Knowing something about the source of the materials I use has always been very important to me, so for this reason I want to offer you information to help you assess whether you’d want to bother with my created materials at all. I’ll add the caveat that “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” — so if my “c.v.” does not quite meet your criteria, I invite you to read at least one of my articles to get a sense of the way my mind works and the potential of this “Grass Roots” approach to instructing the Body of Christ.
I adopted the epithet “Grass Roots” because this is how I see myself: I am a person in the pew, not an ordained leader; and my theological education has been eclectic and organic, rather than formally structured at a seminary. By nature I am a reader and a researcher, which gifts have lent themselves to years of independent study of Reformed theology, biblical interpretation, and history. I am also a writer and a teacher, interested in bridging the gap between the seminary or academy and the pew or pulpit by way of the written and spoken word. I created this site to extend my assistance to others involved in biblical and theological literacy instruction, areas of great need in the church today.
I earned my BA in English from Haverford College (PA) and pursued a PA elementary teaching certificate through Bryn Mawr, Eastern, and Swarthmore Colleges. After marrying my husband Josh, I taught first and second grade for a half-dozen years in public schools in southeastern PA, earning a master’s degree in special education from Millersvile University (PA) in the meantime. Individualized instruction came naturally to me, even in a large classroom setting, and I have carried this interest in the specific needs of particular learners into my work with adults in the church setting.
When my son was born in 1998 I resigned from the local school district and found my new niche teaching the adult Sunday school class in our little non-denominational evangelical church (where most of the students were at least forty years older than I was!). My interest in studying Reformed theology began around this time. Dissatisfaction with the preaching style at this church led to our family migrating up the street to a PCA church, where we have been members since 2006.
My writing has appeared in Modern Reformation Magazine and at the World Reformed Fellowship (WRF) and Beginning with Moses websites. I was grateful to be brought “on staff” by Lane Keister of the Reformed blog Green Baggins in 2010. My work has generally followed the meandering path of my own curious questions about the Bible, theology, and history, and I have tried to direct it to those laypeople who are awakening to a new interest in deeper study in these areas. I have always wished for real-time professors and peers to share my own intellectual journey, and I intend for this reason to be active in offering my gifts to others who have set out on a similar path.
Assigned the role of coordinator for the adult Sunday school program at our church in 2007, I began to focus my attention on adults who were new to the Bible or returning to it for the first time since childhood. I started creating materials that my teaching brothers could use to bring these students up to speed so they would feel more at home in the regular Sunday school classes we offer. Working closely with elders and other brothers in this unusual teaching arrangement has made me aware of their needs, too, as they develop their teaching gifts. Most of the lesson plans at the Grass Roots Theological Library are the tested materials my brothers have followed to teach these beginners. I have also enjoyed contributing to a leadership curriculum at our church, designing a blog site for participants in enrichment classes held at the church, leading an original, in-depth study of the book of Hebrews for women, and speaking on redemptive history at the WRF’s Women in the Word conference (held at Calvary PCA in Willow Grove, PA).
In addition to the above, I home school my children (and I hope to include some of the original materials I have created for their education on this site one day), and I am always available for freelance editing and conference speaking for the good of the wider Body of Christ.
(See also: Excursus: On Gifts and Gender)