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Ira Vinson "Jack" Birdwhistell

Update from Doc to Georgetown Faculty

July, 2004 • Georgetown, Kentucky

Ed: This appears to be one of the annual little updates that certain faculty members shared with their departments.  We think this one is from 2004



            The last couple of years have been busy and mostly enjoyable. I’ve cherished being part of the Department of Religion and was honored at receiving tenure in April of 2001. I’ve continued to elaborate on the ‘Introduction to Ministry’ course and added a new course, ‘Christianity in the Modern World,’ to my list of offerings. I’ve taught ‘Baptist Heritage’ at Georgetown, at Lexington Theological Seminary, and this summer, at the new Baptist Seminary of Kentucky. I’m contemplating a new course, ‘The History of the Bible.’

            Study-wise, I’ve continued research into my heavily Baptist-type family and into Baptist life in Central Kentucky. Since moving to Lawrenceburg, my home town, in mid 2001, I’ve developed a lively interest in local history, especially, as you might expect, in the sports history of my home area. I even project writing a narrative history of Anderson County somewhere down the road.

            I’ve also become deeply interested in Baptist ministry—how Baptists have called, nurtured, and trained ministers down through the years. In light of the current ‘minister shortage’ among Baptists (and most denominations), the topic is fairly important. This interest has dovetailed nicely with the grant the college received from the Lilly foundation for the study of vocation. On sabbatical leave in the Spring of 2003, conjunction with this Meetinghouse grant, I have prepared a ‘vocation-related’ writing/research project for use in REL 231 classes which I hope will be helpful to students. In addition, I have spent some time in the Louisville Seminary library researching the Baptist ministry topic.

            Georgetown College and Faith Baptist Church continue to be ‘home.’ I’m looking forward to teaching a couple of summer school courses in July, then returning to a full-time class load in the fall.