Faculty Q & A with Benjamin Quinn
CHRIS MARTIN | January 19, 2017
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: I grew up in a Christian home in Corinth, Mississippi. I was saved in an Independent Baptist Church, but my spiritual life really kicked off when we moved to a Southern Baptist Church. I was interested in sports and music growing up. I eventually went to Union University for my undergrad and then Southeastern for my master’s studies.
My senior year in college, I married my junior high sweetheart, Ashley. We rode the same bus in elementary school.
Q: How did you come to SEBTS?
A: I was initially drawn to Southeastern to do my M. Div. and focus on Christian ethics. I earned my M. Div. and then received a Th. M. in Christian Ethics. I began pursuing my Ph. D. remotely through Bristol University in the UK while working in the student development office at Southeastern. I was hired onto the faculty a few months later.
Q: When people ask you, “What do you do at Southeastern,” what is your response?
A: My title is “Assistant Professor of Theology and History of Ideas,” and I also serve as the “Associate Dean for Institutional Effectiveness,” for the College at Southeastern. Ultimately, I make disciples.
Q: On what are you currently working?
A: I’m wrapping up a book with Walter Strickland on the doctrine of vocation. I’m also contracted to do a book on Proverbs that’s due at the end of this year. I’d also like to publish some of my Ph. D. work on the doctrine of wisdom in Augustine’s works.
Q: What have you been reading recently?
A: When I do have time, I’m always reading history. I’m reading Diarmaid MacCulloch’s “Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years,” and I just recently finished Diana Butler Bass’s “A People’s History of Christianity.”
Q: When you get home from work, what do you look forward to doing?
A: My hobby right now is my kids. I can’t wait to leave work to get home to get outside and play with them.
Q: Who are your role models?
A: I always say that I lived with Augustine for five years while I did my doctoral work. I was profoundly impacted by his work. My dad was a hero of mine growing up; he modeled good fatherhood even though he didn’t have a good example of a dad growing up. Randy Bostick, the pastor of the church I attended as a kid, is a role model of mine as a pastor, along with David Ray, a Sunday school teacher of mine from when I was younger.
Q: What has God been teaching you lately?
A: The Lord is teaching me patience. I just don’t have a lot of it, and I notice it the more kids we have. I’m also reminded of my need for intellectual humility and how little I know.
Q: Where are some of your former students?
A: Many of them are planting and pastoring churches. Most of my students in the college are currently in the seminary here. Many of my students are missionaries as well. I have one who is an aide for a congressman on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Q: When a student completes your class, what do you want him or her to walk away with at the end of the semester?
A: I want to cultivate curious Christians; I want them to always be in pursuit of the truth, questioning what is ultimately true. If Jesus is the truth, we don’t have to be afraid of anything. I also want my students to know that I’m pushing, or sometimes dragging, them toward maturity in Christ.
Q: We always say that every classroom at SEBTS is a Great Commission classroom. What does that look like for your class?
A: I encourage my students to love God, his world and everyone in it. I try to expose my students to various world cultures so they see what exists beyond the area with which they are familiar.