locate the source of my interest in virtue ethics and Reformed theology, though Alasdaire MacIntyre’s After Virtue certainly served a large part. I have always been attracted to academic institutions as places where the intellectual virtues are intentionally fostered. The idea that these virtues are inseparable from moral virtues such as courage is something that only gradually dawned on me. Each of the courses I teach challenges me (and I hope my students) to reconsider cherished assumptions about the way things are. As a church-related, liberal arts college, PC offers the best of both worlds. Its church relatedness ensures the freedom to explore questions of faith openly. Its commitment to the liberal arts brings faith into conversation with reason. The meeting place, like freshly turned soil, bears much fruit.

My wife and three kids (Junia, Bennet, and Isaiah) are very good at keeping me grounded. We live just a block away from campus and our home is always open to visitors. Yes, that sound of children laughing and playing (and shouting) is most likely coming from our house!

Dr. Rebecca Davis

Associate Professor of Religion
Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education
M.Div., Union Theological Seminary
M.A., Presbyterian School of Christian Education
B.A., Marshall University
Office: 864-833-8426

Courses I Teach:

• Old Testament
• New Testament
• Introduction to Christian Education
• Life-long Discipleship
• The Bible, Theology and Theory in Christian Education
• Advanced Teaching and Curriculum
• Leadership in Congregations and Faith-based Nonprofits
• Advocacy and Ministry with Children and their Families
• Ministries with Youth and their Families
• Education for Mission

Biographical Information:

“Christ came to take away our sins…not our minds,” quips one of my favorite public theologians William Sloane Coffin, Jr., and encapsulates my fascination with the interplay of faith, understanding and practice. Ours is a thinking faith that informs a life of discipleship. My own Reformed roots run deep grounding my teaching and ministry as I encourage students to “know what you believe and why you believe it” then go out and live it!

Before coming to Presbyterian College in 2010, I served the church for twenty-five years as pastor and educator (ordained and non-ordained,) in congregations small and large all across the south. In each place I found that God had a way of using and honing my gifts particularly in the teaching ministries whether that was with children, youth or adults. While my primary passion is education and teaching a close second is child advocacy – working towards a world where all God’s children can grow into the fullness for which God created them – especially those who are most vulnerable. This led early in my ministry to serving as the organizing chair of the Presbyterian Child Advocacy Network and later called me to serve on staff of the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, DC and contract staff for the National Council of Churches (USA).

Presbyterian College is a perfect place to live into my call to teach and prepare young people for a live of ministry and service and I am committed to teaching here because it welcomes the integration of faith, academics and a life of service. It is a place that encourages students to have a thinking faith that gets lived out every day. I love Christian Education because it bridges real life experience with theory and theology. My “sweet spot” is journeying with students as they prepare to make a difference in the world through faithful and thoughtful leadership.

When I’m not teaching I enjoy cooking, gathering with friends for communal meals and conversations and hanging out with our CE puppy Bronwyn.

Dr. Ryan Harper


Visiting Assistant Professor
Office: Neville Hall 307
B.S., M.A. Southeast Missouri State University
M.T.S., Duke University Divinity School
Ph.D, Princeton University
Joined PC in 2014

Courses Taught (general subjects):

Offerings on the history of Christianity, American religions, religion and literature, and sacred music. I also teach Old Testament Survey.

Professional Interests:

I have been a teacher for several decades. I taught music lessons as a high school student, I was an English and writing teacher at the high school and college levels, and I have been teaching religion in university and college classrooms (in addition to “extra-academic” community settings) for many years. The content of my instruction has changed as my interests have changed and occasionally converged, but my devotion to teaching has not. To be a teacher is to enable students to acquire skills and synthesize information, but I also regard teaching and learning as citizenship training. Paying critical and charitable attention to past and present populations, whose ways may diverge from ours or may be barely intelligible to us, is an exercise in democratic citizenship. To undertake the labor of listening, to place and be placed under conviction by our community and the testimony of history, to cultivate a personal authority that is at once humble in its contingency and firm in its purchase—these are the tasks of teacher and student alike. I teach so that students become better citizens of their world in my classroom, and so that they might make me a better citizen in turn.

My research interests span several disciplines; in fact, I enjoy working in religious studies because the field demands that I learn from and contribute to a number of fields. My first book, which will proceed from my doctoral dissertation, will be an ethnography of the Gaither Homecoming concert and video series. The project required me to become conversant in the history of American music, varieties of evangelical theology, histories and theories of American “Southernness,” the racial politics of evangelicalism, and other fields. Because I spent long periods of time with the Gaithers, the Homecoming musicians, and gospel music fans, I had to learn how to listen well to others and to be aware of the effects of my presence on the spaces I inhabited. It was immensely challenging and fun work!

I am currently interested in American evangelicals and the creative arts—specifically, evangelical production of and engagement with creative nonfiction and poetry. This project is related to my own work as a poet and essayist.

Personal Interests:

My spouse Lynn and I are outdoorsy people, and we enjoy hiking and biking the Carolina woods, trails, and mountains. I am also an avid runner (four marathons…and that will probably be it!) and a former competitive weightlifter (although I still enjoy weightlifting, alas, those competitive days are likely over, too). I play several musical instruments, but my first love is jazz drumming. I’ve played with jazz and rock groups all over the Midwest, South, and the Northeast (don’t be surprised if you find me on stage if you make your way up to Greenville on the weekend!).

Peter H. Hobbie

Emma Bailey and the Rev. George H. Cornelson Professor of the Christian Religion, Emeritus
D.Min, Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary in Virginia
M.B.A., Virginia Commonwealth University
M.A., University of North Carolina
A.B., Davidson College

Dr. Loyd D. Melton

Adjunct Professor of Religion/Philosophy